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自考“英语语言学”资料(8)

2007-07-25 14:46   【 】【我要纠错

  1.71.What is polysemy?What is homonymy?

 “Polysemy”refers to the semantic phenomenon that a word may have than one meaning.For example,“negative”,means(1)a statement saying or meaning“no”,(2)a refusal or denial,(3)one of the following words and expressions: no,not,nothing,never,not at all,etc.,(4) a negative photograph or film.But we can sometimes hardly tell if a form has several meanings or it is a different word taking this form;hence the difference between polysemy and homonymy.

  1.72.What is entailment?

 “Entailment”can be illustrated by the following two sentences,with Sentence A entailing Sentence B:

  A:He married a blonde heiress.

  B:He married a blonde.

  In terms of truth value,the following relationships exist between these two sentences(1)When A is true,B is necessarily true;(2)When B is false,too;(3)when A is false,B may be true or false ;(4)When B is true,A may be true or false.Entailment is basically a semantic relation or logical implication,but we have to assume co-reference of“He”in sentence A and sentence B,before we have A entail B.

  1.73.What is presupposition?

  Similar to entailment,“presupposition”is a semantic relationship or logical connection.The above-mentioned“When phrase No.1”is also true with presupposition.For example:

  A:The girl he married was an heiress.

  B:He married a girl.

  But there is an important difference: Presupposition is not subject to negation,i.e.,when A is false,B is still true.Other statements about the truth value in presupposition are(1)When B is true,A can either be true or false;(2)When B is false,A has no truth value at all.Presupposition does not have to be found between two propositions.An example in point is :“ When did you stop beating your wife?”This presupposes that he has been beating his wife.

  1.74.What is componential analysis?

 “Componential analysis”defines the meaning of a lexical element in terms of semantic components.For example,we may“clip”the following words“Man”,“Woman”,“Boy”and“Girl”so that we have only separate parts of them.

  Man:+Human+Adult+Male

  Woman:+Human+Adult-Male

  Boy:+Human-Adult+Male

  Girl:+Huamn-Adult-Male

  1.75.What is predication analysis?What is a one-place predicate?What is a two-place predicate?What is a no-place predicate?What are down-graded predications?

 “Predication analysis”is a new approach for sentential meaning analysis.“Predication”is usually considered an important common category shared by propositions,questions,commands,etc.Predication is to break down the sentence into their smaller constituents:argument(logical participant)and predicate (relation element).The“predicate”is the major or pivotal element governing the argument.We may now distinguish a“two-place predicate”(which governs two arguments,e.g.subject and object),a“one-place predicate”(which governs one argument,i.e.,subject)and a“no-place predicate”that has simply no argument(no real subject or object)。

  1.76.What is a logical operator?

  (1)“Logical operator ”make only one kind of the“logical factors”or“logical means”,others being“definiteness”,“ coreference ”,“tense”and“time”,since predication is not the whole of a sentence or proposition.All these factors play a part in prepositional actualization of the predication ——the pining of a predication down a claim about reality.

  (2)Example of logical operators are“not”,“and”,“or”,“some”,“if”,“false”,etc.The term“logical operation”reflects the fact that these meaning elements are often thought of as performing operations,controlling elements of the semantic system,so to speak.

  1.77.Why is writing important?Why is speech considered prior to writing?

  (1)Language can take the form of speech or writing,the former using sound as medium and the latter employing visual symbols.No one could tell when mankind first spoke;nor could people tell when mankind developed the first writing. A writing system consists of a graphemes plus characteristic features of their use,resulting in the diversion of the writing forms;word writing,syllabic writing and sound writing.

  (2)It is widely considered that speech is the primary medium,and writing the secondary medium.But this comparative diminution does not mean that writing is unimportant.With the shot-lived memory and the finite capacity of information storing,writing is used,partly for compensation and partly for better communication.We cannot trust the negotiation counterpart so we turn to the writing and signing of an agreement.Writing leads people to the acme of science,study and research,and to the ultimate joy of literature

  1.78.What is a pictogram?What is an ideogram?

  (1)A“pictogram”refers to an inscription representing the features of a physical object.The Hebrew and the Chinese orthography still reflects traces of their pictorial origin.For instance,the letter“a”(aleph)imitates the head of an ox and the letter“b”(beth)imitates a horse.And“niú”,“mǎ”,“hǔ”and hundreds more of Chinese words derived from,and still keep the pictorial resemblance to,the shapes of the things or objects.

  (2)The advantage of pictograms is that they can be easily understood by anyone.That explains why international road signs and public-toilet signs make a wide use of them.

  (3)An“ideogram”means an idea picture or idea writing.In order to express the attribute of an object or concepts associated with it,the pictogram's meaning had to be extended.For instance,a picture of the sun does not necessarily represent the object itself,but connotes“warmth”,“heat”,“light”,“daytime”,etc.In spite of its disadvantages,the later form of ideograms turned out to be linguistic symbols,symbols for the sounds of these objects.The process is called the“Rebus Principle”indicating that writing is like a riddle composed of words or syllables depicted by symbols or pictures that suggest the sound of the words or syllables they represent.

  1.79.What is word writing?What is sound writing?What is syllabic writing?

  (1)Word writing refers to the writing system based on ideograms and/or pictograms,like Chinese (see 1.78)。“Sound writing ”or“alphabetic writing”,which dominates the world,derived form the Latin alphabet with mild adjustments.Most of the European alphabets belong to the sound writing system,e.g.,Spanish,German,French,English,etc.

  (2)“Syllabic writing”is a word-syllabus writing,developed by the Egyptians.Japanese is a typical syllabic-writing language,though derived from Chinese,a Sino-Tibetan language.The Japanese modified the Chinese characters they had borrowed from ancient China so that the Japanese syllables(to the number of fifty) were each represented,either by what is called“hiragana”or by what is name“katakana”。

  1.80.What is an alphabet?What is a syllabary?

  An“alphabet”refers to the letters or signs representing speech sounds used in writing a language,arranged in a conventional order.A“syllabary”refers to a set or table or system of written characters representing syllables rather than individual sounds.

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