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"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



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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
pragmatics?

Thank you,

Jessi

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)

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