Questions tagged [semantics]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
47 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
20 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
113 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
69 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
120 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
76 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
57 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
55 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
38 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
175 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
105 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', '...
3
votes
3answers
145 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
27 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
372 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
103 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
91 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
16 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
91 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
43 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
59 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
114 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
120 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
68 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
182 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
56 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
79 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
35 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
146 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
100 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
78 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
29 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

How long in a language several words for the same notion can coexist?

Sometimes a language can have several words for the same notion. How long such a situation can last? Is it good for a language to have it? Should language bearers and linguists do something about it? ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Density of information/semantic of Chinese and Korean language versus european languages

Some years ago I had read an interesting article about how much information chinese people could put in one tweet of 140 characters. But I cannot find again this article. I'm interested in having ...
0
votes
0answers
182 views

Problem Set Solutions to 'Semantics in Generative Grammar' (Heim & Kratzer)?

I'm working through Heim and Kratzer's 1998 textbook 'semantics in generative grammar' (Blackwell), which I understand is fairly standard for university level courses on semantics, but I can't find ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

How relevant is WordNet nowadays?

How relevant is WordNet (both the original Princeton's and all other WordNets) as a tool for researchers now, decades later? Do researchers consider it valuable? And does the general research ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Can the need for ambiguity lead to merge of grammatical person, or other semantic merge?

My mother tongue doesn't distinguish 3.SG.F and 3.SG.M in speech. In some cases I feel the redundancy of it and the need for ambiguity of the grammatical person when I speak a language which ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Do grammatically close languages tend to begin to use literal translations of some words in other senses in that other language?

Let's have an English phrase "let's have" and the Czech equivalent "mějme". Perhaps, at some point in the past, someone was translating a math textbook and didn't know how to translate "let's have" in ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Partitioning concept space: deep-shallow dichotomy

Some words, like run, get, advance, etc... are "deep" in semantic structure. Other words (mostly names) like Japanese, French, tapir, strychnine, etc... are "shallow" in semantic structure. And some ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Computational/Formal Approaches to Paragraph-Level Semantics

There are several frameworks that have been built by both linguists and computer scientists to deal with the problem of semantic representation of sentences, most notably Abstract Meaning ...
-2
votes
1answer
73 views

Hand gesture - Patting

I apologize if the following question is off-topic on this site. Some time ago, I was sitting at a table in a cafeteria/canteen. A few tables away, I saw someone I knew. This person also saw me and ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Can we parse the hell out of this construction?

John only had the Ferrari for three months, but while he had it, he drove the hell out of it. I'm pretty sure I aced the hell out of that test. That last stuff you got us, we smoked the hell out of it....
7
votes
3answers
154 views

How to define colors in the Natural Semantic Metalanguage?

The Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) attempts to reduce the semantics of all lexicons down to a restricted set of semantic primitives. But in NSM, colors are not semantic primitives. How then to ...
1
vote
4answers
109 views

All that glitters is confusing!

"All that is gold does not glitter" "Not all that is gold glitters" The first phrase appears in Lord of the Rings, modified from Shakespeare, and contextually implies that "Aragorn is vastly more ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

Is pragmatics a waste basket?

Is pragmatics a waste basket? this sentence is abstracted from the study of language of Yule. I want to know why this statement comes into being( pragmatics is a waste basket.) And is it really true? ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

non-variable semantics of reflexives, need help

I'm reading various books on semantics (writing my first paper on semantics) however this book that was recommended to me by Heim & Kratzer has tricky questions with no answer guide, I looked ...