Questions tagged [semantics]

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

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11
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Do “only if…” and “if… only then…” have the same LF representation?

I'm currently writing a term paper where I am comparing if... then..., only if..., and if... only then... statements. I've noticed that only if p q and if p, only then q have the same truth conditions ...
6
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65 views

Do most semanticists maintain that there is a distinction between secondary agents and tools?

I've heard some people say that there are two types of instrument: secondary agents and tools. A secondary agent is something that accomplishes a task when the agent wields it. So we CAN say ...
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208 views

Are there any languages that either effectively don't have verbs or that somehow get around using a “standard” verb system?

By this, I'm asking whether there are languages (natural or constructed) which somehow function without verbs, relying instead upon other types of words like prepositions or something like that. ...
5
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62 views

How was excession expressed in Proto-Germanic?

The state of excession (of an adjective) is indicated differently accross Germanic languages. West Germanic Languages (E: too long, Du: te lang, G: zu lang) build it by the use of descendants from ...
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60 views

How does the Natural Semantic Metalanguage deal with proper names?

The natural semantic metalanguage gives definitions of common words in terms of semantic primes, as can be found here. I am curious, however, as to how the NSM deals with proper names (or does it?) ...
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219 views

Do puns necessarily involve referring to two (or more) extant words?

What exactly constitutes a pun? Do the words in the pun have to both be extant, or can one be a nonce/nonsense word? — Over the years, I've heard numerous usages of "puns" where one word in the ...
4
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108 views

Is there evidence that English speakers associate black with bad and/or white with good

Prompted by the recent move towards replacing the terms "blacklist" and "whitelist", I wonder if there is research around the topic of how people feel about the words "black&...
4
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137 views

How would languages that use an absolute frame of reference say that the heart is on the left side of the body?

In languages that use a relative frame of reference we can say that the heart is on the left side of the body, and no matter what direction you are facing that is true. But in an absolute frame of ...
4
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47 views

Connections between categories of type logical grammar and categories of combinatory categorial grammar?

There is nice book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Type-Logical-Grammar-Categorial-Logic/dp/0792332261/ that considers both Montague grammar (type logical grammar (TLG)) in chapters 1 and 2 and combinatory ...
4
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50 views

Term for universally-used quote with additional, non-compositional meaning

There exist certain fixed expressions which people use to convey quite specific meanings and (at least to me) always invoke a famous saying which is assumed to be common knowledge, such as I am not a ...
4
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84 views

Using (e.g.) Stanford NLP for retrieving specific “indirect” objects

I am a computer scientist using Stanford NLP for extracting a Semantic Graph from plain text. Through this tool I am already getting the universal dependencies but now I want to get all the possible ...
4
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127 views

Is there count/mass distinction in European Portuguese as it is in English?

It is said that European Portuguese has count/mass distinction as many Indo-European languages. However I noticed out that all products/items at stores in Portugal are labeled in singular form. In ...
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487 views

Tool for manually POS tagging texts

I'm interested if there is a text or set of texts where each word is correctly POS tagged. I know there are algorithms that can associate POS tags to the words, but there are always many of ...
4
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1answer
195 views

Why must adversative coordination be binary?

At Glottopedia we read that adversative coordination expresses semantic contrast between the coordinands. In English, adversative coordination is usually accomplished with “but,” as in these sentences....
3
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56 views

What is the difference between theta-role, theta-grid and argument?

I know that theta-role has the distinctions like agent, theme, goal, etc., but all of them refer to entity, right? And argument can refer to both entity and sentence? Could you please explain them as ...
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54 views

Tools for converting text to logical form

What's the State of the Art in software for converting text to some sort of logical form? Pros and con's of different packages approaches, if more than one exists?
3
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2answers
125 views

Compositional semantic: Type of conjunctions

My question is in regard to semantic type theory in connection with syntax. I understand the underlying structure of what type a certain type of phrase is ( i.e., proper names are <e>, verbs can ...
3
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0answers
137 views

Why don't modern Romance languages have the verb “to stand”?

I noticed that modern Romance languages don't have a specific word for the verb "to stand", or - you could say - don't consider the notion of standing to be a verb. For example, in Spanish - you can ...
3
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60 views

Which are the social differences which lead to the variance in the way to address a person?

My question is: Which are the social differences which lead to the variance in the way to address a person? An example of the difference is T-V distinction some languages abolished it while others ...
3
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176 views

Am I understanding semantic entailment correctly?

I'm trying to make sure I understand entailment properly, but my prof basically said two sentences that only briefly explained what entailment is, and he's not teaching this course with a textbook. ...
3
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78 views

Is there a phrasal verb corpus somewhere online?

I'm working on a project where I have syntactic frames in the form of something like "N.agent V PP.stimulus", where each PP consists of a P and a N. I have a set list of verbs, and a list of PPs for ...
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109 views

Languages where smells are heard

In Russian, one can use the verb слышать ([ˈslɨʂətʲ], "hear") with both sounds and smells, though it's more common to use чувствовать ([ˈt͡ɕustvəvətʲ], "feel") for smells. Example from Wiktionary: ...
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134 views

Semantic roles of “tell”

What is the semantic/thematic/theta role of the object in a sentence like "John told Mary to go home."? Is it EXPERIENCER? Or is that only for sentences like "Mary heard what John said."? Is it GOAL? ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Are there languages with separate words for 'mouth opening' and 'mouth cavity'?

I am looking for languages which have separate words for the visible opening of the mouth (the external part, including or not including the lips), and the cavity (the internal part). Put another way, ...
3
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1answer
120 views

Slot filling corpora

I was wondering if anyone knows of slot filling corpora such as ATIS. I tried finding ATIS but since I am not a member of LDC I couldnt get access to it. Do you know of any place where I can find a ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Why is the descriptive quantitative expression coincident with the expression of possession in many languages?

One kind of descriptive expression is the description of quantity. Below are some examples of descriptive expression of time: English: an hour's journey Chinese: yixiaoshi de lucheng Japanese: ...
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59 views

What is shallow semantic processing?

What exactly is "shallow semantic processing", and how is it related to syntactic analysis? Is it correct to say that syntactic processing of a text is the preliminary step for shallow semantic ...
2
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50 views

Semantic category of [VERB] + as a + [NOUN]

I have the following examples from a corpus (ICNALE corpus) "They can grow as a member of society." "At university, students are regarded as adults not children." "I worked in a hotel as a service ...
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29 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 ...
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108 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 ...
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31 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 ...
2
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0answers
127 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 which together ...
2
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72 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 ...
2
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146 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? ...
2
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0answers
46 views

Markers that affect intensity of the imperative mood

I'm working on a project that explores how imperative mood varies in 'intensity'. For example, one can 'soften' the tone of a directive by including the speaker in the command: "Let's go to school"...
2
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0answers
86 views

Is TRAY a container?

I am working closely with semantic class of containers. It's not that obvious though how to define the class. Should it be enclosed? Obviously not, spoon is an example. Could flat surface serve as the ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Connections between combinatory categorial grammars and abstract categorial grammars?

Are there connections/translation or common tools usage/adaptation between combinatory (concrete) categorial grammars (incl. Lambek calculus) and abstract categorial grammars? Can tools for one of ...
2
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0answers
44 views

What is the source of knowledge/discovery for the semantics? Automation of semantic science?

Natural sciences observe facts and make models. Mathematics more or less arbitrarly generates axioms and investigates all the possible consquences of them. What is the source of semantic knowledge (e....
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44 views

Where can I find a comprehensive list of priming connections?

Is there a website or a study I could find a detailed list or net of priming connections between words? Here's how I imagine it:
2
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1answer
347 views

Can we build semantic mappings for CFG same as we do in CCG?

In CFG we "simply" have production rules. Whereas in Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) on the other hand, we have both composition rules over categories, and a mapping from syntax to semantics (...
2
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0answers
83 views

Is there a name for the process of triviliazation of a word's meaning?

What is the name for the process by which a word's meaning is trivialized or diminished in importance from its original meaning? For example, the standard English word throne means a toilet in English ...
2
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105 views

Is there a meaning difference between “each” and “every” as NP modifier?

I have an ineffable feeling that there is a pragmatic difference between "each N" and "every N", which has to do with evaluating the individuals denoted by "each N" one at a time, vs. evaluating them ...
2
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0answers
56 views

How do I distinguish between traits and states using NLP?

In an English sentence: Harry was displeased. – displeased is a state Harry was benevolent. – benevolent is a trait Given an adjective, how can I distinguish between a trait and a state? The ...
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65 views

Is there a language that begins range expressions with the higher/later datum?

If someone were to say There were between twenty and ten people at the event. or I will be there from the fifth to the second of July. that person would sound strange indeed, because in ...
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707 views

Composite truth tables for sentence relations (entailment, synonymy,etc.)

I'm using John Saeed's 'Semantics'. Now in chap 4 I see he is trying to formalize sentence relations such as entailment, synonymy, contradiction, etc., by some kind of different truth tables he calls ...
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0answers
79 views

Is there a way to distinguish habitualis from generic interpretation?

I'm looking for a way to classify a given sentence as either habitualis or generic in a language where neither is a grammatical category. Thus, it should be a some semantic feature of the sentence. ...
2
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334 views

What makes a sentence difficult to understand?

When I learned Swedish I noticed I went through two phases of learning with regard to understanding the language. First I had to learn the meaning of common words. For example, "mening" means both "...
2
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166 views

Is there a term to denote the semantics of “the action of X”?

In English, the -ing form of verb performs multiple semantic functions; one of those functions is "the action of X". In Japanese, the -no morpheme performs multiple semantic functions, and one of ...
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111 views

Semantic Variability of Clause Chaining?

my question concerns languages with clause chaining - that form sentences composed of a string of non-finite medial clauses followed by a finite final clause, or a finite initial clause followed by a ...
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0answers
48 views

Which annotation software can I use to annotate scope and focus?

I'm looking for an annotation software (no matter which OS), which lets me annotate focus and scope, as user-friendly as possible, e.g., via console input, or via a graphical editor (mouse-supported). ...