Topic: meaning of words

topics > philosophy > Group: meaning and truth

natural language

abstraction as part of language
dictionary for natural language
language flexibility
meaning by language as a whole
meaning by use
meaning vs. reference
natural language as communication
natural language translation
pidgin and creole languages
semantic networks
thesaurus and information retrieval
words defined by words
words in natural languages

Subtopic: words have meaning up

Quote: words but not utterances generally have meaning in English; because a word, but not an utterance, has a distributive set in E [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: speech uses discrete words or morphemes for expressing concepts
Quote: for young children, a word is a whole sentence [»vyotLS_1962]

Subtopic: understood word through a language up

Quote: if a word has meaning in English, can always say something about it; may not able to explain it in detail or give a precise definition [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: a word is in a language if, through that language, we can understand the word [»cbb_1973, OK]
Quote: some words have a meaning in English with necessary and sufficient conditions; e.g., 'brother' vs. 'tiger', 'brotherlike freak', 'old brother' [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: only in a proposition have words really a meaning; even though mental pictures float before us all the while [»fregG_1884]
Quote: to determine a word's meaning need to determine its distributive and contrastive sets; grammatical characterization, attention to details [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: need to determine the relevant, semantic differences between a word's distributive and contrastive sets; disambiguation [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: the final step of determining a word's meaning is formulating a dictionary entry that summarizes its relevant semantic differences [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: for most utterances using 'good', can ask 'What is good about that?' [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: can debate whether or not something is 'good'; agrees with 'good' as answering to certain interests [»ziffP_1960]
Quote: 'good' means answering to certain interests; 157 utterances in support, 3 utterances that fit poorly [»ziffP_1960]

Subtopic: understand word through context up

Quote: understanding is a great ability to avoid equivocation through context, drift, and occasion; we can find out the true meaning of what is said [»hobbT_1650, OK]

Subtopic: word senses up

Quote: a speaker wants to unify distinct meanings in one word, while an auditor wants diversity with one word per meaning; these conflicting economies lead to vocabulary balance [»zipfGK_1949]
Quote: sense is what determines the truth-value of a sentence while coloring is everything else; e.g., chap vs. guy or man [»dummM_1967]
Quote: the meaning of a phoneme depends on synonymy, i.e., the sameness of meaning
Quote: such is the exuberance of signification which many words have obtained, that it is scarcely possible to collect all their senses [»johnS_1755, OK]

Subtopic: thesaurus up

Quote: a thesaurus leads to a universal language and a golden age of union and harmony among nations [»rogePM_1853, OK]
Quote: a thesaurus groups natural language words under interrelated, conceptual labels; group by synonymy or resemblance of meaning [»sparK7_1972]
Quote: Roget's thesaurus: given the idea, locate the words which best express the idea; opposite to a dictionary
[»rogePM_1853, OK]

Related Topics up

Group: naming   (32 topics, 789 quotes)
Group: natural language   (16 topics, 539 quotes)

Topic: abstraction as part of language (18 items)
Topic: classification (65 items)
Topic: definition (17 items)
Topic: dictionary for natural language (41 items)
Topic: language flexibility (34 items)
Topic: meaning by language as a whole (26 items)
Topic: meaning by use (58 items)
Topic: meaning vs. reference (49 items)
Topic: natural language as communication (34 items)
Topic: natural language translation (8 items)
Topic: pidgin and creole languages (31 items)
Topic: semantic networks (42 items)
Topic: thesaurus and information retrieval (29 items)
Topic: words defined by words (25 items)
Topic: words in natural languages (40 items)
Topic: writing
(32 items)

Updated barberCB 7/05
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