What Is the Meaning of Meaning In Semantics Linguistics

What Is the Meaning of  Meaning In Semantics is very interesting debate.You Must have proper understanding about that.We will discuss in the article sense relation of meaning in the study of linguistic semantic

Meaning is more than denotation and connotation. What a word means depends in part on its associations with other words, the relational aspect. Lexemes do not merely ‘have’ meanings; they contribute meanings to the utterances in which they occur, and what meanings they contribute depends on what other lexemes they are associated with in these utterances.

The meaning that a lexeme has because of these relationships is the sense of that lexeme. Part of this relationship is seen in the way words do, or do not, go together meaningfully. It makes sense to say John walked and it makes sense to say An hour elapsed. It doesn’t make sense to say John elapsed or An hour walked. Part of the meaning of elapse is that it goes with hour, second, minute, day but not with John, and part of the meaning of hour, second and so forth is that these words can co-occur with elapse.

Part of the relationship is seen in the way word meanings vary with context. A library is a collection of books (Professor Jones has a rather large library) and is also a building that houses a collection of books (The library is at the corner of Wilson and Adams Streets). A number of English verbs can be used in two different ways —different grammatical association—and then have slightly different meanings. We can say:

A window broke.
Tom broke a window.

Here what happened to the window is the same, but in the first sentence broke is equivalent to ‘became broken’ and in the second it is equivalent to ‘caused to be broken.’ Adjectives, too, can have different senses. If you come across some object which you have never seen before, and you wonder about its origin and its purpose, we can say that you are curious about it. But we can also call the object a curious kind of thing.

Facts You Must About About What Is the Meaning of Meaning In Semantics

The same term is used for your subjective feelings and for the supposedly objective properties of this item—a curious person, a curious object. A judge makes decisions; if he is guided by personal whim or choice, the judge is arbitrary (dictionary definition: ‘inclined to make decisions based on personal whim’) but we also say that the decision is arbitrary (dictionary definition: ‘based on personal choice rather than reason’)A lexeme does not merely ‘have’ meaning; it contributes to the meaning of a larger unit, a phrase or sentence. Take these phrases with the adjective happy.

happy child, a happy family
a happy accident, a happy experience
a happy story, a happy report

When happy combines with a word that has the feature [human], like child and family in the first line, it is roughly equivalent to ‘who enjoy(s) happiness’—a happy child is a child who has or enjoys happiness. In combination with words that have the feature [event] such as accident and experience, its contribution is roughly ‘that produces happiness.’ In combination with words that have the feature [discourse]—story, report—its meaning is roughly ‘containing a happy event or events.’ Each of these words has a range of meanings; each meaning is determined by its linguistic context, just as the meaning of door on any specific occasion is determined by the physical context
in which it occurs.

The meaning of a lexeme is, in part, its relation to other lexemes of the language. Each lexeme is linked in some way to numerous other lexemes of the language. We can notice two kinds of linkage, specially. First, there is the relation of the lexeme with other lexemes with which it occurs in the same phrases or sentences, in the way that arbitrary can co-occur with judge, happy with child or with accident, sit with chair, read with book or newspaper. These are syntagmatic relations, the mutual association of two or more words in a sequence (not necessarily right next to one another) so that the meaning of each is affected by the other(s) and together their meanings contribute to the meaning of the larger unit, the phrase or sentence.

Another kind of relation is contrastive. Instead of saying The judge was arbitrary, for instance, we can say The judge was cautious or careless, or busy or irritable, and so on with numerous other possible descriptors. This is a paradigmatic relation, a relation of choice. We choose from among a number of possible words that can fill the same blank: the words may be similar in meaning or have little in common but each is different from the others.

Since we are used to a writing system that goes from left to right, we may think of syntagmatic relations as horizontal and paradigmatic relations as vertical. A compound expression, such as book and newspaper, cautious but arbitrary, read or write puts two lexemes that are paradigmatically related into a syntagmatic relationship.

As children, we learn vocabulary first through specific associations with specific things, actions, and characteristics (reference) and as we learn to recognize different instances of the ‘same’ thing, the ‘same’ event, and so on, we generalize (denotation). Slowly we learn from other members of our speech community and from our personal experiences what associations are favorable and which are not (connotation).

And we acquire an implicit knowledge of how lexemes are associated with other lexemes (sense relations). Our implicit knowledge of syntagmatic relations facilitates our perception and identification of what we hear and read, enabling us to correct automatically what we hear and see, or what we think we hear and see, when correction is needed: we must have heard five o’clock because *fine o’clock is not a familiar collocation.


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