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自考英语语言学Chapter 5 Semantics


Chapter 5 Semantics 语义学 一、本章纲要

Chapter 5 Semantics 1. What is semantics? 2. Some views concerning the study 2.1 The naming theory 2.2 The conceptualist view 2.3 Contextualism 2.4 Behaviorism 3. Lexical meaning 3.1 Sense and reference 3.2 Major sense relations 3.2.1 Synonymy 3.2.2 Polysemy 3.2.3 Homonymy 3.2.4 Hyponymy 3.2.5 Antonymy
4. Sense relations between sentences

5. Analysis of meaning 5.1 Componential analysis—a way 5.2 Predication analysis—a way to 二、本章重点 1. What is semantics? 什么是语义学 A study of meaning in language 2003 填空)Linguists cannot agree among themselves as to what ( . meaning is. Philosophers are interested in understanding the relations between linguistic

expressions and the phenomena in the real word they refer to and in evaluating the conditions of truth and falsehood of such expressions. Psychologists focus their interest on understanding the human mind through language. 2. Some views concerning the study of meaning 2.1 The naming theory 命名论(2005 单选;2007 名词解释) It is one of the oldest notions concerning meaning, and also a very primitive one, proposed by Greek scholar Plato. According to his theory, the linguistic form of symbols, in other words, the words used in a language are taken to be labels of the objects they stand for. So words are just names or labels for things. 命名论是最原始的语义理论,由古希腊学者柏拉图提出。 该理论 把词看作是该词所指事物的名称或标记。 The limitation: 1) applicable to nouns only; 2) within the category of nouns, there are nouns which denote things that do not exist or abstract notions. 这一理论的缺点是显而易见:首先,这一理论 似乎只适用于名词,即使在名词类中,一些名词指的显然是世界中根本不存在的事物,有些 是指一些抽象的概念,所以它们也就无所谓是指称事物的标记;其次,动词、形容词和副词 那些显然不是事物的标记的词。 2.2 The conceptualist view 意念论(2008 名词解释) In the interpretation of meaning, a linguistic form and what it refers to are linked through the mediation of concepts in the mind (no direct links). 意念论认为词汇与该词汇所指的事物之 间的关系不是直接的,而是间接的,其中介是存在于人的头脑中的意念或概念, 词汇通过 意念来指称事物, 意念便是词汇的意义。 This theory avoids many of the problems the naming theory has met, but it also raises a completely new problem of its own: what is precisely the link between the symbol and the concept? Ogden 和 Richards 所提出的语义三角理论就是对这一理论的最好解释。

(直线表示两者之间有直接联系,虚线表示两者之间无直接联系。) 这一理论的主要缺点是人们并不清楚符号与概念或意念之间到底有什么精确的联系。 有的学 者认为这种联系是一种心理活动过程.但问题是人们在遇到一个命名标记时,事实上,人们 并不需要看到它们在脑海里形成的意象。 2.3 Contextualism (语境论)(2004 判断) Contextualism is based on the presumption that one can derive meaning from or reduce (归纳)

meaning to observable contexts. Two kinds of context are recognized: the situational context and the linguistic context. 语境论认为语言的意义来自语境,取决于语境。语境一般分为:情景 语境和语言语境。 Every utterance occurs in a particular spatiotemporal situation (时空情景), of which the main components include, apart from the place and time of the utterance, the speaker and the hearer, the actions they are performing at the time, the various objects and events which exist in the situation. The linguistic context, known as co-text, is concerned with the probability of a word’s co-occurrence or collocation with another word, which forms part of the ‘meaning’ of the word, i.e. its collocative meaning. It is also concerned with the part of text that precedes and follows a particular utterance. 情景语包括时空环境,交际的参与者,当时的行为活动,环境中的相关 物体等。 语言语境包括词之间的共现或搭配。 这种共现和搭配构成了这个词的语义的一部分。 例如在 black hair(黑发)和 black coffee(不加牛奶的清咖啡)中,black 词义的不同是它的 搭配不同所致。语言语境也包括一个特定话语的上下文。 “By regarding words as acts, events, habits, we limit our inquiry to what is objective in the group life of our fellows” and “We shall know a word by the company it keeps” - British John Firth “Language should be treated as a mode of action, not an instrument of reflection.” – Malinowski “For a large class of cases …the meaning of a word is its use in the language” - Wittgenstein 2.4 Behaviorism 行为主义论 Behaviorists like Bloomfield 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”, which is somehow close to contextualism and linked with psychological interest. Bloomfield 以行为主义 心理学为基础提出了语义的行为主义论。Bloomfield 认为语义存在于情景中,存在于说话 人所说的话在听话人身上引起的反应的情景之中。 Jill Jack S - - - - r………………….s - - - R (stimulus, response) 3. Lexical meaning 词汇意义 3.1 Sense and reference 意义和所指 Sense is concerned with the inherent meaning of the linguistic form. It is the collection of all the features of the linguistic form; it is abstract and de-contextualized.(2001 名词解释;2004 填 空;2007 判断) Reference means what a linguistic form refers to in the real, physical word; it deals with the relationship between the linguistic element and the non-linguistic word of experience. (2001,35 名词解释;2004,15 填空) Obviously, linguistic forms with the same sense may have different references in different situation. On the other hand, linguistic forms with the same reference might differ in sense, such as “morning star” and “evening star”. (**)(2001,判断) 意义和所指是词汇意义的两个侧面,彼此既有联系,又有差异。 意义(sense)是词汇抽象的、 内在的、 独立于语境之外而存在的意义。 这种意义通常是词典编撰人员所关心的。 例如: "boy" 在字典中被定义为" a male child, till puberty or young manhood. "这里, “男孩”并不指任何现

实世界中具体的男孩,任何一种具有定义特征的人都可称为“男孩” 。 所指是词汇在特定的语境中所指称的具体事物。 它是关于语言与非语言的客观世界之间的关 系。例如:“The boy is crying.”在这个例子中, “boy”一定是有所指的,特指一个交际 活动中交际者都知道的那个“男孩” 。这就是在这个特定的交际情景中“男孩”的所指。 意义(sense)相同的词在不同语境中所指可能会不同,例如: I saw a boy at the gate yesterday. I saw a man beating a boy in front of the house. 另一种情况是词的所指意义可能相同,但是意义却不同,例如:morning star 和 evening star 意义是不同的,但是所指是相同的,都指“金星”。 3.2 Major sense relations 主要的意义关系 3.2.1 Synonymy 同义现象 Synonymy refers to the sameness or close similarity of meaning. Words that are close in meaning are called synonyms. English is rich in synonyms for historical reasons. Because of their different origins between native words and borrowed (loan) words, there are often subtle differences between these synonyms. Synonyms that are mutually substitutable under all circumstances are called complete synonyms, which are rare. As per the way they differ, they can be in 5 types: 同义现象指意义的相同或相近现象。由于历史的原因,大量的外来词加入本族语,使得英语 中富含同义词。 在任何语境中都可以相互替代的绝对同义词十分罕见。 绝大多数同义词之间 存在着语义上的微妙差异。同义词通常分为五类: 1) Dialectal synonyms – synonyms which are used in different regional dialects (e.g. BE, AmE) 方言同义词 方言同义词是指在语义上相同或相近的词,但是用在不同的方言之中,如: British English Picture Ill Engine Post American English Movie Sick Motor Mail

即使在美国英语或英国英语内部也存在方言同义词。 (2004,单选) 2) Stylistic synonyms – synonyms which differ in style (or degree of formality) 文体同义词 在文体或使用正式程度上相异的同义词是文体同义词。例如: begin commence

ask, question, interrogate fear, terror, trepidation gee-gee, horse, steed

3) Synonyms that differ in their emotive or evaluative meaning 表情意义或评价意义相异的同 义词 The emotion of the user indicates the attitude or bias of the user toward what he is talking about. 有些同义词有着相同的所指意义,但是表达了不同的情感。例如 “small” 和“little”是同 义词,但是“small”是中性词,不含有情感语义色彩,而“little”却蕴涵浓厚的情感色彩,是比 较: Poor little boy! * Poor small boy! (不自然) 4) Collocational synonyms 搭配同义词 有些词是同义词,但是搭配不同,如:a flock of, a pack of, a herd of a swarm of , a school of, 它们搭配如下: A flock of sheep A pack of wolves A herd of cows A swarm of bees A school of whales 5) Semantically different synonyms, e.g. amaze, astound; escape, flee 语义相异的同义词 一些同义词在语义上略有差异,例如 rage, fury, indignation 在语义上与 anger 相近, 但是 rage 暗含“情感的失控” ; fury 是这几个词中语义强度最强的词,暗含“情感的失控 到了几乎疯狂的程度” indignation 暗含“由于道义上的原因引起的愤怒。 ; ” 3.2.2 Polysemy 多义现象 Polysemy refers to the fact that the same one word have more than one meaning. A word having more than one meaning is called a polysemic word. (primary meaning → new meaning) 多义现象是指同一个词有一个以上的意义。以 neck 为例,它的意思有: (1) that part of an animal which joins the head to the body (2) the part of a garment that goes around the neck (3) a narrow stretch of land (4) a strait (5) the lower part of a capital 从历史的角度看,多义现象是词义的发展的结果。 3.2.3 Homonymy 同音同形异义关系 (2002 单选;2005 名词解释)Homonymy refers to the phenomenon that words having different meanings have the same form, i.e. different words are identical in sound or spelling, or in both. When two words are identical in sound, they are called homophones. When two are identical in spelling, they are homographs. (2008,单选) When two are identical in both sound and spelling, they are complete homonyms. On how to differentiate same polysemic word (related meanings) and two complete homonyms (meaning

quite different), we refer to etymology of words in question. (2006,判断) 3.2.4 Hyponymy 上下义关系 (2003 名词解释)Hyponymy refers to the sense relation between a more general, more inclusive word and a more specific word. (2002 填空)The word which is more general in meaning is called the superordinate, and the words which are more specific in meaning are called its hyponyms. (2006 名词解释)Hyponyms of the same superordinate are cohyponyms to each other. 3.2.5 Antonymy 反义关系 Antonymy refers to the oppositeness of meaning. Such words are called antonyms. 1) Gradable antonyms 可分等级的反义词 Some antonyms are gradable because there are often intermediate forms between. 2) Complementary antonyms(互补性反义词) (2001 填空;2007 名词解释) Being complementary to each other, the denial of one implies the assertion of the other. 3) Relational opposites 关系反义词 Pairs of words that exhibit the reversal of a relationship between the two terms. 4. Sense relation between sentences 1) X is synonymous with Y (if X is true, Y is true, and if X is false, Y is false)同义关系 2) X is inconsistent with Y (if X is true, Y is false, and if X is false, Y is true)语义对立(2006 填空) 3) X entails Y (Y is an entailment of X)Y 是 X 的蕴含(2003 单选) Entailment is a relation of inclusion. If X entails Y, the meaning of X is included in Y): (1) If X is true, Y is necessarily true. (2) If X is false, Y maybe true and false (3) If Y is false, X is false e.g. X: He has been to France; Y: He has been to Europe. 4) X presupposes Y. (Y is a presupposition of X) (Y 是 X 的预设) (1) If X is true, Y must be true (2) If X is false, Y is still true. (3) If Y is true, X is either true or false. (4) If Y is false, non truth value can be said about X e.g. X: John’s bike need repairing; Y: John has a bike. 5) X is a contradiction (invariably false) X 自相矛盾 e.g. My unmarried sister is married to a bachelor. 6) X is semantically anomalous (语义变异)(absurd as it presupposes a contradiction): e.g. The table has bad intentions. 5. Analysis of meaning 意义分析 5.1 Componential analysis – a way to analyze lexical meaning 语义成分分析(2004,42 问答)

Componential analysis is a way proposed by structural semanticists to analyze word meaning (2007 填空). (2005 填空) This approach is based on the belief that the meaning of a word can be divided into meaning components, which are called semantic features. Plus and minus signs are used to indicate whether a certain semantic feature is present or absent in the meaning of a word, and these feature symbols are usually written in capitalized letters. For example, the word “man” is analyzed as consisting of semantic features of +HUMAN, +ADULT, +ANIMATE, +MALE. One advantage is to show how the words are related in meaning. It is senseless to analyze the meaning of every word by dividing it into its meaning components. 5.2 Predication analysis – a way to analyze sentence meaning 述谓结构分析 1) The meaning of a sentence is not the sum total of the meanings of all its components. 2) There are two aspects in sentence meaning: grammatical meaning (grammaticality, grammatical well-formedness) and semantic meaning (governed by selectional restrictions, which are constraints on what lexical items can go with what others). 在分析句子的意义之前,有两点应该明确: 1)一个句子的意义并不是它所有组成部分意义的总和。 一个句子的意义不能通过把组成它的 所有单词的意义的相加来得出。 2)句子的意义包含两个方面:语法意义(grammatical meaning)和语义(semantic meaning)。一 个句子的语法意义是指它的语法性。 The grammatical meaning of a sentence refers to its grammaticality, i.e., its grammatical well-formedness. The grammaticality of a sentence is governed by grammatical rules of the language. (2008 名词解释)一个句子的语义是否可接受受选择性限制规则的支配。语法性 受语言的语法规则的支配。 (2007 单选)选择性限制规则是对词的结合或搭配进行限制的规则,以确保语义的可接受 性。符合语法的句子并不一定就是语义可接受的句子。例如: *The brown concept jumps sympathetically. Some sentences may be grammatically well-formed, i.e., they comply perfectly with the grammatical rules of the language, yet they may not be semantically meaningful. The reason is that they contain words which are not supposed to go together, thus violating the selectional restrictions. (2002,35 名词解释) Proposed by British G. Leech, the basic unit in semantic analysis of a sentence is called predication, which is the abstraction of the meaning of a sentence. A predication consists of argument(s)(论元) (logical participant and generally identical with the nominal element) and predicate (谓语) (something that is said about an argument or it states the logical relation linking the arguments). Grammatical form of a sentence does not affect its semantic predication. Predicate is the main element. 述谓分析是由 Leech 提出的一种分析句 子语义的手段。句子由主语、谓语构成,是语法分析的基本单位。述谓是句子语义分析的基 本单位,是句子的抽象语义内容。述谓是由论元(argument)和谓词(predicate)构成。 一个论 元是一个述谓的逻辑参与者, 与一个句子中的一个或数个名词性成分大体一致。 一个谓词是 关于论元的陈述,或说明一个句子的论元间的逻辑关系。例如: He jumped. 是由论元 He 和 谓词 jump 构成,写作:HE(JUMP)。由于句子的语法形式不影响述谓,所以以下句子具有 同样的述谓 HE( JUMP).:

He jumps. He is jumping. He will jump. He has been jumping. Did he jump? According to the number of arguments contained in a predication, predications may be classified into: two-place predication (containing two arguments), one-place argument (one) and no-place argument (no argument). 根据一个述谓中所包含的论元的数目可以把述谓结 构分为一位述谓结构(含一个论元) 、二位述谓结构(含两个论元)和空位述谓结构(不含 论元) Children like sweets. ( two-place predication) 写作:CHILDREN, SWEET(LIKE) John is ill. (one-place predication) 写作:JOHN(BE ILL) It is hot.(no-place predication) 写作:(BE HOT) “It is hot”是关于气象方面的话。由于 it 没有独立于谓词之外的意义,很难说 it 表达成 分是论元。It 的意义很容易预测,人们不会提出一个回答是 it 的问题,如: What is hot? * It! 所以,”It is hot.”是空位述谓结构。 在述谓结构中,谓词是主要成分,因为它包含了时态、形态等,也可以说它制约着论元, 因为它决定了论元的数量和性质。 成分分析和述谓分析结合起来可以帮助我们来描述句子的 大部分意义。 三、本章历年试题 I. Directions: Read each of the following statements carefully. Decide which one of the four choices best completes the statement and put the letter A, B, C, or D in the brackets. (2%×10=20%) 5. Predication analysis is a way to analyze _______ meaning. A. phoneme B. word C. phrase D. sentence 5. The phenomenon that words having different meanings have the same form is called ______. A. polysemy B. hyponymy C. antonymy D. homonymy 5. “I bought some roses” __________ “I bought some flowers”. A. entails B. presupposes C. is inconsistent with D. is synonymous with 5. Synonyms are classified into several kinds. The kind to which“girl”and“lass” belong is called ( ) synonyms. A. stylistic B. dialectal C. emotive D. collocational . 5. The naming theory was proposed by A. the Greek scholar Plato B. C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards C. the British linguist J. Firth D. the American linguist L. Bloomfield 5.Antonyms are divided into several kinds .Which of the following is NOT a kind of antonyms?

( ) A.complementary B.relational C.superordinate D.gradable 6.In terms of predication analysis , the utterance“ Is it going to snow this afternoon?” is a______________( ) A.one-place predication B.two-place predication C.three-place predication D.no-place predication 5. Whether a sentence is semantically meaningful is governed by rules called _______________. A. selectional restrictions B. grammatical rules C. phrase structure rules D. phonological rules 5. The words stationary and stationery are identical in sound, but different in spelling and meaning. They are _______.( ) A. complete homonyms B. homographs C. hyponyms D. homophones II. Directions: Fill in the blank in each of the following statements with one word, the first letter of which is already given as a clue. Note that you are to fill in ONE word only, and you are not allowed to change the letter given. (1% ×10=10%) 15. Componential analysis is based on the belief that the meaning of a word can be dissected into features. meaning components, called s analysis is based upon the belief that the meaning of a word can be divided into 15. C meaning components. 15. Pairs of words that exhibit the reversal of a relationship between the two items are called r_______ opposites. 15. R is what a linguistic form refers to in the real world; it is a matter of the relationship between form and the reality. 15. The study of the linguistic meaning of words, phrases, and sentences is called s . 15. That the denial of one member of two words implies the assertion of the other is the characteristic of c________ antonyms. 15. In terms of truth condition, if X is true, Y is false, and if X is false, Y is true. The relationship between X and Y is i_________________ 16. Hyponymy is the relationship which obtains between specific and general lexical items. The word that is more general in meaning is called _s________. III. Directions: Judge whether each of the following statements is true or false. Put a T for true or F for false in the brackets in front of each statement. If you think a statement is false, you must explain why you think so and then give the correct version. (2%×10=20%) 25. ( ) A grammatically well-formed sentence is always semantically well-formed. ( )25. Linguistic forms having the same sense may have different references in different situations while linguistic forms with the same reference always have the same sense. 25. ( ) The predication analysis of a sentence only applies to statements and interrogative forms. 25. ( ) Sense and reference are of the same thing in meaning study. 25. ( ) The conceptualist view of meaning holds that there is no direct link between a symbol and reference, i.e. between language and thought. 25. ( ) The important criteria to distinguish polysemy from homonymy are the etymology of

the words in question and the closeness of the relationship between the meanings in question. 25. ( ) The contextualist view of meaning holds that meaning should be studied in terms of the situational context and linguistic context. 25. ( )The same semantic feature occurs in one part of speech only. For example, "female" occurs only in nouns such as "mother", "woman" "girl" "tigress" and so on but not in other parts of speech. IV. Directions: Explain the following terms, using one or two examples for illustration. (3% ×10=30%) 35. reference 36. semantic triangle 37. grammatical meaning 34. co-hyponyms 35. predication 35. homonymy 35. grammaticality 35. recursiveness 36. the naming theory 37.complementary antonyms V. Directions: Answer the following questions. (10%×2=20%) 42. Explain and give examples to show in what way componential analysis is similar to the analysis of phonemes into distinctive features. 42.Explain what is sense and what is reference with examples.


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