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16 Referential Theory

One common sense theory is that expressions have meanings because they stand for things: they mean what they stand for. Words are like labels. “Charlie Chaplin” denotes the person Charlie Chaplin. The word “cat” stands for a member of Felis catus. And the sentence “Charlie Chaplin kicked a cat” stands for Charlie Chaplin having kicked a cat, presumably because “Charlie Chaplin” denotes the person Charlie Chaplin, “kicked” stands for the act of kicking in the past, and “a cat” refers to a member of Felis catus.

•The Referential Theory of Meaning is that the meaning of a term is the things in the world it refers to.

•The Conceptual Theory of Meaning is that the meaning of a term is the properties and concepts associated with it.

The Referential Theory is confounded by terms that have the same referent but different meaning, such as 'morning star' and 'evening star'. The Conceptual Theory reduces to dictionary-like circularity for many concepts that can only be described by the word(s) to which they help give meaning.

17 Lexical - is the meaning proper to the given linguistic unit in all its forms and distributions. L. meaning is the realization of concept or emotion by means of a definite language system. L. meaning is the same in different gram¬matical forms of the same word: Listen, listens, listening, listened, listener, listeners, listerner's, lis¬teners'. Two components of lexical meaning: Denotative - part of meaning gives objective information about an object, it is the con¬ceptual content of a word: terms (nudeous, para¬digm). Connotative - part of the lexical meaning is what the word con¬veys about the speaker's atti¬tude to different situations: stomach vs belly. Four types of connotative meaning: Stylistic - connotation is what the word conveys about the speaker's usage of a certain functional style, situation, re¬lationships between inter¬locutors, purpose of commu¬nication: house (neutral), resi¬dence (formal), hut (in¬formal); Evaluative - connotation is about the speaker's approval or disapproval of the object spoken: catholics vs papists. Emotional - connotation is what the word conveys about the speaker's emotions: cold weather - beastly weather; Intensifying - connotation ex-presses degree or intensity of lexical meaning: splendid vs gorgeous, magnificent; Grammatical - meaning is ab¬stract and generalized, it is recurrent in identical sets of individual forms of different words: the common element in the words 'kids, tables, types' is the grammati¬cal meaning of plurality; Lexico-grammatical meaning is common for all the mean¬ings of words belonging to a lexico-grammatical class of words, it is the feature ac¬cording to which they are grouped together: the words 'team, crew, staff, brigade' have common lexico-gram¬matical meaning of 'group'; Implicational - meaning is the implied information associ¬ated with the speaker's knowl¬edge about the referent: in the utterance “This classy woman has long been a Hollywood staple' the word 'staple' has an implicational meaning; Direct - meaning nominates the referent in isolation, without certain context: pig's head; Figurative - meaning nominates the referent giving some addi¬tional characteristics: He is pig-headed; Primary /main - meaning stands first, usually it is the earliest: 'Field7 primary meaning as in 'green fields'; Secondary / de¬rived - meaning is formed from the primary: field"derived meaning (secondary) as in "in the field of our history; in the field of physics'.

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