You are on page 1of 4

Linguistics for Teachers and Writers

TESC E&W Studies


Study guide for week 7: The goals for this week are to: 1) become familiar with the distinction between semantics and pragmatics; 2) distinguish between lexical and combinatorial semantics; 3) understand the role that meaning relations like entailment, paraphrase, contradiction, antonymy, and synonymy play in determining semantic content; 4) learn how semantics is related to objects in the world through model-theoretic semantics. Readings: Language Files: Chapter 7 Pinker: none. Exercises from the text: Language Files: File Additional exercises: 1. For each group of words given below, state what semantic feature or features are shared by the (a) words and the (b) words, and what semantic feature or features distinguish between the classes of (a) and (b) words. Example: a. widow, mother, sister, aunt, seamstress b. widower, father, brother, uncle, tailor Features of (a) and (b): human Features of (a): female Features of (b): male

A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

a. bachelor, man, son, paperboy, pope, chief b. bull, rooster, drake, ram a. table, stone, pencil, cup, house, ship, car b. milk, alcohol, rice, soup, mud a. book, temple, mountain, road, tractor b. idea, love, charity, sincerity, bravery, fear a. pine, elm, ash, weeping, willow, sycamore b. rose, dandelion, aster, tulip, daisy a. book, letter, encyclopedia, novel, notebook, dictionary b. typewriter, pencil, ballpoint, crayon, quill, charcoal, chalk a. walk, run, skip, jump, hop, swim b. fly, skate, ski, ride, cycle, canoe, hang-glide a. ask, tell, say, talk, converse

H. I.

b. shout, whisper, mutter, drawl, holler a. alive, asleep, dead, married, pregnant b. tall, smart, interesting, bad, tired a. alleged, counterfeit, false, putative, accused b. red, large, cheerful, pretty, stupid

2. As noted in File 7.3, there are several kinds of antonymy. Indicate which among the following are complementary pairs (exact opposites), which are gradable (scalar) pairs, and which are relational opposites. A good expensive parent beautiful false lessor pass hot legal larger poor fast asleep husband rude B bad cheap offspring ugly true lessee fail cold illegal smaller rich slow awake wife polite

3. Consider the definitions below. a. joy, [dZoI], n: Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness. b. happiness, [hpins], n: Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. Use a dictionary to find three more examples of words that are defined circularly. A. B. C. a. ____________________________________________ b. ____________________________________________ a. ____________________________________________ b. ____________________________________________ a. ____________________________________________ b. ____________________________________________

What implications do you see given the degree of circularity found in language? 4. What is ambiguity on the mental image theory of meaning? How might this be a problem for the theory? Discuss. 5. Indicate the truth values (true = T, false = F) of the following sentences: A. a. Either it is raining here or it is not raining here. ___ b. If John is sick and Mary is sick, then John is sick. ___ c. It is raining here hand it is not raining here. ___ d. If John is sick and Mary is sick, then Mary is not sick. ___ a. All people that are sick are people. ___ b. If every person is sick, then it is not true that no person is sick. ___ c. Some people that are sick are not people. ___ d. Every person is sick, but some person is not sick. ___ a. If John is a bachelor, then John is unmarried. ___ b. If John broke the vase, then the vase broke. ___ c. if the car is red, then it has a color. ___ d. John is a bachelor, but he is unmarried. ___ e. John broke the vase, but it isnt broken. ___ f. The car is red, but it has no color. ___ a. Santa Claus is bald. ___ b. Either it is raining here or it is not raining here and Santa Claus is bald. ___

B.

C.

D.

6. Examine the antonyms contained in the following song by Alanis Morrisette:

Hand In My Pocket By: Alanis & Glen Ballard


I'm broke but I'm happy I'm poor but I'm kind I'm shore but I'm healthy, yeah I'm high but I'm grounded I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby What it all comes down to Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine I've got one hand in my pocked And the other one is giving a high five I feel drunk but I'm sober I'm young and I'm underpaid I'm tired but I'm working, yeah I care but I'm restless I'm here but I'm really gone I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby What it all comes down to Is that everything's gonna be quite alright I've got one hand in my pocket And the other one is flicking a cigarette What it all comes down to Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet I've got one hand in my pocket And the other one is giving the peace sign I'm free but I'm focused I'm green but I'm wise I'm hard but I'm friendly baby I'm sad but I'm laughing I'm brave but I'm chicken shit I'm sick but I'm pretty baby What it all boils down to Is that no one's really got it figured out just yet I've got one hand in my pocket And the other one is playing the piano What it all

comes down to my friends Is that everything's just fine fine fine I've got one hand in my pocket And the other one is hailing a taxi cab... For each pair, describe what kind of antonym is being employed.

Are these word pairs exact antonyms? If not, what additional implications are required to achieve antonymy? 7. In the Language Files, the authors noted that it is necessary to distinguish between extension and intension. Describe the difference between the extension and intension of the following phrases. a. The President of the United States b. The King of France. c. The Father of our Country. d. The first President of the United States. e. Women who have walked on the moon. f. Santa Claus g. The capital of Australia.
Essential concepts: a. reference b. mental representations c. compositional semantics d. lexical semantics e. pragmatics f. mental image g. truth value h. truth conditions i. presupposition j. synonymy k. antonymy l. Freges Principle m. structural ambiguity n. idioms o. speech acts p. performative q. felicity conditions r. entailment s. implicature