Questions tagged [semantics]

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

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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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Subdivision of Implicatures and Distinction between Semantics and Pragmatics [duplicate]

I believe the traditional Gricean view is that anything that can't be expressed in truth-conditions is pragmatics rather than semantics. I also know that there's the view excluding conventional ...
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Do “shew” and “eschew” come from the same root?

If so, are they antonyms or did one undergo a lexical shift to become the other? Also, is the /es-/ prefix used as a negator in any other English words, or is this case an exception?
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How does flexible and context-dependent Categorisation not imply fuzzy Category Boundaries?

Source: p 283, Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner   [Continued] Likewise, the category VASE is defined by the feature that vases are for putting cut flowers in. Thus, the ...
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377 views

How are brothers and sisters not KINDS of siblings?

Source: Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner [p 217, Definition 9:] A set of expressions is a taxonomy if and only if: (i) they form a conceptual hierarchy in terms of ...
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What do the 'Perfect' and 'Perfective' Aspects share or have in common?

[ Source: ] At this point I’ve established that the perfect and the perfective are two separate concepts. However, there’s a conceptual relationship between these two even if there’s not an intrinsic ...
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888 views

How does 'Theme/Patient' differ from 'Experiencer'?

Source: p 123, Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner To me, the Description and Examples for Thematic/Semantics Roles appear 100% interchangeable: so what are the differences?
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Why was the prefix 'anti-' chosen for the terms 'antipassive' and 'anticausative'?

Source: Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner [p 137:] The antipassive in English consists of demoting the direct object argument by omitting it. It removes the THEME/PATIENT ...
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The semantical change of сарай - “saráj” (rus., ukr.) vs. sister and donor languages: pl. 'seraj', srb-cro. 'saraj'

Much like (eng.) saray, the words derive themselves from Ottoman Turkish latinized: saray ("palace", "mansion", "castle"), which itself is derived from Persian سرای ("hall", "dwelling", "mansion", "...
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What underlying semantic notions connect 'less' to 'not'? [closed]

What underlying notions explain this same semantic shift from 'less' to 'not' (ie: negation)? It appears in all 4 languages below, as evidenced by the Spanish and Portuguese synonymy. I know that in ...
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How can a remark not refer to the speaker's attitude?

Source: p 34, Understanding Semantics (2 ed, 2013) by Sebastian Löbner   Interjections and exclamations can be used as complete utterances. Other expressives such as hopefully, (un)fortunately ...
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159 views

Do people still study Frame Semantics?

Do people still study Frame Semantics? As an elective, many year ago, I took one course in a topic called Semantics. I remember my professor saying that dictionaries are problematic since they try ...
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Why is the following sentence ungrammatical? [closed]

"The man entertained by the doves his sandwich munched." Thanks for the explanation!
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What are different types of signs? [closed]

I've read somewhere that there are different types of signs like: natural signs (smoke as a sign of fire), arbitrary signs (language signs) etc. Could someone provide me with a complete list and ...
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1answer
76 views

Entailment relationship?

Is this an example of entailment? Does A entail B? A. None of Bob's friends have visited Africa. B. None of Bob's friends have visited Kenya. But B seems to survive of A is negated: A'. Some of B'...
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The Correct Research Methodology To Substantiate If an Expression is an Idiom?

Related: - Does linguistics have a concept of "set phrase" with a meaning differing from "idiom"? - In the Gospels, Can “Day of:” the Passover - be Interpreted Idiomatically? 1. ...
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203 views

Anticausative/unaccusative verbs - a way to express causer of the event

Can be sentence with unaccusative verb describing some state change on the subject changed to sentence (with different verb of course) which contains cause of that event on the subject position (like ...
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What is the difference between Semantics and Pragmatics? [duplicate]

I had a class today in an introductory linguistics course and some of the concepts are not clear to me. First, what is the difference between semantics and pragmatics. For example: A: "Did you ...
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Could there be such a thing as a universal logical language?

That is, are there certain conceptual primitives, such as object, action, structure, property, logic, event, quantity, partial, paradox, system, concept, etc, or connectives/judgements, such as for ...
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1answer
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Generating Essay (Set of correlated sentenses) from a set of keywords

I originally belong to Computer Vision world. Recently I worked on Scene Understanding. There, I accept an image and generate a sentence explaining the contents of the scene. Now, my professor wants ...
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386 views

What are the differences between theoretical perspectives of the uses of the term “register”?

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...
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Distances and weights in semantic space

I am doing Latent Semantic Analysis on news. I have a few questions. What is the most suitable kind of distance d for similarity measurement in semantic space: cosine, Euclidean, Manhattan or other ...
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1answer
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What do you understand by the term 'register'? [duplicate]

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...
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1answer
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Speech acts theory: (il)Locutionary acts

I have read popular text books on this topic and watched several lectures but still I don't understand what are Locutionary and Illocutionary act (and verbs). In general how do you identify this verbs?...
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What's a good illustration of the difference between syntagmatic, paradigmatic, and attribute semantic relations?

In the book Concepts, Ontologies, and Knowledge Representation, the author makes a distinction between syntagmatic and paradigmatic semantic relations. That's clear enough - but then he raises a third ...
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Does pragmatics cut down or add to the stock of interpretations generated by the semantics?

This is a question similar to the question about the semantics/pragmatics divide, but I have a more specific interest. I'm thinking of two different ways of conceiving of the way statements come to ...
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Can 'a system of rules that assigns […] meaning in a definite way' be replaced with 'semantics'?

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams. I, and not the book, bolded. [p 7:] A person who knows a language has mastered [1.] a system of rules ...
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Can 'semantics' replace 'meaning' in these 7 sentences? Why or why not? [closed]

I reread 1 (which this does NOT duplicate) and the OED, and can infer that 'semantics' is a hyponym of 'meaning'; but still unable to disambiguate 'meaning' and 'semantics' in certain contexts, I am ...
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Can someone explain this sentence from Dartmouth's German page?

Was perusing the page (you can find it here), I came across the paragraph "That said, word order is a complex aspect of language, never wholly mastered by non-native speakers. What is the idea ...
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How does 'envisager de' presuppose nothing situational, but 'hésiter à' does?

Source: p 177, French prepositions à and de in infinitival complements, A pragma-semantic analysis (2008) by Lidia Fraczak, as part of Adpositions ; Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic perspectives (...
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« essayé de s’évader » : How does « essayer de » not presuppose « s'evader »? [closed]

Source: p 175, French prepositions à and de in infinitival complements, A pragma-semantic analysis (2008) by Lidia Fraczak, as part of Adpositions ; Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic perspectives (...
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What special relationship does 'de' reveal between a main verb and the infinitive?

Source: pp 367-368, The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics ...
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How does the French preposition 'de' connect to alienable possession? [closed]

Source: The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics edited by ...
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359 views

Can syntax be part of semantics?

Is it possible to consider a POS category of a word as semantic aspect? Assume we have unknown word. But when we know part-of-speech it can give us a hint about semantic meaning. Is that right?
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Is 'unless' semantically equivalent to the (English conjunction) exclusive 'or'?

Preface: I question this here because the author is a full-time linguist. Source: The semantics of "unless" by Brian Buccola BA (Classics, Mathematics) PhD (Linguistics) Bonus question: If “unless” ...
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References and sources to help me explain the semantics of the word 'over'

So I'm doing an assignment on the semantics of the word 'over'. Everyone in our semantics class was asked by the lecturer to pick a piece of paper out of a hat, he then said that we were required to ...
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Are linguistic units organized in conceptual categories?

When we perceive something, we tend to categorize it. For example, when we hear the word puppy, we think of the concept of dogs and then the conceptual category of animals. Is it acceptable to claim ...
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Does “I don't drink.” mean “I don't drink alcohol.” in all languages? [duplicate]

In those languages I'm a bit familiar with, the verb for drinking is very often understood as drinking alcohol, especially if its meaning "the oral intake of any fluid", wouldn't make sense. For ...
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343 views

What motivated the definition of Theme in Semantics?

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams [p 163:] The NP arguments in the VP, which include the subject and any objects, are semantically related in ...
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1answer
551 views

GermaNLTK: not finding files [python]

Following the instructions of GermaNLTK I tried to install the german NLTK in Python. (I want to use the synsets for semantic-taging.) But I couldn't find the files germanet.py and GermanetDBBuilder....
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1answer
372 views

how to choose a threshold for Jiang-Conrath Similarity?

I want to compare two sets of keywords. After searching I understood that Jiang-Conrath Similarity is closer correlating with human judgement. I read this definition: Jiang-Conrath Similarity ...
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How do native speakers determine a word's literal/basic meaning?

For example, to me, the verb "to turn" has a literal meaning along the lines of "to change physical orientation along some particular axis". You can also say "X turned [adj.]", "X turned up (as in to ...
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398 views

Representing prepositions in lambda calculus/logic notation

How would I represent 'for' in "Are you here for a conference?" conference could be represented as lam x.conference(x). a conference could be represented as lam Q x.(conference(x) & Q(x)) I ...
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Is there a name for the concept describing the particular way in which adjectives and nouns interact together to create meaning

A contrived example, but: if I said something like "The Penguin Wars" (Yes, it's a silly example but this is a serious question I promise), such a phrase (bare of any conventional denotations) could ...
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Complete definition of logical connectives and quantifiers?

The list of logical connectives might be subject to debate, but what do you think is the most complete one? For English language and computational logic. I'm looking to implement a semantical ...
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What separates events such as festivals and tournaments from other events such as running and partying? [closed]

Events are widely defined as things that happen. Actions can take place, but objects cannot, so it would be natural to assume that all events are actions. However, there are many things that we call ...
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Is there a term for words that modify the intensity of something

Is there a term for words such as very extremely likely super , which modify the intensity of something? Obviously these are all adverbs, but yesterday is also an adverb, and that does not change the ...
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214 views

De Morgan's Law in Semantics what decides the rhs and lhs

We take a LHS and RHS in De Morgan's Law. How do we decide upon it? How do we know which one to take as RHS and which one as LHS?
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258 views

Entailments Relations

I have problem understanding the entailment logic on these examples and would like some help. Here's my answers: Sally works together with Polly. Sally works. => I think one entails other, but not ...
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2answers
868 views

Characteristics of Theoretical Linguistics [closed]

I've been asked by my professor to do a research about the characteristics of Theoretical Linguistics, and now I'm stuck. What are these characteristics that makes theoretical linguistics a ...

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