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Topic 5: sense Introduction to Semantics
Definition The sense of an expression is its indispensable hard core of meaning. The sum of sense properties and sense relations with other expressions.
Sense properties Analyticity Syntheticity Contradiction
Sense property 1: analyticity The sense of an analytic sentence is necessarily true. Example Bachelors are unmarried.
Sense property 2: syntheticity The sense of an synthetic sentence is either true or false. Example Bachelors don’t know how to form a long-term relationship.
Sense property 3: contradiction The sense of a contradictory sentence is necessarily false. Example Bachelors are married.
Sense properties: note Imperative and interrogative sentences cannot be analytic or synthetic. They cannot be true or false. Example: Are you a student? Halt!
Sense Relations similarity synonymy Paraphrase/ proposition dissimilarity hyponymy antonymy Contradiction/ proposition Ambiguity Lexical ambiguity Structural ambiguity Binary/ complementary homonym converses polysemy gradable
Sense relations: similarities Synonymy Paraphrase Hoponymy
Synonymy and paraphrase Synonymy/synonym The relationship between two predicates with the same sense Paraphrase Two sentences share the same proposition.
Hyponymy/hyponym The meaning of one predicate is included in the meaning of the other predicate. Red, crimson, scarlet
Sense relations: dissimilarity Antonymy/antonym Contradictory propositions
Antonymy: binary antonyms Binary/complementary antonyms Two predicates with two totally incompatible truth values. If A is true, it cannot be false. Alive-dead
Antonymy: Converses The opposite relationship of the two predicates is not semantically absolute (i. e. , not binary/ complimentary). The oppositeness is based on the relationship of the two predicates Buy-sell
Antonymy: gradable antonyms There are semantic values on the continuous semantic scale. Hot-cold Always-(often)–(sometimes)-(seldom)never
Sense relations (3): ambiguity Lexical ambiguity When a word has more than one sense Structural ambiguity When a sentence has two or more paraphrases.
A word/phrase is ambiguous If it has two or more synonyms that are not themselves synonyms of each other. Plane Airplane Flat surface
Types of word ambiguity Homonym Polysemy
Homonym The senses of a predicate are remotely or unlikely related to each other. Bank Financial institution The side of a river
Polysemy The senses of a predicate are closely related conceptually. The extension of semantic concepts. Fork
Structural ambiguity Multiple paraphrases of a sentence The chicken is ready to eat The chicken wants to eat something. We eat the chicken.
Example The boy left Mary with a broken heart.
S NP Det VP N NP V N PP P The boy left Mary with NP a broken heart
S NP Det VP N V NP PP P NP N The boy left Mary with a broken heart