Meaning of SEMANTICS in English


also called semiotics, semology, or semasiology, the philosophical and scientific study of meaning. The term is one of a group of English words formed from the various derivatives of the Greek verb semaino (to mean or to signify). The noun semantics and the adjective semantic are derived from semantikos (significant); semiotics (adjective and noun) comes from semeiotikos (pertaining to signs); semology from sema (sign) + logos (account); and semasiology from semasia (signification) + logos (account). It is difficult to formulate a distinct definition for each of these terms because their use largely overlaps in the literature despite individual preferences. Semantics is a relatively new field of study, and its originators, often working independently of one another, felt the need to coin a new name for the new discipline; hence the variety of terms denoting the same subject. The word semantics has ultimately prevailed as a name for the doctrine of meaning, in particular, of linguistic meaning. Semiotics is still used, however, to denote a broader field: the study of sign-using behaviour in general. Additional reading W.P. Alston, Philosophy of Language (1964), is a good introduction to philosophical semantics. Stephen Ullmann, Semantics: An Introduction to the Science of Meaning (1962), has become a classic work. M. Black, Language and Philosophy (1949), discusses some earlier views. L. Bloomfield, Language (1933), contains a classic discussion of scientific semantics. B.L. Whorf, Language, Thought and Reality, ed. by J.B. Carroll (1956), raises the issue of linguistic relativism. J.J. Katz, The Philosophy of Language (1966), offers a semantic theory tied to generative grammar, the best expression of which is found in N. Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965). W.V. Quine, Word and Object (1960); and P. Ziff, Semantic Analysis (1960), represent two different but influential semantic theories.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.