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Chapter 5 Semantics

I. Decide whether each of the following statements is True or False:

1. Dialectal synonyms can often be found in different regional dialects such as British English and American English but cannot be found within the variety itself, for example, within British English or American English.

2. Sense is concerned with the relationship between the linguistic element and the non-linguistic world of experience, while the reference deals with the inherent meaning of the linguistic form.

3. Linguistic forms having the same sense may have different references in different situations.

4. In semantics, meaning of language is considered as the intrinsic and inherent relation to the physical world of experience.

5. Contextualism is based on the presumption that one can derive meaning from or reduce meaning to observable contexts.

6. Behaviourists attempted to define the meaning of a language form as the situation in which the speaker utters it and the response it calls forth in the hearer.

7. The meaning of a sentence is the sum total of the meanings of all its components.

8. Most languages have sets of lexical items similar in meaning but ranked differently according to their degree of formality.

9. “it is hot.” is a no-place predication because it contains no argument.

10. In grammatical analysis, the sentence is taken to be the basic unit, but in semantic analysis of a sentence, the basic unit is predication, which is the abstraction of the meaning of a sentence.

II. Fill in each of the following blanks with one word which begins with the letter given:

11. S________ can be defined as the study of meaning.

12. The conceptualist view holds that there is no d______ link between a linguistic form and what it refers to.

13. R______ means what a linguistic form refers to in the real, physical world; it deals with the relationship between the linguistic element and the non-linguistic world of experience.

14. Words that are close in meaning are called s________.

15. When two words are identical in sound, but different in spelling and meaning, they are called h__________.

16.R_________ opposites are pairs of words that exhibit the reversal of a relationship between the two items.

17. C ____ analysis is based upon the belief that the meaning of a word can be divided into meaning components.

18. Whether a sentence is semantically meaningful is governed by rules called s________ restrictions, which are constraints on what lexical items can go with what others.

19. An a________ is a logical participant in a predication, largely identical with the nominal element(s) in a sentence.

20. According to the n ____ theory of meaning, the words in a lan-guage are taken to be labels of the objects they stand for.

III. There are four choices following each statement. Mark the choice that can best complete the statement:

21. The naming theory is advanced by ________.

A. Plato                     B. Bloomfield

C. Geoffrey Leech      D. Firth

22. “We shall know a word by the company it keeps.” This statement represents _______.

A. the conceptualist view       B. contexutalism

C. the naming theory             D.behaviourism

23. Which of the following is not true ?

A. Sense is concerned with the inherent meaning of the linguistic form.

B. Sense is the collection of all the features of the linguistic form.

C. Sense is abstract and de-contextualized.

D. Sense is the aspect of meaning dictionary compilers are not interested in.

24. “Can I borrow your bike” _______ “ You have a bike.”

A. is synonymous with           B. is inconsistent with

C. entails                               D. presupposes

25. ___________ is a way in which the meaning of a word can be dissected into meaning components, called semantic features.

A. Predication analysis        B. Componential analysis

C. Phonemic analysis           D. Grammatical analysis

26. “alive” and “dead” are ______________.

A. gradable antonyms              B. relational opposites

C. complementary antonyms    D. None of the above

27. _________ deals with the relationship between the linguistic element and the non-linguistic world of experience.

A. Reference             B. Concept

C. Semantics             D. Sense

28. ___________ refers to the phenomenon that words having different meanings have the same form.

A. Polysemy             B. Synonymy

C. Homonymy          D. Hyponymy

29. Words that are close in meaning are called ______________.

A. homonyms          B. polysemy

C. hyponyms           D. synonyms

30. The grammaticality of a sentence is governed by _______.

A. grammatical rules

B. selectional restrictions

C. semantic rules

D. semantic features

IV. Define the following terms:

31. semantics                   32. sense

33 . reference                   34. synonymy

35. polysemy                    36. homonymy

37. homophones               38. Homographs

39. complete homonyms    40. hyponymy

41.antonymy                     42 componential analysis

43.grammatical meaning     44. predication

45. Argument                    46. predicate

47. Two-place predication

 

V. Answer the following questions:

48. Why do we say that a meaning of a sentence is not the sum total of the meanings of all its components ?

49. What is componential analysis Illustrate it with examples.

50. How do you distinguish between entailment and presupposition in terms of truth values?

51. How do you account for such sense relations between sentences as synonymous relation, inconsistent relation in terms of truth values ?

52. According to the way synonyms differ, how many groups can we classify synonyms into Illustrate them with examples.

53. What are the major views concerning the study of meaning How they differ ?