Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Semantics Related Abstracts

17 Linguistic Analysis of the Concept ‘Relation’ in Russian and English Languages

Authors: Nadezhda Obvintceva

Abstract:

The article gives the analysis of the concept ‘relation’ from the point of view of its realization in Russian and English languages on the basis of dictionaries articles. The analysis reveals the main difference of representation of this concept in both languages. It is the number of lexemes that express its general meanings. At the end of the article the author gives an explanation of possible causes of the difference and touches upon the issue about analytical phenomena in the vocabulary.

Keywords: Semantics, meaning, concept, comparison, lexeme, relation

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16 Toward an Understanding of the Neurofunctional Dissociation between Animal and Tool Concepts: A Graph Theoretical Analysis

Authors: Skiker Kaoutar, Mounir Maouene

Abstract:

Neuroimaging studies have shown that animal and tool concepts rely on distinct networks of brain areas. Animal concepts depend predominantly on temporal areas while tool concepts rely on fronto-temporo-parietal areas. However, the origin of this neurofunctional distinction for processing animal and tool concepts remains still unclear. Here, we address this question from a network perspective suggesting that the neural distinction between animals and tools might reflect the differences in their structural semantic networks. We build semantic networks for animal and tool concepts derived from Mc Rae and colleagues’s behavioral study conducted on a large number of participants. These two networks are thus analyzed through a large number of graph theoretical measures for small-worldness: centrality, clustering coefficient, average shortest path length, as well as resistance to random and targeted attacks. The results indicate that both animal and tool networks have small-world properties. More importantly, the animal network is more vulnerable to targeted attacks compared to the tool network a result that correlates with brain lesions studies.

Keywords: Semantics, Network, Animals, Tools, small-world, resilience to damage

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15 The Neurofunctional Dissociation between Animal and Tool Concepts: A Network-Based Model

Authors: Skiker Kaoutar, Mounir Maouene

Abstract:

Neuroimaging studies have shown that animal and tool concepts rely on distinct networks of brain areas. Animal concepts depend predominantly on temporal areas while tool concepts rely on fronto-temporo-parietal areas. However, the origin of this neurofunctional distinction for processing animal and tool concepts remains still unclear. Here, we address this question from a network perspective suggesting that the neural distinction between animals and tools might reflect the differences in their structural semantic networks. We build semantic networks for animal and tool concepts derived from McRae and colleagues’s behavioral study conducted on a large number of participants. These two networks are thus analyzed through a large number of graph theoretical measures for small-worldness: centrality, clustering coefficient, average shortest path length, as well as resistance to random and targeted attacks. The results indicate that both animal and tool networks have small-world properties. More importantly, the animal network is more vulnerable to targeted attacks compared to the tool network a result that correlates with brain lesions studies.

Keywords: Semantics, Network, Animals, Tools, resilience to damage, small-worls

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14 Relative Clause Attachment Ambiguity Resolution in L2: the Role of Semantics

Authors: Hamideh Marefat, Eskandar Samadi

Abstract:

This study examined the effect of semantics on processing ambiguous sentences containing Relative Clauses (RCs) preceded by a complex Determiner Phrase (DP) by Persian-speaking learners of L2 English with different proficiency and Working Memory Capacities (WMCs). The semantic relationship studied was one between the subject of the main clause and one of the DPs in the complex DP to see if, as predicted by Spreading Activation Model, priming one of the DPs through this semantic manipulation affects the L2ers’ preference. The results of a task using Rapid Serial Visual Processing (time-controlled paradigm) showed that manipulation of the relationship between the subject of the main clause and one of the DPs in the complex DP preceding RC has no effect on the choice of the antecedent; rather, the L2ers' processing is guided by the phrase structure information. Moreover, while proficiency did not have any effect on the participants’ preferences, WMC brought about a difference in their preferences, with a DP1 preference by those with a low WMC. This finding supports the chunking hypothesis and the predicate proximity principle, which is the strategy also used by monolingual Persian speakers.

Keywords: Semantics, Ambiguity resolution, Proficiency, relative clause processing, working memory capacity

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13 An Approach to Specify Software Requirements in Semantic Form

Authors: Gopinath Ganapathy, Chellammal Surianarayanan, Deepa Vijay

Abstract:

Requirements of a software project serve as a guideline for the entire project team which enable the team towards producing the right outcome. As requirements are the key in deciding the success of the project, it should be specified in an unambiguous manner. Also, the requirements should be complete and consistent. It should be interpreted in the same way by the entire software project team as the customer interprets. Specifying requirements in textual manner is common in software development. This leads to poor understanding of the requirements which results in more errors and degraded quality. There are some literatures which focus on semantic way of specifying functional requirement which ensure the consistency and completeness of requirements. Alternately in the work, a method is proposed to map the syntactic requirements with corresponding semantics in the form of ontologies. This improves the understanding of requirements, prevents errors and improves quality.

Keywords: Semantics, Ontology, Requirements management, functional requirement

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12 Replication of Meaningful Gesture Study for N400 Detection Using a Commercial Brain-Computer Interface

Authors: Thomas Ousterhout

Abstract:

In an effort to test the ability of a commercial grade EEG headset to effectively measure the N400 ERP, a replication study was conducted to see if similar results could be produced as that which used a medical grade EEG. Pictures of meaningful and meaningless hand postures were borrowed from the original author and subjects were required to perform a semantic discrimination task. The N400 was detected indicating semantic processing of the meaningfulness of the hand postures. The results corroborate those of the original author and support the use of some commercial grade EEG headsets for non-critical research applications.

Keywords: Semantics, ERP, eeg, gestures, EMOTIV, N400, congruency

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11 N400 Investigation of Semantic Priming Effect to Symbolic Pictures in Text

Authors: Thomas Ousterhout

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate if incorporating meaningful pictures of gestures and facial expressions in short sentences of text could supplement the text with enough semantic information to produce and N400 effect when probe words incongruent to the picture were subsequently presented. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from a 14-channel commercial grade EEG headset while subjects performed congruent/incongruent reaction time discrimination tasks. Since pictures of meaningful gestures have been shown to be semantically processed in the brain in a similar manner as words are, it is believed that pictures will add supplementary information to text just as the inclusion of their equivalent synonymous word would. The hypothesis is that when subjects read the text/picture mixed sentences, they will process the images and words just like in face-to-face communication and therefore probe words incongruent to the image will produce an N400.

Keywords: Semantics, ERP, eeg, EMOTIV, N400, congruency, facilitation

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10 Searching Linguistic Synonyms through Parts of Speech Tagging

Authors: Usman Qamar, Faiza Hussain

Abstract:

Synonym-based searching is recognized to be a complicated problem as text mining from unstructured data of web is challenging. Finding useful information which matches user need from bulk of web pages is a cumbersome task. In this paper, a novel and practical synonym retrieval technique is proposed for addressing this problem. For replacement of semantics, user intent is taken into consideration to realize the technique. Parts-of-Speech tagging is applied for pattern generation of the query and a thesaurus for this experiment was formed and used. Comparison with Non-Context Based Searching, Context Based searching proved to be a more efficient approach while dealing with linguistic semantics. This approach is very beneficial in doing intent based searching. Finally, results and future dimensions are presented.

Keywords: Semantics, Information Retrieval, Text Mining, natural language processing, Grammar, parts-of-speech tagging

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9 Effect of the Keyword Strategy on Lexical Semantic Acquisition: Recognition, Retention and Comprehension in an English as Second Language Context

Authors: Fatima Muhammad Shitu

Abstract:

This study seeks to investigate the effect of the keyword strategy on lexico–semantic acquisition, recognition, retention and comprehension in an ESL context. The aim of the study is to determine whether the keyword strategy can be used to enhance acquisition. As a quasi- experimental research, the objectives of the study include: To determine the extent to which the scores obtained by the subjects, who were trained on the use of the keyword strategy for acquisition, differ at the pre-tests and the post–tests and also to find out the relationship in the scores obtained at these tests levels. The sample for the study consists of 300 hundred undergraduate ESL Students in the Federal College of Education, Kano. The seventy-five lexical items for acquisition belong to the lexical field category known as register, and they include Medical, Agriculture and Photography registers (MAP). These were divided in the ratio twenty-five (25) lexical items in each lexical field. The testing technique was used to collect the data while the descriptive and inferential statistics were employed for data analysis. For the purpose of testing, the two kinds of tests administered at each test level include the WARRT (Word Acquisition, Recognition, and Retention Test) and the CCPT (Cloze Comprehension Passage Test). The results of the study revealed that there are significant differences in the scores obtained between the pre-tests, and the post–tests and there are no correlations in the scores obtained as well. This implies that the keyword strategy has effectively enhanced the acquisition of the lexical items studied.

Keywords: Semantics, Strategy, Lexical, keyword

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8 Syntactic Ambiguity and Syntactic Analysis: Transformational Grammar Approach

Authors: Olufemi Olupe

Abstract:

Within linguistics, various approaches have been adopted to the study of language. One of such approaches is the syntax. The syntax is an aspect of the grammar of the language which deals with how words are put together to form phrases and sentences and how such structures are interpreted in language. Ambiguity, which is also germane in this discourse is about the uncertainty of meaning as a result of the possibility of a phrase or sentence being understood and interpreted in more than one way. In the light of the above, this paper attempts a syntactic study of syntactic ambiguities in The English Language, using the Transformational Generative Grammar (TGG) Approach. In doing this, phrases and sentences were raised with each description followed by relevant analysis. Finding in the work reveals that ambiguity cannot always be disambiguated by the means of syntactic analysis alone without recourse to semantic interpretation. The further finding shows that some syntactical ambiguities structures cannot be analysed on two surface structures in spite of the fact that there are more than one deep structures. The paper concludes that in as much as ambiguity remains in language; it will continue to pose a problem of understanding to a second language learner. Users of English as a second language, must, however, make a conscious effort to avoid its usage to achieve effective communication.

Keywords: Semantics, Morphology, Language, Syntax, Ambiguity

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7 Aspects of Semantics of Standard British English and Nigerian English: A Contrastive Study

Authors: Chris Adetuyi, Adeola Adeniran

Abstract:

The concept of meaning is a complex one in language study when cultural features are added. This is mandatory because language cannot be completely separated from the culture in which case language and culture complement each other. When there are two varieties of a language in a society, i.e. two varieties functioning side by side in a speech community, there is a tendency to view one of the varieties with each other. There is, therefore, the need to make a linguistic comparative study of varieties of such languages. In this paper, a semantic contrastive study is made between Standard British English (SBE) and Nigerian English (NB). The semantic study is limited to aspects of semantics: semantic extension (Kinship terms, metaphors), semantic shift (lexical items considered are ‘drop’ ‘befriend’ ‘dowry’ and escort) acronyms (NEPA, JAMB, NTA) linguistic borrowing or loan words (Seriki, Agbada, Eba, Dodo, Iroko) coinages (long leg, bush meat; bottom power and juju). In the study of these aspects of semantics of SBE and NE lexical terms, conservative statements are made, problems areas and hierarchy of difficulties are highlighted with a view to bringing out areas of differences are highlighted in this paper are concerned. The study will also serve as a guide in further contrastive studies in some other area of languages.

Keywords: Semantics, English, Nigeria, aspect, British

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6 Intonation Salience as an Underframe to Text Intonation Models

Authors: Tatiana Stanchuliak

Abstract:

It is common knowledge that intonation is not laid over a ready text. On the contrary, intonation forms and accompanies the text on the level of its birth in the speaker’s mind. As a result, intonation plays one of the fundamental roles in the process of transferring a thought into external speech. Intonation structure can highlight the semantic significance of textual elements and become a ranging mark in understanding the information structure of the text. Intonation functions by means of prosodic characteristics, one of which is intonation salience, whose function in texts results in making some textual elements more prominent than others. This function of intonation, therefore, performs as organizing. It helps to form the frame of key elements of the text. The study under consideration made an attempt to look into the inner nature of salience and create a sort of a text intonation model. This general goal brought to some more specific intermediate results. First, there were established degrees of salience on the level of the smallest semantic element - intonation group, as well as prosodic means of creating salience, were examined. Second, the most frequent combinations of prosodic means made it possible to distinguish patterns of salience, which then became constituent elements of a text intonation model. Third, the analysis of the predicate structure allowed to divide the whole text into smaller parts, or units, which performed a specific function in the developing of the general communicative intention. It appeared that such units can be found in any text and they have common characteristics of their intonation arrangement. These findings are certainly very important both for the theory of intonation and their practical application.

Keywords: Semantics, Text, Patterns, Models, Intonation, intention, salience, accentuation, inner speech, intonation functions, predicate, sentence stress

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5 Efficiency of a Semantic Approach in Teaching Foreign Languages

Authors: Genady Shlomper

Abstract:

During the process of language teaching, each teacher faces some general and some specific problems. Some of these problems are mutual to all languages because they yield to the rules of cognition, conscience, perception, understanding and memory; to the physiological and psychological principles pertaining to the human race irrespective of origin and nationality. Still, every language is a distinctive system, possessing individual properties and an obvious identity, as a result of a development in specific natural, geographical, cultural and historical conditions. The individual properties emerge in the script, in the phonetics, morphology and syntax. All these problems can and should be a subject of a detailed research and scientific analysis, mainly from practical considerations and language teaching requirements. There are some formidable obstacles in the language acquisition process. Among the first to be mentioned is the existence of concepts and entire categories in foreign languages, which are absent in the language of the students. Such phenomena reflect specific ways of thinking and the world-outlook, which were shaped during the evolution. Hindi is the national language of India, which belongs to the group of Indo-Iranian languages from the Indo-European family of languages. The lecturer has gained experience in teaching Hindi language to native speakers of Uzbek, Russian and Hebrew languages. He will show the difficulties in the field of phonetics, morphology and syntax, which the students have to deal with during the acquisition of the language. In the proposed lecture the lecturer will share his experience in making the process of language teaching more efficient by using non-formal semantic approach.

Keywords: Applied Linguistics, Semantics, Foreign Language Teaching, Language teaching methodology

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4 Moderate Holism as an Explanation for Linguistic Phenomena

Authors: Kênio Angelo Dantas Freitas Estrela

Abstract:

Traditionally meaning holism is a theory that is related to the meaning attributed to words and their relationships to other words in a language. This theory can be more specifically defined as a defense of the mutual interdependence of all items of linguistic knowledge, so that, for example, to understand the meaning of a given expression, it is necessary to understand a large sector of the language in question or, even the complete language. The aim of this paper is to present a moderate version of meaning holism, which argues that, among other things, meaning holism does not imply the thesis of instability - if there is the change of belief about an object, there is a change of meaning - and, in this way, it is possible to attribute meanings to objects admitting changes of opinions and then beliefs. It will be shown how this version of holism gives an account of the main criticisms made of meaning holism in the last decades and also show how this theory can justify linguistic phenomena (like vagueness and polysemy) that are often treated as problems of language. Finally, it will also be argued that these linguistic phenomena are intrinsic to languages and that the moderate version of meaning holism can justify the occurrence of these phenomena.

Keywords: Linguistics, Semantics, Philosophy of Language, meaning holism

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3 Contextual Senses of Ambiguous Words Based on Cognitive Semantics

Authors: Madhavi

Abstract:

All linguistic units are context-dependent. They occur in particular settings, from which they derive much of their import, and are recognized by speakers as distinct entities only through a process of abstraction. Most of the words have several concepts associated with them and convey a number of meanings in different contexts in any language. For instance, there are different uses of the word good as an adjective from English. The adjective good expresses many senses like (1) ‘high quality of someone or something’ (2) ‘efficient’ (3) ‘virtuous’ (4) ‘reliable’ etc. These senses will be analyzed by using cognitive semantics framework. The context has the power to insulate one meaning from all the other meanings in communication. This paper will provide a cognitive semantic analysis. The basic tenet of cognitive semantics is the sense of a word is the way we conceptualize it. Our conceptualization is based on the physical experience we go through. Cognitive semantics tries to capture this conceptualization in terms of some categories like schema, frame, and domain. Cognitive semantics is a subfield of cognitive linguistics. Cognitive linguistics studies the language creation, learning, and usage by the reference to human cognition. The semantic structure is conceptual structure which is related to the concepts which are the elements of reason and constitute the meanings of words and linguistic expressions. Cognitive semantics studies how our mind works for the meaning of any word and how it perceives meaning from the environment through senses and works to map with the knowledge which already exists in our mind through experience. In the present paper, the senses are further classified into some categories.

Keywords: Cognitive, Semantics, contexts, senses

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2 Spatial Deictics in Face-to-Face Communication: Findings in Baltic Languages

Authors: Gintarė Judžentytė

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The present research is aimed to discuss semantics and pragmatics of spatial deictics (deictic adverbs of place and demonstrative pronouns) in the Baltic languages: in spoken Lithuanian and in spoken Latvian. The following objectives have been identified to achieve the aim: 1) to determine the usage of adverbs of place in spoken Lithuanian and Latvian and to verify their meanings in face-to-face communication; 2) to determine the usage of demonstrative pronouns in spoken Lithuanian and Latvian and to verify their meanings in face-to-face communication; 3) to compare the systems between the two spoken languages and to identify the main tendencies. As meanings of demonstratives (adverbs of place and demonstrative pronouns) are context-bound, it is necessary to verify their usage in spontaneous interaction. Besides, deictic gestures play a very important role in face-to-face communication. Therefore, an experimental method is necessary to collect the data. Video material representing spoken Lithuanian and spoken Latvian was recorded by means of the method of a qualitative interview (a semi-structured interview: an empirical research is all about asking right questions). The collected material was transcribed and evaluated taking into account several approaches: 1) physical distance (location of the referent, visual accessibility of the referent); 2) deictic gestures (the combination of language and gesture is especially characteristic of the exophoric use); 3) representation of mental spaces in physical space (a speaker sometimes wishes to mark something that is psychically close as psychologically distant and vice versa). The research of the collected data revealed that in face-to-face communication the participants choose deictic adverbs of place instead of demonstrative pronouns to locate/identify entities in situations where the demonstrative pronouns would be expected in spoken Lithuanian and in spoken Latvian. The analysis showed that visual accessibility of the referent is very important in face-to-face communication, but the main criterion while localizing objects and entities is the need for contrast: lith. čia ‘here’, šis ‘this’, latv. šeit ‘here’, šis ‘this’ usually identify distant entities and are used instead of distal demonstratives (lith. ten ‘there’, tas ‘that’, latv. tur ‘there’, tas ‘that’), because the referred objects/subjects contrast to further entities. Furthermore, the interlocutors in examples from a spontaneously situated interaction usually extend their space and can refer to a ‘distal’ object/subject with a ‘proximal’ demonstrative based on the psychological choice. As the research of the spoken Baltic languages confirmed, the choice of spatial deictics in face-to-face communication is strongly effected by a complex of criteria. Although there are some main tendencies, the exact meaning of spatial deictics in the spoken Baltic languages is revealed and is relevant only in a certain context.

Keywords: Pragmatics, Semantics, Baltic languages, face-to-face communication, spatial deictics

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1 Radical Web Text Classification Using a Composite-Based Approach

Authors: Kolade Olawande Owoeye, George R. S. Weir

Abstract:

The widespread of terrorism and extremism activities on the internet has become a major threat to the government and national securities due to their potential dangers which have necessitated the need for intelligence gathering via web and real-time monitoring of potential websites for extremist activities. However, the manual classification for such contents is practically difficult or time-consuming. In response to this challenge, an automated classification system called composite technique was developed. This is a computational framework that explores the combination of both semantics and syntactic features of textual contents of a web. We implemented the framework on a set of extremist webpages dataset that has been subjected to the manual classification process. Therein, we developed a classification model on the data using J48 decision algorithm, this is to generate a measure of how well each page can be classified into their appropriate classes. The classification result obtained from our method when compared with other states of arts, indicated a 96% success rate in classifying overall webpages when matched against the manual classification.

Keywords: Semantics, classification, extremist, web pages, posit

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