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Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of
reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object. The first object in this relation is said to ''refer to'' the second object. It is called a ''name ...
,
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
, or
truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact A fact is something that is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In ...

truth
. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct disciplines, including
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

linguistics
and
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
.


Linguistics

In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

linguistics
, semantics is the subfield that studies meaning. (1999)
Semantics
' in R. A. Wilson and F. C. Keil (eds.)
The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences
', Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 739–742.
Semantics can address meaning at the levels of words, phrases, sentences, or larger units of
discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy) ...

discourse
. Two of the fundamental issues in the field of semantics are that of compositional semantics (which pertains on how smaller parts, like words, combine and interact to form the meaning of larger expressions such as sentences) and
lexical semantics Lexical semantics (also known as lexicosemantics), as a subfield of linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modelin ...
(the nature of the meaning of words). Other prominent issues are those of
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
and its role on interpretation,
opaque context An opaque context or referentially opaque context is a linguistic context in which it is not always possible to substitute "co-referential" expressions (expressions referring to the same object) without altering the truth of sentences. The express ...
s,
ambiguity Ambiguity is a type of meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * ...
,
vagueness In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, lang ...
,
entailment Logical consequence (also entailment) is a fundamental concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies th ...
and
presupposition In the branch of linguistics known as pragmatics In linguistics and related fields, pragmatics is the study of how context (language use), context contributes to meaning. The field of study evaluates how human language is utilized in social int ...
s. Several disciplines and approaches have contributed to the often contentious field of semantics. One of the crucial questions which unites different approaches to linguistic semantics is that of the relationship between form and meaning, and some major contributions to the study of semantics have derived from studies in the 1980–1990s in related subjects of the syntax–semantics interface and
pragmatics In linguistics and related fields, pragmatics is the study of how context (language use), context contributes to meaning. The field of study evaluates how human language is utilized in social interactions, as well as the relationship between the ...
. The semantic level of language interacts with other modules or levels (like syntax) in which language is traditionally divided. In linguistics, it is typical to talk in terms of "interfaces" regarding such interactions between modules or levels. For semantics, the most crucial interfaces are considered those with syntax (the syntax–semantics interface),
pragmatics In linguistics and related fields, pragmatics is the study of how context (language use), context contributes to meaning. The field of study evaluates how human language is utilized in social interactions, as well as the relationship between the ...
and
phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular language variety. At on ...

phonology
(regarding
prosody Prosody may refer to: * Sanskrit prosody, Prosody (Sanskrit), the study of poetic meters and verse in Sanskrit and one of the six Vedangas, or limbs of Vedic studies * Prosody (Greek), the theory and practice of Greek versification * Prosody (Lati ...
and intonation).


Disciplines and paradigms in linguistic semantics


Formal semantics

Formal semantics seeks to identify
domain-specific Domain specificity is a theoretical position in cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes. It examines the nature, the tasks, and the functions of cognition Cognition () r ...
mental operations which speakers perform when they compute a sentence's meaning on the basis of its syntactic structure. Theories of formal semantics are typically floated on top of theories of syntax such as
generative syntax Generative grammar, or generativism , is a linguistic theory that regards linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...
or
combinatory categorial grammar Combinatory categorial grammar (CCG) is an efficiently parsable, yet linguistically expressive grammar formalism. It has a transparent interface between surface syntax and underlying semantic representation, including predicate-argument structure, q ...
and provide a model theory based on mathematical tools such as
typed lambda calculi A typed lambda calculus Lambda calculus (also written as λ-calculus) is a formal system in mathematical logic for expressing computability, computation based on function Abstraction (computer science), abstraction and function application, applica ...
. The field's central ideas are rooted in early twentieth century
philosophical logic Understood in a narrow sense, philosophical logic is the area of philosophy that studies the application of logical methods to philosophical problems, often in the form of extended logical systems like modal logic. Some theorists conceive philosophi ...
, as well as later ideas about linguistic syntax. It emerged as its own subfield in the 1970s after the pioneering work of
Richard Montague Richard Merritt Montague (September 20, 1930 – March 7, 1971) was an American mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such t ...
and
Barbara Partee Barbara Hall Partee (born June 23, 1940) is a Distinguished University Professor Professors in the United States commonly occupy any of several positions in academia. In the U.S., the word "professor" informally refers collectively to the Acade ...

Barbara Partee
and continues to be an active area of research.


Conceptual semantics

This theory is an effort to explain properties of argument structure. The assumption behind this theory is that syntactic properties of phrases reflect the meanings of the words that head them.Levin, Beth; Pinker, Steven; ''Lexical & Conceptual Semantics'', Blackwell, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1991. With this theory, linguists can better deal with the fact that subtle differences in word meaning correlate with other differences in the syntactic structure that the word appears in. The way this is gone about is by looking at the internal structure of words.Jackendoff, Ray;
Semantic Structures
', MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1990.
These small parts that make up the internal structure of words are termed ''semantic primitives''.


Cognitive semantics

Cognitive semantics approaches meaning from the perspective of
cognitive linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Sign ...
. In this framework, language is explained via general human
cognitive abilitiesCognitive skills, also called cognitive functions, cognitive abilities or cognitive capacities, are brain-based skills which are needed in acquisition of knowledge, manipulation of information, and reasoning. They have more to do with the mechanisms ...
rather than a domain-specific language module. The techniques native to cognitive semantics are typically used in lexical studies such as those put forth by
Leonard TalmyLeonard Talmy is an emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, University at Buffalo in New York (state), New York. He is known for his pioneering work in cognitive linguistics, mo ...
,
George Lakoff George Philip Lakoff (; born May 24, 1941) is an American cognitive linguist and philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning ...

George Lakoff
,
Dirk GeeraertsDirk Geeraerts (born 24 October 1955) is a Belgian linguist. He is a professor of theoretical linguistics at the University of Leuven, Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, i ...
, and
Bruce Wayne Hawkins Bruce Wayne Hawkins (13 April 1954) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed langu ...
. Some cognitive semantic frameworks, such as that developed by Talmy, take into account syntactic structures as well.


Lexical semantics

A linguistic theory that investigates word meaning. This theory understands that the meaning of a word is fully reflected by its
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
. Here, the meaning of a word is constituted by its contextual relations.Cruse, D.;
Lexical Semantics
', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986.
Therefore, a distinction between degrees of participation as well as modes of participation are made. In order to accomplish this distinction, any part of a sentence that bears a meaning and combines with the meanings of other constituents is labeled as a semantic constituent. Semantic constituents that cannot be broken down into more elementary constituents are labeled minimal semantic constituents.


Cross-cultural semantics

Various fields or disciplines have long been contributing to cross-cultural semantics. Are words like ''love'', ''truth'', and ''hate'' universals? Is even the word ''sense'' – so central to semantics – a universal, or a concept entrenched in a long-standing but culture-specific tradition? These are the kind of crucial questions that are discussed in cross-cultural semantics. Translation theory, ethnolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and cultural linguistics specialize in the field of comparing, contrasting, and translating words, terms and meanings from one language to another (see Herder, W. von Humboldt, Boas, Sapir, and Whorf). But philosophy, sociology, and anthropology have long established traditions in contrasting the different nuances of the terms and concepts we use. And online encyclopaedias such as th
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
and more and more Wikipedia itself have greatly facilitated the possibilities of comparing the background and usages of key cultural terms. In recent years the question of whether key terms are translatable or untranslatable has increasingly come to the fore of global discussions, especially since the publication of Barbara Cassin's ''Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon'', in 2014.


Computational semantics

Computational semantics is focused on the processing of linguistic meaning. In order to do this, concrete algorithms and architectures are described. Within this framework the algorithms and architectures are also analyzed in terms of decidability, time/space complexity,
data structure In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of ...

data structure
s that they require and
communication protocol A communication protocol is a system of rules that allows two or more entities of a communications system 400px, Communication system A communications system or communication system is a collection of individual telecommunications network ...
s.


Philosophy

Many of the formal approaches to semantics in
mathematical logic Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical properties of formal sys ...
and
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
originated in early twentieth century
philosophy of language In analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, ...
and
philosophical logic Understood in a narrow sense, philosophical logic is the area of philosophy that studies the application of logical methods to philosophical problems, often in the form of extended logical systems like modal logic. Some theorists conceive philosophi ...
. Initially, the most influential semantic theory stemmed from
Gottlob Frege Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (; ; 8 November 1848 – 26 July 1925) was a German philosopher, logician, and mathematician. He worked as a mathematics professor at the University of Jena, and is understood by many to be the father of analy ...
and
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British , , , , , , , , and .Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy"Bertrand Russell" 1 May 2003 Throughout his life, Russell considered himself a , a and ...
. Frege and Russell are seen as the originators of a tradition in
analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality ...
to explain meaning compositionally via syntax and mathematical functionality.
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationali ...

Ludwig Wittgenstein
, a former student of Russell, is also seen as one of the seminal figures in the analytic tradition. All three of these early philosophers of language were concerned with how sentences expressed information in the form of
proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by all sentences with the same mea ...
s. They also dealt with the
truth values In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, lab ...
or
truth conditions In semantics Semantics (from grc, wikt:σημαντικός, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct disciplines, includi ...
a given sentence has in virtue of the proposition it expresses. In present day philosophy, the term "semantics" is often used to refer to linguistic formal semantics, which bridges both linguistics and philosophy. There is also an active tradition of
metasemantics In the philosophy of language In analytic philosophy, philosophy of language investigates the nature of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed langu ...
, which studies the foundations of
natural language In neuropsychology Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology. It is concerned with how a person's cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on ...
semantics.


Computer science

In
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
, the term ''semantics'' refers to the meaning of language constructs, as opposed to their form (
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
). According to Euzenat, semantics "provides the rules for interpreting the syntax which do not provide the meaning directly but constrains the possible interpretations of what is declared".


Programming languages

The semantics of
programming language A programming language is a formal language In logic, mathematics, computer science, and linguistics, a formal language consists of string (computer science), words whose symbol (formal), letters are taken from an alphabet (computer science) ...

programming language
s and other languages is an important issue and area of study in computer science. Like the
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
of a language, its semantics can be defined exactly. For instance, the following statements use different syntaxes, but cause the same instructions to be executed, namely, perform an arithmetical addition of 'y' to 'x' and store the result in a variable called 'x': Various ways have been developed to describe the semantics of programming languages formally, building on
mathematical logic Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical properties of formal sys ...
: *
Operational semanticsOperational semantics is a category of formal programming language semantics Semantics (from grc, wikt:σημαντικός, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be use ...
: The meaning of a construct is specified by the computation it induces when it is executed on a machine. In particular, it is of interest ''how'' the effect of a computation is produced. *
Denotational semantics In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of Algorit ...
: Meanings are modelled by mathematical objects that represent the effect of executing the constructs. Thus ''only'' the effect is of interest, not how it is obtained. *
Axiomatic semantics Axiomatic semantics is an approach based on mathematical logic Mathematical logic, also called formal logic, is a subfield of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory ...
: Specific properties of the effect of executing the constructs are expressed as ''assertions''. Thus there may be aspects of the executions that are ignored.


Semantic models

The
Semantic Web The Semantic Web (sometimes known as Web 3.0) is an extension of the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnica ...

Semantic Web
refers to the extension of the
World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to complex organizational ...
via embedding added semantic
metadata Metadata is " that provides information about other data", but not the content of the data, such as the text of a message or the image itself. There are many distinct types of metadata, including: * Descriptive metadata — the descriptive info ...

metadata
, using semantic data modeling techniques such as
Resource Description Framework The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications originally designed as a metadata data model. It has come to be used as a general method for conceptual description or modeling of information t ...
(RDF) and
Web Ontology Language The Web Ontology Language (OWL) is a family of Knowledge representation and reasoning, knowledge representation languages for authoring Ontology (information science), ontologies. Ontologies are a formal way to describe taxonomies and classificatio ...
(OWL). On the
Semantic Web The Semantic Web (sometimes known as Web 3.0) is an extension of the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnica ...

Semantic Web
, terms such as ''
semantic network A semantic network, or frame network is a knowledge base A knowledge base (KB) is a technology used to information storage, store complex structured data, structured and unstructured information used by a computer system. The initial use of ...
'' and ''
semantic data model Semantic data model (SDM) is a high-level semantics-based database description and structuring formalism (database model) for databases. This database model is designed to capture more of the meaning of an application environment than is possible ...
'' are used to describe particular types of data model characterized by the use of
directed graph In mathematics, and more specifically in graph theory, a directed graph (or digraph) is a Graph (discrete mathematics), graph that is made up of a set of Vertex (graph theory), vertices connected by directed Edge (graph theory), edges often called ...

directed graph
s in which the vertices denote concepts or entities in the world and their properties, and the arcs denote relationships between them. These can formally be described as
description logic Description logics (DL) are a family of formal knowledge representation Knowledge representation and reasoning (KR², KR&R) is the field of artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, unlike ...
concepts and roles, which correspond to
OWL Owls are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the Oviparity, laying of Eggshell, hard-shelled eggs, a high Metabolism, meta ...
classes and properties.


Psychology


Semantic memory

In
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
, ''
semantic memory Semantic memory is one of the two types of explicit memory (or declarative memory) (our memory of facts or events that is explicitly stored and retrieved). Semantic memory refers to general world knowledge that we have accumulated throughout our ...
'' is memory for meaning – in other words, the aspect of memory that preserves only the ''gist'', the general significance, of remembered experience – while
episodic memory Episodic may refer to: * The nature of television series that are divided into short programs known as episodes * Episodic memory, types of memory that result from specific incidents in a lifetime * In Geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek ...
is memory for the ephemeral details – the individual features, or the unique particulars of experience. The term "episodic memory" was introduced by Tulving and Schacter in the context of "declarative memory", which involved simple association of factual or objective information concerning its object. Word meaning is measured by the company they keep, i.e. the relationships among words themselves in a
semantic network A semantic network, or frame network is a knowledge base A knowledge base (KB) is a technology used to information storage, store complex structured data, structured and unstructured information used by a computer system. The initial use of ...
. The memories may be transferred intergenerationally or isolated in one generation due to a cultural disruption. Different generations may have different experiences at similar points in their own time-lines. This may then create a vertically heterogeneous semantic net for certain words in an otherwise homogeneous culture. In a network created by people analyzing their understanding of the word (such as
Wordnet WordNet is a lexical database of semantic relations between words in more than 200 languages. WordNet links words into semantic relations including synonyms, hyponyms, and meronyms. The synonyms are grouped into ''synsets'' with short definitions ...
) the links and decomposition structures of the network are few in number and kind, and include ''part of'', ''kind of'', and similar links. In automated
ontologies In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of Algor ...

ontologies
the links are computed vectors without explicit meaning. Various automated technologies are being developed to compute the meaning of words:
latent semantic indexing Latent semantic analysis (LSA) is a technique in natural language processing, in particular distributional semantics, of analyzing relationships between a set of documents and the terms they contain by producing a set of concepts related to the docu ...
and
support vector machines In machine learning, support-vector machines (SVMs, also support-vector networks) are supervised learning Supervised learning (SL) is the machine learning task of learning a function that Map (mathematics), maps an input to an output based on e ...

support vector machines
, as well as
natural language processing Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of , , and concerned with the interactions between computers and human language, in particular how to program computers to process and analyze large amounts of data. The goal is a computer capab ...
,
artificial neural network Artificial neural networks (ANNs), usually simply called neural networks (NNs), are computing systems vaguely inspired by the biological neural networks that constitute animal brains. An ANN is based on a collection of connected units or nod ...

artificial neural network
s and
predicate calculus Predicate or predication may refer to: Computer science *Syntactic predicateA syntactic predicate specifies the syntactic validity of applying a Formal grammar#The syntax of grammars, production in a formal grammar and is analogous to a semantic P ...
techniques.


Ideasthesia

Ideasthesia Ideasthesia (alternative spelling ideaesthesia) is a neuroscientific phenomenon in which activations of concepts (inducers) evoke perception-like sensory experiences (concurrents). The name comes from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek inclu ...
is a psychological phenomenon in which activation of concepts evokes sensory experiences. For example, in synesthesia, activation of a concept of a letter (e.g., that of the letter ''A'') evokes sensory-like experiences (e.g., of red color).


Psychosemantics

In the 1960s, psychosemantic studies became popular after Charles E. Osgood's massive cross-cultural studies using his
semantic differential Semantic differential (SD) is a type of a rating scale designed to measure the connotative meaning of objects, events, and concepts. The connotations are used to derive the attitude towards the given object, event or concept. Charles E. Osgood' ...
(SD) method that used thousands of nouns and adjective bipolar scales. A specific form of the SD, Projective Semantics method uses only most common and neutral nouns that correspond to the 7 groups (factors) of adjective-scales most consistently found in cross-cultural studies (Evaluation, Potency, Activity as found by Osgood, and Reality, Organization, Complexity, Limitation as found in other studies). In this method, seven groups of bipolar adjective scales corresponded to seven types of nouns so the method was thought to have the object-scale symmetry (OSS) between the scales and nouns for evaluation using these scales. For example, the nouns corresponding to the listed 7 factors would be: Beauty, Power, Motion, Life, Work, Chaos, Law. Beauty was expected to be assessed unequivocally as "very good" on adjectives of Evaluation-related scales, Life as "very real" on Reality-related scales, etc. However, deviations in this symmetric and very basic matrix might show underlying biases of two types: scales-related bias and objects-related bias. This OSS design meant to increase the sensitivity of the SD method to any semantic biases in responses of people within the same culture and educational background.


Prototype theory

Another set of concepts related to fuzziness in semantics is based on
prototypes A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and Software prototyping, software programming. A prototype ...
. The work of
Eleanor Rosch Eleanor Rosch (once known as Eleanor Rosch Heider;"Natural Categories", Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 4, No. 3, (May 1973), p. 328. born 1938) is an American psychologist A psychologist is a person who studies normal and abnormal mental states, ...

Eleanor Rosch
in the 1970s led to a view that natural categories are not characterizable in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions, but are graded (fuzzy at their boundaries) and inconsistent as to the status of their constituent members. One may compare it with
Jung Carl Gustav Jung ( ; born Karl Gustav Jung, ; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist A psychiatrist is a physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations ...

Jung
's
archetype The concept of an archetype (; from Greek: + ) appears in areas relating to behavior, History of psychology#Emergence of German experimental psychology, historical psychology, and literary analysis. An ''archetype'' can be: # a statement, patter ...
, though the concept of
archetype The concept of an archetype (; from Greek: + ) appears in areas relating to behavior, History of psychology#Emergence of German experimental psychology, historical psychology, and literary analysis. An ''archetype'' can be: # a statement, patter ...
sticks to static concept. Some post-structuralists are against the fixed or static meaning of the
words In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...

words
.
Derrida Derrida is a surname shared by notable people listed below. * Bernard Derrida (born 1952), French theoretical physicist * Jacques Derrida (1930–2004), French philosopher ** Derrida (film), ''Derrida'' (film), a 2002 American documentary film * Ma ...
, following
Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, writer, and philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the ...

Nietzsche
, talked about slippages in fixed meanings. Systems of categories are not objectively ''out there'' in the world but are rooted in people's experience. These categories evolve as
learned Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by Human, humans, Animal, animals, and some machine learni ...
concepts of the world – meaning is not an objective truth, but a subjective construct, learned from experience, and language arises out of the "grounding of our conceptual systems in shared embodiment and bodily experience". A corollary of this is that the conceptual categories (i.e. the lexicon) will not be identical for different cultures, or indeed, for every individual in the same culture. This leads to another debate (see the
Sapir–Whorf hypothesis The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis , the Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, is a principle suggesting that the structure of a language A language is a structured system of communication used b ...
or
Eskimo words for snow The claim that Eskimo words for snow (specifically YupikYupik may refer to: * Yupik peoples, a group of indigenous peoples of Alaska and the Russian Far East * Yupik languages, a group of Inuit-Aleut languages Yupꞌik (with the apostrophe) may ...
).


See also

*
Semantic technology The ultimate goal of semantic technology is to help machines understand data. To enable the encoding of semantics with the data, well-known technologies are RDF (Resource Description Framework) and OWL (Web Ontology Language). These technologies f ...


Notes


References


External links


Semanticsarchive.net


for
GCE Advanced Level#REDIRECT GCE Advanced Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualificationA school leaving qualification is an academic qualificat ...
semantics
"Semantics: an interview with Jerry Fodor"
{{Authority control Concepts in logic Grammar Linguistics terminology, + Meaning (philosophy of language) Social philosophy