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Ana Larissa Adorno Marciotto Oliveira

Barbara Orfan

ENGLISH
SEMANTICS

LETRAS/INGLS
5 PERODO

Ana Larissa Adorno Marciotto Oliveira


Barbara Orfan

ENGLISH SEMANTICS

Montes Claros - MG, 2011

Copyright : Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros


UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE MONTES CLAROS - UNIMONTES

REITOR
Joo dos Reis Canela

IMPRESSO, MONTAGEM E ACABAMENTO


Grfica Yago

VICE-REITORA
Maria Ivete Soares de Almeida

PROJETO GRFICO
Alcino Franco de Moura Jnior
Andria Santos Dias

DIRETOR DE DOCUMENTAO E INFORMAES


Giulliano Vieira Mota
CONSELHO EDITORIAL
Maria Cleonice Souto de Freitas
Rosivaldo Antnio Gonalves
Slvio Fernando Guimares de Carvalho
Wanderlino Arruda
REVISO DE LNGUA PORTUGUESA
Ubiratan da Silva Meireles
REVISO TCNICA

Luci Kikuchi Veloso

EDITORAO E PRODUO
Ana Lcia Cardoso Pereira
Andria Santos Dias
Clsio Robert Almeida Caldeira
Dbora Trres Corra Lafet de Almeida
Diego Wander Pereira Nobre
Jssica Luiza de Albuquerque
Karina Carvalho de Almeida
Patrcia Fernanda Heliodoro dos Santos
Rogrio Santos Brant
Snzio Mendona Henriques
Tatiane Fernandes Pinheiro
Ttylla Aparecida Pimenta Faria
Vincius Antnio Alencar Batista

Catalogao: Biblioteca Central Professor Antnio Jorge - Unimontes


Ficha Catalogrfica:

2011
Proibida a reproduo total ou parcial.
Os infratores sero processados na forma da lei.
EDITORA UNIMONTES
Campus Universitrio Professor Darcy Ribeiro
s/n - Vila Mauricia - Montes Claros (MG)
Caixa Postal: 126 - CEP: 39.401-089
Correio eletrnico: editora@unimontes.br - Telefone: (38) 3229-8214

Ministro da Educao
Fernando Haddad
Secretrio de Educao a Distncia
Carlos Eduardo Bielschowsky
Coordenador Geral da Universidade Aberta do Brasil
Celso Jos da Costa
Governador do Estado de Minas Gerais
Antnio Augusto Junho Anastasia
Vice-Governador do Estado de Minas Gerais
Alberto Pinto Coelho
Secretrio de Estado de Cincia, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior
Alberto Duque Portugal
Reitor da Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
Joo dos Reis Canela
Vice-Reitora da Unimontes
Maria Ivete Soares de Almeida
Pr-Reitora de Ensino
Anete Marlia Pereira
Coordenadora da UAB/Unimontes
Maria ngela Lopes Dumont Macedo
Coordenadora Adjunta da UAB/Unimontes
Betnia Maria Arajo Passos
Diretor do Centro de Cincias Humanas - CCH
Mrcio Coelho Antunes
Chefe do Departamento de Comunicao e Letras
Ana Cristina Santos Peixoto
Coordenadora do Curso de Letras/Ingls a Distncia
Hejaine de Oliveira Fonseca

AUTORAS
Ana Larissa Adorno Marciotto Oliveira
She has a PhD in Applied Linguistics and currently works at UFMG, where she teaches English and
Applied Linguistics.
Barbara Orfan
Has a PhD in Applied Linguistcs and currently works at UFSJ, where she teaches English and Applied
Linguistics.

SUMRIO

Presentation ................................................................................................................................ 9
Unit 1 ......................................................................................................................................... 11
1.1 Basic Concept.................................................................................................................. 11
1.2 Sentences, Utterances And Propositions........................................................................... 11
1.3 Meaning And Dictionary................................................................................................. 12
1.4 English Language Dictionaries .......................................................................................... 15
1.5 Lexical Semantics............................................................................................................. 16
1.6 How Semantics Operates: The Two Levels ....................................................................... 17
1.7 Sense Relations................................................................................................................ 18
1.8 Semantic Field.................................................................................................................. 20
1.9 Metaphor......................................................................................................................... 21
1.10 Language Variation And The Issue Of Correctness........................................................... 22
Referncias ........................................................................................................................... 22
Unit 2: Reference and sense........................................................................................................ 23
2.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 23
2.2 Cataphoric And Anaphoric References............................................................................. 24
2.3 Anaphoric Reference........................................................................................................ 25
2.4 Exophoric Reference ....................................................................................................... 25
2.5 Reference And Sense In Descriptive Meaning................................................................... 26
Referncias ........................................................................................................................... 26
Unit 3: Word Meaning in Dictionaries ........................................................................................ 27
3.1 Dictionary Definition ....................................................................................................... 27
3.2 The Organization Of Dictionaries .................................................................................... 28
3.3 Encyclopedia Versus Dictionary Meaning ......................................................................... 29
3.4 Sense Relations: Representing Semantic Information ....................................................... 29
3.5 Properties Of Predicates................................................................................................... 30
3.6 Introduction To Derivation .............................................................................................. 31
3.7 Compound Nouns ........................................................................................................... 33
3.8 Types Of Derivation ........................................................................................................ 33
3.9 Participant Roles ............................................................................................................. 34
3.10 Summing Up This Unit................................................................................................... 36
Referncias ........................................................................................................................... 36
Unit 4: Interpersonal and non-literal meaning ....................................................................... 37
4.1 Introduction..................................................................................................................... 37
4.2 Speech Act....................................................................................................................... 37
4.3 Perlocutions And Illocutions............................................................................................. 37

4.4 Felicity Conditions............................................................................................................ 38


4.5 Direct And Indirect Form.................................................................................................. 40
4.6 Inference.......................................................................................................................... 40
4.7 Entailments...................................................................................................................... 40
4.8 Conversational Implicature............................................................................................... 40
4.9 Non-Literal Meaning: Idioms, Metaphor, And Metonymy................................................. 41
4.10 Summing Up This Unit................................................................................................... 44
Referncias ........................................................................................................................... 45
Resumo ................................................................................................................................. 47
Referncias bsicas e complementares................................................................................... 51
Atividades de aprendizagem - AA .......................................................................................... 53

PRESENTATION

Dear Student:
It is a pleasure to invite you to study English Semantics with us.
We are sure you will love to find out senses and meaning in the English
Language. Read your Caderno Didtico very carefully and do the activities
that come together with it. We are sure you will master English Semantics
very easily!
In this course you are going to learn a lot about how words and
sentences work out in English. You will also learn about their references and
the way we express them in English.
We wish you all the best in your academic and professional career.
Best,
Ana Larissa and Brbara Orfan

UNIT 1
1.1 BASIC CONCEPT
SEMANTICS is the study of MEANING in LANGUAGE. Knowing
the meaning of all the words that make up a language is not sufficient
to interpret an utterance, though. We usually need access to a series of
extra-linguistic information about the participants and the context, their
communication intent, the degree of formality of the interactions as well as
other elements, like previous knowledge about a topic, to convey meaning.
For this reason, linguists usually differentiate between two complementary
approaches to the area of meaning production and interpretation.
The first area is concerned with sentence meaning and is the object
of semantics. The second deals with utterance meaning and is the object of
pragmatics (HUTFORD, B; HEASLEY, B & SMITH, M, 2007; MEYER, 2007).

Now, analyse this sentence:


The door is open
What kind of meanings can
you interpret from it?
Someone is informing you so
that there is a certain door and
that it is open.
Someone is feeling cold and he
or she is kindly asking you to
close the door.
Someone is asking you to
leave the room

In order to clarify this, two questions can be addressed:


1. What does it mean?
(This question is a request of information and is independent
of the participants in a given interaction and is in the field of
Semantics)
2. What do you mean?
(This question is a request of information and is dependent
of the participants in a given interaction and is in the field of
Pragmatics).
We have outlined the basic concepts of Semantics here. Before
we move on to the activities you shall take a look at the reminders, they
summarize the main topics covered in this unit. Make sure that you
understand them. Do go back to the unit, if you have doubts before doing
the activities.
1.2 SENTENCES, UTTERANCES AND PROPOSITIONS
An UTTERANCE is any stretch of talk, by one person, before and
after which, there is silence on the part of that person.
An utterance is the USE by a particular speaker, on a particular
occasion, of a piece of language, such as a sequence of sentences, or a
single phrase, or even a single word.
Utterances are physical events. Events are ephemeral. Utterances
die in the wind. Linguistics deals with spoken language and we will have a

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A Semntica o estudo do
sentido na lngua.
Um enunciado ou
(utteranace) um segmento
de fala concretamente
produzido por um falante,
contm sentido completo.
, normalmente, objeto de
anlise semntico-pragmtica.
Um perodo ou frase
(sentence) um conjunto
de palavras que seguem um
padro gramatical e que
contm sentido completo.
, normalmente, objeto de
anlise sinttica.

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lot to say about utterances in this book. But we will concentrate even more
on another notion, that of sentences.
A SENTENCE is neither a physical event nor a physical object.
A string of words put together by the grammatical rules of a language. A
sentence can be thought of as the IDEAL string of words behind various
realizations in utterances and inscriptions pragmatics (HUTFORD, B;
HEASLEY, B & SMITH, M, 2007; MEYER, 2007 ).
1.3 MEANING AND DICTIONARY
A DICTIONARY can be thought of as a list of the meanings of
words, of what words mean. Butcould one make a list of what speakers
in general mean?
The answer is NO because speakers may mean different things on
different occasions, even when using the same words, as in the sentence:
The door is open.
So, it is important to understand two basic definitions: speaker
meaning and sentence or word meaning.
SPEAKER MEANING is what a speaker means, or wants to convey,
when he uses a piece of language.
SENTENCE MEANING (or WORD MEANING) is what a sentence
(or word) means, i.e. what it counts as the equivalent of in the language
concerned.
This makes us come to two important definitions in our course.
The definitions of sentence and utterance:
SENTENCES are abstract grammatical elements. Utterances are
concrete strings of words.
Semantics is part of our grammatical competence and usually
focuses on decontextualized meaning, while pragmatics focuses on
contextualized meaning. So, the study of meaning, or SEMANTICS, has
proven to be one of the more challenging levels of linguistic structure for
linguists to describe. A relatively simple word such as the noun CHAIR, is
a term to which the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) assigns 16 different
meanings.
Consider one of these 16 meanings as defined in the OED and two
other dictionaries:

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OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY (OED):A seat for one


person (always implying more or less of comfort and ease); now the
common name for the movable four-legged seat with a rest for the
back, which constitutes, in many forms of rudeness or elegance, an
ordinary article of household furniture, and is also used in gardens or
wherever it is usual to sit.
MERRIAM-WEBSTER COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY (MW)
(11TH ED.): a seat typically having four legs and a back for one
person.
AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE (AHD):A piece of furniture consisting of a seat, legs,
back, and often arms, designed to accommodate one person.
The three dictionaries agree on two characteristics of a chair: that
it seats one person and has a back. While the OED and MW specify that
a chair has four legs, the AHD states simply that it has legs. The AHD also
notes that a chair often [has] arms, suggesting that arms are optional. The
other two dictionaries say nothing about arms. The OED entry is much
more detailed than the other entries, noting that chairs exhibit comfort
and ease, are moveable, and are regarded as household furniture.
Although the definitions in the three dictionaries are similar, there
are enough differences to illustrate the complexity inherent in defining even
the simplest notions. For this reason, many different perspectives for treating
meaning have developed within the field of linguistics. Dictionary definitions
fall within the province of lexical semantics, an area of linguistics concerned
with the study of the meaning of individual words. Because dictionaries are
intended as reference guides, they do not provide theoretical statements
about the nature of lexical meaning. However, LEXICOGRAPHERS, those
who create dictionaries, have developed methodologies for discovering the
meanings of words and most effectively presenting these meanings to users
of dictionaries.
For this reason, modern lexicographers have abandoned
handwritten citation slips created by thousands of individuals and have
turned instead to collecting examples automatically from very large corpora.
For instance, the publisher Harper-Collins created the Collins Word Web as
the source for citation files used to create a number of dictionaries that they
have published, including The Collins English Dictionary (2007). The Collins
Word Web is currently 2.5 billion words in length and contains various kinds
of spoken and written English. It is constantly being updated so that new
words entering the language can be detected and included in upcoming
editions of dictionaries.
Advances in software development have also aided in the creation
of citation slips. A CONCORDANCING PROGRAM can be used on any

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Caderno Didtico - 5 Perodo

computerized text to very quickly create a KWIK (keyword in context)


concordance. All instances of chair are vertically aligned so that their use
in context can be easily examined. Although only sentence fragments in
which chair occurs can be seen, often, only a limited context is needed
to determine the meaning of a word. If a larger context is desired, most
concordancing programs allow for the entire sentence or surrounding
sentences to be viewed.
While lexicographers will need to examine many uses of a word
to determine its meaning(s), the 24 instances of chair in Figure 1 begin to
reveal it. Three of the examples point to a chair as a place to sit:
in his gown, sitting in a chair.
Enter the friar, sitting in a chair.
The back of the chair on which Gennaio is sitting.
One example actually provides a definition of a chair:
A chair consists of four legs, a seat,.
Another contains a few words, carved wooden chair.,
specifying what a chair is made of.
Other examples indicate that chair is POLYSEMOUS; that is, that
it has more than one meaning. A chair is not simply a concrete object used
for sitting, but an abstract noun designating someone who is the head of
something, or who holds some highly esteemed position at a university:
Gordon Stewart, chair of the Department of History,.
B. Watson left his academic chair at The Johns Hopkins
University.
Of course, more examples beyond would be needed to verify this
meaning of chair. But as lexicographers begin isolating multiple meanings of
words, they can search for other examples to determine how widespread
the meanings are.
Words with similar pronunciations but different meanings are
often referred to as HOMONYMS. But deciding whether a given word
has one or more meanings is often difficult to determine. A rocking chair
differs from other chairs because it does not have four legs but two curved
legs that are shaped in a way that permits the chair to move forwards and

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backwards. A computer chair also moves but typically has four legs with
wheels. A beanbag chair has no legs or arms but a flexible area for sitting.
All of these chairs are little more than variations on the traditional
notion of chair. For this reason, no lexicographer is likely to list them in a
dictionary in a separate entry.
1.4 ENGLISH LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES
There are many different kinds of dictionaries:
MONOLINGUAL DICTIONARIES: Monolingual dictionaries are
intended for native speakers and, as a consequence, focus on a single
language (e.g. English, German, French). Some of the more well-known
monolingual English dictionaries include the Oxford English Dictionary,
Websters Third New International Dictionary, and the American Heritage
Dictionary of the English Language.For non-native speakers, there are
specialized monolingual dictionaries known as learner dictionaries. For
instance, the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary and the Collins
COBUILD Advanced Learners English Dictionary are written specifically for
non-native speakers of English, and, thus, contain simpler definitions than
would be found in a typical monolingual dictionary and a greater emphasis
on vocabulary, such as idioms or phrasal verbs, that give individuals learning
English as an additional language considerable difficulty.
BILINGUAL DICTIONARIES: Bilingual dictionaries focus on two
languages and are designed for individuals who are native speakers of a
particular language learning another language as an additional one. For
English speakers, there are English/Spanish dictionaries, English/Italian
dictionaries, and so forth.
UNABRIDGED/ABRIDGED DICTIONARIES: The major dictionary
makers will periodically release large unabridged dictionaries from which
they will produce smaller unabridged dictionaries that contain a subset of
words in the abridged dictionary as well as newer words that have entered
the language since the publication of the unabridged version. For instance,
Websters Third New International, an unabridged dictionary produced by
the G&C Merriam Co. in Springfield MA, was released in 1961. Since its
the publication, Merriam-Webster has published 11 collegiate dictionaries
- which contain fewer entries than Websters Third. At the same time they
have been updated with newer words than the unabridged version. Because
the Webster name is so closely associated with the 19th century American
lexicographer Noah Webster, many dictionaries have been published
under the Websters name. However, The G&C Merriam Company is the
only publisher of a Webster dictionary having any connection to Noah
Websters 1828 dictionary, American Dictionary of the English Language.

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Um dicionrio uma lista de


palavras e o significado delas.
O sentido que o falante
confere sua produo
(speakers menaing):
relaciona-se ao que o falante
quer dizer sobre algo.
O sentido do perodo ou da
frase (sentence meaning):
o que o perodo ou frase
significam no cnonstruto geral
da lngua.
Lexicgrafos (lexicographers):
so os profissionais
responsveis por coletar
evidncias de uso lingustico
para a produo de
dicionrios.
Lingustica de Corpora
(Corpus Linguistics): um
ramo da lingustica que tem
como objeto de estudo o
levantamento e anlise da
lngua em uso com base em
bancos de dados digitais
dispoinveis.Concordance
Programs e KWK (Key word
in context) so ferramentas
utilziadas pela lingustica de
corpus.
Polissemia (polysemy): o
fenmeno semntico pelo
qual uma mesma palavra
apresenta vrios significados,
reconhecveis apenas pela
anlise do contexto. Ex: light
(luz ou leve).
Homnia (homonyny):
fenmeno semntico pelo
qual duas palavras apresentam
significados diferentes e
pronncia semelhantes. Ex:
flower (flor)e flour (farinha).

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THESAURUSES: These are dictionaries specialized in providing


synonyms for the main entries that they contain. One of the more famous
English Thesauruses is Rogets Thesaurus, published in 1852 and written by
Peter Roget. Because the name of this dictionary was never copyrighted,
many thesauruses contain the name Roget, even though they are not
derivative of the original thesaurus.
SPECIALIZED DICTIONARIES: Many dictionaries focus on
vocabulary specific to a particular occupation or area of interest. Physicians
and lawyers, for instance, can make use of dictionaries that define medical
and legal terms, such as Tablers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary or Blacks
Law Dictionary. Musicians can consult dictionaries of musical terms, such
as the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Scrabble players have
dictionaries specialized in words commonly used in scrabble games. Since
the range of interests is large, so are the number of dictionaries catering to
these interests.
Even though many different kinds of dictionaries exist, most
individuals are probably most familiar with abridged or unabridged
H vrios tipos principais de
dicionrios, entre eles:
Monolngue (monolingual):
dicionrios normalmente
direcioandos a falantes nativos
ou muito proficinetes.
Bilngue (bilingual):
direcioandos para falantes
de duas lnguas direferentes,
pois contm traduao ou
vero.H ainda dicionrios
especializados, por exemplo,
dicionrios de sinnimos
(thesauruses) ou dicionrios
da rea de direito (law), por
exemplo.

monolingual dictionaries: the primary focus of discussion in this section.


The creation of a monolingual dictionary is essentially a two-stage process:
determining the meaning of words by studying their use in context, and,
then, crafting definitions of the words that will be appropriate for the
readership of dictionaries.
1.5 LEXICAL SEMANTICS
According to HUTFORD & SMITH (2007), LEXICAL SEMANTICS
has also been studied within linguistics. For instance, one way to describe
the meanings of words in a more general sense is to categorize the various
relationships existing among them: words with similar or identical meanings
are considered SYNONYMS, those with opposite meanings ANTONYMS.
Words with different but overlapping meanings, such as beagle or poodle,
can be said to constitute a SEMANTIC FIELD. Within semantic fields,
certain words will be PROTOTYPES: words more closely associated with
the field than other ones. For instance, speakers of American English will
regard a poodle or German Sheppard as more typical type of dog than a
Norwegian elk hound. Another more controversial way of characterizing
the meaning of words has been done in the area of COMPONENTIAL
ANALYSIS. This involves defining words by breaking them down into their
component parts and assigning them semantic features. On one level, the
words puppy and infant share the feature newly born. These words differ
in that infant has the feature human, while puppy does not. However,

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this area of semantics has proven to be problematic, primarily because it is


difficult to determine exactly what semantic features are needed.
While lexical semantics is concerned with the meaning of
individual words, larger structures, such as sentences, also have meaning.
Functional elements such as subjects and objects have SEMANTIC ROLES.
In the sentence, The child made a sand castle, the subject of the sentence,
the child, is the AGENT: the person responsible for carrying out the action
in the sentence. The direct object, a sand castle, is the PATIENT, the person
or thing directly affected by the agents actions. Recent work in frame
semantics has expanded upon work on semantic roles to describe these
roles in terms of the cognitive frames in which they occur. For example,
the sentence The woman bought a clock would be part of the commercial
transaction frame, a frame that includes many elements, in the given
example a buyer (the woman) and something purchased (a clock).
Still, words also have a pointing function. This function is known
as deixis, a word borrowed from Greek that means to point or to show. In
the given example, not only does the word woman means (an adult female)
but it points, or refers, to a particular woman in the external world. The
ability of nouns and pronouns to refer is one type of deixis: REFERENTIAL
DEIXIS. Other types include TEMPORAL and SPATIAL deixis. For instance,
the sentence I walked a mile yesterday contains two temporal markers that
anchor this sentence in the past: the past tense marker on the verb walked
and the adverb yesterday. Other time frames are indicated by the present
tense marker in English as well as the two aspect markers (perfective and
progressive). Spatial deixis is indicated by prepositions such as in and on or
demonstratives such as this or that, which situate what is being discussed
either close to the speaker/writer (This wine is giving me a headache) or
away from him/her (That person always bothers me).
Finally, language can be used to express the speaker or readers
perspective on the truth of what is being said, an area of semantics known
as modality. Degrees of certainty can be expressed through modal verbs
such as can or may and adverbs such as perhaps, definitely, or maybe. The
sentence I will help you expresses a high degree of certainty, while the
sentences Perhaps I will help you or I might help you indicate a much lower
degree of certainty.
The various ways that meaning has been studied shows exactly
what is meant by the notion of meaning: what philosophers of language
often describe as what it means to mean (HUTFORD, & SMITH, 2007;
MEYER, 2007).
1.6 HOW SEMANTICS OPERATES: THE TWO LEVELS
Semantic investigation operates at two levels: word and sentence
level. The first explores the relationships words have with each other within

17

THESE CONCEPTS ARE


KEY. MAKE SURE YOU
UNDERSTAND THEM VERY
WELL BEFORE YOU GO
AHEAD
SYNONYMY: Synonyms are
words which have a similar
meaning.
Small, tiny, little aresynonyms.
ANTONYMY: Antonyms are
words that have opposite
meanings.
Little and big are antonyms.
HYPONOMY
Words like creature may be
seen as a superordinate term,
with a more general meaning,
whilst cows or mammals have
specific meanings which come
under, or are subordinate to,
the word creature.
These subordinate terms are
called HYPONYMS.
So, we can see cow as a
hyponym of mammal which, in
turn, is a hyponym of creature.

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a language system, their sense. That can be defined in terms of SYNONYMY,


ANTONYMY, POLYSEMY, HOMONYMY and HYPONYMY.
Sinnimos (synonyms): so
palavras que apresentam
sentido equivalente. Ex: salaray
(salrio) e wage (salrio).
Antnimos: so palavras que
apresentam sentido oposto. Ex:
high (alto) e low (baixo).
Homfonos (homophoes): so
palavras que possuem a mesma
pronncia e grafia e sentidos
diferentes. send (enviar) e sand
(areia).
Homgrafos (homographs): so
palavras que possuem grafia
idntica, pronncia idntica
ou no e sentidos diferentes.
Ex: bear (urso) e bear (suportar,
aguentar).
Isotopia (isotopy): conjunto de
palavras que contm a mesma
raiz semntica. Ex: digital,
dgito e digitalizao.
Hiponmia (hyponymy): uma
relao hierrquica entre
termos, na qual o sentiudo de
um est contido no sentido do
outro. Ex: apple (ma) e fruit
(fruta).
Prototype: so palavras
comumente associadas a um
campo semntico especfico.
Ex: o termo cachorro (dog)
est mais prximo do campo
semntico de animais
domsticos do que o termo
Wolf (lobo), embora, do ponto
de vista biolgico, eles sejam
muito semelhantes.
Papis semnticos (semantic
roles) - agente (agent): pessoa
ou coisa responsvel pela ao
enunciativa; paciente (patient):
pessoa ou coisa afetada pela
ao enunciativa. Ex: I closed
the door (Eu fechei a porta).
Eu (I) agente; porta (door)
paciente.
Dixis Referencial (referencial
deixis): carter demonstrativo
da linguagem, que recupera
elementos anteriormente ou
posteriormente citados no
discurso. Por exemplo: Paulo
comeu o bolo. Ele estava com
fome. Ele refere-se a Paulo.

As we remember from Saussures theory, since the relationship


between words and their referents is merely symbolic they are signs
each word derives a meaning not from the real world but from its existence
within a semantic field of related signs.
At the WORD LEVEL, Componential analysis breaks down the
meaning of a word into components. For example, the components of the
word man would be: +human + adult + male. Using these components,
semanticists build grids which define the words of a particular field
according to the presence or absence of a particular component. Of
course, grammatical words such as and, but, for do not lend themselves
to this analysis. But, above all, the elements mentioned could be endlessly
broken down into smaller ones. So this method can be useful as a means of
classification but not as a theory of meaning.
At the SENTENCE LEVEL, semanticists are mainly concerned with
the truth value of linguistic expressions.
They often distinguish between analytic and synthetic truth. A
synthetically true statement is true because it is an accurate representation
of reality. An analytically true statement is true because it follows from the
meaning relations within the sentence.
LOGICAL SEMANTICS or TRUTH CONDITIONAL SEMANTICS
draws mainly on propositional logic and is interested above all in the logical
connectives of English.
This kind of analysis implies a correspondence between language
and reality, but some semanticists do not believe in this correspondence
and argue that language creates reality.
COGNITIVE SEMANTICS understands language as part of our
general cognitive ability and pays special attention to metaphor pragmatics
(HUTFORD, B; HEASLEY, B & SMITH, M, 2007; MEYER, C. Introducing
English Linguistics . London: Longman. 2007).
1.7 SENSE RELATIONS
ANTONYMY is a sense relation between words which are opposite
in meaning.
There are various forms of antonymy.
In GRADABLE ANTONYMS there can be degrees of opposition
(wide/narrow, old/young/, tall/short). In this case the definition changes
according to the REFERENT and there is usually a MARKED (young) and
and UN-MARKED term (old ex. She is 16 years old).
In COMPLEMENTARY ANTONYMS the opposition between the
terms is absolute (alive/dead). RELATIONAL ANTONYMS are not either/or

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but there is a logical relationship between them (above/below, husband/


wife)
HOMONYMY is a relation between words which have the same
form, but unrelated senses.
HOMONYMS can have the same phonological or graphical
form, or both. If they have the same phonological form, they are called
HOMOPHONES (sight/site).
If they have the same graphical form, they are called
HOMOGRAPHS (lead: metal and lead: conduct). Some of them are both
homophonic and homographic (mail).
POLYSEMY is a sense relation in which a word, or lexeme, has
acquired more than one meaning often because of its metaphorical use or
because it can refer to abstract or concrete referents.
Sometimes homonymy is difficult to distinguish from POLYSEMY,
but in fact homonyms are separate lexical items which happen to have the
same form, while in the case of POLYSEMY the same lexical item has taken
up more than one sense. One possibility is to take etymology as a criterion
to distinguish them, but it does not always work (sole), so maybe the best
approach is to look for a common core of meaning (common semes).
An ISOTOPY is formed by repeating one seme. For example, in
There was a fine ship, carved from solid gold / With azure reaching masts,
on seas unknown, the words ship, masts and seas all contain the
seme /navigation/ (as well as others) and thus create the isotopy /navigation/.
HYPONYMY is a hierarchical relation between two terms, in
which the sense of one is included in the other [rose (hyponym) /flower
(hypernym)].
CO-HYPONYMS are hyponyms of the same hypernym (rose, lily,
daisy) and are incompatible (a rose cannot be a lily).
There can be various levels of hyponymy (Living things - (Animal)/
Vegetable - Flower - Rose/ Lily/Daisy/ Poppy etc).
SYNONYMY is a relation between words which have a similar
meaning (mad/insane, main/chief/principal). English is particularly rich in
synonyms because of the influx on it of various languages such as Latin,
French and Anglo-Saxon.
In fact, words are never totally interchangeable, so synonyms
frequently differ stylistically, they belong to different language registers
(mother/mom) or can be combined only with certain other words, that is
they have a collocational range (powerful, mighty, strong).
MULTI-MEANING WORDS
In all languages, words may have multiple meanings. It is very
important to consider the context in each a words is.

19

Ambiguidade (ambiguity):
uma palavra ou expresso
pode conter sentidos variados,
dependendo do seu contexto
de uso. Ex: We serve turists
(Ns servimos turistas). Pode
ser entendido como turistas so
servidos pelos garons de um
restaurante. Ou, num contexto
de humor, os turistas podem
ser servidos como um prato do
cardpio.

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Examples:
Argument:
1. Making an argument expressing a point of view and supporting
it with facts and evidence: He presented relevant arguments in favor of the
new legislation.
2. Harsh discussion: I had an argument with my boyfriend last
night.
AMBIGUITY
Competent speakers may
consider they know the
meaning of words or sentences
of a language, however the
student (or the professor) of
Semantics may well be good
at describing meanings, or
theorizing about meaning in
general. This kind of reflection
is part of language education in
general.

Sentences can have different meanings, depending on how we


interpret them. We usually rely on context and background knowledge
to get rid of ambiguity but, sometimes, meaning must be more clearly
conveyed.
Examples:
In the sentence:
Include Your Children When Baking Cookies, the meaning is
are children going to take part in the activity OR are they going to be
baked together with the cookies? As we can see, meaning always depends
on context.
LEXICAL AMBIGUITY depends on HOMONYMY (senses not
related) and POLYSEMY (senses related). Some sentences which contain
ambiguous words are ambiguous while others are not, and some sentences
which contain no ambiguous words are AMBIGUOUS while others are not.
We have outlined the basic concepts concerning sense relations.
Before we move on to the activities you shall take a look at the reminders,
they summarize the main topics covered in this unit. Make sure that you
understand them. Do go back to the unit, if you have doubts before doing
the activities.
1.8 SEMANTIC FIELD
A SEMANTIC FIELD is an area of meaning containing words with
related senses. According to this theory, meanings of words cluster together
to form fields of meaning, which, in turn, cluster into larger ones (Ex.: veal/
chicken/pork - meat - food).
Each meaning is defined by the space a word occupies in the field.
The origin of the FIELD THEORY OF SEMANTICS is the lexical
field theory introduced by Jost Trier in the 1930s. For John Lyons (1970)
words related in any sense belonged to the same SEMANTIC FIELD, and
the SEMANTIC FIELD was simply a lexical category, which he described
as a LEXICAL FIELD. So, we can say that SEMANTIC FIELDS translate into
LEXICAL FIELDS.

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Field theory is very useful in the contrastive analysis of different


languages (wood/glass/ types of kinship). Some words can belong to
different fields (polysemy).
Example:
Cat, feline, moggy, puss, kitten, tom, queen and miaow occupy the
same semantic field.
1.9 METAPHOR
METAPHOR is a process in which one semantic field of reference
is transferred to another.
The new field is generally referred to as TARGET or tenor, the old
one as SOURCE or VEHICLE.
Example:
Time is RUNNING fast.
A CONVENTIONAL METAPHOR is a metaphor that is commonly
used in everyday language in a culture to give structure to some portion of
that cultures conceptual system. For example:
The understanding of time as a resource
Example:
Time is RUNNING out.
The understanding of life as a journey
Example:
Its time to GET ON with your life.
COGNITIVE SEMANTICISTS, instead, do not make this distinction
and consider metaphor as a natural feature of language and a consequence
of the way we think about the world. (LAKOFF & JOHNSON, 1980)
distinguish 3 types of metaphor:
STRUCTURAL METAPHOR: we map one type of experience
onto another. A structural metaphor is a conventional metaphor in which
one concept is understood and expressed in terms of another structured,
sharply defined concept: A cold person.
An ORIENTATIONAL METAPHOR is a metaphor in which
concepts are spatially related to each other (I feel down), as in the following
ways:
Up or down;
Front or back;
On or off;
Deep or shallow;
Central or peripheral.

21

Metfora (metaphor): processo


cognitive pelo qual um termo,
pertencente a um determinado
campo semntico transferido
para outro. O campo original
normalmente referido como
fonte (source) e o novo como
alvo (target). Ex: o termo
cabea (head) pode ser usado
no sentido de parte de um
corpo vivo, como tambm
no sentido de principal.
Ex: He is the head of the
departmente (Ele o chefe do
departamento).
Metfora convencional
(conventional metaphor):
um tipo de metfora
usada rotineiramente para
exemplificar aspectos
culturais do modo como
falantes conceitualizam um
determinado conceito. Ex:
na maior parte das culturas
o verbo chegar (arrive),
originalmente contm um
sentido de aproximao fsica.
Mas ele utilizado, tambm,
no sentido temporal (The
weekend is arriving: o final de
semana est chegando).
Metfora estrutural (metfora
estrutural): um tipo de
metfora que ocorre quando
um conceito expresso em
termos de uma estrutura
lingstica semelhante. Ex:
a warm person (uma pessoa
calorosa). Warm (quente,
caloroso) usado para expressar
uma caracterstica de
personalidade.
Metfora orientacional:
um tipo de metfora em que
os conceitos espaciais esto
relacionados entre si. Prices
are higher (os preos esto
mais altos). Higher (mais alto):
usado para indicar elevao de
preos.
Metfora ontolgica: um tipo
de metfora em eu m conceito
abstrato representado por
algo concreto. Ex: He broke
my heart (ele quebrou meu
corao). Broke my heart
significando um sentimento de
tristeza.

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An ONTOLOGICAL METAPHOR is a metaphor in which an


abstraction, such as an activity, emotion, or idea, is represented as something
concrete, such as an object, substance, container, or person: How did Jerry
get out of washing the windows?
Chair and table are heteronyms
(in the lexical field of furniture
terms).
Get on and get off are
directional opposites with
respect to time.
Top-down and bottom-up
are directional opposites with
respect to the direction of a
process.
Before and after are
directional opposites with
respect to time.
Now, it is time to do the
activities for Unit I to check
your comprehension and
practice what you have
learned. Go ahead!

We have just outlined the definitions for metaphor. Before we move


on to the activities, you shall take a look at the reminders, they summarize
the main topics covered in this unit. Make sure that you understand them.
Do go back to the unit, if you have doubts before doing the activities.
1.10 LANGUAGE VARIATION AND THE ISSUE OF CORRECTNESS
English, like most languages, has a number of different DIALECTS.
Just as the pronunciation of English VARIES from one dialect to another, so
there are also DIFFERENCES in the basic semantic facts from one dialect
of English to another. Note that we are using dialect in normal way in
Linguistics, i.e. to indicate any variety of a language, regardless of whether it
has prestige or not. In this sense, every speaker, from the London stockbroker
to the Californian surfer speaks some DIALECT. It is not the business of
semantics to lay down standards of semantic correctness, to prescribe what
meanings words shall have, or what they may be used for. SEMANTICS,
LIKE THE REST OF LINGUISTICS, DESCRIBES. THERE MUST BE NO
JUDGEMENTAL VIEW IN THIS DESCRIPTION. (HUTFORD, HEASLEY, &
SMITH, 2007; MEYER, 2007 ).

HURFORD, James R. & HEASTLEY, Brendan. Semantics: a coursebook.


Cambrige:58 CUP, 1998.

22

UNIT 2
REFERENCE AND SENSE

2.1 INTRODUCTION
The notions of SENSE and REFERENCE are central to the study of
meaning. Every further unit in this book will make use of one or another
of these notions. The idea of REFERENCE is relatively solid and easy to
understand. The idea of SENSE is more elusive: its a bit like electricity,
which we all know how to use (and even talk about) in various ways,
without ever being sure what exactly it is.
The REFERENT of an expression is often a thing or a person in the
world; whereas the SENSE of an expression is not a thing at all. In fact, it is
difficult to say what sort of entity the sense of an expression is. Intuitively,
it is sometimes useful to think of sense as that part of the meaning of an
expression that is left over when reference is factored out. It is much easier
to say whether or not two expressions have the SENSE. It is like being able
to say that two people are in the same place without being able to say
where they are.
The SENSE of an expression is an abstraction, but it is helpful
to note that it is an abstraction that can be entertained in the mind of a
language user. When a person understands fully what is said to him, it is
reasonable to say that he grasps the sense of the expressions he hears in a
pragmatic way (HUTFORD, B; HEASLEY, B & SMITH, M, 2007; MEYER,
C. Introducing English Linguistics . London: Longman. 2007; KRAHMER,
1998).
Examples:
When Helen mentioned the fruit cake, she meant that rock-hard
object in the middle of the table(reference).
When Albert talks about his former friend he means me
(reference)
Daddy, what does unique mean? (sense)
Purchase has the same meaning as buy (sense)
Look at the following cartoon. It was published in the USA in
2009. Who (or what) do you think the father is REFERRING TO when he
says: This time! What does the expression this time MEAN?

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In: http://kingofgng.com/eng/2008/11/24/barack-obama-comic-strips-collection/, published in Jan 2009, accessed in Sep., 2010.

The father is possibly REFERRING TO Barack Obama, the first


black man to become the President of the United States. He probably
means that, after years of discourse about equality in the USA, black
people can finally be really considered equal to white people in terms of
the opportunities they can have. To understand the charge, you need to
grasp both REFERENCE and SENSE.
2.2 CATAPHORIC and ANAPHORIC REFERENCES
CATAPHORIC REFERENCE
Sense (sentido): uma
abstrao, um sentido que
atribumos a uma expresso
como representativa do mundo
real.
Reference (referncia): referese propriedade ditica da
linguagem, que aponta para
um pessoal objeto, sentimento
ou local no mundo.

A CATAPHORIC REFERENCE unit refers to another unit that is


introduced later on in the text/speech. To understand the unit referred to
by a CATAPHORIC REFERENCE, you would need to look ahead in the text/
speech. CATAPHORIC means reference forwards in the text. Sometimes a
pronoun such as he, she, it finds its reference in the following context of
the text.
Example:
When he arrived, Selton was surprised to see the door open (He
refers to Selton. He came first in the text).
When I first met him, John Smith was wearing a very ugly T-shirt.

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2.3 ANAPHORIC REFERENCE


An ANAPHORIC REFERENCE unit, on the other hand, refers
to another unit that was introduced earlier on in the text/speech. To
understand the unit referred to by an ANAPHORIC REFERENCE, you
would need to look back in the text/speech. ANAPHORIC REFERENCE
means reference backwards in the text. A personal pronoun, for example,
often has an anaphoric reference. (HUTFORD, B; HEASLEY, B & SMITH,
M, 2007; MEYER, C. Introducing English Linguistics . London: Longman.
2007; KRAHMER, 1998).

When you look up the


MEANING of a word in a
dictionary, what you find
there, are not referents, but
expressions with the SAME
SENSES

Example:
Selton is so stressed out about the assignment he is talking about it
right now. (He refers to Selton; Selton came first in the text)
This is the girl who I told you about. (Who refers to girl; Girl came
first)
2.4 EXOPHORIC REFERENCE
EXOPHORIC WORDS refer to something outside the text. In
linguistics, exophora is reference to something extralinguistic, i.e., NOT
IN THE SAME TEXT, and contrasts with endophora. Exophora can be
DEICTIC, in which special words or grammatical markings are used to
make reference to something in the context of the utterance or speaker.
For example, pronouns are often EXOPHORIC, with words such
as this, that, here, there, as in that chair over there is Johns, said while
indicating the direction of the chair referred to.
Given Did the gardener water those plants?, it is quite possible that
those refers back to the preceding text, to some earlier mention of those
particular plants in the discussion. But it is also possible that it refers to the
environment in which the dialogue is taking place; to the context of the
situation, where the plants in question are present and can be pointed to,
if necessary. The interpretation would be those plants there, in front of us.
This kind of reference is called EXOPHORA, since it takes us outside the
text altogether. EXOPHORIC REFERENCE is not COHESIVE, since it does
not bind the two elements together into a text.
The study of SENSE demands, as you may have noticed, a degree
of idealization of the facts about meaning. In other words, sometimes we
claim to be more certain than we perhaps should be about questions like
Does this expression have the same sense as that one? (HUTFORD, B;
HEASLEY, B & SMITH, M, 2007; MEYER, C. Introducing English Linguistics
. London: Longman. 2007; KRAHMER, 1998).

25

Before you go ahead, make


sure you understand these key
concepts very well:
ANAPHORIC REFERENCE: It
is an instance of an expression
referring to another. The
referent comes first: Allan
has just come. He is waiting
outside.
CATAPHORIC REFERENCE: It
means that a word in the text
refers to another and that you
have to look forward to find
the referent: He is waiting for
you outside. You know that
Allan hates waiting.
EXOPHORIC REFERENCE:
It refers to information from
outside the text. In the
following traditional song, the
word you may refer to many
different people in the actual
and fictional situation:
Well in my heart you are my
darling
And my gate you will come in
(...)

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2.5 REFERENCE AND SENSE IN DESCRIPTIVE MEANING

Anaphoric reference
(referncia anfora): uma
recuperao de um elemento
anteriormente mencionado
no discurso. Ex: Allan acabou
de chegar. Ele est esperando
l fora. Ele refere-se a Allan,
anteriormente mencionado no
discurso.
Cataphoric reference
(referncia catafrica):
significa que um termo
usado no discurso referido
ou pode ser identificado
posteriormente. Ex: Ele est
esperando por voc l fora.
Voc sabe que o Allan odeia
esperar. Ele refere-se a Allan,
posteriormente mencioando
no discurso.
Exophoric reference: o termo
mencionado refere-se a um
elemento fora do discurso.
Pode ser recuperado por meio
de vrios elementos a ele
refelacionados, de acodo com
a cultura ou conhecimento de
mundo.

Words are connected with certain concepts and meanings. When


a word is successfully communicated, it is recognized by the addressee(s)
and it triggers, in the mind of the addressees, the concept it is connected
with. For example, if I hear someone telling me: Hello, Rafael and Davi have
just arrived and want to talk to you, I can realize that the register of language
is informal because of the use of the word hello. I can also understand the
message conveyed (some people have arrived and want to talk to me) and
I can also picture in my mind the image of Rafael and Davi, once I know
whom they are. This is how the process of SENSE and REFERENCE operates
in our minds.

CHERCHIA, Genaro & McCONNEL, Sally. Meaning and grammar: an


introduction to semantics. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1995.
HURFORD, James R. & HEASTLEY, Brendan. Semantics: a coursebook.
Cambrige:58 CUP, 1998.
LEECH, Geoffrey. Semantics: the study of meaning. 2 ed. London: Penguim
books,1981.

26

UNIT 3

Word Meaning in Dictionaries

3.1 DICTIONARY DEFINITION


According to Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:195), a dictionary
is a central part of the description of any language. It usually gives at least
three kinds of information:
1. Phonological information explaining, for example, how words
are pronounced;
2. Grammatical (syntactical and morphological) containing
information about its part of speech, (adjective or noun), inflections (plural
number, present tense);
3. Semantic information containing information about the word
meaning. See example from figure 3.1.
Fig. 3.1- Example taken from Cambridge dictionary online:
Definition
problem noun
/prb.lm/

/pr:.blm/ n [C]

A situation, person or thing that needs attention and needs to


be dealt with or solved financial/health problems.
Our main problem is lack of cash.
Im having problems with my computer.
No one has solved the problem of what to do with radioactive
waste.
The very high rate of inflation poses/presents (= is) a serious
problem for the government.
When is the government going to tackle (= deal with) the
problem of poverty in the inner cities?
[+ -ing verb] Did you have any problems (= difficulties)
getting here?
Id love to come - the only problem is Ive got friends staying
that night.
A question in mathematics which needs an answer.
We were given ten problems to solve.
www.cambridgedictionaryonline.com
2010

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3.2 THE ORGANIZATION OF DICTIONARIES


A good dictionary should tell users what words mean. In relation
to that, it can be said that dictionaries also describe the senses of predicates
(see chapters 1 and 2), for a revision on predicates). However, within a
modern linguistics approach, it is necessary to bear in mind that dictionaries
are also responsible for representing important aspects of the mental
knowledge of its users and presenting definitions that would be ratified by
any typical native speaker of that particular language (Hurford, Heasley and
Smith (2007).
In addition to that, one important characteristic of dictionaries
is the interconnectedness of definitions, as illustrated in picture 5.1. This
interconnectedness is unavoidable, due to the fact that dictionary writers
main purpose is to define, as completely as possible, the knowledge a
native speaker has about all the sense relations among predicates (see
section 3 on sense relations). This interconnectedness is also evident in
the work of Hurford, Heasley and Smith (ibid.), who assert that dictionary
definitions also rely on a circularity approach in order to completely define
the meaning of the words.
See figure 3.2, as an example of the circularity mentioned.

www.thesaurus.com acessed October 2010

Another important issue related to dictionaries is the matter of


precision. A good dictionary should reveal a high standard of that. However,
such characteristic has proved to be difficult to achieve.

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3.3 ENCYCLOPEDIA VERSUS DICTIONARY MEANING


Another important fact influencing the organization of a dictionary
is the debate between encyclopedia and dictionary. In order to explain
this issue, it may be beneficial to start with briefly mentioning some of the
characteristics of encyclopedias and how they are related to dictionaries.
Remember:
1. A dictionary describes the senses of predicates;
2. An encyclopaedia contains factual information of a
variety of types, but generally no information specifically on the
meanings of words.
Most dictionaries bring together the characteristics of encyclopedias,
giving information not relevant to the sense of words. Observing the
relationship between encyclopedic information and dictionary definitions,
Hurford and his colleagues state that a descriptive semanticist is interested
in information about words which can interpret analytic sentences (the
walrus is an animal) or contradictions (the walrus Is not an animal). He also
calls our attention to the fact that any other information is not semantic, but
encyclopedic, and he also observes that such distinction can also be related
to the notion of narrower sort of dictionary information and encyclopedic
information (as mentioned before) in characterizing the meaning of a
linguistic expression. The importance of the difference between the two is
still being discussed by semanticists. Having mentioned the characteristics
of encyclopedic information and dictionary information, the following
section will concentrate on how semantic information is represented in
dictionaries.
3.4 SENSE RELATIONS: REPRESENTING SEMANTIC INFORMATION
The aim of this unit is to present how semantic information
is represented in dictionaries. Considering that a dictionary is a list of
predicates and their senses, it is worth looking at how sense relations are
structured in dictionaries. One cannot forget that a semanticist dictionarywriter is interested, for example, in the sense relation of the words, thus,
terms like hyponymy, antonyms, synonyms, etc., prove to contribute in the
definition given by dictionaries, when defining some words.
In order to represent the semantic information present in
dictionaries, first, it is necessary to introduce the central idea of a meaning
postulate. According to Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:204), a meaning
postulate is a formula expressing some aspect of the sense of a predicate.

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It can be read as a proposition necessarily true by virtue of the meaning of


the particular predicate involved.
Example: Source (ibid: 205-206).
HUMAN BEING:
One-place
synonym of man1
MAN1:
One-place
synonym of HUMAN BEING
MAN2:
One-place
hyponym of MALE
hyponym of ADULT
hyponym of HUMAN BEING
As mentioned before, the predicates of a language all fit into a
complicated network of interrelationships. A predicate is usually related
through this network to other predicates. Despite all the connections
between predicates, semanticists want the presentation of information to
be economical including the minimum number of meaning postulates.
However, it is important to have a general view of the most important
properties of a predicate.
3.5 PROPERTIES OF PREDICATES
Dictionary definition: Its
central role is to describe the
language;
Dictionary organization:
Dictionaries represent
definitions that should be
ratified by native speakers of
the target language;
Encyclopedia and dictionary
meaning: While dictionaries
are responsible for describing
the meaning of predicates,
encyclopedias are responsible
for giving factual information;
Meaning postulate: Expresses
the aspects of the sense of the
predicates.

Symmetry and Asymmetry


The dictionary can give the information that a predicate is
symmetric, in the form of a meaning postulate. When predicates have a
similar meaning, we say that they are symmetric. Symmetry is the opposite
of asymmetry, thus when the meaning of the predicates are different, we
say that they are asymmetric. See the following example of a symmetry
predicate.
Example: John is married with Anne is symmetric of Anne is married
with John. Now see an example of an asymmetric predicate.
Example: Lucy is more intelligent than Martha is asymmetric of
Martha is more intelligent than Lucy.
Reflexivity
Reflexivity occurs when the meaning of the predicate refers back

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to the meaning of the referring item. See the following sentence as an


example of reflexivity.
Example: Martha is quite as taller as herself
Following the idea of symmetry and asymmetry, we also have the
idea of irreflexive predicate. We have an irreflexive predicate when the
referents correspond to a contradiction.
Example: Paul is different from himself.
Transitivity
Transitivity occurs when compound sentences are compatible with
each other.
Take as an example the following sentence:
Monica is in her office and her office is in this building means that
Monica is in this building. So the predicate in is transitive.
Now pay attention to the next example:
Lucy is the mother of Linda and Linda is the mother of Martha is
incompatible with Lucy is the mother of Martha, so mother of is intransitive.
Another important thing to bear in mind is that just as asymmetry and
irreflexivity correspond to symmetry and reflexivity, so intransitivity
corresponds to transitivity.
3.6 INTRODUCTION TO DERIVATION
When we form new words according to a regular pattern on the
basis of pre-existing words, we are using the rules of derivation. New words
are formed by combining existing words with meaningful units smaller than
words or with other existing words.
Morpheme
The meaningful units smaller than words, mentioned before, are
called by linguists morphemes. According to Hurford, Heasley and Smith
(2007:226), a morpheme is a minimal unit of word building that combines
a minimal unit of meaning with a minimal linguistic form that carries
this meaning. Morphemes are considered to be the building blocks of
a language and they are very important, for example, for the concept of
prefixes and suffixes.
Prefix
Another unit smaller than an actual word is the prefix re- in the
word remake, the word re is also a morpheme, because it combines a

31

Symmetry X asymmetry:
Symmetry is when the
predicates have a similar
meaning, while asymmetry
is when the predicate have
different meanings;
Reflexivity X irreflexivity:
Reflexivity is when the
meaning of a predicate refers
back to the meaning of its
referring item. Irreflexivity
is when the meaning of the
predicate is not related to the
meaning of the referring item;
Transitivity X intransitivity:
Transitivity is represented
when compound sentences are
compatible with each other.
When this does not happen,
we call it intransitivity.

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minimal meaning (something like repeat the activity described by the verb
it is attached to) with a minimal linguistic form.
Suffix
The word teacher, for example, is formed by attaching the suffix
er before the root word teach and the derived word remake is formed
by attaching the prefix re- after the root word make. The root words in
both examples correspond to the meanings of the derived words. Thus,
in summary, prefixes are always attached before the root morpheme and
suffixes after the root morpheme. Due to their importance and relevance to
the semantics of the English Language, we shall include here a more detailed
grid with the most common prefixes and suffixes, for your reference.
Prefixes

Prefix

Function

Example

mis-

indicate the action is


incorrect

misunderstand
misunderstanding

over-

indicates
exaggeration

overwork
oversleep

out-

it means that the


action is done in a
better or deeper way

to grow-----outgrow
to run---- outrun

un-

negative/opposite
from the original

believable---unbelievable
necessary--- unnecessary

iliminir-

they form the


opposite from the
original word

logical---illogical
perfect---imperfect

dis-

it forms the opposite


from the original
word

to obey---disobey
to like---dislike

halfsemi-

indicates almost

asleep---half asleep
conscious---semi-conscious

self-

it indicates that the


action is done to/for
the own person

control---self-control
confident---self-confident

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Suffix (1): Transforming verbs into nouns


Suffix

verb

noun

ion-

to invent
to limit
to compose

invention
limitation
composition

ment-

to develop
to improve

development
improvement

ing ( when the centre of


a noun phrase)
Example: Her teaching
is inspiring.

to teach
to lean

teaching
learning

ance/ence

to appear
to depend
to rely

appearance
dependence
reliance

Suffix (2): Transforming verbs into nouns


orto direct-director
to govern-governor

erto teach-teacher
to play-player
to read-reader
to hang-hanger
to blend-blender

Suffix (3): Adjective into adverb


lyquick
increase
beautiful

quickly
increasingly
beautifully

3.7 COMPOUND NOUNS


Derived words are also represented by compound nouns.
Compound nouns are formed when we join two pre-existing words.
Examples of derived words as the following: checkout, doorknob, spaceship
and babysit are compounds, as they consist of two pre-existing root words.
3.8 TYPES OF DERIVATION
Inchoative
An inchoative type of derivation denotes the beginning, or coming
into existence, of some state. Example: Light Dark (adjective) denotes a
state. Enlighten (intransitive verb), as in: The room has enlightened, is the
corresponding inchoative form, because it denotes the beginning of a state
of lightness.

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Causative

Derivation: When we form


new words using pre-existing
words;
Morpheme: Meaningful units
smaller than words;
Prefix: A unit smaller than
an actual word placed at the
beginning of the root word;
Suffix: A unit smaller than
an actual word after the root
word;
Compound nouns: The
combination of two preexisting words;

A causative form corresponds to an action which causes


something to happen. Example: close (transitive verb) is the causative form
corresponding to close (intransitive verb). If one closes a door, for example,
one causes it to close (in the intransitive sense of close). It is important
to notice that in English zero-derivation is the most common device for
producing causative forms, although causatives are also frequently formed
by adding the suffix -en to the non-causative root.
Resultative
A resultative form denotes a state resulting from some action.
Example: Broken (used as an adjective) is the resultative form corresponding
to break (transitive verb). The state of being broken results from the action
of breaking.
Example: That broken door was broken yesterday by the boys.
The following figure demonstrates graphically the concepts
mentioned

Types of derivation
Inchoative: The beginning of
a state;
Causative: An action that
causes something to happen;
Resultative: A state resulting
from some action.
Source:HUTFORD, HEASLEY and SMITH (2007:234)

3.9 PARTICIPANT ROLES

Agent: The person carrying out


the action;
Affected: The thing affected by
the action;
Instrument: The thing related
to the action taking place;
Location: Refers to the place
where the action takes place;
Beneficiary: The person who
benefits from the action;
Experiencer: The person who
experiences the action;

Agent
The agent of a sentence is the person carrying out the action
described.
Example: My mother in: My mother closed the window.
Affected
The affected participant is the thing (usually not a person, although
it can be) upon which the action is carried out. In many cases, the thing is
changed by the action, the window in the example given.
Instrument
The instrument is the thing (usually not a person) by means of
which the action is carried out.
Example: They found the place with a map.

Theme: Thing or person


perceived by the experiencer.

Check the following grid for a brief summary of the three roles
given:

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They

Agent

the place

Affected

a map

Instrument

Location
The role of location is played by any expression referring to the
place where the action described by a sentence takes place.
Beneficiary
The beneficiary is the person for whose benefit or to whose
detriment the action described by the sentence is carried out. It is usually
assumed that the beneficiary, if mentioned, is distinct from both the agent
and the affected. The following figure gives a better view of the relationship
among: affect, beneficiary, location and agent. This process is illustrated
below:

Source: HUTFORD, HEASLEY and SMITH (2007:249)

Experience
The experiencer is a person who is mentally aware of, perceives,
or experiences the action or state described by the sentence, but who is not
in control of the situation. (experiencer characteristics can also sometimes
be attributed to animals.)
Example: The girls listened to the entire story.
Theme
The theme participant is a thing or person whose location is
described, or a thing or person that is perceived by an experiencer.
Example: The girls listened to the entire story.
The following figure shows the relationship between experiencer
and theme.

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Source: HUTFORD, HEASLEY and SMITH (2007:251)

3.10 SUMMING UP THIS UNIT


We have covered the main concepts related to the definition of
words. First, we briefly discussed the basics concerning the structure of a
dictionary. Then, we called attention on how the semantic information is
represented in the format of a dictionary. Finally, we focused on derivation
and the role played by the participants involved in the construction of
meaning.
You can now do the activities (Atividades de Aprendizagem) at
the end of this booklet.

HURFORD, HEASLEY and SMITH. Semantics: a course book. Cambridge:


Cambridge University Press, 2007.

36

UNIT 4

Interpersonal and non-literal meaning

4.1 INTRODUCTION
In this unit we are going to expand the focus of our previous
discussion on meaning, moving beyond the concepts of sense, reference,
and logic by concentrating on aspects of interpersonal meaning, such
as speech acts and various kinds of inference, including conversational
implicature. This sort of meaning goes beyond literal meaning and
entailment relationships based on truth conditions, and involves aspects of
the context of the utterance and intentions of the speaker.
4.2 SPEECH ACT
Speech acts are the acts that we do with words, such as apologizing,
requesting, asking, inviting and so on. The theory of speech acts came
into being with Austin (1962) who differentiated between sentences that
describe a state of affairs and sentences that can be considered as the
performance of an act. He used the term constative to refer to the former
type of sentences and performative to refer to the latter ones. There are
several taxonomies for classifying speech acts; the following is Searles
(1976) classification of speech acts (also quoted by Levinson, 1983: 240),
who recognizes that this taxonomy is not complete or exhaustive:
1. Representatives - which commit the speaker to the truth of the
expressed proposition (asserting, concluding, etc.);
2. Directives - which are attempts by the speaker to get the
addressee to do something (requesting, questioning);
3. Commissives - which commit the speaker to some future course
of action (promising, threatening, offering);
4. Expressives - which express a psychological state (thanking,
apologizing, welcoming, congratulating);
5. Declarations - which effect immediate changes in the institutional
state of affairs and tend to rely on elaborate extra-linguistic institutions
(excommunicating, declaring war, christening, firing from employment).
4.3 PERLOCUTIONS AND ILLOCUTIONS
Austin (ibid.) points to the existence of three kinds of action within
each utterance:
a) Locution - which is the physical act of producing an utterance;
b) Illocution - which refers to the act which is committed by
producing the utterance;

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c) Perlocution - which is the production of an effect through


locution and illocution.
Taking into account Searles (1976) taxonomy together with
Austins (1962) classification of speech acts, Bach and Harnish (1979:
39-55) develop a taxonomy of speech acts that distinguishes types of
communicative illocutionary acts by the attitudes the speaker expresses in
performing them. This taxonomy presents many types of illocutionary acts
in detail which are classified according to the speakers intentions:
1. Constatives: Expression of belief together with the expression
of an intention that the hearer forms (or continues to hold).
Example: I declare you husband and wife.
b) Directives: Express the speakers attitude towards some
prospective action by the hearer:
Example: I insist that you stay for dinner.
c) Commissives: Are acts of obliging oneself to do something
specified in the propositional context, which may also specify the conditions
under which the deed is to be done or does not to have to be done.
Example: I promise Ill never talk to him again.
d) Acknowledgments: They express certain feelings towards the
hearer:
Example: I would like to congratulate you.
4.4 FELICITY CONDITIONS
He pointed out that performatives, in order to be performed
successfully, require a set of felicity conditions. Thus a felicity condition
is considered the essential appropriate condition for a speech act to be
recognized as intended.
Searle (1969) recognizes four felicity conditions for speech acts:
propositional, preparatory, sincerity and essential. An example from
Levinson (1993: 240) illustrates the conditions needed for the successful
illocution of requests (S = Speaker; H = Hearer):
Propositional content: Future Act A of H
Preparatory: 1. S believes H can do A
2. It is not obvious that H would do A without being asked
Sincerity: S wants H to do A
Essential: Counts as an attempt to get H to do A
Searle states that while the sincerity condition tells us what the
speaker expresses in the performance of the act, the preparatory condition
tells us (at least partially) what the speaker implies in the performance of
the act. Thus, in the performance of any illocutionary act, the speaker
implies that the preparatory conditions of the act are satisfied. For example,
when one makes a statement, there is an implication that one can back

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it up; when one makes a promise, there is an implication that the thing
promised is in the hearers interest (Searle 1969: 65). On the other hand,
Searle acknowledges that the meaning of the sentence determines the
illocutionary force of its utterances (ibid: 143). This relationship between
meaning and form is also highlighted by Sinclairs (1996) study, suggesting
that both the form and force of an utterance are related.
Bach and Harnish (1979) assert that the speaker expresses the
attitude towards the prepositional content as well as the intention that
the hearer has or forms from a corresponding propositional attitude. The
speaker having the attitude expressed is the mark of sincerity, but sincerity
is not required for communicative success; nor is the hearers belief that the
speaker has the attitude expressed. Thus, a communicative illocutionary
act can succeed, even if the speaker is insincere, and even if the hearer
believes he is insincere.
According to Carter and McCarthy (2006), in everyday written
and spoken interactions, there are some speech acts which are performed
with great frequency. Some of the most frequent speech acts mentioned by
Carter and McCarthy (ibid.) are summarized in the following grid:
1. Commands and instructions: Speech acts in which the speaker is in a
position to direct the behavior of the listener, and the listener has little or no
freedom to negotiate the action:
a) Declaratives with you can;
b) Interrogatives with can/ could/ will/ would you. They soften the request or
command;
c) Declaratives with you must: It is used in commands and instructions in
declarative clauses.
2. Requests: Speech acts in which the speaker desires a particular course of
action from the listener, but unlike commands or instructions, the listener has
a choice to act in the way indicated. A request may also be concerned with
asking for permission to act in a particular way.
3. Warnings: Speech acts in which the speaker states his/her perception
of the negative outcome of a particular course of action. The listener may
choose to heed or not the warning.
4. Advice: Speech acts in which the speaker proposes a desirable course
of action for the listener or others, or which may include the speaker him/
herself. The speaker may choose to heed or not the advice.
5. Suggestions: Speech acts in which the speaker proposes a desirable
course of action or a set of options to be considered for the listeners or
others, or which may include the speaker him/herself. The listener may
choose to heed or not the suggestion.
6. Offers: Speech acts in which the speaker volunteers to do something
for the listener (or a third party) or give something to the listener (or a third
party). The listener may accept or reject the offer. Offers may be offers to do
something or offers of physical things (e.g. food, drink).
7. Invitations: Speech acts concerned with offering someone an opportunity
to do or share something (usually pleasurable) with the speaker. The listener
may accept or reject the invitation.
8. Permissions: Speech acts concerned with requesting and granting
freedom for someone to act in a particular way.
9. Prohibitions: Denying freedom of action.

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4.5 DIRECT AND INDIRECT FORM


Direct form
The direct form of an utterance is the illocution indicated by a
literal reading of the grammatical form and vocabulary of the sentence
uttered.
Indirect form
The indirect form of an utterance is any further illocution the
utterance may have.
Examples:
Direct form: Can you pass me the butter?
Indirect form: The indirect illocution is a request that the hearer
pass the salt.
4.6 INFERENCE
An inference is any conclusion that one is entitled to draw from a
sentence or utterance.
4.7 ENTAILMENTS
According to Yule (1996: 25), an entailment is something that
logically follows from what is asserted in an utterance. Check the following
example:
Example: Marys father bought three cows.
The sentence presented is treated as having the entailment that
Marys father bought something. All entailments are inferences, but not all
inferences are entailments, as stated by Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007).
Implicature is another kind of inference, distinct from entailment.
4.8 CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE
Grice (1975:46) affirms that the meaning of a speaker utterance
often conveys more than words literally mean. He develops the theory of
implicature to refer to the process in which the listener, through implicature,
recognizes the meaning of an utterance. He points out that the success of
this process, which he called conversational implicature, depends on the
hearers co-operation. This principle of co-operation involves four maxims:
Quantity
1. Make your contribution as informative as required (for the
current purposes of the exchange);
2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is
required.

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Quality
1. Do not say what you believe to be false;
2. Do not say that, if you do not have adequate evidence.
Relevance
Speech acts: Acts we do with
words;

1. Be relevant.
Manner
1. Avoid obscurity of expression;
2. Avoid ambiguity;
3. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity);
4. Be orderly.
In conversational interaction, the notion of implicature is triggered
when these maxims are not respected. According to Grice (ibid.), the
hearer infers meaning, at some level, from the utterance and from the
divergence from it. The problem regarding this theory is pointed out by
Levinson (1983) and refers to the possibility of having other maxims such
as the tact maxim, acknowledged by Leech (1983), which refers to the
perceived cost-benefit scale in directive and commissive acts. On the other
hand, the maxims are vague, and it is not always easy to determine in all
interactional situations how much information one must convey in order
to respect the maxim of quantity. The maxims also appear to be culturally
specific, presenting degrees of appropriateness which are culturally bound.
Aijmer (1996: 25), referring to the conventionalization of speech, points
out the importance of acknowledging culture (see also Blum-Kulka et al.
1989; Nattinger and DeCarrico 1989; Wierzbicka 1991).Take a look at the
following example:
Example
Charlene: I hope you brought the bread and the cheese.
Dexter: Ah, I brought the bread.
Charlene has to understand, after hearing Dexter utterance, that
Dexter is cooperating and aware of the quantity maxim. Note that he did
not mention the cheese. If he had brought the cheese, he would have said,
because he would be in accordance to the quantity maxim. He must intend
that she understands that what is not mentioned was not brought. Thus,
Dexter has conveyed more than he said via a conversational implicature.
Due to the fact that implicatures are most of the time realized by inferences,
we shall take a look at them.
4.9 NON-LITERAL MEANING: IDIOMS, METAPHOR, AND METONYMY
Introduction:
So far, we have looked at the literal meaning of words which is
related to two basic things:

41

Locution and illocutions: They


refer to the act of producing an
utterance;
Perlocution: Production of
an effect on locution and
illocution;
Felicity conditions: The
essential condition for a speech
act to be recognized;
Direct X indirect forms: A
direct form is the illocution
read literally while the
indirect form corresponds to
further interpretations of that
illocution.
Inference: Further conclusions
people might come to from
sentences or utterances;
Entailments: Logical
interpretations in relation to
any utterances;
Implicature: The process
the listener goes through to
understand an utterance;
Cooperative Principle:
Conversational rules governing
conversation: quantity, quality,
manner and relevance.

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1. The meanings of words and sentences are independent of the


context or occasion;
2. That the meaning of a composite expression is essentially
compositional.
At this stage, you have acquired the basics in the area of traditional
Linguistic semantics. We will now take a look at the semantic phenomena
usually called figurative or non-literal, such as: idiomatic expressions,
metaphor, and metonymy.
Idioms
Moon (1997: 43) states that idioms are a type of multi-word item.
She defines a multi-word item as an item which consists of a sequence
of two or more words. This sequence of words semantically and/or
syntactically forms a meaningful and inseparable unit. According to Moon,
an idiom must have a holistic meaning that cannot be inferred from the
individual meaning of the words that compose it, for example, have an axe
to grind, or prepositional phrases, such as over the top (Moon ibid: 46).
Similarly, Cowie (1975: 8-9) defines an idiom as a combination of two or
more words which function as a unit of meaning.
Example: I get on very well with her.
Meaning: We are good friends.
Metaphor
Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:331) explain that metaphors
are conceptual (mental) operations reflected in human language that enable
speakers to structure and build abstract areas of knowledge and experience
in a more concrete experiential way. According to their view of metaphor,
speakers make use of a familiar area of knowledge, called the source
domain, to understand an area of knowledge that is less familiar, called
the target domain. The source domain is typically understood through our
experience about the physical world around us. See the following examples
about metaphorical expressions taken from Hurford, Heasley and Smith
(2007:330).
Example:
My car is a lemon.
Dr. Judith is a butcher.
In both examples complex and/or abstract areas of knowledge
involving what we know about cars and doctors have been emphasized
in each metaphorical expression by linguistically linking the more abstract
target domains of knowledge about cars and doctors to more particularized
familiar concrete source domains (knowledge about lemons in the fruit

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domain and butchers in the domain of possible professions, respectively)


in order to specify that there is something negative about each (see more
details in Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:331). As (ibid.) acknowledge,
we know from world general knowledge, for example, that lemons are sour
and that butchers can be messy and rough while doing their work. This
knowledge enables us to understand certain negative aspects about cars
and the medical practice in an immediate way via metaphor. Metaphors
can be divided into three types:
Structural Metaphors
They are abstract metaphorical systems in which an entire (typically
abstract) complex mental concept is structured in terms of some other
(usually more concrete) concept.
Example: Our ideas were right on target.
Orientational metaphor
This type of metaphor associates spatial orientation with an abstract
knowledge area. The examples show how human beings understand their
orientation about physical space.
Example: Visiting her boosted my spirits.
Ontological metaphor
One of the main uses of an ontological metaphor is to organize
our understanding of abstract concepts and experiences, such as events,
activities, emotions, ideas, taking into consideration our experience with
objects and substances in the real world.
Example: We have to fight alcoholism for our own good.
Metonymy
As stated by Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:338), metonymy is
a kind of non-literal language in which one entity is used to refer to another
entity that is associated with it in some way. They put forward the idea that
metonymic concepts enable us to conceptualize one thing by means of its
relation to something else.
Example:
The ham sandwich in the next booth is waiting for his bill.
As you can infer, we cannot interpret this example literally, as we
know a sandwich will not wait to get its bill. Such an interpretation would
lead to an anomaly. The possible interpretation for this sentence is that the
person who ordered the ham sandwich is waiting for his bill. Another point
to take into consideration is the place where this sentence was uttered.

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Considering that the sentence was uttered in a caf or restaurant, the


person uttering the sentence would know that there was a close relationship
between the thing ordered and the person who ordered it. Because this
relationship is easy to notice in the context, it is acceptable to refer to the
person through what he has ordered.
Another important characteristic of metonymies is that they can be
subdivided into several subtypes; check the following list.
THE PART FOR THE WHOLE
THE FACE FOR THE PERSON

Idioms: An item consisting of


more than one word forming a
meaningful unit;

PRODUCER FOR PRODUCT


OBJECT USED FOR USER
CONTROLLER FOR CONTROLLED

Metaphors: Conceptual
operations reflected in
human language. When using
metaphors speakers construe
an abstract concept;

INSTITUTION FOR PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE


THE PLACE FOR THE INSTITUTION
THE PLACE FOR THE EVENT

Metonymy: A kind of nonliteral language in which one


entity is associated with a
corresponding one.

Check the example for the institution for the people responsible.
Example: The presidents office has announced his new agenda.
We know for sure that people working closely to the president,
for example, secretaries and assessors were the ones responsible for the
announcement mentioned in the example given.
This section has observed different types of non-literal meaning. We
hope you have found the discussion interesting and helpful. However, we
have to emphasize that the issue of non-literal and interpersonal meaning
is vast and that it would be quite impossible to cover all the instances of
both concepts. Nevertheless, we are sure that now you can expand your
knowledge on semantic meaning making connections to other important
areas.
4.10 SUMMING UP THIS UNIT
We have outlined the characteristics of interpersonal and nonliteral meaning. Before we move on to the activities, you shall take a look at
the reminders, they summarize the main topics covered in this unit. Make
sure that you understand them. Do go back to the unit, if you have doubts
before doing the activities.

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AIJMER, K Conversational routines in English: Convention and Creativity.


New York: Longman, 1996..
BLUM-KULKA, HOUSE, J., KASPER, G. Cross-cultural pragmatics:
requests and apologies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1989.
COWIE, MACKIN & MCCAIG. Oxford Dictionary of Current idiomatic
English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975
LEVINSON, S. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
MOON, R. Fixed Expressions and Idioms in English A Corpus-Based
Approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998.
NATTINGER, J & DECARRICO, Lexical phrases, speech acts and teaching
conversation. In: P.NATION and R.CARTER (Org.). AILA Review 6:
Vocabulary acquisition. Amsterdam: AILA, 1989 p. 118-139
WIERZIBICKA, A. Emotions across languages and cultures: diversity and
universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

45

RESUMO

SUMMARY
Unit 1
In this unit we went through the basic concepts of:
Semantics
Pragmatics
Sentence, utterance and propositions
Meaning in dictionaries
Lexical semantics
Word meaning and sentence meaning
Sense relations (antonomy, homonomy, polysemy, synonomy,
multi-meaning words and ambiguity)
Semantic field
Language variation
Before we move on to the activities, you shall take a look at the
reminders, they summarize the main topics covered in this unit. Make sure
that you understand them. Do go back to the unit, if you have doubts
before doing the activities.
Unit 2
In this unit, we went through these basic concepts:
Reference
Sense
Anaphoric Reference
Cataphoric Reference
Exophoric Reference
Now, it is time to do the activities about Unit II to check your
comprehension and practice it a little more. Go ahead!

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Unit 3
Dicionrio: parte central na descrio de qualquer lngua. A
entrada de um dicionrio apresenta, pelo menos, trs informaes bsicas:
(a) fonolgica: indica como as palavras so pronunciadas; (b) gramatical:
apresenta a organizao das palavras no discurso por meio de sua funo
sinttica; (c) semntica: apresenta informaes sobre o significado das
palavras em contexto de uso.
Propriedades do predicado - simetria X assimetria
A simetria ocorre quando os predicados tm um significado
semelhante. Ex: Joo casado com Maria. Maria casa com Joo.
A assimetria ocorre quando os predicados tm significados
diferentes. Ex: Lucia mais inteligente que Mrcia (no se pode dizer que
Mrcia mais inteligente que Lcia).
Propriedades do predicado reflexividade X irreflexividade
No fenmeno da reflexividade o significado do predicado referese integralmente ao elemento a ele relacionado. Ex:Marta parece mais
alta do que ela mesma.No fenmeno da irreflexividade, o significado do
predicado no est relacionado ao elemento a ele relacionado. H, nesse
caso, um fenmeno de contradio. Ex: Paulo est diferente dele mesmo.
Propriedades do predicado transitividade X intransitividade
A transitividade ocorre quando sentenas compostas so
compatveis umas com as outras. Ex: Mnica est no escritrio dela, que
fica neste prdio. Nesse caso, ambos, Mnica e o escritrio esto no
mesmo local.
A intransitividade ocorre quando sentenas compostas so
incompatveis entre si. Ex: Marta me da Sofia. Nesse caso, no
poderamos dizer que Sofia seja me de Marta.
Derivao (derivation): o fenmeno pelo qual ovas palavras
podem ser foram, a partir de um padro regular, formado por palavras
pr-existentes.
Morfemas (morphemes): so a menor unidade de anlise
morfolgica.
Prefixo (prefix): so formas presas adicionadas ao incio das
palavras e que colaboram para a formao do sentido. Ex: This is
ungrammatical (un- indica negao, formando a palavra nao-gramaticalungrammatical).
Suffix (sufixo): so formas presas, adicionadas ao final das palavras,
e que colaboram para a formao do sentido. Ex: He is careless (less indica
sem, faltando, formando a palavra descuidado- careless)
Tipos de derivao:
Inchoative: tipo de derivao indica o surgimento de um estado.
Ex: The room has enlightened with her presence.

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UAB/Unimontes

Causative: tipo de derivao que indica que a uma determinada


ao causou outra. Ex: The strong wind closed the door.
Resultative: indica o resultado de uma ao. Ex: That window was
broken by the ball.
Compound nouns: representam a combinao entre dois
substantivos pr-existente que forma um terceiro substantivo. Ex: pet-shop.
Participant roles (papis dos participantes)
Agent (agente): pessoa ou coisa responsvel pela ao
representada pelo verbo. Ex: My mother baked the cake. O agente minha
me (my mother), responsvel pela ao de assar.
Affected (afetado): a coisa ou pessoa afetada pela ao. Ex: The
boys broje the window. O ser afetado janela (window), afetada pela ao
de quebrar.
Instrumet (instrumento): o elemento mencionado como meio
pelo qual a ao realizada. Ex: They fond the place with a map. (mapmapa refere-se ao meio pelo qual o local foi encontrado.
Location (localizao): o elemento que indica o local onde uma
ao foi realizada. Ex: They visited London (Eles moram em Londres). In
London (em Londres) indica local.
Beneficiary (beneficirio): indica o ser ou coisa que se beneficiou
ou recebeu a ao verbal. Ex: I gave him the post cards (o termo him-ele
o beneficirio da ao de dar).
Experience (experienciador): indica o ser que experincia a ao
verbal. Ex: The girl listened to the entire story. Nesse caso, a garota (girl)
experienciou a ao de ouvir.
Theme (tema): a coisa ou pessoa experienciada pelo
experienciador na ao verbal. Ex: The girl listened to the entire story.
Nesse caso, a estria (story) o tema.
Unit 4
Speech acts (atos de fala): so atos sociais produzidos por meio
da linguagem verbal. Ex: pedir desculpas, saudar, reclamar, elogiar.
Atos de fala- categorias de anlise
Representativos: so atos de fala em que o falante comprometese com a verdade por ele expressa. Ex: This bag is blue (representa uma
assero sobre um elemento do grupo).
Diretivos: so atos de fala em que o falante compele o outro a
fazer algo por ele. Ex: Come to my room tomorrow.
Comissivos: so atos de fala pelos quais o falante compromete-se
em realizar algo no futuro. Ex: I Will come tomorrow.

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Letras/Ingls

Caderno Didtico - 5 Perodo

Expressivos: so atos de fala pelos quais o falante expressa


um estado psicolgico de agradecimento, elogio, boas-vindas. Ex:
Congratulations! You did a good job.
Declarativos (ou performativo): so atos de fala pelos quais o
uso da linguagem modifica a realidade. Ex: I declare you husband and wife.
Expresses idiomticas (idioms): so uma sequncia de palavras
ou frases que semntica e/ou sintaticamente formam uma nova unidade de
sentido reconhecido pelo falante com base na cultura e no conhecimento
que o falante tem sobre a lngua. Ex: He kicked the bucket (expression que
significa morrer)
Metfora: processo cognitive pelo qual um termo, pertencente
a um determinado campo semntico transferido para outro. O campo
original normalmente referido como fonte (source) e o novo como alvo
(target). Ex: o termo cabea (head) pode ser usado no sentido de parte de
um corpo vivo, como tambm no sentido de principal. Ex: He is the head
of the departmente (Ele o chefe do departamento).
Metonmia: processo pelo qual um elemento conceitualizado
por de outro referente. Ex: O sanduche daquele mesa est aguardando a
conta. O termo sanduche foi utilizado para referir-se o fregus.

50

REFERNCIAS

BSICAS
CHERCHIA, Genaro & McCONNEL, Sally. Meaning and grammar: an
introduction to semantics. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1995.
HURFORD, James R. & HEASTLEY, Brendan. Semantics: a coursebook.
Cambrige:58 CUP, 1998.
LEECH, Geoffrey. Semantics: the study of meaning. 2 ed. London: Penguim
books,1981.
COMPLEMENTARES
AIJMER, K Conversational routines in English: Convention and Creativity.
New York: Longman, 1996..
AUSTIN, J.. How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1962.
CARTER, R.A., and M.J. McCARTHY. The Cambridge Grammar of English:
spoken and written English Grammar and Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2006.
GRICE, H. P. Logic and Conversation. In. P. COLE: J. L. MORGAN. (eds.)
Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts. New York: Academic Press, p. 4158,1975.
HURFORD, HEASLEY and SMITH. Semantics: a course book. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2007.
LEECH, G. 1983. Principles of pragmatics. London: Longman.
LEVINSON, S. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McCARTHY, M.J. 1998. Applied Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
OLIVEIRA, NDIA, A. de. Para ler em ingls: desenvolvimento da
estratgia de leitura. Belo Horizonte: O Lutador, 1988.
SEARLE, J. 1969. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Letras/Ingls

Caderno Didtico - 5 Perodo

YULE, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Example taken from Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:196)
The two grids were taken from Oliveira, Nadia A. (198874-76)
This figure is adapted from Hurford, Heasley and Smith (2007:234)
Example taken from Yule (1996:40)
Compositionality means that a composite expressions meaning is
a function of the literal meaning of the parts of which it is composed.

52

ATIVIDADES DE
APRENDIZAGEM
AA

1) Could the following possibly be used as referring expressions?


Circle the answer of your choice.
1. Mary Yes / No
2. His mother Yes / No
3. However Yes / No
4. The new English teacher Yes / No
5. A baby Yes / No
6. My keys Yes / No
7. Receive Yes / No
8. Above Yes / No
2) Which of the following statements are SENTENCES? Indicate
your answer by circling Yes or No.
1. Do all (authentic) performances of Macbeth begin by using the
same sentence? Yes / No
2. Do all (authentic) performances of Macbeth begin with the
same utterance? Yes / No
3. Does it make sense to talk of the time and place of a sentence?
Yes / No
4. Does it make sense to talk of the time and place of an
utterance? Yes / No
5. Can one talk of a loud sentence? Yes / No
6. Can one talk of a slow utterance? Yes / No

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Letras/Ingls

Caderno Didtico - 5 Perodo

3) Practice Mark each of the following statements true (T) or false


(F).
1. Alive means the opposite of dead. T / F
2. Buy has an opposite meaning from sell. T / F
3. Caesar is and is not a meaningful English sentence. T / F
4. Caesar is a prime number is nonsensical. T / F
5. Caesar is a man is nonsensical. T / F
6. Both of Johns parents are married to aunts of mine is in a sense
contradictory, describing an impossible situation. T / F
7. If the sentence John killed Bill is true of any situation, then so
is the sentence Bill is alive. T / F
8. If someone says, Can you pass the salt?, he is normally not
asking about his hearers ability to pass the salt, but requesting
the hearer to pass the salt. T / F
9. If someone says, I tried to buy some rice, his hearer would
normally infer that he had actually failed to buy rice. T / F
4) What is the semantic relationship between (or among) the
following words: synonymy, antonymy, polyssemy, hyponymy. The first
ones are examples:
couch - sofa SYNONYMY
awake- asleep ANTONYMY
take: grasp,carry POLYSEMY
stand (be on my feet) stand (resist) HOMONYNY
a) stop- go ________________
b) strong /weak ________________
c) do- undo ________________
d) fast- slow ________________
e) mammal- dog, cat, pig, cow________________
f) alive- dead ________________
g) get - obtain, become, buy ________________
h) beginning - debut ________________
i) It is their book - They live there ________________

54

English Semantics

UAB/Unimontes

5) Remember: HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same


and are spelled differently and have different meanings.
Read the sentences below and fill in the gaps with the appropriate
homophone.
Go to www.dictionary.com, if you need any help!
1) Honey comes from the ________ .
Be
Bee
2) I would like a table ______

_________ , please.

Four
fore
for
3) After feeling ill, she got very _______
Pail
pale
4) I dont know ________ he is coming or not.
Weather
whether
5) I never come ________ because I cant ___________ their
voice!
Hear
here
6) There is ________ room available. Do you __________ where
the nearest hotel is?
Know
no
7) She must ___________ the letter ___________now.
Write
right

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Letras/Ingls

Caderno Didtico - 5 Perodo

6) Go to www.dictionary.com and find out the meaning of the


words in bold. Consider the different linguistic contexts in which they
appear. Number one is done for you:
Arm
(noun)

I have a pain in my arm. (part of the body)

Ask
(verb)

You should ask your teacher.

Bachelor
(noun)

Policemen in Japan do not carry any arms.(weapons)

May I ask you a favor?

As a wealthy bachelor, he should have no problem finding


someone to marry him.
It normally takes 4 years to get a bachelors degree.

Ball
(verb)

A soccer ball is 28 inches in circumference.

Bank
(noun)

He works for a bank.

Everyone had a good time at the ball.

Flooding has caused repeated damage to the river bank.

Can
(verb/noun)

Can I drive?

Character
(noun)

Running away from difficulties was not part of his character.

Gas
(noun)

Could I have a can of soda please?

Characters are an essential element of fictional works,


especially novels and plays.

The price of gas is going up as a result of the instability in the


Middle East.
Oxygen is the gas that supports life.

Letter
(noun)

I got a letter from my friend.

Party
(noun)

Ive been invited to a birthday party.

A is the first letter of the alphabet.

Im going to join the liberal party.

56

English Semantics

UAB/Unimontes

7) Remember: synonyms are words which have similar meanings.


Find out the synonyms for the words given. Number them correctly. If you
need any help, try: www.dictionary.com.br

1) polite

silly

2) temper

mood

3) rude

impolite

4) selection

poisoned

5) foolish

choice

6) toxic

well- mannered

7) meeting

infantile

8) childish

assembly

8) Identify the right speech act in the following sentences.


a) I am so sorry I didnt mean to hurt you.
b) I declare you husband and wife.
c) The boss suggested it would be better to change the strategy.
d) Do you ant water or any other thing to drink?
e) Congratulations! You did very well.
9) Match the descriptions with the sentences. You might need to
go back to metonymy.
1. The EU is disappointed with the
poverty rates of some countries.
2. Roads were busy this morning.
3. You need leite moafor this
recipe.
4. This house goes well with parties.

( ) Producer for product.


( ) Institution for people
responsible.
( ) Place for the event.
( ) Thing used for user.

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Letras/Ingls

Caderno Didtico - 5 Perodo

10) Match the words in the box to the sentences with the
corresponding meaning.
Busy, start, a lot of, kind, sad.
Will you be a peach and bring that chair to me?__________
I am up on the walls with so much work.___________
Lets get the ball rolling and finish the work soon. ___________
I feel very low these days.__________
There is a sea of people in front of me.___________

58

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