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Showing posts from January 1, 2023

Chapter 4: Meaning

 Chapter 4: Meaning 1.     Introduction The concept of ‘meaning’ is difficult to define or explain. It has been approached from many very different angles by linguists, by literary theorists and by philosophers. Theories of meaning can be very complex and are often hotly disputed. If meaning is complicated in language which is primarily concerned with transmitting information or establishing social relations (writing in a scientific journal, or greeting a friend, for example) then it is inevitably going to be very complicated in literary uses of language, where writers may deliberately explore the edges of possible meanings in a language and try to push them a bit further to see what kind of effect they can get.   2.     Semantics When we want to know the meaning of an unfamiliar word, we look it up in the dictionary. Discussions of meaning at the level of single words usually come under the scope of semantics, the study of word meaning. Semantics considers how the meanings of words in