Semantics


Lexical word structure I

Why are trees often mistaken for dogs? Because of their bark.

Lexical semantics examines relationships among word meanings. It is the study of how the lexicon is organized and how the meanings of lexial items are interrelated. Thus, its principle goal is to build a model for the structure of the lexicon by categorizing the types of relationships between words. The descriptive methods depend upon the particular theory that is used. Under the influence of structuralism, semanticists began to focus on the semantic relations (sense relations) between words. An important semantic theory of the structuralist school is the theory of lexical fields. In the componential analysis of structural semantics, semantic features were used to describe the meaning of lexemes and the inner structure of the lexicon. As a type of general semantic rule, generative semantics introduced meaning postulates to describe semantic relations.


Meaning relations among words
Lexical fields
Semantic components vs. meaning postulates


Exercises on lexical word structure I


Partial synonymy: cab vs. taxi


Source of the picture: wikipedia.org