Semantics - E-Ching Ng



Handout 14.5 · Ling 110b section · E-Ching Ng · 24 Mar 2011


Structural and/or semantic ambiguity? a. Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim - structural b. Milk Drinkers Are Turning to Powder - semantic c. Dr. Ruth to Talk about Sex with Newspaper Editors - structural d. Stolen Painting Found by Tree - semantic e. Reagan Wins on Budget, but More Lies Ahead - structural & semantic f. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks - semantic g. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over - pragmatic


Polysemy or homophony? (Textbook §1.1) a. Grendel’s dam | The Three Gorges Dam - Homophony b. Arthur and his driving license expired last Thursday. - Polysemy c. I went after him with a baseball bat. | Bats are surprisingly cute and furry.- Homophony d. I married a gorgeous rat. | Ratatouille, the first Disney rat. - Polysemy e. You need paper to make origami. | I read it in yesterday’s paper.- Polysemy f. That’s so camp. | I went to summer camp. - Homophony g. The moon is bright tonight. | He’s very bright.- Polysemy h. Moles are small burrowing mammals. | Moles are informants in place. - Polysemy


Paraphrase, entailment or contradiction? (Textbook §1.2) a. I have a clinical fear of the number 13. | I suffer from triskaidekaphobia. - Paraphrase b. I’m a Global Affairs major at Yale. | I’m a student. - Entailment c. I have a tuxedo cat. | My cat is black with a white shirtfront and white socks. - Paraphrase d. I did one of the homework problems. | I have started doing the homework. - Entailment e. It was only yesterday that I found out. | I found out yesterday. - Paraphrase f. It’s snowing hard. | It’s springtime. - Intended to be contradiction, but evidently isn’t


Describe the intensions and extensions of each of these phrases. (Textbook §1.3) a. The time-space coordinates of our review session - Mar 28, 8–9pm, WLH 116 b. Boxing Day c. The queen of France


Predicate/First-order logic a. Hobbes is a tiger. - T(h) b. Mary Poppins gave Hobbes to Calvin. - G(m,h,c) c. Hobbes is lazy but brilliant. Lazy(h) & Brilliant(h) d. When Calvin and Hobbes fight, Calvin loses. - F(c,h) → Lose(c) e. Hobbes eats everything. - ∀x[E(h,x)] f. Hobbes wears nothing. - ∀x[¬W(h,x)] or ¬∃x[W(h,x)] g. Someone can babysit Calvin. - ∃x[Babysit(x,c)] h. There is at least one kind of food that Calvin and Hobbes both eat. ∃x[E(c,x) & E(h,x)] i. Calvin hates all girls. - ∀x[G(x) → H(c,x)]

2 (6)

Book recommendations a. General. The Language Instinct: How the mind creates language by Steven Pinker b. Phonetics. Accents and dialects for stage and screen by Paul Meier. c. Syntax. The Atoms of Language: The mind’s hidden rules of grammar by Mark C. Baker d. Recursion, culture. Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and language in the Amazonian jungle by Daniel L. Everett


Common issues in Homework 6 9c) … a student asked whether the eclipse would occur. 10f) Do pigs fly? 11b) Who should call the director? Extra credit. (a) Where do youi want PROi to go? (b) Whoi do you want ti to go to the store?


Semantics - E-Ching Ng

Semantics Handout 14.5 · Ling 110b section · E-Ching Ng · 24 Mar 2011 (1) Structural and/or semantic ambiguity? a. Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim - st...

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