By Brigitte Nerlich
It's commonly believed by way of historians of linguistics that the nineteenth century used to be mostly dedicated to old and comparative reviews, with the most emphasis at the discovery of sound-laws. Syntax is usually portrayed as a trifling sideline of those experiences, whereas semantics is seldom even pointed out. If it comes into view in any respect, it's always assumed to were restricted to diachronic lexical semantics and the development of a few (mostly ill-conceived) typologies of semantic swap. This booklet goals to damage a few of these prejudices and to teach that during Europe semantics was once an incredible, even if arguable, sector at the moment. The synchronic mechanism of semantic switch used to be found and increas ing awareness used to be paid to the context of the sentence, to the speech scenario and the clients of the language. From being a semantics of "transformations", a toddler of the biological-geological paradigm of ancient linguistics with its shut hyperlinks to etymology and lexicography, the sector matured right into a semantics of comprehension and conversation, set inside of a common linguistics and heavily on the topic of the rising fields of psychology and sociology.
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Extra resources for Semantic Theories in Europe, 1830-1930: From Etymology to Contextuality
If the domain of discourse is students still enrolled in the course, then the proposition expressed will be the proposition that every student still enrolled in the course is present. If the domain of discourse is students who have been attending recently, then the proposition expressed will be the proposition that every student who has been attending recently is present . . ’ Taken out of context, this sentence does not express any particular proposition, because, taken out of context, there is no particular domain of discourse relative to which we may interpret ‘everyone’ .
451) The literal meaning of a sentence only determines a set of truth conditions given a set of background practices and assumptions. Relative to one set of practices and assumptions, a sentence may determine one set of truth conditions; relative to another set of practices and assumptions, another set; and if some sets of assumptions and practices are given, the literal meaning of a sentence may not determine a definite set of truth conditions at all. (Searle 1980, p. 227) . . in general the meaning of a sentence only has application (it only, for example, determines a set of truth conditions) against a background of assumptions and practices that are not representable as a part of meaning.
More generally, that sentences containing quantifiers exhibit context sensitivity with respect to domain restrictions. 41 From Moderate to Radical Contextualism Our immediate aim is to convince you that if the argument sketched in S1–S3 impresses you, then you ought to be equally impressed by analogous arguments that involve exacting the same sort of intuitions for utterances of any English sentence whatsoever. Our claim is an empirical one. It’s a claim about what kinds of intuitions can be triggered by thinking about language use under various circumstances.
Semantic Theories in Europe, 1830-1930: From Etymology to Contextuality by Brigitte Nerlich