-Words that are pronounced the same, but have different (unrelated) meaning.
-read/red, Maine/main/mane, mean/mean
Theories of Word Meaning
-Reference: relation between language and the actual things or state of affairs in the world
-Sense: The sense of an expression is its place in a system of semantic relationships with other
expressions in the language.
-Synonymy: Two words are synonymous if they have the same meaning.
-Antonymy: Two words are antonymous if they are “opposite” in some sense.
-X is a hyponym of Y if in all possible scenarios, X is a subset of Y.
Sense ≠ reference
-Same Sense — variable Reference
-the president of the United States (could refer to any of the 46 presidents)
-this slide (could refer to a slide in Detroit or Northampton)
-your right ear
-Referent: Individual referred to in the actual world
-Homer Simpson’s son
-Sense: male child of the person referred to as Homer Simpson.
-Marge Simpson’s son
-Sense: male child of the person referred to as Marge Simpson.
-same reference, but with variable sense
Give an example of a referent for each of the following:
-a past president of the United States Obama
-football team Patriots
-linguistics instructor John Kingston
-pencil my pencil
-Country in Europe Bulgaria
-car Porsche Sense- No Reference
-John ate the cake and Mary drank the milk.
-Every boy has a fire truck.
-Nobody bought milk.
-Knowledge of meaning goes beyond encyclopedic knowledge of words.
-Conclusions were based on the meaning of and, but, even though.