Alan Cruse’s book is published as part of a series of thematic glossaries devoted to different fields of This volume is concerned with two disciplines: semantics and pragmatics. 96), one would also expect to find “lexicography” and “lexicon” . consist of more than one lexical constituent; second that it should be a single minimal semantic constituent’ (Cruse ). ‘The principle of idiom is that a. Lexical semantics Lexical semantics studies the meanings of words; the focus here The account given here largely follows that given in Cruse ().

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As far as point iii is concerned, the descriptive meaning of the sentence can be displaced in the sense that it can be used to refer to events distant in time and space from the speech event: Full text PDF Send by e-mail. Yet presumably no one would wish to say that The cat sat on the mat was meaningless.

Notice that acceleration is not more specific than speed, in the way that dog is more specific than animal, or finger than hand, but it is lexival complex, in that it builds on more basic meanings. For instance, the feature [breathes] is not very diagnostic for BIRD, since many other creatures breathe. Apr 09, Saher Al-Saher rated it it was amazing.

We may say that unlocated, timeless acts of reading, etc. It was absolutely large.

Lexical Semantics

But things are more compli- cated semanhics that. But this is not entailment, because it is not a consequence of the meaning relations between the two propositions, but of the fact that the second proposition cannot under any circumstances except by altering the meanings of the components be false. Con- sider a case where John has in front of him a box of coloured disks, in which 30 Meaning in language all the red disks are round in shape, and all the green disks are square.

These examples give a feeling of redundancy: Review quote Praise for the new edition ‘Building lexixal the many strengths of the first edition of Meaning in Language, Alan Cruse has significantly updated this already valuable textbook. Obviously, features which are easy to get at are going to play a larger role in semantic processing in real time than those which are harder to get at.


Variation in intensity is alxn course possible only in certain areas of quality space. The illocutionary force in such a case would be that of assertion. On the positive side, the author has done an excellent job f identifying phenomena that must be accounted for in future theories of lexical semantics.

Ray JackendoffLanguage, Consciousness, Culture. A standard picture of meaning with- in the philosophy of language identifies a set of words, known as the observa- tion vocabulary, whose meanings are fixed by their relations with observable properties of the environment.

But our problems are ,exical over. These types, especially the latter one, are in some ways deeply mysterious, but we shall not dwell on them any further here. Above all, the book displays and explains the richness and subtlety of meaning, with the aid of numerous examples and exercises throughout the text. So, in the first pair of sentences above, if it is true of some entity that it is a dog, then it follows ineluctably that it is an animal, and if it is not an animal, then there is no way it can be a dog.

Some iconicity is also apparent in grammar. The mean- ings of the three signs are simply added together: Consider the relation between It’s a dog and i It’s a pet and ii It can bark. First of all, statement meaning incorporates in its entirety all aspects of sen- tence meaning which belong to the sentence used in making the statement.

Our dog has just had kittens. If every detail of the transmitted signal was crucial for the message being transmitted, communication would be a chancy business.

Once again, utterance meaning subsumes statement meaning, but only in the sense that the latter must be traversed in order to arrive at the former, i. For instance, the notion of a circle is capable of a clear definition, and everyone is 52 Meaning in language capable of grasping the strict notion, even if they cannot give bj correct semanticd ematical specification. If we 34 Meaning in language allow the possibility of synonymy, then some word forms e.

Lexical Semantics by D. Alan Cruse

There is no way that the meanings of an infinite number of sentences can be stored in a kind of sentence dictionary— there is not enough room in a finite brain for that. An crusf sentence has a set of compliance conditions, but no compliance value how do you obey Put it there, without knowing what it is, or where there is?


The infinite inventory of sentences arises from rule- governed combinations of elements from a finite list according to generative rules at least some of which are recursive; the only way such sentences could, in their entirety, be interpretable, is if their meanings are composed in rule- governed ways out of the meanings of their parts.

The class of red things and the class of round things intersect in this fashion, as do the class of architects and the class of amateur musicians.

The following are examples of equivalence: Degree of necessity Given the truth of X is a semahtics, assign a ‘degree of necessity’ e. We shall adopt the above criteria for our conception of descriptive meaning, with two modifications, or provisos. Greeks are famously— and slightly inaccurately— said to shake their heads to say “Yes”, and nod to say “No”. A reply from an interlocutor such as That’s a lie or That’s not true, targets the descriptive meaning within a statement. But smiles and frowns and many other signs are perfectly interpretable and capable of being produced in the absence of any accompanying language.

It will be assumed that a way of tapping into this is in terms of contextual normality: We have defined converseness in terms of two-way entailment between two sentences e. The most commonly encountered criterion for separating the two types of anomaly is corrigibility: I like the author’s lexidal f studying the meaning of words in terms of how they are used and, in particular, the relationship between related lexical items which may or may not be words. Coco added it May 29, But, as the author observes:

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