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Chapter 6

LING101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Connotation, Hyponymy And Hypernymy, Lexicalization

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Bob Koch

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Linguistics 101
Chapter 6
6.1 The Nature of Meaning
- Semantics – the study of meaning
6.1.1 Semantic Relations among Words
- Synonyms – words or expressions that have the same meaning (vacation, holidays)
- Perfect synonymy is rare, they may be interchangeable in particular contexts but their
meanings are not identical (Canada Day is a holiday not vacation)
- Antonymy – words or phrases that are opposites with respect to their meaning (boy, girl)
- Antonyms may be opposite in one way but alike in other respects (boy/girl are opposite gender
wise but similar since both are human
- Related Relations (Example of dog… hypernym – word for general class, animal… meronyms
– parts such as head, nose, paws… holonym – whole to which parts belong, dog)
- Polysemy – when a word has two or more related meanings (bright – shining and intelligent)
- Homophony – when a word has a single form with two or more entirely distinct meanings
- Homophony words are assumed to be separate words with the same pronunciation rather than
a single word with different meanings (light – not heavy and illumination)
- Homophones do not need to have identical spellings (write, right)
- Homographs – different words with the same spelling with different pronunciations (bow)
- Homonyms – words that are both homophones and homographs
- Lexical ambiguity – created by polysemy and homophony where a single form has two or more
meanings (Liz bought a pen – writing instrument or a small cage)
6.1.2 Semantic Relations Involving Sentences
- Paraphrase – two sentences that have the same meaning (The police chased the burglar…
The burglar was chased by the police)
- Sometimes a paraphrase relation is lost when the sentence contains a quantifier, everyone
(Everyone admires his parents… His parents are admired by everyone)
- Entailment – when the truth of one sentence guarantees the truth of another sentence (The
park wardens killed the bear… The bear is dead)
- Contradiction – when two sentences cannot both be true
6.1.3 What is meaning?
- Connotation – the set of associations that a word’s use can evoke but cannot be its meaning
(Winter… snow, cold, short days)
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