Summary Semantics Book cover image

Summary Semantics

- John I Saeed
ISBN-10 1444358758 ISBN-13 9781444358759
295 Flashcards & Notes
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A snapshot of the summary - Semantics Author: John I Saeed ISBN: 9781444358759

  • 1 Semantics in Linguistics

  • Conditions for a metalanguage
    1. Clear
    2. Neutral to natural languages
    3. able to describe meaning and relations between words
    4. Economic
    5. Consistent
  • 1.3 Three Challenges in Doing Semantics

  • What are the three problems of the definitions theory?
    The problem of circularity (we cannot define words with other words that first need to be defined), the problem of exact definitions (the difference between linguistic and encyclopaedic knowledge) and the problem of the meaning of utterances in context.
  • 1.4 Meeting the Challenges

  • How can we cope with the problem of circularity?
    By creating a metalanguage with which we can describe the semantic units and rules of all languages.
  • How can we cope with the problem of linguistic and encyclopaedic knowledge?
    By using the metalanguage to create an accurate description of the actual object and by adding the right amount of information for it to be understood.
  • 1.5.2 Word meaning and sentence meaning

  • What does it mean to say that sentence meaning is compositional?
    That the meaning of an expression is determined by the meaning of its component parts and the way in which they are combined.
  • 2 Meaning, Thought and Reality

  • 2.2.1 Types of reference

  • What is the difference between constant and variable reference?
    Constant reference always refers to one certain entity, like the Pacific Ocean, while variable references (like "I", "you" or "she") change in meaning depending on speaker and context.
  • What does the term "extension" mean?
    The entire set of things that could be referred to by an expression.
  • 2.2.2 Names

  • What is the description theory?
    The theory that claims we need to know who is referred to by a name in order to understand what is said.
  • 2.4.1 Introduction

  • What is the image theory?
    The theory that words can bring up visuals in our minds.
  • 2.4.3 Necesarry and sufficient conditions

  • What are sufficient conditions?
    Conditions that are enough to completely describe a certain set of entity.
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