Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:


Still Needed:


Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Semantics or pragmatics?
Question: Hello,

I was wondering which area of linguistics deals with perceived vs.
intended meaning of a word. For example, if I say the word
''socialism'', it has certain connotations for me, but my listener might
have very different connotations. Would that be semantics or

Thank you,


Reply: It's more semantics. You might want to look into some old research by Osgood on the
"semantic differential". His work specifically looked at the connotative meaning rather
than the denotative meaning usually associated with semantics. Here's the Wikipedia
reference: <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_differential' target='_blank'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_differential</a>;

Reply From: Susan Fischer      click here to access email
Date: 18-Jul-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Semantics or pragmatics?    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (18-Jul-2012)
  2. Re: Semantics or pragmatics?    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (23-Jul-2012)

Back to Most Recent Questions