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Diachronic Semantics

  • Date Submitted: 06/16/2013 04:09 PM
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Semántica Sincrónica y Diacrónica de la Lengua Inglesa

1) We have described semantics as the study of meaning communicated through language. What are the three main challenges we are faced with in trying to describe the meaning of words and sentences? Explain (briefly) how various theories have sought to provide solutions to these problems. [Chapter I – 1.3]
2) Explain how referential and representational semantic theories differ in the way those theories approach our ability to talk about the world. [Chapter II – 2.1]
3) Mental representations: explain their place in representational semantic theories and some of the explanations given to what mental representations are. [Chapter II – 2.4]
4) Define lexical semantics and describe its two main descriptive aims. Identify and explain the different lexical relations holding in the following pairs: [Chapter III]
• temporary / permanent
• assemble / dismantle
• messy / neat
• fake / false
• house / window
• own / belong to
• red / yellow
• bird / duck
• dog / puppy
• book / library

5) Explain the ways in which verbs inherently describe different situation types. If possible, outline a system of situation types. [Chapter V – 5.2.1]

6) Assign thematic roles (and explain why) to each of the expression in bold in the following sentences. Discuss any potential problems in the identification of theta roles. [Extra notes]

a) John threw the ball.
b) 1.         The boy cut the bread with a knife.
2. The knife cut the bread.
3. This bread cuts easily.
c) Margarita received a gift of flowers.
d) My father built this house in 1987.
e) Bart hit Lisa with his arm.
7) What is modality? What do we speakers use it for? Describe briefly the two main types of modality. [Chapter V – 5.3 – Extra notes]
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1) The definitions theory states that in order to give the meaning of linguistic expressions, we should establish definitions of the meanings of words, but attaching definitions to words is...


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