Alan Cruse’s book is published as part of a series of thematic glossaries devoted to different fields of This volume is concerned with two disciplines: semantics and pragmatics. 96), one would also expect to find “lexicography” and “lexicon” . consist of more than one lexical constituent; second that it should be a single minimal semantic constituent’ (Cruse ). ‘The principle of idiom is that a. Lexical semantics Lexical semantics studies the meanings of words; the focus here The account given here largely follows that given in Cruse ().

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So stallions are not what we thought they were!

The first is iU-definedness, and the second is laxness. Other aspects of meaning which do not fall under propositional content are expressive meaning: It should be noted that some authors, for instance Lyons, understand sense in a different way. However, the so-called onomatopoeic words display a degree of iconicity, in that their sounds are suggestive to varying degrees of their meanings: John lectures in the Arts Faculty unilaterally entails John lectures in the university.

The semantic behavior of words has been greatly neglected in current literature, which has tended to emphasize sentential semantics and its relation to formal systems of logic.

Diachronic Syntax Ian Roberts. Logical matters 39 6. Is B telling A anything? Cognitive linguists believe that cogni- tion is built up as it were from concrete to abstract, and concrete domains function as source domains for metaphorical processes involved in creating abstract domains.

Thus, in John is tall, we can identify John as the argument, and is tall as the predicate.

Meaning in Language : Alan Cruse :

But they differ in respect of implicit viewpoint: This answer value is determined equally by the propositional content of the question and the statement: After all, if we learn that John sneezed, we assume that the event happened at a particular place and time, and that even if the speaker did not specify these items, they could in principle be specified, along with countless other things.


For a more detailed discussion of quantification, see Chapter 14, section She didn’t pass away, she kicked the bucket.

From all this, we can conclude that dog is more specific than animal alter- natively, animal is more general than dog. This, too, is sometimes called the reference of the word cat. That is to say, Somebody’s turned the lights off and Somebody’s turned the bloody alann off are true and false in exactly the same range of situations.

Alan Cruse, A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics

If so, the relationship in 27 is contingent on the way our world usually is— it is not a logical relationship. Propositional content does not by any means make up the whole of sen- tence meaning, as conceived here. But smiles and frowns and many other signs are perfectly interpretable and capable of being produced in the absence of any accompanying language. We may make a first division between additive modes of combination and interactive modes.

The meanings of words not belonging to this set are fixed aan a network byy inferential or other relations to the meanings of other words, bg those belonging to the observation vocabulary. The illocutionary force in such a case would be that of assertion.

Iconicity enters language in several guises.

Secondly, crsue meaning includes a specific proposition or propositions, the identification cguse which requires that a referents be assigned to any def- inite referring expressions in the sentence, and b incomplete propositions be completed.

Consider the relation between It’s a dog and i It’s a pet and ii It can bark. The range of different types of speech act is surveyed and their nature exam- ined. The introduction also explains which fields of language study are covered in the book, what their mutual relation is, and what their respective areas of research consist of.

Meaning in Language : An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics

But there is one type of meaning on which there is substantial agreement, and we shall start by separ- ating this type from all the rest, although, as we shall see, the division is not quite so clear-cut as it may at first seem. Again, we can recognize irreflexive relations like “is taller than”, and non-reflexive relations such as “knows the weight of.


Mary killed the wasp. This book therefore takes an ecumenical position on many issues. Lexical Semantics is about the meaning of words. The language of explanations is lively, with occasional informal comments, as in the observation on the nature of conversational maxims: Verbs and Adjectives ; Various strategies for indicating on the part of the seantics and determining on the part of the hearer correct referents are discussed, including the use and interpretation of deictic elements, names, and descriptions.

Lexical Semantics

But there is also part-specificity, illustrated by, for instance, handfinger where finger is the more specificbicycle: One of the readings is of the standard Boolean type, denoting someone who is simultaneously beautiful and a dancer. No attempt will be made here to explore the philosophical background and underpinning of these notions: Some are explained in only three or four lines e.

That leaves non- linguistic meaning to be taken care of. Maha added it Jul 22, An example involving a more traditional quantifier is: The cat sits on the mat.

I may be asking too much, but it doesn’t seem to me that I came away with much more insight into the nature of word meaning. It becomes true or false when it is semaantics of some specific cat and some specific mat. Did you do it with her? This is a deep and controversial ques- tion; it will be generally assumed in this book that meaning is in essence conceptual see Chapter 6but is most easily studied through language.

The class of red things and the class of round things intersect in this fashion, as do the class of architects and semantjcs class of amateur musicians. There are three possibilities assuming that the anomaly a,an a single source: Return to Book Page.