Download e-book for kindle: A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics by Alan Cruse

By Alan Cruse

ISBN-10: 0748624058

ISBN-13: 9780748624058

This easy-to-use consultant illuminates key recommendations and phrases in semantics and pragmatics and the examine of that means because it is conveyed via language.

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Converse (lexical) Lexical converses are a species of opposite. Two expressions which are converses designate a given state of affairs or event from the perspective of two different participants. For instance ‘A is above B’ describes a spatial relationship between two entities A and B by locating A with reference to B; the same state of affairs is described by ‘B is below A’, but this time B is located with reference to A. The mutual entailment relation between ‘A is above B’ and ‘B is below A’, in which the arguments are reversed and above is replaced by below, establishes above and below as lexical converses.

Both diagnosticity and typicality vary in degree. The possession of feathers is both maxi- 793 02 pages 001-202 31/3/06 10:19 Page 47 A GLOSSARY OF SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS 47 mally diagnostic and maximally typical. But having two legs, while diagnostic to some degree since most creatures have more than two legs, is not maximally diagnostic because it is shared with, for instance, humans. dictionary meaning vs encyclopaedic meaning This distinction usually applies to the meanings of words. As the names imply, the two sorts of meaning relate to what one might expect to find in a dictionary definition and an encyclopaedia entry respectively.

Descriptive meaning therefore includes propositional meaning, but it can be extended to include characteristic or prototypical features, such as the barking of dogs, rather than simply logically necessary features, such as the fact that a dog is an animal. The most important dimensions of descriptive meaning are quality, specificity, intensity and vagueness: (a) Quality: what distinguishes, for instance, red from yellow, dog from cat, plum from banana, run from walk, happy from disappointed. (b) Specificity: what distinguishes hyponyms like dog and daffodil from their respective hyperonyms (superordinates) animal and flower; likewise, meronym-holonym pairs like finger:hand differ on this dimension.

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A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics by Alan Cruse


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