Questions tagged [semantics]

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

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107 views

Can we use the reverse of mental priming to get out of the 'Mary's Room' problem? [closed]

So there is this semantics/psycholinguistics concept called mental-priming, which says for a concept called 'red' nearby concepts like apple, color, danger etc. 'light up' . Can we teach Mary, what ...
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Is there any detailed documentation of VerbNet's semantic representation?

In VerbNet, each frame has a semantic representation like this: cause(Agent, E) manner(during(E), directed motion, Agent) !contact(during(E), Agent, Patient) manner(end(E),forceful, Agent) ...
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475 views

Is there a linguistic notion of a “static” vs “dynamic” noun?

I would have typed a clearer question in the title, but it would have been way too long. By "static," I mean a word or phrase that refers to one object, and one object only. ex. The Eiffel Tower The ...
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Does Sanskrit निस् • (nis) “out, forth, away” come from PIE *ni- “in; down?” with meaning shift from “in” to “out”?

निस्·nis "out, forth, away" > nirvana "to blow out, extinguish; out of breath?" नि·ni "down, back, in, into" < PIE *h₁én "in; down?" My question is ...
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How is a meaningful sentence or paragraph constructed?

I don't have a formal background of linguistics, but I'd like to know how a sentence or paragraph becomes meaningful to a reader, and how one can construct that. I think it falls to the areas of ...
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40 views

Formal semantics (Montague, type-theoretical) of noun clauses

Partee has nice summary about the formal semantics of relative clause http://people.umass.edu/partee/MGU_2005/MGU05Lec10.pdf (subordinate adjectival clause). E.g. At least one boy who Mary loves is ...
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67 views

Formal semantics (Montague, type-theoretical) of adverbial clauses

Partee has nice summary about the formal semantics of relative clause http://people.umass.edu/partee/MGU_2005/MGU05Lec10.pdf (subordinate adjectival clause). E.g. At least one boy who Mary loves is ...
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Is it possible that whole relative clause refers/describes one word/phrase in the main clause (without anaphora)?

My running example is the sentence (from the VAT law of one country): The building land is the plot in relation to which the building permit has been issued. There are possible at least two views on ...
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(A)Telicity & Events

Dowty's (1979) classified predicates into: 1. States 'the woord is burning' ---Atelic 2. Activities 'Mary pushed the cart' ---Atelic 3. Accomplishments 'Mary melted the chocolate' ---Telic 4. ...
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Help with distributional analysis of verb phrases

For my semantics homework we are asked to test different verb phrases in different environments. I am asked to categorize the different verb phrases (on the basis of their distributions. I am not ...
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Is gasoline, wine, coca-cola an artifact?

There are liquids naturally present in nature, like water, blood, oil, etc. But gasoline, wine or milk shake are produced by humans. Many thesauri, e.g. WordNet, don't classify later as artifacts, ...
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143 views

“As long as”, “So long as”, in logic (ambiguity?)

I'd love an expert opinion on how to interpret "as long as" and "so long as" when doing logic (specifically, whether it's considered a necessary or sufficient conditional indicator). Also, I'd ...
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davidsonian semantics

I hope everyone is fine. I was wondering if you could help me with some suggestions about which book(s) should I start with to learn the Davidsonian semantics, so that I will be able to read and write ...
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1answer
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what’s the difference between ‘concept’ and ‘prototype’ as semantic terminologies?

Both terms, concept and prototype occur in semantic texts roughly in the sense a mental object denoted by a word. There should be some difference in definition between the two. I read the following ...
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Discourse Structure: Taxonomy, Labels

Several taxonomies for discourse structures (markers, connectives, functions) exist including PDTB, RST, RST extensions, etc. That said, I've noticed that several of these efforts are 10-20 years old. ...
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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 ...
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94 views

Semantic vs Pragmatic [duplicate]

I am revising for my NLP quiz and am getting confused at the difference between semantic and pragmatic. I studied that semantic is the study of words and their meaning in sentences while pragmatic ...
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1answer
299 views

formula for Brunét's index

I am having trouble figuring out the formula for Brunet's index which can be found in this paper http://csbapp.uncw.edu/data/mscsis/annalspaper.aspx?v=6&i=1&p=11. I tried to apply it to ...
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1answer
155 views

What do the semicolon and period mean in semantics?

What do the semicolon and period mean, please? For context, this is from Truswell's 'Events, Phrases and Questions' and this section in particular is talking about the causal ordering of events
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343 views

Generativist, Generative, Interpretive Semantics

is there anyone who can please clarify how these schools diverge from and converge with each other? A prof. told me interpretive semantics and generative semantics can be both categorized under ...
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Translation of 'verbes symétriques' from French to English

What do you think is the accurate equivalent les verbes symétriques in English?
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228 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. ...
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1answer
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How to write 'x said they would do y but…' in predicate logic?

How do I write "X said to Y that they would do A today, but B happened yesterday" in predicate logic? So for example; Bart said to Lisa that he would braid her hair today, but he chopped his hand ...
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Are these phrases downward entailing?

Please consider the following phrases with respect to downward entailment: Mary remembers that French students saw her. Mary remembers that tall French students saw her. (in my opinion, this is not ...
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2answers
199 views

Downward entailing verbs: is the verb “remember” downward entailing?

I have some doubts if there is downward entailing environment with "remember": a. Mary forgot that she saw anyone. b. Mary forgot that anyone saw her. c. #Mary remembered that she saw anyone. d. #...
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113 views

What are some plausible patterns that could develop in alien languages? [closed]

I ask the question here and not in world formation because as an aspiring author I know that linguistics and other such specialists in the study of language treat the notion of language in a very ...
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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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4answers
179 views

'Non-standard' indexicals

Currently, I am doing some research on indexicals, by which I mean words like: I here now today, tomorrow, yesterday local present, current For ease of reference, let’s call these the ‘standard’ ...
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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 ...
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3answers
360 views

Principle of Compositionality: Free Word Order Languages?

Can anyone explain what additional claims can be made for the Principle of Compositionality in regards to a language like Basque? I understand that Basque is a "free word order" language and the ...
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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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Looking for semantic hierarchy, tagset or connected active research

I am working on building a semantic markup for my native language and I have bumped into the fact that ready semantic hierarchy or tagset is a very scarce resource. What I am looking for is something ...
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Semantic parsing vs Propositional Representation

Propositional representation is explained on Wikipedia. How is semantic parsing different from propositional representation? Or is propositional representation the next step after you do semantic ...
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2answers
225 views

Why isn't a cat called a meow?

Presumably, before the development of a proper spoken language, humans referred to a cat as a "meow", the sound it makes. That is just the natural candidate for what to call an animal. This is what ...
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112 views

Are two word utterances by young children grammatically analysed?

At an early stage of acquisition the utterances children produce consist of only two words. Can these two word utterances be seen as syntactically or semantically analysed in any way? How productive ...
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2answers
55 views

Motivation behind the definition for existential quantifiers such as *some* in compositional semantics

Natural language quantifiers such as some and a are formalised for compositional semantics as λP.λQ.∃x.P(x)∧Q(x). Compared to the formalisation of quantifiers such as every or all I do not quite ...
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Feminine and neuter plural

The Indo-European feminine declension looks like the neuter plural. The usual explanation seems to be that feminine evolved out of an earlier inanimate collective but the semantics doesn't seem to be ...
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3answers
158 views

Formalization and representation of semantic and pragmatic knowledge? [closed]

Are there efforts to formalize and formally represent (e.g. as semantic network, as some kind of logic) of semantic of pragmatic knowledge. It is known, that every speaker/listener has two types of ...
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3answers
982 views

To what extent does this image accurately express the modularity of linguistic units?

This is a popular image floating around the internet, but like many things floating there, it seems like a gross simplification and just plain inaccurate. However, I’m more of an armchair linguist ...
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128 views

Languages Without “To” And “From”

I've been trying to construct sentences using only Semantic Primes (i.e., from the Natural Semantic Metalanguage). However, I'm having a difficult time figuring out how to do so without "to" and "from"...
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218 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. ...
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86 views

Determining formative list of -ian and -ism

I'm new to Distributive Morphology and cannot find any resources of how to construct formative lists for morphemes. I know they're meant to be the feature bundles of the morphemes, but I don't really ...
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Terminology for a phrase that changes meaning over time within a closed community

I am looking for the linguistic terminology for the phenomenon of semantic change in a discourse within a closed community. This closed community could be a couple, a company etc. For example, ...
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3answers
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Sentence/Utterance/Proposition

I'm very new to this field and I'm now studying semantics. I got a question on the difference between Sentence/Utterance/Proposition. Could someone clarify the following example to me? 1: I have a ...
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1answer
304 views

What is the etymology of Sicilian “vanedda”?

This question arises from my research on Si maritau Rosa, a Sicilian song, where I found what seems to be a clear diminutive of vanedda, that is vanidduzza. Nowhere do I find that word directly, so I ...
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68 views

Improve intent classification and slot filling with question-answering

I am building a neural network to do intent detection and slot filling. The results I am getting are somewhat poor. Hence, I am looking for an approach to improve my results. My idea is to use multi-...
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2answers
135 views

What is the best/state-of-the-art logic for representing English language?

I know people have used lambda terms which "compile into" first-order logic, but based on what I have seen that is not particularly great for representing complex sentences with causal or temporal ...
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1answer
311 views

Truth-conditions of predicate-logic formulas for donkey sentences

I'm current learning about compositional semantics, quantifier raising and scope ambiguity in my semantics class and I'm having trouble answering some questions. I've attempted to answer the questions ...
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2answers
127 views

Text classification of semantic relations within text

I am already familiar with some text (document) classification algorithms after processing into a Bag-of-words & tf-idf representation. Classification algorithms such as Multionmial Naive Bayes, ...
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1answer
428 views

Is there a language that's purely fluid-s?

By fluid-s I mean a stative-active language that relies on semantics for its morphosyntactic alignment, using things such as volition, empathy, animacy.

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