Questions tagged [semantics]

Semantics is the study of meaning, used to understand expressions through language.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Do some communities prefer indirect discourses to direct discourses?

Jamaliah Mohd. Ali, in her research paper, says, "the use of indirectness in communication is an important aspect of Malay community life because one of its main intentions is conflict avoidance" (...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

What words relate to thinking about possible events? (Could've Should've Would've)

I'm thinking about how the mind works, and how the mind dreams or simulates events. This seems to be an important part of how the brain works so it seems like we should have special words to describe ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Terminology/resources for descriptions like “…the other one…”

Suppose, e.g., that there are two brothers, Bob and Bill, that must do two things but it doesn't much matter which brother does which task. I am interested in constructions like the following: One ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Define “own” with more primitive linguistic concepts?

I am trying to define the concept of ownership or "having" with basic more primitive concepts. My first try is: I own X == Only I can take X But does the word take imply taking ownership of? So ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Is “parent” a hyponym or a meronym of “parents”?

A hyponym is a word or phrase whose semantic field is included within that of another word. A meronym denotes a constituent part of, or a member of something It can be said that "parents" is ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What are the recommended sources for research about conceptual metaphor?

I would like to find what have been done in research about conceptual metaphor. I've looked into some database, e.g. ERIC, Sciencedirect, WileyOnlineLibrary, JSTOR, Cambridgecore, Taylor&Francis, ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Is language “necessarily underspecified”?

I've read an exam question given in a class on Semantics, that was asking Why is language necessarily underspecified I did not find much about this at the time, which is surprising because it ...
-6
votes
1answer
70 views

What English words can not be motivated and are arbitrary? [closed]

What is the evidence for the arbitrariness of the sign? Continuing this question, what English words can not be motivated and should be considered arbitrary? I think only the natural meanings would ...
6
votes
3answers
172 views

What is the evidence for the arbitrariness of the sign?

The "arbitrariness of the sign" is a fundamental principle of modern linguistics: that is, that there's nothing intrinsic about the sound sequence [kʰæt̚] or the phoneme sequence /kæt/ that links it ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Agentive vs Intentional vs Volitional

What are the differences between these three terms? Agentivity Intentionality Volitionality If they have different definitions, could you provide examples where their values do not match? (For ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Was there a Proto-Germannic root of “miskunn”

I was not able to find an etymology of ON "miskunn" within PrG. Is the first syllable a prefix "mis-" indicating any "wrong kunn, lack of kunn" or a deformed "midi-" as in E "com-passion", G "Mit-leid"...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Why do you call ideal wishes “dreams?” [duplicate]

One property of dreams, which you have when you sleep, is that they are not real but imaginary, and thus may give you unlikely experiences. In many languages throughout the world, not limited to ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

What happened to *kweþana?

In a time when distinct Germanic dialects already existet in geographically diffenrent areas, the usual verbs to signal a following direct speech seem to be descendant of PrG „*kweþana“ in any dialect ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Semantics of a focus particle and Epistemic/Alethic Modality

I've been working on a paper which focuses on interaction of focus particle and epistemic/alethic modality in Turkish. Focus particle "de/da" in Turkish is a clitic and comes right after the word, ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

existential force and universal force

I was reading the paper below, and because of my lack of knowledge on the linguistic terms, I have been stuck half way through. If you would be kind enough to enlighten me, I would be very much ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Is there a term for the unit comprising a lexical item and its semantic role?

In a sentence such as "The man ate the cheese," man is a noun, with a definition in the lexicon, and is also the agent in the sentence. Is there a term for a unit that includes all of these components,...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Necessity and Possibility, Domain Widen, Indeterminate Phrase

I wanna ask a question about semantics. It's on page 20 in the paper "Indeterminate Pronouns: The View from Japanese" (Kratzer & Shimoyama, 2002). What I don't understand is the part Computing ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Is there a tendency to name money after other things?

Back in Spanish.StackExchange there was a question about the use of the word plata (literally "silver") in American dialects of Spanish instead of the proper word, dinero. European Spanish also avoids ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Compositional semantics without possible

Is there a way to do compositional semantics without possible worlds? Especially in the case of semantics of fictional objects. I was trying to think of fictional objects as 'grammatical object' so ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Standardized and ambiguity-free language

Is there exist a language (the natural or the constructed one) with a completely standardized and ambiguity-free rules, and which is suitable for the modern use? I am wondering for a language which ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Words that signal future content

Some content words signal that future content will likely follow. The words seem to act as a typing system for instances of the content. For example: "I have an idea." --> one expects the idea to ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

What is it called to derive all the implied meanings from a sentence?

What would this process of gathering the meaning of a sentence be called? What would the segments derived from the sentence be called? "John and Derrek both love cake" -> John loves cake -&...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

In case the fregean distinction between “sense” and “ denotation” is used in linguistics, what purpose does it serve in this discipline?

I'm referring here to the distinction Frege made in his paper called " Sense and denotation". A classical example is " the morning star" and " the evening star" : different senses but same ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

Can one avoid using the notion of meaning when defining syntax and pragmatics?

In an elementary course on philosophy of language ( at the highschool level) , I try to explain to students the distinction betweeen semantics, syntax and pragmatics. Referring myself to Carnap/...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to find which verbs are semantically-related to a given verb or noun?

I am looking for a way to know, a tool that tells me, that, for example, the verb to show is the ditransitive semantic extension of the verb to see, simply because to show X Y = to let X see Y. Let ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

What is the intuition behind the term Transitive for verbs?

Why is a verb that takes an object called transitive? Why does that term make sense? The way I see it is that it extends its action to an object rather than limits it within the subject. I take this ...
9
votes
1answer
114 views

Are there languages that can speak of continous things without discretizing them?

All languages I know of discretize qualities when trying to describe them. For example, languages generally sample a few words for describing a range of continous things like feelings ('terrible', '...
4
votes
3answers
151 views

Is there a specific linguistic term for the following practice of constructing new words/characters?

I have in mind examples such as the Scheingallizismus (lit. appearance of Gallicism) in German which are words/phrases constructed from French origins but are themselves unknown in French speaking ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Grammar induction from grammaticality rules

Let's have formalisation of grammaticality judgments in some deduction system. Is it possible to learn/induce grammar from rules that govern grammaticality judgments? Is there theory, that connects ...
4
votes
5answers
379 views

Word meaning as function of the composition of its phonemes

tl;dr Linguists like to claim that the mapping from sounds to word meanings is mostly arbitrary. Can you point out research that supports this claim? Specificllay I am looking for hard evidience in ...
1
vote
3answers
108 views

Parsing with CCGs - lambda part

I am following this video tutorial, starting 6th minute I would like to parse the following sentence square blue or round yellow pillow. For now I am interested in only how square and blue are ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Does this sentence have two meanings?

The sentence is Some employee must leave. I was told that it is actually ambiguous and has two meanings. But I can only see one. What are the two meanings?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

NLTK interface to Boxer

I came across the following code: NLTK interface to Boxer Does anybody know where I can find how to use this interface (examples) or any additional documentation?
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Has there been any development or long lasting influence of Leonard Talmy's work?

I've read some of Talmy's work particularly that of his semantic analysis of the spatial organization inherent in the meaning of prepositions like "across","around" or "over" among others. I've found ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Are there languages without idioms?

Speakers of about any language but English agree that the idea that it may be raining cats and dogs is preposterous. But the same people do understand what an idiom is, and their own language may have ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Sememe and semanteme

I'm not sure I understand what is the relationship between sememes and semantemes. I have the following definitions : A sememe is a semantic content of a lexeme. A semanteme is a unit ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Converting types into lambda notation and set notation

I am looking into different phrases and their semantic derivation. For example, the verb sneeze: Type (e,t) λx[SNEEZE]x In a sentence like: Michael and Jamie sneeze, I would like to know how to get ...
3
votes
3answers
117 views

Status of the determiner “any”

In "Mathematical Methods in Linguistics" by Partee, Meulen and Wall (1990), it is stated on page 385 that the determiner any has been a notorious problem for semantic analysis, since it is sometimes ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Solving type mismatch

I am doing a semantic derivation of the following sentence: Cathy and Fred drank three coffees. I know the types of each individual component but when trying to work towards t, I find a type ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

The semantic type of and?

Semantic types meaning for example a verb being of type (e,t), or an individual/entity being of type e. I am confused in these two sentences, because I believe the semantic type of 'and' is different ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Do reborrowings and neologisms statistically help the communicative function of the languages or do the cause more confusion?

Rephrasing do reborrowings and neologisms help or bedim the communications? I am making the distinction of instantaneous or contemporary communications(especialy for scientific use and social) and ...
7
votes
3answers
220 views

How do languages with negative concord express the actual negation of negative polarity items?

This is something I started wondering while working on formal logic, but I'm having trouble finding any papers that address it. Obviously, the standard way to express negation with a polarity item in ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Pre language concepts

I'm interested if there's a field of study, or some popular papers, that try to map the thought concepts/constructs that precedes (or succeeds) words, sentences and basically languages. Maybe as a sub-...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Are there languages with no euphemisms?

I feel that euphemisms are a function of how society views certain aspects of life and feels that they should not be talked about directly. So are there languages with no euphemisms?
0
votes
1answer
81 views

How active formal semantics as a research field today?

I've heard from some people (working in computational linguistics) that today the area of formal semantics is on the decline. On the other hand, I can see many new papers from formal semanticists on ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Departments/research centers in formal semantics

I'm not sure whether this is considered off-topic, and if it is, then I'll delete my question. The question is: what are some strong departments specialized in formal semantics? I know in the US, ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Does each verb have a corresponding noun with the same meaning

I believe that each main verb has (at least) one corresponding noun with the same meaning that is formed from gerund and derivation. For examples, discovery is from discover; reading is from read; ...
2
votes
4answers
101 views

Words which originate in superstition/myth [closed]

I'm interested in words, from any language, whose etymological origin 'exposes' superstitious or scientifically obsolete beliefs. For example, the English disaster comes from Latin dis- + astro, ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Get Prolog (other functional programming language) rules/facts from LKB or similar system

My goal is to take simple sentence such as Grass is green and convert it to Prolog rule/fact. It does not have to be Prolog, but any other functional programming language with which I can perform ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

What is the difference between directive function and informational function of a language?

In Geoffery Leech, Chapter 4, Semantics The Study of Meaning, It is written that "The third function of language is the directive function whereby we aim to influence the behaviour and attitudes ...