Semantics Sense vs. reference Phrasal semantics
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DESCRIPTIONSemantics Sense vs. reference Phrasal semantics. LING 200 Spring 2003. Reading: Files 7.2, 7.4. Sense vs. reference. 1. --What does [ kuutib ] mean? --Lets ask Joyce . vs. --Lets ask the TA who studied Arabic . 2. I want to be the president of the U.S . vs. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
SemanticsSense vs. referencePhrasal semanticsLING 200Spring 2003Reading: Files 7.2, 7.4
Sense vs. reference1. --What does [kuutib] mean? --Lets ask Joyce.vs. --Lets ask the TA who studied Arabic.2. I want to be the president of the U.S. vs. I want to be George W. Bush.
Sense vs. referenceReference (extension): identity of real world objectSense (intension): (compositionally determined) meaningSame referent, unequal senseAnya vs. the TA who speaks RussianAnya has no inherent meaning (female given name)cf. the TA who speaks Russian
Sense vs. referenceReference but not sense. Many proper namesAnyaGeorge W. BushSense without referencethe queen of the United Statesthe B wing elevator in Padelford Hall
Iconic vs. non-iconic referenceArbitrariness of sound meaning[hEr] hair vs. hareOnomatopoeiato neigh, meow, bark, moo, oink, etc.
Iconic vs. non-iconic referenceBANANA ENGLAND
Prototypical referenceFor many common nouns, the set of possible referents are clustered around a prototype. E.g. birdPrototypical exemplars of a category are more readily processed than atypical exemplars.
Reference and prototypesPrototypes vs. set of possible referents:some set overlap possible:bowl vs. cup
Reference and prototypesa few vs. severalblue vs. green
CoreferenceGrammatical encoding of referencePronoun form. Reflexive pronouns:
singularplural1myselfourselves2yourselfyourselves3himself, herself, itselfthemselves
CoreferenceAixa asked if Joyce could excuse herself.Aixa asked if Joyce could excuse her.
herself must be coreferential with another NP in the same sentenceher must not be coreferential with another NP in the same sentence
CoreferenceJoyce burped. Aixaj asked S[if Joycei could excuse herselfi].
Aixa burped. Aixaj asked S[if Joycei could excuse herj].
Sentence (phrasal) semanticsHow do the meanings of lexical items combine? What are the rules for determining the relationships between complex meanings?
Sentence (phrasal) semanticsCompositionalityAnomalyEntailment
CompositionalitySynonymous phrasesIt's hard to find a good latte. = A good latte is hard to find. Principle of Compositionality/Frege's Principle: Sentence meaning is determined by morpheme meaning and syntactic structureMeaning of Dave loves Rose. vs.Rose loves Dave.
Non-compositionalityIdioms/proverbs: literal vs. figurative (noncompositional) meaning (free translation)
idiomphrasal categorynoncompositional meaningto spill the beansVPto divulge an important secretto split hairs VPto insist on minute detailto put ones foot in ones mouth VPsay something stupid, regrettable, insensitive
to go downVPto occur (important or dangerous event) to run up VPto incur a large expense dead endNPtermination of street with no connection to another street black marketNPillegal trading or exchange
Idioms in other languages: Sekani
idiomphrasal categoryliteral meaningnoncompositional meaningtche/ niklVPit wagged its tailhe/she/it diedthtshsni/VPhe/she put my head in the waterhe/she criticized methehkhahce il/NPfrog handslow, clumsy hands
Idioms in other languages: Witsuwiten
AnomalySemantically ill-formed phrasesmeanings that cannot combine with each otherThe slideshow amused the students. vs.#The slideshow amused the projector. Syntactic well-formedness independent of semantic well-formednessColorless green ideas sleep furiously
AnomalyAnomalous expression = oxymoronSign in a London department store: Bargain basement upstairsOn a church door: 'This is the gate of Heaven. Enter Ye all by this door.' (This door is kept locked because of the draught. Please use side door.)Outside a disco: Smarts is the most exclusive disco in town. Everyone welcome.
EntailmentIf X entails Y, then whenever X is true Y is also true. X: Last night I did the dishes and straightened the living room. entails:Y: Last night I did the dishes.X: Mike Price was fired.entails:Y: Someone was fired.
EntailmentMutual entailment = complete synonymyPut off is synonymous with procrastinate aboutIfThe professor put off writing the paper. entails The professor procrastinated about writing the paper.andThe professor procrastinated about writing the paper. entails The professor put off writing the paper.ThenThe professor put off writing the paper. is synonymous withThe professor procrastinated about writing the paper.
Predicting entailment1. Factive verbs: be sorry, regret, stop
Factive verbs entail the truth of their complements.
Im sorry you were late. entailsYou were late.
I regret the incident. entailsThere was an incident.
When did you stop beating your wife? entailsYou were beating your wife.
Complements of factive verbs cannot be cancelledAixa is sorry the party is over (#but its still going on).Complements of non-factive verbs can be cancelledAixa said the party is over (but its still happening).Aixa thinks the party is over (but its actually still in full swing).
Predicting entailment2. Dictum de OmniIf sentences X and Y differ only in that X contains a hyponym (special case) of Y, then X generally entails Y.
Dictum de Omnidill pickle is a hyponym of pickleX: Dave ate a dill pickle. entailsY: Dave ate a pickle.
Japanese car is a hyponym of carX: Anya bought a Japanese car. entails Y: Anya bought a car.
Predicting entailmentBut:celebrity boxing is a hyponym of boxingX: Darva Conger enjoys celebrity boxing. does not entail: Y: Darva Conger enjoys (all forms of) boxing.
Actually, Y entails X!
Predicting entailment3. Dictum de nulloIf sentences X and Y differ only in that X contains a hypernym (general case) found in Y, then X generally entails Y. Syntactic conditions under which Dictum de Nullo applies instead of Dictum de Omni: Negative sentencesConditional sentencesSentences containing all, every; habitual sentences
Negative sentencesSeattle is a hypernym of BallardX: Bill Gates doesn't live in Seattle. entailsY: Bill Gates doesn't live in Ballard.
Conditional sentencessports car is a hypernym of German sports carX: If Bill bought a sports car, then it must be a nice car. entailsY: If Bill bought a German sports car, then it must be a nice car.
Sentences with 'every'boxing match is a hypernym of celebrity boxing matchX: Darva Conger watched every boxing match. entailsY: Darva Conger watched every celebrity boxing match.
Habitual sentencesboxing is a hypernym of celebrity boxingX: Darva Conger enjoys boxing. entailsY: Darva Conger enjoys celebrity boxing.
Entailment summaryPossible to predict when some sentences entail other sentences.Depends onwhether sentence contains a factive verb or notwhich sentence contains hypernym vs. hyponymtype of sentence: positive vs. negative /conditional / every, habitual
Its just semanticsSemantics overlaps with morphology, syntaxSemantic competence Lexical semanticsCross-linguistic variation in the number of morphemes to encode conceptsSemantic relations: antonymy, synonymy, ambiguity, hyponymy, entailmentSense vs. reference, coreferenceCompositional and non-compositional aspects of linguistic meaning
compare other complement taking verbs, like think: I think the party is over. The party is not necessarily over.