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Semantics, 3rd Edition

November 2008, ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Semantics, 3rd Edition (EHEP002308) cover image
The third edition of this popular textbook provides an engaging and accessible introduction to semantics for students new to the field.
  • Explores the basic concepts and methods of the field and discusses some of the most important contemporary lines of research
  • Contains new solutions to chapter exercises in order to familiarize the student with the practice of semantic description
  • Completely revised and updated to reflect recent theoretical developments
  • Includes new sections on classifiers and noun classes, as well as conceptual integration
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List of Figures and Tables xiv

Preface xvi

Part I Preliminaries 1

1 Semantics in Linguistics 3

1.1 Introduction 3

1.2 Semantics and Semiotics 5

1.3 Three Challenges in Doing Semantics 6

1.4 Meeting the Challenges 7

1.5 Semantics in a Model of Grammar 9

1.6 Some Important Assumptions 11

1.7 Summary 19

2 Meaning, Thought and Reality 23

2.1 Introduction 23

2.2 Reference 25

2.3 Reference as a Theory of Meaning 30

2.4 Mental Representations 32

2.5 Words, Concepts and Thinking 41

2.6 Summary 46

Part II Semantic Description 51

3 Word Meaning 53

3.1 Introduction 53

3.2 Words and Grammatical Categories 55

3.3 Words and Lexical Items 55

3.4 Problems with Pinning Down Word Meaning 59

3.5 Lexical Relations 63

3.6 Derivational Relations 72

3.7 Lexical Universals 74

3.8 Summary 79

4 Sentence Relations and Truth 87

4.1 Introduction 87

4.2 Logic and Truth 89

4.3 Necessary Truth, A Priori Truth and Analyticity 95

4.4 Entailment 99

4.5 Presupposition 102

4.6 Summary 111

5 Sentence Semantics 1: Situations 117

5.1 Introduction 117

5.2 Classifying Situations 118

5.3 Modality and Evidentiality 138

5.4 Summary 146

6 Sentence Semantics 2: Participants 152

6.1 Introduction: Classifying Participants 152

6.2 Thematic Roles 153

6.3 Grammatical Relations and Thematic Roles 158

6.4 Verbs and Thematic Role Grids 160

6.5 Problems with Thematic Roles 162

6.6 The Motivation for Identifying Thematic Roles 165

6.7 Voice 169

6.8 Classifiers and Noun Classes 178

6.9 Summary 182

7 Context and Inference 190

7.1 Introduction 190

7.2 Deixis 191

7.3 Reference and Context 198

7.4 Knowledge as Context 199

7.5 Information Structure 205

7.6 Inference 211

7.7 Conversational Implicature 213

7.8 Summary 220

8 Functions of Language: Speech as Action 230

8.1 Introduction 230

8.2 Austin’s Speech Act Theory 233

8.3 Categorizing Speech Acts 239

8.4 Indirect Speech Acts 241

8.5 Sentence Types 248

8.6 Summary 250

Part III Theoretical Approaches 257

9 Meaning Components 259

9.1 Introduction 259

9.2 Lexical Relations in CA 260

9.3 Katz's Semantic Theory 262

9.4 Grammatical Rules and Semantic Components 266

9.5 Components and Conflation Patterns 274

9.6 Jackendoff's Conceptual Structure 278

9.7 Pustejovsky's Generative Lexicon 289

9.8 Problems with Components of Meaning 295

9.9 Summary 297

10 Formal Semantics 305

10.1 Introduction 305

10.2 Model-Theoretical Semantics 308

10.3 Translating English into a Logical Metalanguage 309

10.4 The Semantics of the Logical Metalanguage 315

10.5 Checking the Truth-Value of Sentences 318

10.6 Word Meaning: Meaning Postulates 323

10.7 Natural Language Quantifiers and Higher Order Logic 325

10.8 Intensionality 333

10.9 Dynamic Approaches to Discourse 340

10.10 Summary 347

11 Cognitive Semantics 355

11.1 Introduction 355

11.2 Metaphor 358

11.3 Metonymy 365

11.4 Image Schemas 366

11.5 Polysemy 370

11.6 Mental Spaces 377

11.7 Langacker's Cognitive Grammar 388

11.8 Summary 393

Further reading 394

Exercises 394

Solutions to Selected Exercises 400

Bibliography 418

Index 443

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John I. Saeed is Professor of Linguistics and Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences, Trinity College, University of Dublin. He is the author of several books, including Somali Reference Grammar (second edition, 1993) and Somali (1999).
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  • This third edition provides an engaging and accessible introduction to semantics for students new to the field
  • Covers the basic concepts and methods of the field and discusses some of the most important contemporary lines of research
  • Contains new solutions to chapter exercises in order to familiarize the student with the practice of semantic description
  • Completely revised and updated to reflect recent theoretical developments
See More
“This book is an invaluable resource for students and instructors. It offers impressively broad coverage of semantic theory, and it strikes an ideal balance between theoretical developments and empirical investigation.”
Christopher Potts, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“This lively and engaging book provides an excellent introduction to current linguistic semantics.
Its coverage is comprehensive, taking readers from foundational concepts, through descriptive techniques, to theoretical approaches to the subject. The use of languages other than English to exemplify the discussion is particularly refreshing, and this revised edition will continue to provide teachers with a clear and easy to use textbook, and students with a solid foundation in semantics.”
Ronnie Cann, Edinburgh University

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Purchase Options
E-book   
Semantics, 3rd Edition
ISBN : 978-1-4443-5875-9
480 pages
August 2011
$47.99   BUY

Paperback   
Semantics, 3rd Edition
ISBN : 978-1-4051-5639-4
480 pages
November 2008, ©2009
$59.95   BUY

Wiley E-Text   
Semantics, 3rd Edition
ISBN : 978-1-118-35536-7
480 pages
March 2012
$59.95   BUY

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