Introducing English Semantics

Introducing English Semantics

by Charles W. Kreidler


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Introducing English Semantics by Charles W. Kreidler

Introducing English Semantics, Second Edition is a practical introduction to understanding how meanings are expressed in the English language. Presenting the basic principles of the discipline of semantics, this newly revised edition explores the knowledge of language that speakers have which enables them to communicate - to express observations, opinions, intentions and the products of their imagination. The text emphasises pragmatic investigation with numerous illustrative examples of concepts and ample exercises to help students develop and improve their linguistic analysis skills.

Introducing English Semantics:

    • Discusses the nature of human language and how linguists categorise and examine it.
    • Covers meanings expressed in English words, prefixes, suffixes and sentences.
    • Examines such relations as synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, ambiguity, implication, factivity, aspect, and modality
    • Draws comparisons between English and other languages
    • Illustrates the importance of 'tone of voice' and 'body language' in face-to-face exchanges and the role of context in any communication
    • Contains a wealth of exercises and a glossary to clearly define all terminology

This new edition includes expanded and updated textual exercises and a greater focus on compounds and other kinds of composite lexemes. Written in a clear and accessible style, Introducing English Semantics is an essential text for any student taking an introductory course in semantics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415828048
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/08/2013
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

The late Charles W. Kreidler was Emeritus Professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. His research covered English phonology, grammar, semantics, and vocabulary, with particular interest in teaching EF/ESL and preparing teachers of English.

Table of Contents

1 The Study of Meaning

1.1 The Systemic Study of Meaning

1.2 The Nature of Language

1.3 Language and the Individual

Demonstrating Semantic Knowledge

2 Language in Use

2.1 Pragmatics

2.2 Natural and Conventional Signs


Linguistic Signs

2.4 Utterance and Sentence

2.5 Prosody

2.6 Non-Verbal Communication

3 The Dimensions of Meaning

3.1 Reference and Denotation

3.2 Connotation

3.3 Sense Relations

3.4 Lexical and Grammatical Meanings

3.5 Morphemes

3.6 Homonymy

and Polysemy

3.7 Lexical Ambiguity

3.8 Sentence Meaning

4 Semantic Roles

4.1 Sentence and Proposition

4.2 Semantic Roles

4.2.1 Valency Zero

4.2.2 Valency One

4.2.3 Valency Two

4.3 Some Changes in Valency

5 Lexical Relations


Lexical Fields

5.2 Kinship

5.3 Hyponymy

5.4 Synonymy

5.5 Antonymy

5.6 Binary and Non-Binary Antonyms

5.7 A Comparison of Four Relations

5.8 Converse Antonyms

5.9 Symmetry and Reciprocity

5.10 Expressions of Quantity

6 Transition and Transfer


6.1 Transition

6.2 Transfer

7 Reference

7.1 Referents and Referring Expressions

7.2 Extension and Intension

7.3 Some Different Kinds of Referents

7.3.1 Unique and Non-Unique Referents

7.3.2 Concrete and Abstract Referents


Countable and Non-Countable Referents

7.4 Different Ways of Referring

7.4.1 Generic and Non-Generic Reference

7.4.2 Specific and Non-Specific Reference

7.4.3 Definite and Indefinite Reference

7.5 Deixis

7.6 Anaphora

7.7 Shifts in Ways of Referring


Referential Ambiguity

8 Sentences as Arguments

8.1 Full Statement Clauses

8.2 Question Clauses

8.3 Infinitive Clauses

8.4 Gerund Clauses

8.5 Non-Factual Clauses

8.6 Verbal Nouns

8.7 Comparing Types of Clauses

8.8 Syntactic Ambiguity


Speech Acts

9.1 The Form of Sentences and the Purpose of Utterances

9.2 Analysis of Speech Acts

9.3 Seven Kinds of Speech Acts

9.3.1 Assertive Utterances

9.3.2 Performative Utterances

9.3.3 Verdictive Utterances

9.3.4 Expressive Utterances


Directive Utterances

9.3.6 Commissive Utterances

9.3.7 Four Speech Acts Compared

9.3.8 Phatic Utterances

10 Aspect

10.1 Generic and Specific Predications

10.2 Stative Predicates and Dynamic Predicates

10.3 Durative and Punctual

10.4 Telic and Atelic

10.5 Ingressive, Continuative, Egressive Aspect

10.5.1 Predicates of Location

10.5.2 Predicates of Possession

10.5.3 Predicates of Cognition

10.5.4 Event Predicates

10.5.5 Nouns and Adjectives as Predicates

10.5.6 Aspectual Verbs

10.6 Prospective and


10.7 Some Grammatical Expressions of Aspect

10.7.1 The Prospective

10.7.2 The Perfect or Retrogressive

10.7.3 The Progressive

11 Factivity, Implication, and Modality

11.1 Factivity

11.2 Implicative Predicates

11.3 Modality

12 A

Variety of Predicates

12.1 Attitudinal Predicates

12.2 Enabling and Preventing

12.3 Perceptual Predicates

13 The Semantics of Morphological Relations

13.1 Formal Processes of Derivation

13.2 Semantic Processes in Derivation

13.3 Verbs Formed from


13.3.1 Transfer Meanings

13.3.2 Effective Meanings

13.3.3 Instrumental Meanings

13.3.4 Vehicular Meanings

13.4 Verbs from Adjectives

13.5 Verbs from Verbs

13.6 Adjectives Derived from Verbs

13.7 Adjectives Derived from Nouns

13.8 Adjectives

Derived from Adjectives

13.9 Nouns Derived from Verbs

13.10 Nouns Derived from Adjectives

13.11 Nouns Derived from Nouns

Glossary of Technical Terms


Index of Lexemes

Index of Names

Index of Technical Terms

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