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Semantics and Pragmatics & Discourse Analysis

An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics & Discourse Analysis by Amanda Fragata and Alex Guitar

Amanda Fragata

on 19 April 2016

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Transcript of Semantics and Pragmatics & Discourse Analysis

Semantics and Pragmatics
& Discourse Analysis By: Amanda Fragata and Alex Guitar ...students of Discourse, Self & Coolness... Semantics & Pragmatics Discourse Analysis Pragmatics Meaning Semantic
Features Presupposition Lexical
Relations Speech Acts Context Deictic
Expressions (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr Pragmatics : Speaker's meaning What's all this about meaning? There is no preordained connection between a word used in a language and an object in the world Words cannot mean what we choose for them to mean ex- one cannot say "That binder is purple" and choose for it to mean "The dog was barking" ex- "pencil" is used by English speakers to describe what you are writing with; terms are arbitrary Conceptual Meaning Associative Meaning the basic, literal and essential components of a word ex- needle = thin, sharp, steel, instrument stylistic meaning, based on connotations ex- needle = painful An example: The laundry washed the boy. N V N The noun which can be the subject of the verb "washed" must be able to wash This sentence has good syntax but is semantically odd Feature Analysis Table asks a "yes" or "no" question about a noun (indicated by a +/-) animate



adult table cow girl woman boy man Then we can predict: ex- The _____ is reading a book. N (+ human) Semantics :description of
word & sentence meaning Semantics Synonymy Antonymy Hyponymy even more characterizing words in terms of other words rather than in terms of its component features Lexical Relations: ex- a rose is a kind or type of flower two words with very closely related meanings
often interchangeable in sentences (substitute)
same meaning, but not completely the same ex- hide-conceal, answer-reply,
almost-nearly Gradable Non-Gradable two forms of a word with opposite meanings ex- young-old, dead-alive, big-small Gradable antonyms can be used in comparative construction ex- the pair big-small can be modified to bigger than-smaller than the negative of one member of the pair does not necessarily mean the opposite Non-gradable antonyms are complementary pairs ex- dead-alive One cannot be deader or more dead, either you are or you are not when the meaning of one word is included within the meaning of another word ex- rose-flower, dog-animal, potato-vegetable think hierarchy- a potato is a vegetable is a plant is a living thing, and so on two or more terms which share the same higher-up are co-hyponyms ex-dog and horse are co-hyponyms of the superordinate (higher-up) term animals Homophony Homonymy Polysemy two or more written words that have the same pronunciation ex-bare-bear, meat-meet, pail-pale one form of a word has two or more unrelated meanings ex- bank (of a river)-bank(where you put your money), pupil, mole multiple words with related meanings that have an identical form ex- head (on your shoulders, of a department), foot (mountain, person, bed), run (people, water) ex- "Fall Baby Sale" Linguistic Context (co-text) Physical Context the set of other words used in the sentence or phrase give away a word's meaning the "physical" location influences interpretation ex- "I have to get to the bank to cash a check" ex- The word "school" printed on a building indicates that it is an academic institution, not a group of fish that, they, now, here, tomorrow words that "point" to something nonsensical unless immediate physical context is given what a speaker assumes is true or general knowledge of the reader/listener ex- lawyers us presuppositions when interrogating; "Where did you buy the drugs?" by answering where the accused implies that the presupposition was correct To check if a presupposition is being made-
negate a sentence and consider if the presupposition is still true ex- My car house is a mess/My house is not a mess. In both instances there is a presupposition that you own a house how the speaker intends for us to
understand what he or she means speech act covers "actions" such as "requesting," "questioning," "informing" and "commanding" Forms Functions Did you eat the food?
Eat the food (please).
You ate the food. Question
Command (request)
Statement Indirect Direct Did he...? Are they...? Can you...?
used to ask a question a request in the form of a question Language-users can cope with incorrect form or fragments. Ex. Newspaper head line reads "Trains Collide, Two Die" Ties and Connections within text "Making Sense" of what you read or hear Ex. "No shoes, No service Background knowledge is often needed to make sense of conversation : assumptions made about the text that fit into schemata (conventional knowledge structure) The way we communicate is based on vast amounts of background knowledge Discourse Analysis: Coherence Interpreting Discourse
Rules or Patterns Characterizing Connected Speech Background Information Speech Events Conversational Interaction there is great variation in what people say and do under different circumstances Participants take turns waiting for each other to finish speaking and inject their own communication. at a completion point Rudeness can be characterized by not waiting for conversational completion points. Shyness can be characterized by not interjecting frequently at these conversational completion points. Cohesion Sally: That's the telephone
Joe: I'm in the shower
Sally: Okay Co-operative
Principal participants move in a common conversational direction 1. Quantity: say only what is required
2. Quality: support with evidence
3. Relation: be relavant
4. Manner: clear, brief & organized is additional conveyed meaning ex- "Are you coming to the party?" "I've got an exam tomorrow" Implicature ex- "John was on his way to school last Friday. He was really worried about the math lessons" Inference Thanks for watching!
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