I plan to use this blog to post short pieces on linguistics, especially semantics, the study of linguistic meaning. Some posts will be original thoughts and research ideas, while others will simply highlight existing work and ideas. To start things off, here is a collection of quotes I enjoy on semantics, followed by a photo of my dog.
We think of meanings as what synonyms (or translations) have in common, what ambiguous expressions have more than one of, what meaningful expressions have and gibberish lacks, and what competent speakers grasp.”
-Kent Bach, MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science
What is meaning? It is not easy to tackle a question like that head-on; and while it’s an important question to keep wrestling with, a total answer is not required in advance of doing fruitful work on semantics, any more than biologists wait for the answer to the still-difficult question ‘what is life?’ before getting down to work.”
-Barbara H. Partee, “Lexical Semantics and Compositionality”