There is no such thing as "just semantics"!

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by wynn, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Pineal Banned Banned

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    Well, I knew that. Not quite sure if you were somehow disagreeing or just adding. But I agree with what you say here.
     
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  3. Ickyrus Registered Senior Member

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    Since joining this forum I have noticed a curious difference between my dyslexic way of thinking and the non-dyslexic.

    All the information presented, that is, in the sentence(s) before and after, are important in determining the meaning and intention of what is being attempted in communicating with others. This of course is only a personal mental model made up from external stimuli. The non-dyslexic mind seems to split the information into smaller parts and only focuses on small bits of what is said which can spoil the writers intention. There is obviously a variation between these two extremes, for me it would explain why there is so much misunderstanding of what is written.

    Another difference might be that a dyslexic is conscious of a network or web of word associations and because of that many words in that net/web of associations/connections can either semantically seem to be the same meaning/concept and only become 'different' when the context becomes understood/pictured.
     
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  5. NietzscheHimself Banned Banned

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    Every word finds meaning in the object(s) it implies.
     
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  7. Pineal Banned Banned

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    I am pretty sure non-dyslexics do this also, they have to. There may be some differences in degree, but non-dyslexics are always being influenced by context for determining semantics. People may think that words have these fixed meanings, but in practice they will all shift the way they respond to words given what is around them.

    If my wife said there were unflushed feces in the toilet, I would immediately wonder what species had put them there. If my doctor was talking about my test results and used the same word, I would assume we were talking about mine.
     
  8. Pineal Banned Banned

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    1) for many words there is no object, at least in any 'chair' sense. 2) Different words bring to mind different aspects of 'the same objects.' 3) Different words can add contextual nuances - emotions, type of communications, intentions, evaluation.

    And these individual word effects are affected by the words around those words, not just grammatically or via adjectives, but through word choices there also.

    There is no meaning 'out there'. Meanings are processes that happen in communicators. They are experiences.
     
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Don't forget though, that hearing has an accent as well as speech. The way they sound to you isn't neccessarily the same as they sound to me.

    In general in NZ, and, I believe, Australia, yes.

    Root is a slang term in Australian and New Zealand english for 'Intercourse'. If I say to Asguard "I'm rooted" he'll know that I'm shagged, I'm fucked, I'm buggered, I'm Knackered. and I'm tired. I'm not sure of the etymology of the word in this context, I had assumed it was british, but apparently not. Note that in Commonwealth english Root and Route are homophones, hence the hysterics I can get from Asguard if I say to him "I'm going to come and get you by a back route" I might even, at a stretch (or not so much, depending on where he lives) talking about "taking the route through his/the back passage", which to us has a vulgar element of double entendre to it. It could mean I'm going to use some obscure track or road that is seldom taken, or it could mean I'm going to give him a vegemite sandwich when I get there.

    Hence the hilarity - as I said, in commonwealth english, Route and Root are homophones, root has slang connotations, and so to us, it's funny as hell listening to you trying to decide which team you're going to root for.

    I don't know about Asguard, but I will deliberately avoid pronouncing route as root, saying it instead so that it rhymes with shout because of the connotations involved with it's slang meaning - unless I'm being obscene, obscure, taking the piss, or simply trying to lighten the situation.

    There's a number of words and phrases that Americans will use that will have Kiwis and Aussies in stitches for similar resons.
     
  10. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    As trippy said, except for the most part i just dont use the word "route" very much. Im more likly to say "go the long way round" or "go via x road" or "we are going to melbourne by (or via) the Dukes hwy".

    Wonder if south african's are the same because the 3 groups have related accents
     
  11. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    oh and BTW the only time i have ever herd "Rut" used was when someone was saying "im in a bit of a rut" (a slump). Never herd Rutting
     
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I'm familiar with rutting (other than being in a rut), I just don't know if the origin of 'having a root' is from there or somewhere else.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    True. But as an amateur linguist I have made some effort to transcend my own regional American accent and hear differences that most people don't. For example, I can usually tell whether someone's dialect has the cot/caught merger.
    That word goes back to the 13th century, when it was borrowed from Norman French. It's hard to imagine why, several centuries later, Americans began pronouncing it differently from the British. It's as though we looked at the spelling and decided that the OU must be a diphthong. This has happened more than once: most Americans pronounce the first C in arctic/antarctic/Antarctica, even though it was already silent when we borrowed it from the French. And many have begun pronouncing the T in "often," even though it's been silent for a couple of centuries. I think people like to show off the fact that they know how to read. Many educated Mexicans have begun resurrecting the myriad silent letters in Spanish words.

    What's next, pronouncing the S in island? That's a lexicographer's error! The word has no relationship to "isle."
    I find the South African accent quite muted, even more so than the Kiwis. The popular rock band Seether is from South Africa and I can't even tell from their speech.
    That's using it metaphorically, an analogy to not being able to steer your car (or perhaps wagon) where you want to go because the ruts in the road are too deep to climb out of.
    The verb "to rut" is normally only used in reference to mammals other than humans. To speak of humans as rutting is to ascribe a certain "animal quality" to their copulation. In the movie "Sleuth," Lawrence Olivier tells Michael Caine that he has known for quite some time that his wife and Caine have been having an affair. (Or whatever you call those illicit relationships in your countries.) He says, "I can just picture you, rutting like crazed weasels."
     
  14. Ickyrus Registered Senior Member

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    I suppose you are also aware that it very important to the meaning of the word you are pronouncing in Chinese to get rising tone the falling tone flat tone and falling/rising correct.

    (I recently started learning some chinese)
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Such disagreements and such resolution of disagreements exist when there is a conflict of interests, not of semantics.

    A common problem in human interactions is that much is assumed and taken for granted, instead of verbalized.

    Trying to resolve a conflict while conceptualizing it as "just semantics" is an attempt to depersonalize, externalize what is in essence an internal matter of the communicators having conflicting interests, but without addressing these conflicting interests directly.


    We can conceptualize that phenomenon as "ambiguity of word meanings," but we can also conceptualize it in more pragmatic terms, such as acknowledging that in human interaction, there is potential for conflict of interests.

    Trying to resolve a "dispute over sematics" is actually much more difficult and non-scientific than trying to resolve a "dispute over interests."

    Resolving a "dispute over sematics" would require an academic study of the language and its dictionaries and eventually accepting a particular academic or academic resource as the authority on "which meaning of a word is the relevant one."
    The problems with this approach are, I think, obvious.
     
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Like I said elsewhere, I do not have much experience with dyslexics, and you yourself as a dyslexic are not a suitable source of information about dyslexia (because of the personal bias).

    Reading your posts and interacting with you, I would say so far it is characteristic that you seem to be operating with many assumptions that you take for granted. You imply a lot, and analytical answers need to be pulled out of you.

    On the whole, I consider your communication style rather indirect. Indirectness is not limited to dyslexics.




    How do you know which poster here is dyslexic and who isn't?

    Not everyone who is dyslexic wears that diagnosis on the sleeve.


    I don't think this has anything to do with the distinction between the dyslexic and the non-dyslexic.

    Being able to extract the logical premises from a text is simply a sign of analytical ability.


    Not at all. Someone who writes clearly and clearly states his intentions, is difficult to misunderstand.

    Problems occur when people do not state their intentions, or are trying to be PC about them.


    I think many people are like that anyway.


    If anything, a phenomenon can be observed in people who have been diagnosed with a learning disability, such as dyslexia.
    Namely, these people sometimes develop a low self-esteem and a defensive attitude to communication altogether. Some learn to believe that they are "different" than others; sometimes, they believe "there is something wrong with them" for being dyslexic.

    I have personally known a few dyslexics who believed that. I think it was this belief about them being "different" and "something wrong with them" that made communication difficult for them, not their dyslexia.
     
  17. Ickyrus Registered Senior Member

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    @Signal
    Fair enough.

    Don’t we all?

    If interested a book reference that supports my words would be 'The gift of dyslexia' by Ron Davis.
     
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, but people are different in how they reply to requests for more analyticity.
     
  19. Enmos Staff Member

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    I don't see of what relevance the person that says it is..
     
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Pineal addressed this earlier in the thread.
     
  21. Enmos Staff Member

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    Pineal argued that words in themselves don't have meaning (which is just not true) and that people develop their own subset of meanings for different words (which is true but just not relevant).
    The simple fact is that "poop" means the exact same thing as "shit" in that sentence. It should also be said that words are interpreted according to the context that they are used in. I thought that goes without saying, but eh..

    You said:
    Which is obviously not true.
    The meaning of the sentence "A dog pooped on the pavement" is exactly the same as the meaning of the sentences "A dog shat on the pavement" and "A dog defecated on the pavement".
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  22. Ickyrus Registered Senior Member

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    That assumes that is the intention of the request. People are more complex than being restricted to intellectual curiosity, as evidenced by the forum usage of the word troll.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  23. Ickyrus Registered Senior Member

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    I agree with what you say here, though amusedly curious as to the number of species in your living environment that use the toilet. The important point I am making is the difference in degree which I found difficult to express or emphasise

     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011

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