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SEMASIOLOGY IN THE STUDY OF MEANING
1. Meaning as a Linguistic Notion.
2. Semasiological and Onomasiological Approaches to Meaning.
The Process of Nomination.
3. Types of Meaning.
4. Aspects of Lexical Meaning.
Key words:semasiology, sound-form, concept, referent, meaning, sense, distribution, referential or analytical definition, functional or contextual definition, operational or information-oriented definition, polysemy, onomasiological approach, semasiological approach, nominator, denotatum, grammatical meaning, lexical meaning, lexico-grammatical meaning, denotative aspect, connotative aspect, pragmatic aspect, emotive charge, evaluation, expressiveness, imagery
1. Give possible interpretations of the sentences paying special attention to the italicized words. State the difference between meaning of the italicized words and sense which these words lend to the whole utterance or the situation.
Model:I won’t go further, I am afraid of the dog ahead. Don’t worry. To all appearances, it
won’t bite, it is just barking.
1. The discreet door was shut with a bang. 2. She failed to buy an expensive little box and she felt a strange pang. 3.1 turned to my friend but he had gone to the house and was leaning against it with his face to the wall. 4. Rosemary brought the beggar to her luxurious apartment. She helped the girl off with her coat. But what was she to do with it now? Rosemary left the coat on the floor. 5. She didn‟t dine with them. She insisted on leaving. 6. He got up from his chair, but he was moving slowly, like an old man. He put the newspaper down very carefully, adjusting its creases with lingering fingers. They were trembling a little. 7. He felt that he had behaved badly in losing his temper while she had so admirably controlled hers. He sought for a crushing phrase, some final intimidating repartee. But before that (the phrase) came
she closed quietly the door in his face. 8. The girl went to her father and pulled his sleeve. 9. He was longing to begin to be generous. 10. She was a resigned little woman with shiny red hands and work-swollen finger knuckles.
2. Analyze the given expressions and answer the question: what characteristics of the lion and the oak not reflected in the denotatum are proper to the concepts about these objects?
1) a lion-hunter; to have a heart like a lion; to feel like a lion; to roar like a lion; to lionize someone; to beard the lion in his den; to be thrown to the lions; the lion‟s share; to put one‟s head in lion‟s mouth;
2) great/mighty oaks from little acorns grow; a heart of oak; oaks may fall
when reeds stand the storm.
3. Group the following words into three columns in accordance with the sameness of their 1) grammatical; 2) lexical; 3) part-of-speech meaning.
Boy‟s, nearest, at, beautiful, think, man, drift, wrote, tremendous, ship‟s, the most beautiful, table, near, for, went, friend‟s, handsome, thinking, boy, nearer, thought, boys, lamp, go, during.
4. Identify the denotational and connotational aspects of lexical meaning of the given words. Analyze the similarity and difference between the components of the connotational aspect of lexical meaning in the given pairs of words.
Model:celebrated – notorious
To deal with – to grapple with, sophisticated – hardened, adventure – ordeal, perfect – flawless, to glance – to glare, adulation – respect, ugly – repulsive, to murmur – to mutter.
5. State what image underlies the meaning of the italicized verbs. Give the meanings of these verbs.
Model:I heard what she said, but it didn’t sink into my mind until much later.
The meaning of the verb sink is based on the image of ‘something going down below the surface or to the bottom of a liquid or soft substance’.
Sink into means ‘to be gradually understood and accepted by (one’s mind)’.
1. You should be ashamed of yourself, crawling to the director like that. 2. The crowd fired questions at the speaker for over an hour. 3. Even though divorce is legal, it is still frowned upon. 4. I take back my unkind remarks, I see that they were not justified. 5. Ideas were flying about in the meeting. 6. The children seized on the idea of camping in the mountains, and began making plans. 7. I was following the man when he dived into a small restaurant and I lost track of him. 8. You might catch him in about 11 o‟clock. 9. I should imagine that the President was glad to lay down his office. 10. Why are you trying to pin the blame on me?
6. State the difference in the pragmatic aspect of lexical meaning in the following pairs of words. Pay special attention to the register of communication. State the possible participants of the communicative situation and their roles on which tenors of discourse are based.
Model:to interrupt – to butt in: Don’t interrupt when your mother is speaking. There is an awful man in the front row who butts in whenever you pause.
1. certainly – unquestionably: I‟m sorry if upset you, dear. I certainly didn‟t mean to. Japan has unquestionably one of the most successful economies in the world. 2. dough – money: He only married her for her dough. How much money will you pay me for this work, sir? 3. picture – photograph: Karen showed me a picture of her new boyfriend – he‟s very good-looking. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs inside the museum. 4. skirt – girl: So, Bill, off to chase some skirt? I didn‟t know you were friends with the girl I had seen you with last night. 5. quality – thing: There are certain qualities in Orwell‟s prose that I greatly admire. One of the things I like about Mary is the way she always keeps smiling, even when there are problems.