Chapter 7: Semantics

7.15 Exercise your linguistics skills

Exercise 1. Basic; 7.5. Consider the category vehicle. Generate a list of at least ten words that refer to members of the vehicle category, and rank them in order of most prototypical to most peripheral category members. Discuss, briefly, what features make something a prototypical vehicle. What features do the peripheral members have (or not have) that make them less prototypical?

Exercise 2. Intermediate; 7.10. Imagine that someone said to you during a debate that drip to mean ‘style’ isn’t a “real word” because that kind of use isn’t found in the Oxford English Dictionary. How might you respond to them?

Exercise 3. Advanced; 7.4-7.9, 7.11. Discuss the pros and cons of each way of thinking about linguistic meaning.

  1. Sense vs. denotation
  2. “Lexical meaning as definitions in the lexicon” vs. “lexical meaning as concepts”



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Essentials of Linguistics, 2nd edition by Catherine Anderson; Bronwyn Bjorkman; Derek Denis; Julianne Doner; Margaret Grant; Nathan Sanders; and Ai Taniguchi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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