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Karen Lyda Mc Crindle

FREC12_sept11 Semantics : The Study of Meaning Session 2 Review What is semantics?  A branch of linguistics concerned with aspects of meaning in language What kinds of questions do semanticists ask?  What is meaning? Why is it a vague term?  Why is it hard to imagine a language that has no meaning?  How does the use and meaning of language change over time?  What are similarities and differences of words o Specially between English and French What’s the point of semantics?  To be more conscious of the language we use and how we use them  To help clarify with translations What is meaning? And why is it so vague  Something that describes a word and vague because we can have several definition to describe  The use and relation of the word o Interpretation -> the receiver tries to properly interpret o On the other hand, the other side has the intention to communicate something to somebody else  The goal of language is to convey meaning o feelings and thoughts  even babies have an intent to communicate when they babble At what point does a sound have meaning? More questions  Explain the distinction between semiotics (science of signs), semantics (the study of meaning and significance) and linguistic semantics (study of meaning and significance connect – how we assign meaning)  What is communicative intention (when speaker wants to communicate with somebody else)?  Explain the distinction between semiotic and non-semiotic actions (have or have no intent to communicate-> language as an action)  In what way was last week’s discussion a pretheoretical (use examples/theories to further the meaning) explanation of meaning?  What does meaning refer to in English? (What types of relationships exist?) o To explain an idea of a specific word, convey an idea o For translations, ways of explaining o Concepts o Difference between language and the mind or the world  Ex. air = life (significance)  How is meaning different in French? o To mean & meaning vs. vouloir dire & le sens  How is meaning different in other languages? o Some laguages don’t have specific word to mean certain things  How is meaning connected to pragmatics(gestures inteonation role in a meaning)?/lexicology?/psychology? o Pragmatics: Use of context, gestures, facial impressions – how we say certain words o Lexicology: study of words – different meanings can be describe with different words o Psychology: study of the mind -  What are the three elements of meaning? o Thought: to construct words we think about it first (thought process)  Ex. dog -> “I love my dog”  We don’t think about the dog itself but our concept of our dog o Symbol
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