Download Introducing Semantics by Nick Riemer PDF

By Nick Riemer

Semantics is the learn of that means in language. This transparent and accomplished textbook is the main up to date creation to the topic on hand for undergraduate scholars. It not just equips scholars with the options they want on the way to comprehend the most facets of semantics, it additionally introduces the types of reasoning and argument which characterise the sector. It includes greater than two hundred routines and dialogue questions designed to check and deepen readers' figuring out. extra inclusive than different textbooks, it basically explains and contrasts various theoretical techniques, summarises present debates, and gives necessary feedback for extra studying. Examples are drawn either from significant international languages, equivalent to Mandarin chinese language, jap, Arabic, Spanish and English, and from minority ones. The booklet additionally highlights the connections among semantics and the broader learn of human language in psychology, anthropology, and linguistics itself.

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Not all languages have a word for ‘word’ Not all languages have a word corresponding to English ‘word’: Warlpiri, again, makes no distinction between ‘word’, ‘utterance’, ‘language’ and ‘story’, all of which are translated by the noun yimi. In Cup’ik (Yup’ik, Central Alaska), the word for ‘word’ also means ‘sayings, message’ and ‘Bible’ (Woodbury 2002: 81). Dhegihan (Siouan, North America) has a single word, íe, referring to words, sentences and messages (Rankin et al. 2002). 2 Sense/reference/denotation/connotation As we have already seen, the English word ‘meaning’ is rather vague.

The last apex of the triangle is the ‘referent’, or whatever things, events or situations in the world the language is about. Thus, the sentence the dogs bark, the caravan goes by has as its referent a particular situation: a situation in which certain dogs bark and a certain caravan goes by. Within that sentence, the expressions the dogs and the caravan also have referents: the actual dogs and caravan being spoken about. Note that someone who hears this sentence does not necessarily know what the exact referents of these nouns are; in the absence of any special knowledge about which dogs and caravans are being referred to, a hearer could only identify the dogs and caravan in question if the sentence was spoken when they were actually present (and even then they would have to assume that the hearer was talking about the dogs and caravan at hand, not some others).

Note that someone who hears this sentence does not necessarily know what the exact referents of these nouns are; in the absence of any special knowledge about which dogs and caravans are being referred to, a hearer could only identify the dogs and caravan in question if the sentence was spoken when they were actually present (and even then they would have to assume that the hearer was talking about the dogs and caravan at hand, not some others). This leads to the important point that we do not have any access to the world as it actually, objectively is.

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