Creating and Understanding Meaning essay

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First, a deep understanding of language semantics and pragmatics is essential since meaning is derived from the language rules in these tools of language. Language syntax determines the sequence of phrase and consequent meaning. Understanding the meaning of any particular word or phrase necessitates knowledge of semantics since linguistic meaning is not obvious and lack of such would only attain non-linguistic meaning. In fact, there are rare cases when the non-linguistic meaning is intended. As a result, the lack of knowledge in semantics leads to misunderstanding of the original meaning since a layman’s language is only capable of grasping the non-linguistic meaning. Overall, the social language use entails major social communication proficiency, but it is apparent most persons do not have an excellent mastery of these skills. Subsequently, we encounter various barriers in communication (Levinson, 2000).

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the meaning of several words and establish the contextual meaning citing examples, and evidence as well. The strategy for this exploration is based on the facets of linguistic and non-linguistic meaning.

1. a Firstly, I will tackle the word implicature.


In my standpoint, the word implicature simply means a statement that has a further meaning other than the direct factual meaning. For instance, a literal meaning would suggest a positive characteristic of an object, but imply a different interpretation beyond the precise literal perception. Implicature is the deed of implying a sense beyond the explicit meaning (Oxforddictionaries et. al).

2. a Example

Exemplary, one may state; I do not like the hot weather. Literary, this means a person does not like it when it is hot. However, the statement has Implicature. Since the person stated that he or she dislikes hot weather, it is obvious he or she prefers wet weather to hot weather.

Truly defining meaning depends on the situation and the kind of semantic in application. For instance, different meanings could be derived from a certain word or phrase depending on whether the semantic of the language is situational semantic or other international word semantics. A word or a phrase interpreted based on situation semantics; the linguistic terms are assessed in relation to partial worlds rather than complete worlds (Levinson 2000).

1. b Secondly, I will analyze the word meronymy.


The word meronymy indicates a constituent of something. However, the constituent is used to refer to the whole object. For instance, the word face when used to refer to people. One might say, “I have come across numerous familiar faces today.” This implies the person has met several people who are familiar to him or her.

2. b In language semantics, the implication of a word or a phrase is the intended meaning a speaker wishes to convey. However, pragmatics determine what meaning we derive from certain words or phrases uttered by a speaker. In some instances, there is ambiguity in case of words with more than one meaning (Richmon et. al).


According to Andrew Moore (2001) pragmatics are influenced by our sense of etiquette social awareness and culture. Pragmatics can be demonstrated by use of irony or jokes. Andrew (2001) used the example from the 1999 TV episode to explain the issue. The TV show concerning a police drama: Homicide: Life on the streets. In this example, it is assumed the audience are aware of the procedural police arrest. The episode involves a police arresting a suspect who has risen his hands up. Therefore, he is not resisting the arrest. The officer says to the suspect “You have the right to remain silent.” Instead of reading the whole rights clause, the officer shoots the suspect. In this context, the words “You have the right to remain silent.” Simply meant no more talk. However, the audience are thrilled when the officer reveals the real meaning, which he intended after shooting the suspect (Andrew et. al).

1.c Thirdly, I will expound on the meaning of the word multimodality.

This word implies multiple modes of occurrence or activity. In a linguistic perspective, the word may be used in various contexts to denote the recurrence of an activity or the various forms in which a substance occurs.


2. b

The multimodality of chemical element makes it possible for the scientists to experiment them and discover new properties about them.

1. d Lastly, I will explain the meaning of the term indexical sign. This terms a means symbol that signifies something. For instance, an alarming call in particular species of monkeys is an indication that the animal has detected a predator (Oxford dictionaries

2. b Evidence.

If one happens to wave their hand, it is simply a sign that they are bidding farewell to someone else or greeting them.


The terms defined are significant in the study of communication, mainly because they relate to various areas of study in which they are key terms. In essence, for a manager to be successful he ought to have efficient communication skills. Therefore, the terms above ought to be a part of his vast vocabulary since the choice of words determines the implication his words will have on the teams he oversees. In various contextual communications, there are instances of multiple occurrences hence the terms above; especially multimodality could serve a helpful hand in communicating this. On the other, the terms would also be significant in the study media. For instance, a journalist or news editor ought to make use for words that create images. Consequently, this would translate to a clear understanding and criticism from the target audience who read the materials published by the media. For instance, indexical sign would apply in this context. The reader could understand precisely the intended meaning since the words creates images of what the media is conveying (Levinson, 2000).

4. In this paragraph, I will aim at explaining the light meaning and deeper meaning of the brief conversation based on language semantics and pragmatics.

Norm:                          Do you want to make a note of this?

                                   Diane:              I haven’t got a pen.

The student’s suggestion was:

‘Diane doesn’t want to make a note’

The conversation above maybe interpreted in two ways. First, the direct meaning that a person who lacks knowledge of language semantics and pragmatics would suggest. This is the non-linguistic meaning. The suggestion above implies that the student understood Diane’s response as a reluctance to make note of the information in question. However, the conversation covers a wider scope, which features in linguistic meaning. In fact, the interpretation of the dialogue above best fits in situation semantics (Richmon et. al). Although, there could be ambiguity, the knowledge of language semantics would be a guide in interpreting the intended meaning of Diane’s response. In my point of view, a student who had knowledge of language semantics would have interpreted Diane’s response in the context of situational semantics. Therefore, the suggestion would have been; Diane is willing to make a note of the information in question, but the only problem is that she did not have a pen with her at that moment (Richmon et al).

In situational semantics, the speech language is influenced by social language. In a social set up, common interactions are in certain hierarchy such that the response given addresses an age mate, a teacher or a parent. In the dialogue above, the use of social language since Diane’s’ response is not concerning any authority, but simply put. Similarly, the student’s interpretation was somehow related to social language use since it is highly probable he or she perceived the response to be directed to a schoolmate or simply an age mate (Levinson, 2000).

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