Meaning And Meaning In Language

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The Study of Meaning In linguistic approach, meaning is about a message expressed, communicated, or conveyed by the source or the sender, to be perceived and inferred by the observer or receiver, in the presented context. With meaning, ambiguity may inevitably appear that is confusion about the conveyed information, as its context may lead to altering interpretations in meaning. There are several definitions of several words in several languages. Semantics observes how meaning is transferred through signs and language. We can make distinction between Linguistic Semantics, which focuses on the history of how words have been used in the past and General Semantics that is about likely intent and assumptions that people mean and refer in terms…show more content…
One reason for this complicated relationship is the limitlessness of modern language systems like English.David Crystal, How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning, and Languages Live or Die (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 2005), 8–9. Language is productive in the sense that there are an infinite number of utterances we can make by connecting existing words in new ways. In addition, there is no limit to a language’s vocabulary, as new words are coined daily. Of course, words aren’t the only things we need to communicate, and although verbal and nonverbal communication are closely related in terms of how we make meaning, nonverbal communication is not productive and limitless. Although we can only make a few hundred physical signs, we have about a million words in the English language. So with all this possibility, how does communication generate…show more content…
Richards and Charles K. Ogden, The Meaning of Meaning (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Tubner, 1923). As you can see in Figure 3.1 "Triangle of Meaning", the thought is the concept or idea a person references. The symbol is the word that represents the thought, and the referent is the object or idea to which the symbol refers. This model is useful for us as communicators because when we are aware of the indirect relationship between symbols and referents, we are aware of how common misunderstandings occur, as the following example illustrates: Jasper and Abby have been thinking about getting a new dog. So each of them is having a similar thought. They are each using the same symbol, the word dog, to communicate about their thought. Their referents, however, are different. Jasper is thinking about a small dog like a dachshund, and Abby is thinking about an Australian shepherd. Since the word dog doesn’t refer to one specific object in our reality, it is possible for them to have the same thought, and use the same symbol, but end up in an awkward moment when they get to the shelter and fall in love with their respective referents only to find out the other person didn’t have the same thing in

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