Ling 390 - Intro to Linguistics - Winter 2005 Class 1 - Monday ... - PowerPoint by B4wMpD

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									                                     Semantics

                              Questions? Comments?
Problem Set 4 due 8/7
Problem Set 5 due 8/14

Exercises for Chapter 6: 1, 2, 3, 12, 18 due 8/9

Goals for Semantics chapter
 Not responsible for Section 3.4 (interpretation of pronouns)
You should know how to do the following:
    Identify the relation among words and sentences
    Understand the different theories of meaning
    Structural versus lexical ambiguity
    Thematic roles
    Pragmatics - Especially 4.4 Conversational Maxims
Semantics
    Slide
            1                         Semantics

                              Semantics
       Semantics is the study of the meaning in human language.



       Have you ever said in frustration, “Well that’s not what I
       meant!” - what happened?
Semantics
    Slide
            2                                    Semantics

                                        Semantics
       Semantic relations that exist among words

                Synonymy (words that are synonyms) - words that have the same
                meaning in some or all contexts
                Antonymy (words that are antonyms) - words that have the opposite
                meaning of each other (with regard to some component of their meaning)
                Polysemy - when a word has 2 or more related meanings
                Homophony - when 2 words (same pronunciation) has 2 or more
                entirely distinct meanings (sound the same but don’t have to have same
                spelling)
                     LEXICAL AMBIGUITY = when a single form has 2 or more
                     meanings (polysemy and homophony)
Semantics
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            3                                          Semantics

                                            Semantics
       Semantic relations that exist among phrases and sentences
                Paraphrase (like synonyms) - 2 sentences that can have the same meaning
                      a. The cat chased the squirrel.
                      b. The squirrel was chased by the cat.
                The relationship between the above sentences is that if one is true, then the other
                must be true as well. They are said to have the same truth condition
                When the truth of one sentence guarantees the truth of another, we say that there
                is a relation of entailment - the above example is mutual in that either sentence
                entails the other
                Relation can be asymmetrical:
                      a. The cat killed the squirrel.
                      b. The squirrel is dead
                If a is true, then b must be true, but not vice versa
Semantics
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            4                                         Semantics

                                            Semantics
       Contradiction - if one sentence is true, than the other must be false
                a. Jeff is an only child.
                b. Jeff has an older sister.
                 Both sentences cannot both be true, then one contradicts the other
Semantics
  Practice   5                                        Semantics

                                           Semantics Practice
                 steal (to rob)                     homophones
                 steel (metal)
                 I saw Craig at the party.          paraphrase
                 It was Craig I saw at the party.
                 grass (cows eat)                   polysemes
                 grass (marijuana)
                 Jeff is an only child.             contradiction
                 Jeff’s sister is Julie.
                 The cat killed the mouse.          entailment
                 The mouse is dead.



       Exercises 1, 2, 3
Semantics
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            6                             Semantics

                                  Semantics
       What exactly is meaning?
       As native speakers of a language, we all know the meaning of a great
       many words in our language. If we don’t know the meaning, we look it up
       in the dictionary. But to understand the definition, we have to know the
       meaning of those words...
       It is easier to determine the semantic relation between words than the
       precise meaning of a word. There are attempts at some theories of
       meaning...
Semantics
    Slide
            7                                   Semantics

                                      Semantics
       What exactly is meaning? Theories of meaning
        Connotation - according to this theory, a word’s meaning is simply the set
       of associations that the word evokes - desert evokes hot, dry, sandy
        Denotation - according to this theory, a word’s meaning is not the set of
       associations it evokes, but rather the entity to which it refers = its denotation or
       referent in the real world - desert would refer to that set of regions in the world
       characterized by barrenness and lack of rain
       Problems with these theories? A desert with no sand, unicorn, the President
       of the United States AND the leader of the free world OR Michelle Obama’s
       husband
Semantics
    Slide
            8                                   Semantics

                                      Semantics
       What exactly is meaning?
        Extension/Intensions - combines denotation and connotation - extension
       refers to the referents in the real world and intension is the associations that a
       word evokes. desert = extension = a barren, dry region in the world such as
       the Gobi or Sahara. intension = having to do with barrenness and dryness, not
       a specific region
        Extension is the referent while intension is the mental image - in this
       case, unicorn or ogre have no extension, only intension - but what about
       Shrek?
Semantics
    Slide
            9                               Semantics

                                   Semantics
       What exactly is meaning? Theories of meaning
        Componential Analysis - this theory is based on the idea that meaning can
       be decomposed into smaller semantic units (like features in phonology).
        [+living, +human, -adult] gives us the category child
Semantics
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            10                                 Semantics

                                     Semantics
       What exactly is meaning? Problems with the theories
        Connotation - different people have different associations for words, and
       associations do not necessarily get at meaning
        Denotation - it cannot account for entities that exist in an imaginary realm
        Extension/Intension - can account for entities in imagination, but still don’t
       get at what meaning actually is
        Componential analysis - works relatively well, but it is difficult to specify
       all the features that would be needed. Also, it is difficult to determine smaller
       units of meaning for some words (blue versus yellow or orange)
Semantics
  Practice
             11                                   Semantics

                               Semantics Practice
        Describe the intensions and extensions of each of theses phrases.

                                      Extension       Intension

a) the president of the US            Barak Obama US head of state

b) the queen of England               Elizabeth II    British monarch (or the wife of British
                                                      monarch)
c) the capital of Indiana             Indianapolis    city containing the state legislature

d) women who have walked on the       none            set of females who have walked on the
moon                                                  lunar surface

e) my linguistics professor           Jeff            the person charged with teaching the
                                                      ling course in which I am enrolled
Semantics
    Slide
            12                                Semantics

                                    Semantics
        Concepts - the system we use to identify, classify and organize all elements
       of our experiences. Our conceptual system reveals how meaning is expressed
       through language.

        Fuzzy Concepts - concepts that can differ from person to person - no clear-
       cut boundaries - expensive or even smart, beautiful, ugly
Semantics
    Slide
            13                                   Semantics

                                       Semantics
       Graded Membership - members of a concept can be graded according to how
       typical they are within that concept - most typical is prototype - other
       members are arranged around the prototype - members having more in
       common with the prototype occur closer to the prototype, and less in common,
       further away
             What is meaning of vegetable? What is a prototypical vegetable?
Semantics
    Slide
            14                               Semantics

                                    Semantics
        Metaphor - the concepts expressed by language do not exist in isolation,
       but are interconnected and associated. Metaphor = the understanding of one
       concept in terms of another can be used to make these connections.
        emotions connected to up and down
Semantics
    Slide
            15                               Semantics

                                    Semantics
       Lexicalization - process whereby concepts are encoded into the words of a
       language and is language specific. Some English words contain both the
       concept of motion and the manner of motion (roll, crawl, slither). Spanish
       does not and both concepts need to be lexicalized (2 different words - 1 for
       motion and 1 for manner). Spanish has verbs (native English words do not)
       that show motion and direction go up = subir; go down = bajar (Eskimo words
       for snow/NW word for rain)

       By studying what concepts are lexicalized we can find out if there are common
       or universal concepts that are or are not lexicalized in any given language

       See Figure 6.3 for example
Semantics
    Slide
            16                               Semantics

                                   Semantics
        Grammaticization - concepts that are expressed as affixes or nonlexical
       categories. Concepts such as tense, number and negation are often
       grammaticized across languages. Hidatsa statements accompanied by a
       morpheme that indicates the evidence for its truth (certainty, common
       knowledge, etc) See Table 6.13, p. 220 - Book says English doesn’t really
       have this - do you agree?

            What about -ish? Do you think this morpheme grammaticizes
            uncertainty?
Semantics
    Slide
            17                               Semantics

                                    Semantics
    What about wanna, kinda, sorta, like? How do express future tense in Englsih?
    will/gonna? going to  gonna grammaticized only for future, not for any combination
    of going + to.
Semantics
  Practice   18                                   Semantics

                                   Semantics Practice
             In English, are these concepts fuzzy, graded or have been grammaticized?


               the comparative or superlative   grammaticized


               cats                             graded


               mountains                        graded,
                                                fuzzy
               time                             grammaticized
                                                fuzzy
               vegetables                       graded
Semantics
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            19                              Semantics

                                   Semantics
        Principle of Compositionality - The meaning of a sentence is determined
       by the meaning of its component parts and the manner in which they are
       arranged in syntactic structure.
        How is syntactic structure relevant for meaning?
        Constructional meaning - the meaning of a sentence defined by the
       construction
       The caused motion construction
            X causes Y to go somewhere: Jeff mashed the book into the backpack.
                                           NP VP         NP     PP
       The ditransitive construction
            X causes Y to have Z: The bartender blended George a margarita.
                                        NP         VP       NP       NP
Semantics
    Slide
            20                             Semantics

                                      Semantics
       Ambiguity
       Structural Ambiguity - 2 sentences with the same word order but with
       different meanings due to the structural relationship that the sentences
       have (e.g., I met the woman standing by the water cooler.)
             wealthy men and women
Semantics
    Slide
            21                                 Semantics

                                     Semantics
       Ambiguity

       Lexical Ambiguity - 1 word in a sentence having more than one meaning
       (caused by polysemy or homophony)
             The glasses are on the table
                Eye glasses or drinking glasses???
Semantics
    Slide
            22                               Semantics

                                    Semantics
        Thematic Roles (theta roles) - used to categorize the relation between a
       sentence’s parts and the event it describes.
       Agent (actor) = the entity that performs the action
       Theme = the entity undergoing an action of movement
       Source = the starting point for a movement
       Goal = the end point for a movement
       Location = the place where an action takes place
Semantics
  Practice   23                                     Semantics

                                  Semantics Practice
                     Identify the thematic roles in the following examples
                    and determine which verb/preposition assigned the role
       Sara drove the bus from Seattle to Portland.
       agent       theme          source goal
       The children ate their ice cream in the kitchen.
         agent                 theme        location
       Which shoes did Jake buy at the store?
             theme      agent      location
         Thematic Roles (theta roles) - used to categorize the relation between a
        sentence’s parts and the event it describes.
        Agent (actor) = the entity that performs the action
        Theme = the entity undergoing an action of movement
        Source = the starting point for a movement
        Goal = the end point for a movement
        Location = the place where an action takes place
Semantics
    Slide
            24                                     Semantics

                                         Semantics
        Thematic Roles assignment - Thematic roles are assigned to NPs based on
       their position within the sentence. Typically, verbs and prepositions assign
       thematic roles.
              VERBS: Assign the agent role to its subject NP; Assign the theme role to its
             complement NP (Both are optional)
             PREPOSITIONS: Assign a thematic role (the specific one depends on the
             preposition) to its complement NP
       Thematic roles are assigned at deep structure. What did the students throw?
       has the deep structure The students threw what - The verb threw assigns the
       agent role to the students and the theme role to what. What retains this role
       even after Move changes its position in the structure.
Semantics
    Slide
            25                             Semantics

                                 Semantics
        Thematic Roles assignment    IP

                                                  I'

                           NP                              VP

                                N'                         V'

                                                                  NP
                                                                       N'
                                       I
                     Det        N     +Pst        V         Det        N

                    The    students             threw       the textbook
                                                <ag, th>
Semantics
    Slide
            26                             Semantics

                                 Semantics
        Thematic Roles assignment    IP

                                                  I'

                           NP                              VP

                                N'                         V'

                                                                NP
                                                                     N'
                                       I
                     Det        N     +Pst        V                  N

                    The    students             threw            what
                                                <ag, th>
Semantics
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             27                                   Semantics

                   CP
                                                         Exercise 12
        NP                 C'

            N'     C                         IP
                  +Q
                                                         I'

                                  NP                           VP

                   I                   N'                      V'
                  +Pst
                                                                    NP
                                                                         N'
                                              I
            N            Det           N     +Pst        V               N

    What          did    the      students    t        throw             t
     theme                agent
Semantics
    Slide
            28                                Semantics

                                    Pragmatics
        Pragmatics - the study of meaning as it relates to speaker’s and addressee’s
       background attitudes and beliefs, their understanding of the context in which a
       sentence is uttered, and their knowledge of how language can be used to
       inform, persuade, mislead, etc.
        Focuses on utterances - sentences that are spoken within a given context
       (the same sentence spoken 2 different times is 2 different utterances - why?)
Semantics
    Slide
            29                              Semantics

                                  Pragmatics
      Beliefs and attitudes -
      The city council denied the demonstrators a permit because they advocated
      violence
      The city council denied the demonstrators a permit because they abhorred
      violence
      The architect gave the secretary a raise after she typed the report.
      A man and his son were in a car accident and rushed to the hospital. When
      the boy arrived, the surgeon declared, “That’s my son. I cannot operate on
      him!” Who is the surgeon?
Semantics
    Slide
            30                              Semantics

                                  Pragmatics
      Presupposition - the assumption or belief implied by the use of a particular
      word.
      John admitted/believed that the soccer team had cheated.
      Presupposition cannot be canceled out if the opposite of the event is true.
      John admitted that the soccer team had cheated, but the team had not cheated
      VS. John believed that the soccer team had cheated, but the team had not
      cheated.
      admitted presupposes that the team had in fact cheated, whereas believed
      does not
Semantics
  Practice   31                                      Semantics

                                   Pragmatics Practice
            Presupposition - the assumption or belief implied by the use of a particular
             word. Which word has the presupposition and what is it?
             1)   Identify the sentence that contains the presupposition.
             2)   Locate the word that is responsible for the presupposition.

     a)      John regrets that Maria went to the graduation ceremony.
             John believes that Maria went to the graduation ceremony

     b)      The captain thought that the ship was in danger.
             The captain realized that the ship was in danger.

     c)      It is significant that the criminal was sentenced.
             It is likely that the criminal was sentenced
Semantics
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            32                                 Semantics

                                     Pragmatics
       Setting/Deictics - the form and interpretation of some words depend on the
       location of the speaker and listener within a particular setting. These words are
       called deictics.
       here/there - this/that - these ones/those ones - can only have meaning from
       their use
Semantics
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            33                                Semantics

                                    Pragmatics
       Discourse - the term used to describe the connected speech of utterances that
       are produced during a conversation, lecture, story, or other kind of speech act.
       Using pronouns in a story to refer back to already introduced nouns.
       Meaning depends on the entire discourse.
       Topic - old versus new information - differences in the use of a or the in
       English
       Discourse words like anyways to start an utterance - what does this mean to
       you?
Semantics
    Slide
            34                             Semantics

                                  Pragmatics
  How do we interpret the following sentences and how does the choice of words
      influence that interpretation?
     1. Karen was killed/murdered in a car accident.
     2. Kevin declared/acknowledged that the accusation was false.
     3. a. A priest was at the hospital.
          b. The priest was at a hospital.
     4. When I come/go back to China, I’ll climb the Great Wall.
Semantics
    Slide
             35                                  Semantics

                                       Pragmatics
  Speech Acts:
       Sometimes we actually do more than communicate thoughts during speech.

               Things we do during speech (acts):
                        Apologize, compliment, make requests, etc.
               The meaning of these speech acts often is from conventionalized forms -
            more than the words themselves, but we have gotten used to requests in
            certain forms.

  Can you hand me that book? What is the meaning of this question? What is the
       speech act?
Semantics
    Slide
            36                                   Semantics

                                      Pragmatics
      Conversations: The Cooperative Principle = Make your contribution
      appropriate to the conversation.
      Conversational Maxims (p. 233)
            Relevance: Make your contribution relevant to the conversation.
            Quality: Make your contribution truthful.
            Quantity: Make your contribution only as informative as required.
            Manner: Make your contribution unambiguous, clear, and logical.
Semantics
    Slide
            37                             Semantics

                                 Pragmatics
    Conversational Maxims (p. 233)




    Conversational Implicature: During the course of the conversation, we are
    often able to make inferences about what is meant but was not actually said.
    Implying a meaning in a given conversation by flouting the above maxims. (Not
    lying)
    EXAMPLES?
Semantics
    Slide
            38                                 Semantics

                                    Pragmatics
      Can you pass the salt?
      Parent to child with injured arm vs. Parent to child at dinner.
      What are the differences in what is implied/implicated?

      Letter of rec for computer IT job that says: The employee always speaks
      quietly and dresses well. Also, they don’t eat fish at lunch....
      What maxim is being violated? What is the implicature of the letter?




            Exercise 18

								
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