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Overview

semantics

[Th]

The study of the imputed relations between signs and the designata: the meaning of signs such as may be found in material culture and its disposition.

semantics

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A Dictionary of Computer Science (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

... That part of the definition of a language concerned with specifying the meaning or effect of a text that is constructed according to the syntax rules of the language. See also axiomatic semantics , denotational semantics , interpretation , operational semantics...

semantics

semantics   Reference library

Garner's Modern English Usage (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
23 words

... (the study of the meaning of words and phrases) is construed as a singular <semantics is a subset of linguistics> . Cf. politics . ...

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The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
159 words

...which is shown by the separation of information about language into grammar books and dictionaries. Semantics goes beyond ‘word meaning’ in viewing words as part of a structured system ( 1 ) of interrelationships in clauses and texts . Later versions of Generative Grammar ( 2 ) gave rise to Generative Semantics and interpretive semantics . Another theory is logical semantics , including truth-conditional semantics and model-theoretic semantics . Compare pragmatics . See also field ; meaning...

semantics

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... The philosophical or linguistic study of meanings in language. The semantic aspect of any expression is its meaning as opposed to its...

semantics

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A Dictionary of Media and Communication (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Media studies
Length:
153 words

... 1. ( philosophical semantics ) The study of meaning , including theories of ‘the meaning of meaning’: see also philosophy of language ; sense ; reference ; compare general semantics ; semiotics . 2. (semiotics) The study of the meaning of signs , and of the relationship of sign vehicles to referents . 3. ( linguistic semantics ) A branch of linguistics concerned with the meaning of words and sentences, distinguished from the study of syntax or phonology , and traditionally also from pragmatics —though contemporary theorists...

semantics

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
28 words

... [Th] The study of the imputed relations between signs and the designata: the meaning of signs such as may be found in material culture and its...

semantics

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A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
89 words

... That branch of the study of symbols that deals primarily with the development of the meaning of words. Sometimes viewed as a branch of linguistics , sometimes as a sister discipline, semantics attempts to study the attribution of meaning to words, and how these are combined to produce complex meaningful utterances; the nature of meaning itself; and the difficulties people experience when meaning is confused or distorted. Semantics is a background influence in areas such as, for example, ethnomethodology and post-structuralism . See also Mead ;...

semantics

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A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
145 words

... One of the three branches into which semiotics is usually divided: the study of meaning of words, and the relation of signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable. In formal studies, a semantics is provided for a formal language when an interpretation or model is specified. However, a natural language comes ready interpreted, and the semantic problem is not that of specification but of understanding the relationship between terms of various categories (names, descriptions, predicates, adverbs…) and their meanings. An influential...

semantics

semantics n.   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Psychology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... n . The branch of linguistics devoted to the study of meaning, including concept formation, changes in meaning, and the relationship between linguistic expressions and their meanings. See also case grammar , componential theory , prototype theory...

semantics

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A Dictionary of Cultural Anthropology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Anthropology
Length:
68 words

...semantics The study of linguistic meaning. There are a variety of approaches towards semantics in linguistics; anthropologists have been especially interested in the concept of ‘semantic domain’, which refers to a set of words that belong to a general class that is associated with certain, culturally specific meanings. ‘Componential analysis’, a method associated with ethnoscience , studied the components of semantic domains to understand culture-specific elements of classification ...

semantics

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
68 words

... Branch of linguistics and philosophy concerned with the study of meaning. In historical linguistics, it generally refers to the analysis of how the meanings of words change over time. In modern linguistics and philosophy, semantics seeks to assess the contribution of word‐meaning to the meanings of phrases and sentences, and to comprehend the relationship among and between words and the things they refer to, or stand...

semantics

semantics  

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference

... The branch of linguistics concerned with the study of what words mean. Historically, semantics has dominated the study of language and played a major role in anthropological and other comparative investigations of culture . Its focus on the referential function of language—the question of content or of information communicated, regardless of context—has been challenged by the study of context-dependent or performative dimensions of language, a field generally known as pragmatics . See also componential analysis...

semantics

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Simon Blackburn

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
685 words

... . In Foundations of the Theory of Signs ( 1938 ) C. W. Morris divided the general study of signs ( semiotics ) into three branches. These are syntactics , or the study of the relation of signs to other signs; semantics, or the study of the relation of signs to the things they represent; and pragmatics , or the study of the relation of signs to their users. Semantics is thus the general study of the interpretation of signs , and in particular the interpretation of the sentences and words of languages. Following Carnap , it is commonly divided...

semantics

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
198 words

...to syntax specifically. Of the uses current from the end of the 20th century, many restrict semantics to the study of meaning in abstraction from the contexts in which words and sentences are uttered: in opposition, therefore, to pragmatics . Others include pragmatics as one of its branches. In others its scope is in practice very narrow: thus one handbook of ‘contemporary semantic theory’, in the mid-1990s, dealt almost solely with problems in formal semantics , even the meanings of lexical units being...

semantics

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A Dictionary of the Bible (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion
Length:
84 words

... The examination of what words mean; a form of scholarship much applied to the * Bible in the second half of the 20th cent. Account is taken of the context and situation of words and phrases; the same word may have different connotations in various biblical passages ( elohim , which can mean ‘God’ or ‘gods’, is such a word in Hebrew) or a word may change its meaning as between its being uttered by a * prophet and subsequently incorporated in the book of his...

Semantics

Semantics   Reference library

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
18,984 words
Illustration(s):
6

... . This entry includes the following subentries : Overview Sense, Reference, Denotation, Extension, and Intension Connotation Properties and Relationships Semantic Primitives Semantics and Syntax Prosody and Meaning Formal Semantics Cognitive Semantics Stereotype Semantics Prototype Semantics Overview Semantics is the study and representation of the meaning of every kind of constituent and expression in language, and also the meaning of relationships among them. To say “His frown means he's angry” is to talk about the frown as a sign of anger; however,...

Semantics

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The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Language reference, History of English, Linguistics
Length:
1,964 words

...Semantics . The study of meaning . The term has at least five linked senses: (1) Sometimes semasiology . In linguistics , the study of the meaning of words and sentences, their denotations, connotations, implications, and ambiguities. The three levels or components of a common model of language are phonology, syntax, and semantics. (2) In philosophy, the study of logical expression and of the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences. (3) In semiotics , the study of signs and what they refer to, and of responses to those signs...

formal semantics

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The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

...semantics A kind of logical semantics...

logical semantics

logical semantics   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

...semantics The study of meaning based on logic. Also called formal semantics . See also model-theoretic semantics ; truth-conditional semantics...

interpretive semantics

interpretive semantics   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

...semantics A type of semantics , associated especially with Noam Chomsky and Ray Jackendoff, in which the meaning of sentences is interpreted from syntactic structure (as represented in tree diagrams...

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