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Lectures: Thu: 08:30-10:00

Tutorials: Tue: 08:30-10:00
Lecture 2 The structure of English vocabulary
Review questions:
1. Could the following possibly be used as referring expressions? Circle the answer of
your choice:
Victoria; my uncle; the girl sitting in the first row; a student; send; red; the red one;
the student.
2. We used the term reference for the use of nominals (noun phrases and names) and
pronouns to identify or pick out individuals in the world. For each of the following,
imagine the sentence being spoken in an average kind of situation. Discuss which
elements would be used to refer in your situation.
a. This schedule is crazy.
b. She enjoyed herself at the party.
c. Theres a police officer looking at your car.
d. The script calls for a short fat guy.
e. You asked for a ham sandwich, this is a ham sandwich.
3. When you look up the meaning of a word in a dictionary, what do you find there, its
referent or an expression with the same sense?
4. Do the expressions this morning and have the same sense and
5. What is intended by the word(s) mean/meaning, in the following examples,
reference or sense?:
-When Daddy mentioned the fruit cake, he meant the hard object in the middle of
the table.
-When Dragi talks about his former friend he means me.
-Mummy, what does reference mean?
-Purchase has the same meaning as buy.
-Look up the meaning of extension in your dictionary.
6. Strip away referring expressions and the verb be (and possibly other elements) to
identify the predicators in the following sentences:
-I am hungry.
-Ivan was in Orlando, Florida.
-The Mayor of Skopje is a crook.
-The student over there is very pretty.
-Victor is behind Victoria.
7. How many potential referents are there for the expression the cat?
8. Is the universe of discourse in each of the following cases the real world (as far as
we can tell) or a (partly) fictitious world?:
-Newsreader on October 3rd, 1995: At 9:45 this morning there was an attempt to
assassinate the President of Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, in front of the Bristol Hotel in
-Mother to child: Santa Claus might bring you a toy telephone.
-Mother to child: Dont touch those berries. They might be poisonous.
-Patient in psychiatric ward: As your Emperor, I command you to defeat the Martians.
-Patient (jokingly): When Im dead, Ill walk to the cemetery to save the cost of a
Discuss the ancient controversy between the naturalists and the

In discussing the nature of word meaning, we noted that it is necessary to
distinguish between a words extension and its intension. Describe the difference
between the extension and intension of each of these phrases:
The Vardar
The Queen of England
The President of Macedonia
What distinction, if any, would you draw between reference and extension?
What distinction, if any, would you draw between reference and denotation?
What is the image theory of meaning? Discuss at least one objection to it.
Discuss the so-called triangle of signification.
In our discussion of semantic decomposition, we noted that at least some
words have meanings that can be represented in terms of smaller semantic
features. Four such words are dog, puppy, cat and kitten.
- Attempt to provide the semantic features associated with each of these words.
- How are the pairs dog-puppy and cat-kitten different from man-boy and womangirl?
- Is it easy to provide semantic features for the words circle and silver?
What is a prototype? Distinguish between a core and a periphery of a
What is the Use Theory of Meaning? Discuss its major weakness.