What Is a Semantic Field?
The basic assumption underlying the theory of semantic field is that words do not exist in isolation;
rather, they form different semantic fields, such as an "animal" field which contains all kinds of words that
denote animals, or a "cooking" field which includes various words related to cooking, and so on. Words
that belong to the same semantic class are in the same semantic field. Let us look at some more examples
of semantic fields:
(1) vehicle: car, lorry, truck, coach, van, motor-scooter.
(2) building: factory, hospital, house, church
(3) vegetable: spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, pepper, onion, tomato, cucumber
(4) walk: amble, stroll, saunter, wander, stride, strut, pace, parade, tramp, ramble
(5) run: race, dash, scamper, scurry, scuttle, scramble, dart, bolt
According to the theory of semantic field, the meaning of a word is decided by its relationships with
other words in the same semantic field. There are various kinds of such sense relationships, for example,
hyponymy part/whole relation, synonymy and antonymy.
(Wen Qiufang. 1995. An Introduction to English Linguistics pp. 215-216. Nanjing: Jiangsu Education