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CARTA: How Language Evolves: Ray Jackendoff: What Can You Say without Syntax?
CARTA: How Language Evolves: Ray Jackendoff: What Can You Say without Syntax?
Published: 2015/04/17
Channel: University of California Television (UCTV)
What Are Conceptual Semantics?
What Are Conceptual Semantics?
Published: 2017/09/09
Channel: Funny Question
Cognitive Semantics
Cognitive Semantics
Published: 2016/07/07
Channel: Jake Goldwasser
The Conspicuous Case of Conceptual Semantics
The Conspicuous Case of Conceptual Semantics
Published: 2013/09/22
Channel: Grecology
Verbal Supremacy - Conceptual Semantics
Verbal Supremacy - Conceptual Semantics
Published: 2013/11/23
Channel: VerbalSupremacy CyanideArsonist
What is CONCEPTUAL MODEL? What does CONCEPTUAL MODEL mean? CONCEPTUAL MODEL meaning & explanation
What is CONCEPTUAL MODEL? What does CONCEPTUAL MODEL mean? CONCEPTUAL MODEL meaning & explanation
Published: 2017/02/23
Channel: The Audiopedia
SEMANTICS-10 Theories of Concepts (1)
SEMANTICS-10 Theories of Concepts (1)
Published: 2017/09/23
Channel: Dr. Nimer Abusalim
Types of Meaning
Types of Meaning
Published: 2016/12/26
Channel: Catteleya Wiyogo
Semantics
Semantics
Published: 2014/07/21
Channel: Audiopedia
Explained: The Conceptual Metaphor
Explained: The Conceptual Metaphor
Published: 2012/11/15
Channel: Phloneme
Introduction to Semantics
Introduction to Semantics
Published: 2015/11/04
Channel: Ashton English
Lec09 詞彙語意學 第八週課程
Lec09 詞彙語意學 第八週課程
Published: 2015/03/23
Channel: NCTU OCW
Knowledge Representation | semantic networks | Frames | artificial intelligence | Hindi | #19
Knowledge Representation | semantic networks | Frames | artificial intelligence | Hindi | #19
Published: 2017/04/15
Channel: Well Academy
Semantics #6 - Metaphor and Metonymy
Semantics #6 - Metaphor and Metonymy
Published: 2016/10/08
Channel: Ling Troduction
What is meaning? Semantics, semiotics, logic & the meaning of words -- Linguistics & Logic 101
What is meaning? Semantics, semiotics, logic & the meaning of words -- Linguistics & Logic 101
Published: 2012/09/05
Channel: NativLang
What Is The Conceptual Meaning In Semantic
What Is The Conceptual Meaning In Semantic
Published: 2017/11/28
Channel: Bridget Kaufman
Types of Meanings in Semantics
Types of Meanings in Semantics
Published: 2016/12/28
Channel: Prasetyo Adi
Conceptual Data Modeling Explained
Conceptual Data Modeling Explained
Published: 2013/01/30
Channel: Michael Fudge
BOM Creation using semantic concepts - Kunal Khaladkar
BOM Creation using semantic concepts - Kunal Khaladkar
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: 1eQT
Cognitive Semantics : Metaphor
Cognitive Semantics : Metaphor
Published: 2017/11/11
Channel: Vidya-mitra
Semantics Lecture-Intro to Linguistics (Ling 200) Rice University 2013
Semantics Lecture-Intro to Linguistics (Ling 200) Rice University 2013
Published: 2013/03/05
Channel: Carlos Molina-Vital
Linguistics - Semantics
Linguistics - Semantics
Published: 2016/10/27
Channel: Laia Elisabeth
A course in Cognitive Linguistics: Frame Semantics
A course in Cognitive Linguistics: Frame Semantics
Published: 2015/07/24
Channel: Martin Hilpert
Semantics    Types of meaning
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Published: 2015/09/18
Channel: น.ทศ. นามแฝง
A course in Cognitive Linguistics: Conceptual integration
A course in Cognitive Linguistics: Conceptual integration
Published: 2015/04/01
Channel: Martin Hilpert
Brandom: FAGI-Humboldt-Lectures 1: Conceptual Realism and the Semantic Possibility of Knowledge
Brandom: FAGI-Humboldt-Lectures 1: Conceptual Realism and the Semantic Possibility of Knowledge
Published: 2016/04/19
Channel: Web Page
How Are Words Connected in our Minds? Priming
How Are Words Connected in our Minds? Priming
Published: 2015/09/02
Channel: The Ling Space
Intentionality and Thought
Intentionality and Thought
Published: 2014/03/12
Channel: Richard Brown
Semantic MediaWiki for Beginners (annotation and query examples)
Semantic MediaWiki for Beginners (annotation and query examples)
Published: 2016/08/30
Channel: James HK
Conceptual Structures Leveraging Semantic Technologies 17th International Conference on Conceptual S
Conceptual Structures Leveraging Semantic Technologies 17th International Conference on Conceptual S
Published: 2016/11/21
Channel: diane
What is MENTALIST POSTULATE? What does MENTALIST POSTULATE mean? MENTALIST POSTULATE meaning
What is MENTALIST POSTULATE? What does MENTALIST POSTULATE mean? MENTALIST POSTULATE meaning
Published: 2018/02/17
Channel: The Audiopedia
Dependency Based Semantic Parsing for Concept Level Text Analysis
Dependency Based Semantic Parsing for Concept Level Text Analysis
Published: 2014/04/15
Channel: Soujanya Poria
A course in Cognitive Linguistics: Metaphor
A course in Cognitive Linguistics: Metaphor
Published: 2015/02/26
Channel: Martin Hilpert
What Is Associative Meaning In Semantics
What Is Associative Meaning In Semantics
Published: 2017/11/28
Channel: Alan Sawyer
Semantics #4 - Prototype Theory
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Published: 2016/10/08
Channel: Ling Troduction
Engineering Semantic Annotations of Conceptual Models
Engineering Semantic Annotations of Conceptual Models
Published: 2015/03/17
Channel: Hans-Georg Fill
Artificial Intelligence 40 Semantic Network (Week Slot and Filler Structure) in ai
Artificial Intelligence 40 Semantic Network (Week Slot and Filler Structure) in ai
Published: 2017/03/18
Channel: Sanjay Pathak
Modal Semantics & Metaphysics
Modal Semantics & Metaphysics
Published: 2013/05/19
Channel: Philosophy Overdose
What Is A Conceptual Structure
What Is A Conceptual Structure
Published: 2017/11/28
Channel: Amari Simon
How to unleash Conceptual Creativity w/ Peter Hatherley
How to unleash Conceptual Creativity w/ Peter Hatherley
Published: 2016/09/14
Channel: 42DM formerly WebPromo
The Geometry of Meaning Semantics Based on Conceptual Spaces Pdf
The Geometry of Meaning Semantics Based on Conceptual Spaces Pdf
Published: 2015/12/17
Channel: Dionna Beckham
Semantic Retrieval of Trademarks Based on Conceptual Similarity
Semantic Retrieval of Trademarks Based on Conceptual Similarity
Published: 2016/09/21
Channel: ChennaiSunday Sivakumar
Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain - George Lakoff
Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain - George Lakoff
Published: 2008/07/16
Channel: FORA.tv
How to Pronounce Post Conceptual
How to Pronounce Post Conceptual
Published: 2016/12/01
Channel: Dictionary Voice
What Is An Example Of Semantics
What Is An Example Of Semantics
Published: 2017/11/28
Channel: Alan Sawyer
How to Pronounce Formal Semantics
How to Pronounce Formal Semantics
Published: 2016/12/06
Channel: Dictionary Voice
Semantics types of meaning
Semantics types of meaning
Published: 2015/11/13
Channel: สุวลี สมุทรเขตร์
How to Pronounce Conceptual Model
How to Pronounce Conceptual Model
Published: 2016/12/06
Channel: Dictionary Voice
What is SEMANTIC NETWORK? What does SEMANTIC NETWORK mean? SEMANTIC NETWORK meaning
What is SEMANTIC NETWORK? What does SEMANTIC NETWORK mean? SEMANTIC NETWORK meaning
Published: 2017/04/17
Channel: The Audiopedia
What is SEMANTIC DATA MODEL? What does SEMANTIC DATA MODEL mean? SEMANTIC DATA MODEL meaning
What is SEMANTIC DATA MODEL? What does SEMANTIC DATA MODEL mean? SEMANTIC DATA MODEL meaning
Published: 2017/05/27
Channel: The Audiopedia
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Conceptual semantics is a framework for semantic analysis developed mainly by Ray Jackendoff in 1976. Its aim is to provide a characterization of the conceptual elements by which a person understands words and sentences, and thus to provide an explanatory semantic representation (title of a Jackendoff 1976 paper). Explanatory in this sense refers to the ability of a given linguistic theory to describe how a component of language is acquired by a child (as proposed by Noam Chomsky; see Levels of adequacy).

Recently, conceptual semantics in particular, and lexical semantics in general, have taken on increasing importance in linguistics and psycholinguistics. Many contemporary theories of syntax (how sentences are constructed from individual words) rely on elements that are idiosyncratic to words themselves. As a result, a sound theory accounting for the properties of the meanings of words is required.

Meaning and Decomposition[edit]

Jackendoff has claimed that the goal of conceptual semantics is to investigate:

“…how linguistic utterances are related to human cognition, where cognition is a human capacity that is to a considerable degree independent of language, interacting with the perceptual and action systems as well as language.

— (Jackendoff 2006:355)

Conceptual semantics distinguishes a single, universal meaning to a word. Instead of having a lexical semantic meaning in addition to the conceptual representation of the actual referent, here the two are combined into what Jackendoff calls “lexical concepts” (Murphy 2010:59). Conceptual semantics is considered to be not just a linguistic theory, but a theory on human cognition. Like many semantic theories, Jackendoff claims that a decompositional method is necessary to explore conceptualization. Just as one of the ways a physical scientist tries to understand matter is by breaking it down into progressively smaller parts, so a scientific study of conceptualization proceeds by breaking down, or decomposing, meanings into smaller parts. However, this decomposition cannot go on forever, for at some point, meanings can no longer be broken down.

This is the level of conceptual structure, the level of mental representations which encode the human understanding of the world, containing the primitive conceptual elements out of which meanings are built, plus their rules of combination. Conceptual semantics does not work with a mental dictionary, in the classical sense. There are no definitions attached to concepts and reference, only the idea of the concept or reference itself. Just as generative syntax posits a finite set of syntactic categories and rules for combining them, so, too, does Conceptual Semantics posit ‘a finite set of mental primitives and a finite set of principles of mental combination’ governing their interaction (Jackendoff 1990: 9). Jackendoff refers to this set of primitives and the rules governing them as the ‘grammar of sentential concepts’ ( Jackendoff 1990: 9).

His starting point is a close analysis of the meanings of lexemes dedicated to bringing out parallelisms and contrasts which reveal the nature of the conceptual structures underlying them. Jackendoff considers the lexicon to be made of three parts: phonological, syntactic, and conceptual. These three aspects of a concept give a “full picture of a word” (Murphy 2010:60). What his method shows, he says, is that the psychological organization on which meaning rests ‘lies a very short distance below the surface of everyday lexical items – and that progress can be made in exploring it’ (1991: 44). Jackendoff claims that a decompositional method is necessary to explore conceptual structure, in which the concepts underlying word meaning are broken down into their smallest elements: conceptual primitives envisaged as the semantic equivalents of phonological features. Conceptual Semantics posits ‘a finite set of mental primitives and a finite set of principles of mental combination’ governing their interaction. The conceptual structure of a lexical item is an element with zero or more open argument slots, which are filled by the syntactic complements of the lexical item.

Semantic structures[edit]

Conceptual semantics breaks lexical concepts up into ontological categories: events, states, places, amounts, things, and property, to name a few. These ontological categories are called semantic primes, or semantic primitives. Jackendoff poses that any concept in the human brain can be expressed using these semantic primes. Conceptual semantics is compositional, in that the meanings of phrases, clauses, and sentences can be determined from the lexical concepts that make them up. (Murphy 2010:66)

Problems with conceptual semantics[edit]

Jackendoff’s system has been criticised for its highly abstract primitives, which linguists such as Wierzbicka (2007a, 2007b) and Goddard (1998, 2001) have called “obscure”. The main reason for this is because one requires special training to understand them, and they often must be translated into plain English to be communicated. Another criticism often raised against conceptual semantics is that it is arbitrary. In its current state, there are no clear procedures for determining when a primitive is justified. Another criticism Wierzbicka and Goddard have raised is that the theory was formulated around and applied only to English, though it claims to be universal.

Jackendoff responds to these criticisms by saying:

In fact, an isolated primitive can never be justified: a primitive makes sense only in the context of the overall system of primitives in which it is embedded. With this proviso, however, I think a particular choice of primitives should be justified on the grounds of its capacity for expressing generalizations and explaining the distribution of the data. That is, a proposed system of primitives is subject to the usual scientific standards of evaluation.

— (Jackendoff 1990)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Goddard, Cliff (1998) Semantic Analysis. Oxford University Press
  • Goddard, Cliff (2001) Review: Language, logic, and concepts: essays in memory of John Macnamara, ed. by Ray Jackendoff, Paul Bloom, and Karen Wynn. Journal of Linguistics 205-210.
  • Jackendoff, Ray (1976). "Toward an explanatory semantic representation". Linguistic Inquiry. 7 (1): 89–150. 
  • Jackendoff, Ray (1976). Semantics and Cognition. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. p. 283. ISBN 0-262-10027-4. 
  • Jackendoff, Ray (1990). Semantic Structures. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. p. 322. ISBN 0-262-10043-6. 
  • Jackendoff, Ray (1991). "Parts and boundaries". In Levin, Beth; Pinker, Steven. Lexical & conceptual semantics. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell. p. 244. ISBN 1-55786-354-7. 
  • Jackendoff, Ray (2002). Foundations of Language. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. p. 477. ISBN 0-19-827012-7. 
  • Jackendoff, Ray (2006) On conceptual Semantics. Intercultural Pragmatics, 353-358
  • Jackendoff, Ray (2007). Language, Consciousness, Culture: Essays on Mental Structure. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. p. 403. ISBN 978-0-262-10119-6. 
  • Murphy, Lynne (2010) "Lexical Meaning" Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics.
  • Wierzbicka, Anna (2007b) NSM semantics versus Conceptual Semantics: goals and standards (a response to Jackendoff). Intercultural Pragmatics 521-529.
  • Wierzbicka, Anna (2007a) Theory and empirical findings: a response to Jackendoff. Intercultural Pragmatics 399-409.

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