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Moonlightshadow



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 4
Location: K.S.A
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:56 am
Post subject: Problems:Proposition, predicate , predicator...
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Hello

I am self-studying Semantics from Semantics A Coursebook by James Hurford, Brendan Heasley and Micheal Smith. I find Semantics unlike the other sub fields very difficult.

    I don't understand proposition
    Isn't referring expression is the same as the referent?
    I don't get opaque context,( if you have the book ,2nd ed, Please, open page 41 and tell me why in the practice the answers to number 4 and 7 is NO while I still think it's YES)
    And what is the different between predicate and predicator, please give clear examples


I am scared out of my mind, I am still in unit five and I am finding so much difficulties.

Sorry if my questions had been asked before, but I tried the SEARCH thing, and it is doesn't work.

Thanks
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Guijarro
Chomsky


Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 2182
Location: Cadiz (Spain)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:22 am
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I don't have the book you mention, but I will try to answer from my own frame of reference (which does not guarantee that it matches the one you are reading!).

When you analyse a given expression, you may want to find out its syntactic structure and the elements that happen in it.

For instance:

{[The priest] [(kissed) (the nun)]}

is a {SENTENCE} with an [NP] the priest in first position and a [VP] in which the (V) kissed has another (NP) the nun attached to it.

The first [NP] performs the function of SUBJECT, the [VP] performs the function of PREDICATE, in which, the (V) performs the function of PREDICATOR and the last (NP) performs the function of DIRECT OBJECT.

Until this moment, we have been dealing with a SENTENCE (i.e., a grammatica structure)

If we analyse the same expression by its meaning structure, we will get a PROPOSITION. Imagine this simple analysis:

KISSED (PRIEST, NUN)

Where the first element refers to the meaning of the action, and the elements inside a parenthesis represent the actor and the other the receiver of the action. The PROPOSITION underlies different types of SENTENCES. We have seen the active sentence above. The passive will have the same underlying PROPOSITION.

A referring expression, on the other hand, according to WIKIPEDIA, is any noun phrase, or surrogate for a noun phrase, whose function in a text is to "pick out" an individual person, place, object, or a set of persons, places, objects, etc. The technical terminology for "pick out" differs a great deal from one school of linguistics to another. The most widespread term is probably refer, and a thing "picked out" is a referent.

Sometimes, it is a good idea to look up those things in the web! Use it for opaque context, and you will see what a wealth of information you get
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Moonlightshadow



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 4
Location: K.S.A
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:21 pm
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I understand what you are saying about the predicate and predicator. You are talking about grammar. I need it to be explained from a semantic point of view.
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Guijarro
Chomsky


Joined: 21 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:31 am
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I am not a dedicated semanticist, unluckily. My feeling is that grammatical functions are thought of adding some meaning to the categorial constituents of syntax. So, the functions that I wrote in capital letters refer also to a grammatical semantics.

Take this with a grain of salt, however, and try to get a better answer from a real semanticist.
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Moonlightshadow



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
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Location: K.S.A
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:40 am
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Okay, can you refer a website or a forum that help with Semantics?

Thanks!
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qamili
Good Linguist


Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Prishtina Albania
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:35 pm
Post subject: The difference between predicate and predicator
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Workers celebrate their traditional festival.

In the clause above we have the subject WORKERS and predicate which is all the rest of sentence CELEBRATE THEIR TRADITIONAL FESTIVAL whereas predicator is only CELEBRATE, not the entire sentence as in predicate.

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