3. SENSE AND REFERENCE (2016)Apunte Inglés
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SENSE AND REFERENCE – 29/02/16
The sense of a word in its dictionary definition. The sense of a words derives from its
relation to other words. Usually associated with meaning. The intension.
Reference -> the representation of a given word. The one or more objects in the real world a word can give its name to. The extension. For most physical objects, they have sense and reference.
A word to have meaning, needs to have either sense or reference (or both). If a word doesn’t have sense or reference, it is not meaningful.
There are some semantic features/properties that are usually prototypical for a word.
The list of attributes that define a word (the sense). The sense of a word does not change even if the reference does. The sense is constant whereas the reference changes.
One or more objects in the real world to which a word can give its name. The different examples of a word. The actual example. It tends to be variable (the reference). Easy to identify when talking about physical objects. It is extra linguistic (the extension) – “we go to the real world to find an example that illustrates the sense.” The sense of a word determines reference. And the reference of a given word must always be an example of its sense.
Lyons started working on the distinction between sense and reference. He made a distinction between denotation and reference. The denotation would embrace all those possible references/objects in the real world to which a word can be explained. It is invariable. Reference tends to be variable; the sense remains the same.
EXERCISE: do the bold words have sense or reference, or both sense and reference? 1. I saw Peter** yesterday – reference (there is no sense 2. Peter phoned. He said that... – sense and reference (little sense; third person singular, male) (its reference is very variable; it could refer to anyone male).
3. John phoned. He said that… - sense and reference.
4. A Centaur has the body and legs of a horse – sense (no reference; not a determined centaur in particular or an existing one –it does not have a real independent existence-).
5. Those were years of Happiness*** in my life – sense and reference (you can define what happiness is and relate it to a moment of the life) 6. The present king of Andorra is bald – sense (there is no reference because there is no such a thing as a king in andorra) **It is not possible to give a definition for proper names; they lack sense.
*** abstract words do have reference but it is not physical; they refer to states, feelings, events, etc. they do have variability.
Encuentra más apuntes en UnyBook.com - @aserrano [01/03/16] - Continuation - Proper nouns have stable referents and no sense (or very little). It is not possible to individualize proper names such as Peter. Certain proper nous tend to have certain attributes as for example names of cities. It depends on how well you can justify the attributes.
- Pronouns have variable referents but very little sense. We can only talk about gender and number (in some cases). Pronouns are only referring expressions.
Peter called. He (Peter) said that… - Some words have sense but no reference, because they are not meant to have real existence in the world. Examples: centaur, unicorn, goblin, etc.
- Abstract words have sense but no concrete reference (it is abstract, and it cannot be touched). However, they do refer to concepts that everyone has in their mind.
Everybody creates their own image. Examples: happiness, ask, find, etc.
- Certain expressions is both grammatically and semantically well-constructed, BUT it lacks reference. Example: “the present king of Andorra”.
- Some expressions could have sense without a reference. It depends on the interpretation that we give to the sentence.
LISTENING TO A SONG. LOOK FOR DAYS, TIME, AND PRONOUNS.
Days of the week: Tuesday, monday, sunday, (there is no specific day, just a random Monday, any.) we can talk about denotation- she refers to ALL the possible Mondays, Tuesdays, and Sundays.
Time expressions (dates): someday, future (will take my hand), one day, waiting for, Pronous: I, you, he, (She is using referring expressions (pronouns) to refer to a man that has no existence. So it has no reference in this context) We might have an expression that may lead to different interprestation. Ther are also times when we can different expressions, with different senses but that refer to the same referent.
Quim’s grandmother / the English coordinator. (it’s the same person).
Some expressions with the same sense may change its references through time.
Example: “the president of the united states” – different in 2000, in 2008, and in 2016.
Sense and reference are at the core of language, it allows us to use a finite vocabulary carrying a finite number of senses, to refer to an infinite variety of things. Example: for the word number there are endless references. Words cover a wide range of references (defined as vagueness).
Encuentra más apuntes en UnyBook.com - @aserrano FINAL EXAM Exercise: do the bold words have sense or reference, or both sense and reference? 1. Lucy - reference 1.1 Washington – reference (sense is some attributes).
2. Husband – sense and reference 2.2 Case – sense (no reference) 3. Ghost – sense (reference depends) 4. But – sense (no reference) [not ALL function words don’t have reference] 5. Boss – sense and reference 6. In-laws – sense and reference 7. President – sense (no reference) 8. Children – sense and reference 9. Children – sense (no reference) ...