Semantics


Structure-oriented semantics:

The meaning of words and sentences

'Mine is a long and sad tale!' said the Mouse, turning to Alice and sighing. 'It is a long tail, certainly,' said Alice, looking with wonder at the Mouse's tail, 'but why do you call it sad?'

Lewis Carroll (1865), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The kind of semantic analysis that defines and analyses meaning from a predominantly language-internal perspective is called structural semantics, as its descriptive methods are based on the basic principles of structuralism. According to this perspective, the meaning of a word cannot be described in isolation, but it is a function of its relations to other words in the vocabulary. Additionally, the whole meaning of a word is constituted by smaller semantic elements (semantic features). With the objective of examining problems concerning sentence semantics, lexically oriented structuralist semantics was expanded with the development of generative grammar. This includes certain aspects of context-sensitivity that lexical items may exhibit.


Lexical word structure I
Context-sensitive lexical structure I (advanced)
Sentence semantics (advanced)


Exercises on structure-oriented semantics


Source of the picture: wikipedia.org
Polysemy: mouse vs. mouse