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Basic Notions in Semantics

Group 3

Miftah Nur ‘Afifah 16321017

Ayu Fatmawati 16321018
Basic Notions in Semantics Basic Notions in Semantics

Aspects of Semantic Knowledge


Utterances, Sentences, and Propositions

Semantic Knowledge

Semantic knowledge or semantic memory refers to a portion of long term

memory that processes ideas and concepts that are not drawn from
personal esperiences. semantic memory includes things that are common
knowledge, such as the names of colours, the sounds of letters, the capitals
of the basic gacts acquired over a lifetime.
aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

6. semantic feature 1. meaningful - anomalous

5. antonyms aspects 2. paraphrases

4. Contradictory 3. synonymy
aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

10. presupposes 7. ambiguous

9. entailment aspects 8. adjacency pair

aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

meaningful - anomalous paraphrases

1. Speakers know, in a general way, whether 2. Speakers of a language generally agree as

something is or is not meaningful in their to when two sentences have essentially the
language. e.g: same meaning and when they do not. e.g:

1a Henry drew a picture. 2a Rebecca got home before Robert.

1b Henry laughed. 2b Robert got home before Rebecca.
1c The picture laughed. 2c Robert arrived at home after Rebecca.
1d Picture a Henry drew. 2d Rebecca got home later than Robert.

Sentences that make equivalent statements about the

1a and 1b are meaningful to speakers
same entities, like 2a and 2c, or 2b and 2d, are
of English, while 1c and 1d are paraphrases (of each other).
anomalous (examples of anomaly).
aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

synonymy contradictory

3. Speakers generally agree when two words have 4. Speakers recognize when the meaning of
essentially the same meaning—in a given context. one sentence contradicts another sentence. e.g:

Where did you purchase these tools? use buy Edgar is married.
release modify take Edgar is fairly rich.
At the end of the street we saw two Edgar is no longer young.
Edgar is a bachelor.
enormous statues, pink smooth nice huge
original Words that have the same sense in a
Sentences that make opposite statements about the
given context are synonyms same subject are contradictory.

They are instances of synonymy and are

synonymous with each other.
aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

antonyms semantic feature

5. Speakers generally agree when two words have 6. Synonyms and antonyms have to have some
opposite meanings in a given context. e.g: common element of meaning in order to be,
respectively, the same or different.e.g:

Betty cut a thick slice of cake, bright new soft street lane road path house avenue
thin wet buy take use steal acquire inherit
The train departs at 12:25. arrives leaves waits
The common element of meaning, shared by all but
one word in 6a and by all but one item in 6b, is a
semantic feature.
Two words that make opposite statements
about the same subject are antonyms; they
are antonymous, instances of antonymy.
aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

ambiguous adjacency pair

7. Some sentences have double meanings; they can 8. Speakers know how language is used when
be interpreted in two ways. Speakers are aware of people interact. e.g:
this fact because they appreciate jokes which depend
on two-way interpretation,e.g: When did you last see my brother? Ten minutes ago.
Last Tuesday. Very nice. Around noon. I think it was
Marjorie doesn’t care for her parakeet. on the first of June.
(doesn’t like it; doesn’t take care of it) There’s a great new comedy at the Oldtown
Playhouse. So I’ve heard. What’s it called? When did
Marjorie took the sick parakeet to a small
it open? So do I. Are you sure it’s a comedy?
animal hospital. (small hospital for animals;
hospital for small animals) When a question and an answer, or any two
utterances, can go together in a conversation and
A sentence that has two meanings is the second is obviously related to the first, they
ambiguous—an example of ambiguity. constitute an adjacency pair. The ability to deal with
adjacency pairs is part of any speaker’s implicit
aspects of any
speaker’s semantic knowledge.

entailment presupposes
9. Speakers are aware that two statements may be 10. Speakers know that the message conveyed
related in such a way that if one is true, the other in one sentence may presuppose other pieces
must also be true,e.g: of knowledge. e.g:
Andy Murfee usually drives his Datsun to work.
There are tulips in the garden. There is a person named Andy Murfee.
There are flowers in the garden. Andy Murfee works.
The ladder is too short to reach the roof. There is a Datsun that belongs to Andy Murfee.
The ladder isn’t long enough to reach the roof. Andy Murfee knows how to drive an automobile.

The meaning of sentence 10a presupposes what is

These pairs of sentences are examples of entailment.
expressed in 10b, c, d and e. The latter are
Assuming that 9a and 9b are about the same garden, presuppositions of 10a. Note that a presupposition does
the truth of 9a entails the truth of 9b, that is, if 9a is not establish the truth of anything. Sentence 10a is
true, 9b must also be true. Likewise, assuming the meaningful as it is, but it is true only if there is a person
same ladder and roof, the truth of 9c entails the truth named Andy Murfee, who works and owns a Datsun, etc.
of 9d. The sentence is presented AS IF there is a person named
Andy Murfee.
Project Analysis



Utterances Sentences Propositions

An utterance is it is a specific at a particular

an act of speech event time and place
or writing

involving at least one An utterance

person or more. happens just once

a young man
who hopes to
get better
acquainted with so different
one of his co- pieces of
A beggar who a child who workers and they indicate language can
has not eaten all hopes to put off intends to ask different have different
day says “I’m going to bed her to have intentions meanings in
hungry” announces “I’m dinner with him different
hungry” begins with the contexts.
statement “I’m

A sentence is not an in a particular It is a string of words put

event; it is a sequence which is together by the grammatical
construction of words meaningful. rules of a language.

The meaning of a sentence is

determined by the language,
something known to all
people who have learned to
use that language.

A traditional way of defining a

sentence is ‘something that
expresses a complete thought. We
Example: know what a complete thought is
and with this knowledge can
so different
•I would like a cup of coffee (is a determine whether something is
sentence). pieces of
they indicate
or is not a sentence.
language can
•Coffee, please (is not a sentence). different
Butintentions havemust
surely the procedure different
•In the kitchen (is not a sentence). the reverse. Sentencesmeanings
are morein
knowable than thoughts.different
In spite
•Please put it in the kitchen (is a of individual differences contexts.
sentence). of a language generally agree
about what is or is not a sentence
in their language.
A sentence contains certain the information presented, proposition can be seen as consisting
information, but the same apart from the way it is of a predicate and various noun
information can be presented in presented, is called a phrases
different sentences and in parts proposition
of sentences.

proposition is part of the meaning of

the utterance of a declarative sentence
which describes some state of affairs.

We don’t walk in the park is the

A simple statement like We walk negation of this proposition, and
in the park expresses a single so different
proposition, something presented pieces of
as a fact and therefore subject to they
Do we walkindicate
in the park? islanguage
a can
verification; generally speaking, different
question about it. A proposition
have different
one can find out if the proposition intentions
can be expressed in differentmeanings in
is true or false. sentences. different

A proposition is something
abstract but meaningful. It can be
expressed in different sentences so different
and in parts of sentences, perhaps pieces of
they indicate
with differences of focus but language can
always with the same basicintentions have different
meaning. And, as you recall, any meanings in
sentence can be expressed in different
different utterances, produced by contexts.
different people at different times
and in different places.
Thank You