Key Terms in Semantics by M. Lynne Murphy

By M. Lynne Murphy

Covers the main phrases, ideas, thinkers and texts in semantics that scholars in linguistics and language reports will encounter.

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Covers the major phrases, thoughts, thinkers and texts in semantics that scholars in linguistics and language experiences will come upon.

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Many languages make a distinction between proximal and distal spatial deixis. Hence this book refers to a book that is closer to the speaker than that book. Temporal deixis relates to the time of the utterance. g. today, now, then). Since TENSE expresses the relation of a situation to time (now, before now or after now), it can also be viewed as GRAMMATICALIZED expression of temporal deixis. PERSON deixis relies on the identity of the speaker and the addressee and is typically expressed by personal pronouns such as I, we, you or they.

Connotation 44 Connotation The term connotation generally refers to aspects of meaning that do not contribute to the DENOTATION of an expression. In other words, connotations are semantic associations of an expression that do not change the EXTENSION or range of possible referents of that expression. For instance, child and kid (in their human offspring senses) refer to the same range of people, but using one rather than the other may lead to a different mental picture for the following contexts: Gus is a good child.

The positive form, such as happy, can be said to be inherently comparative, in that this happiness is measured in relation to some neutral emotional state (see SCALE). The comparative compares two explicit ARGUMENTS, in these examples, ‘him’ and ‘me’. The superlative is comparison of one thing to all others. Negative versions of the comparative and superlative are also available: less happy and least happy. Comparison can also be effected for noun quantities (I have more cakes than he does; I have the most cakes) and the STATES and EVENTS described by verbs.

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