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Lecture Summary (01/11/2006)

The headline of the session was "The Structure of Language".

At the beginning Mr Gibbon repeated last week's slides about paradigmatic and syntagmatic relations (see previous summary). As further information we learned that syllables consist of an onset, a nucleus and a coda. Nucleus and coda form the rhyme.

After that we dealt with the different ranks in the sign hierarchy (from complex on top to simple at the bottom):

  • dialogue
  • text
  • sentence
  • word
  • morpheme
  • phoneme

Mr Gibbon illustrated text structure using several examples like a recipe or a screenshot of the CNN homepage (in this case texts appeared as text parts).

Due to the fact that I am also a member of the "How to Make a Dictionary" class this session was completely repitition for me. This leads to the fact that I did not really learn new things but it was a good way of getting more familiar with the topic.

1.2.07 20:40

Lecture Summary (01/18/2007)

This week's topic was called "Semantics: interpreting signs".

The starting aspect was (as many times before) the model of the conceptual and the real world. But this time we did not focus on the signs and their respective positions in these worlds but to the different worlds themselves. The conceptual world is an abstract/cognitive/mental domain whereas the real world is the actual domain of behaviour and interaction by particular people at a given time and place. Mr Gibbon also told us that the famous linguist Chomsky has named two different aspects in this respect: on the one hand the competence meaning the implicit knowledge of a language and on the other hand the perfomrance which stands for the actual use of a language in concrete situations. We came to the conclusion that the conceptual world contains the knowledge of a language. Mr Gibbon pointed out the importance of knowing the difference between knowledge of a language (implicit knowledge/competence which everybody has) and knowledge about a language (explicit, metalinguistic knowledge which linguists have).

We moved on to the concept of sense and reference. In fact the term "meaning" has two meanings: a general aspect (sense) and a concrete aspect (reference). For example the person George W. Bush is the reference which can be associated with several senses like "president of the United States", "son of George Bush, Senior" or "best friend of the oil companies".

Then we looked at the different semantic sign types defined by C.S. Pierce:

  • Index: sign with a physical proximity with its meaning; e.g. smoke as an index for fire
  • Icon: sign with a relationship of similarity with its meaning (visual similarity or acoustic similarity); e.g. cock-a-doodle-doo, outch, crash
  • Symbol: sign with an arbitrary relationship with its meaning; e.g. table, chair, book

As a task in this respect we had to analyse several traffic signs in the following time and categorise them as indexes, icons or symbols.

Further Mr Gibbon told us something about the difference between descriptive and subjective meanings. Descriptive meanings give an objective view on the properties of persons, places, things, etc. Subjective meanings are about the attitudes of the speaker and hearer on a certain topic.

The next topic was lexical semantics. Semantic components are either property components or relation components. Then Mr Gibbon listed up the different types of semantic relations:

  • taxonomy: generalisation-specialisation relation (hyponym > hyperonym)
  • meronomy: part-whole relation
  • synonyms
  • antonyms: opposite, complementary, inverse
  • co-hyponym

Finally we dealt with quantifiers and conjunctions. Mr Gibbon presented a text to each aspect and we had to find all quantifiers respective conjunctions in the text.

1.2.07 21:15

Lecture Summary (01/25/2007)

Our last real meeting had the topic "Interdisciplinary aspects: Text Technology".

Mr Gibbon presented again his slides on the advantages of a portfolio and the reasons for us to create one as well as the slides about websites, hypertexts, texts and properties of a text (see summary of the very first session).

The new aspects of this lecture were text objects and document objects. First we looked at the parts of text structure: the front matter (title, subtitle, author, version) and the text body which is divided in sections which are divided in heading and text. We started the topic of text objects with characters. They have properties like font, size, colour, etc. The properties of a paragraph are the upper, lower, left and right margins. A paragraph can be a text body, a headline (with different levels of sub-headings), a list or a table. Other text objects are of course figures.

Then Mr Gibbon concentrated on paragraph styles and showed us the differences between the unprofessional and the professional method.

The last part of the session was abput document objects. Concerning documents themselves the respective objects are the filename, the author and the version. In the case of pages size, margin, header and footer are of importance.

From my point of view the repitition of the whole portfolio stuff was unnecessary because we all have the respective slides on our computer at home and even if someone might learn something new from this repitition or might understand something better than before it would be a little late to turn this new knowledge into reality.

1.2.07 22:34






A bound morpheme, which joins a stem


A form of a morpheme varying in pronunciation (plural -s)


Two words with an opposite meaning, but they share the same hypernym

Bound morpheme

A grammatical unit never occurring by itself. Instead it is always attached to another morpheme


A word with at least two roots (i.e. fire engine)


Alphabetically ordered list of words, also showing their context


Has to be defined


What a thing or word defines


A modifier expressing the reference


Process of adding an affix to form a new word


A collection of texts which are defining words and things

Differentia Specifica

Specific differences


A book or set of books giving an overview about a topic

Free morpheme

A grammatical unit which can occur by itself

Genus Proximum

General kind of something


A text connected with other texts in a electronically way


A superordinated word (e.g. dog is the hypernym of poodle)


A subordinated word (e.g. poodle is a hyponym of dog)


Relates words to their contexts (e.g. Subject-verb-agreement), word class is not changed

KWIC concordance

“Keyword in Context”, a special kind of dictionary, Google is the world’s largest system using KWIC concordance


Smallest unit of language which can be semantically interpreted


A collection of words and knowledge


The arrangement of lexical entries in the megastructure


Overall structure of a dictionary


A smaller unit that is related to a greater part


The arrangement of lexical information


Gives information about the dictionary to identify it


To talk about language itself


The internal structure of an entry in the macrostructure


A word which specifies the compound (e.g. arm in armchair)


Smallest unit of a word carrying meaning


The study of word forms

Onomasiological dictionary

A dictionary where one is looking for a word


The study of human sounds


Studies the sound system of a specific language


A word with many different meanings (i.e. bed as in river bed or room bed)


An affix in front of a stem


Is not reducible into more elements. Same as stem or base


A meaning referring to the text

Semiological dictionary

Words ordered by alphabetical order, synonyms for this word

Semiotic Relations

Interpretation and realization relations


The study of signs

Structural Relations

Syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations


An affix behind a stem


Two words have the same meaning


Formation of sentences


A list of columns and rows


Genus Proximum hierarchy

Text Theory 

Studying with a basic method a text


Dictionary, taxonomy based hierarchy


A text is split into word tokens


Online document which is usually available for everyone

Word Formation

The study of how words are constructed

1.2.07 22:50


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