I am revising for my NLP quiz and am getting confused at the difference between semantic and pragmatic. I studied that semantic is the study of words and their meaning in sentences while pragmatic takes context into consideration.

I have some examples below of a quiz that I am looking through. It still confuses me and I hope to ask my professor soon but would like some help here so I can ask better questions when I meet him.

Based on Syntactically correct, semantically incorrect sentence and the solutions below, semantically incorrect sentences are sentences whose syntax is correct but do not make any sense when bringing in general knowledge. Example: The green apple ate a juicy bug. Apples don't eat things.

1) But what about pragmatically incorrect sentences ? How do I identify one ? The solutions below did not state the reason sentence no. 6 is pragmatically correct.

2) Can a sentence be semantically incorrect but pragmatically correct ?

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  • 1
    Whatever your (unattributed) source, I think it's garbage. I don't recognise any value in the classifications "lexical" and "pragmatic" in this context. But presumably what the (misguided, imho) author has in mind is that some utterances are syntactically valid but clearly not true (such as An inch is longer than a metre), as opposed to utterances that simply don't make (pragmatic/practical) sense - such Chomsky's Colorless green ideas sleep furiously, which is generally described as "syntactically valid, but semantically nonsense", not "non-pragmatic". – FumbleFingers Mar 12 '18 at 18:11
  • @FumbleFingers Its an NLP course from my university coling.epfl.ch/quizzNote01-2017-corr.pdf Would u say that a semantically correct sentence is one that agrees with general knowledge whereas a pragmatically correct sentence is non-ambiguous in its interpretation ? – Kong Mar 12 '18 at 23:36
  • any ideas anyone – Kong Mar 13 '18 at 15:59
  • any ideas anyone – Kong Mar 14 '18 at 10:16
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    I assume the the red text in your example is actually from the "teacher". But it contains so many errors and shortcomings that I really wouldn't bother with it at all as a source of useful information about English. – FumbleFingers Mar 14 '18 at 14:13

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