Questions tagged [semantics]

Questions relating to semantics, the study of meaning.

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Is this a semantically correct question?

Is this semantically a good sentence? If it is, can it have a negative meaning? You are not gonna set me an appointment up.
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Are "adaptiveness" and "adaptability" interchangeable?

Here are the definitions for the words according to Cambridge dictionary: Adaptiveness - the quality of being able to change to suit different condition Flexibility and adaptiveness are important ...
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Can I use the preposition "for" with the meaning of support or agreement in this sentence?

The sentence is as below, The discovery is being resisted by many people for exploiting fetal tissue. It seems more appropriate to interpret it as below, "exploiting fetal tissue" is the ...
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Semantic role of temporal object

Consider the below sentences, all of which have the form Subject-Verb-Object: Every day, he spends an hour exercising. She spent her early life in France. What is the semantic role that the objects ...
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Does 'there exists' mean 'there is at least one'?

If we say 'there exists a man called John' does this imply there is a particular man in mind? Or do I mean, 'there exists (at least one) man called john', e.g If I know there is numerous people called ...
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Is inclusiveness range of end determined by rule or convention?

Are there explicit rules for how ranges are communicated, or must they be understood by context or convention? Examples: If a store is open 9am-5pm, we assume the end of the period (5) is exclusive. ...
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Is the verb "to see" a metaphor?

For example, when one thinks an argument is invalid, one can say "I see this argument as invalid". Nevertheless, I always thought a metaphor requires, at minimum, requires two object/ideas; ...
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Is the condition '[a value] reduces to [number]' fulfilled when the value reduces to less than the number?

I am trying to deduce the nuances of the titular language for the purposes of a logic puzzle. To illustrate the specifics of the question, the following situation is provided. Item A has a price of 40....
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How does one differentiate a "conceptual metaphor" from other kinds of metaphor?

There is a rather long list of metaphors: standard (stock) metaphors, extended metaphors, visual metaphors, implied metaphors, mixed metaphors, allegorical metaphors, absolute metaphors dead metaphors,...
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What's a word that means "thing that is held or worn during battle to protect oneself from injury and/or to inflict injury on others"?

What's a word that means "thing that is held or worn during battle to protect oneself from injury and/or to inflict injury on others"? To better explain this question, allow me to give an ...
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What is the meaning of “he had loathed the world, should it loathe him first”?

Recently, I stumbled upon the excerpt below, and the last part confused me considerably. Although I generally understand the separate parts and the syntax of the sentence, I can't quite decode the ...
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Does the word "besides" have two senses belonging to one semantic field?

The term "besides" can mean "apart from"; "other than"; "I have no friends besides Maria." "I have nothing besides a car." "in addition (to)&...
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What word would fit to complete / mirror "hardware" and "software" notions when referring to mechanical work (and optionally, artistic work)?

I am a roboticist, and oftentimes I (have to) divide my work in three: the work related to mechanical development, the work related to hardware development, and the work related to software ...
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Can something 'suggest' that something else is 'certainly the case'?

Is a sentence such as the one below semantically acceptable? These circumstances suggest that our society is certainly changing.
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Question on the semantic role of objects licensed by verbs indicating prevention

It goes without saying that the title of this question is perhaps rather prolix, so allow me to illustrate what I mean. Consider the below sentence. The man's heroic actions prevented the innocent ...
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Most states have two large universities: "Whatever State" and "The University of Whatever." Is there a semantic reason for this? [duplicate]

I live in South Dakota. We have both The University of South Dakota, and South Dakota State University. They are both large public institutions. Each is known for a specialty (USD is business, law, ...
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Issue vs Children

According to Wikipedia, a nobleman and a noblewoman have issues while non-nobles have children, so what's the difference? I'm not a native speaker of English, but in my poor understanding, I assume ...
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Subjunctive "be" inversion [closed]

Can i invert the protasis bellow : If you not be, ... Into : Be you not, ... Will it not —in an archaic sense— be mistaken for imperative and will it convey the same conditional notion?
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Difference between 'specify' and 'select'

What's the precise difference between specify and select? Can either be used in this example, or does one work better than the other? I can instinctively feel that there is a subtle difference between ...
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-ed suffix in compounds [closed]

I read somewhere in a book on morphology that -ed suffix in compounds conveys the notion of having something, therefore "a one-armed man" means " a man having one arm", so i was ...
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Re: "a premise which maintains that…" Can a premise maintain?

I was trying to define false balance [Wikipedia] in my own words. False balance (aka bothsidesism): a media bias which perpetuates misinformation; a premise [which maintains] that two sides of an ...
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What does ”gosh” mean? [closed]

I know a woman who is born again christian and she is very religious. She doesn’t like it when people say ”oh my God” and corrects them and instead says ”oh my gosh” . But isn’t gosh the same thing as ...
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The meaning of "whereunto"?

What is the meaning of "whereunto" here? Dionysius the elder, after having, by a tedious siege and elty of Dionysius through exceeding great difficulties, taken the city of Reggio, the ...
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Intransitive use of "to wake" vs. "to wake up" [closed]

He woke in bed. He woke up in bed. Is there a difference between the two? How does the lack/addition of "up" affect the connotation, if at all? Is one preferred over the other depending on ...
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"Watch" vs. "Watch as"

He watched them run. He watched as they ran. What's the exact difference, in terms of the information/scene conveyed? He was watching the runners in both cases. Do they have different connotations? ...
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Why do these sentences take the "as" phrase following the verb?

I was learning computer science recently, and I found a expression on books that seems a little bit weird to me. The first sentence is: It's essential to maintain the invariant that all children of a ...
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Does the question "How funny is John?" imply that John is funny? [closed]

I have recently read that questions of the type "How x is y?" might imply different things depending on the adjective used. For example, by asking the question in (1), we have the idea that ...
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as mine - as I (am). semantics [closed]

I've asked a similar question before, but my thread is closed. As I've learned from previous thread, both these sentences are grammatical. My question is: what is the meaning difference between these ...
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How to express "at least one" or "at least some" (of a countable or uncountable collection respetively), as in antivacuous statements?

Discrete (countable) case example: All/Some of the trees on this block are oak. [And there is at least one oak tree on the block, but possibly two or more.] Continuous (uncountable) case example: All/...
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Semantics of the prefix un- coupled with sematics of emotion verbs in passive voice

Sentence (1) has a reservative meaning: fall out of love (1) You can never unlove those who you love. What about the passive structures? See example (2): (2) She is unloved by her friends. Does it ...
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Predicate Transfer

I encountered the term predicate transfer at first in a brief and rather clumsy wikipedia entry, where although the title makes semantic sense, and I would be confident to guess its meaning as a term, ...
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Negation of probabilistic constructions

I came across the following sentence in an old Language Log post "A recent New York Times article described the Japanese profession of hostessing, which involves entertaining men at ...
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How might greedy ever be a synonym of parsimonious?

thesaurus.com puts 'avaricious' at the top of its list of synonyms for 'parsimonious', and 'greedy' a little further down. To my mind, an essential sense of parsimony is self-denial. The only way I ...
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Is there a semantic difference between ‘without’ and ‘‑less’?

I am trying to decide whether the sentences [X] argues [Y]’s death to be without sin and [X] argues [Y]’s death to be sinless actually carry the same meaning. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘...
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What is the distinction between verbs like "to regard/concern" and prepositions like "regarding", "concerning", "about"?

"regard", "concern", "refer" are stative verbs that express the state of being related or connected to something. Why is it that words like "regarding" and &...
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"A few" + a number : unremarkable quantity [closed]

A few is usually more than two (two often being referred to as "a couple of"), and less than "several". Few emphasises smallness of number, while a few emphasises some: He's a ...
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How did English pepperoni come to mean something entirely different from Italian peperoni?

The Italian word peperoni (plural for peperone) is a vegetable known in English as bell pepper: Source: Matti Paavonen, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA The English word pepperoni (singular) is a form of ...
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What parts of speech and sentence constituents are “yes” and “no” words in answers?

Let's look at some examples: — Would you like some ice cream? — No. — Are you happy? — Yes. According to Wiktionary “yes” is a particle: ParticleyesUsed to show agreement or acceptance... “No” and “...
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What is morphological analysis of words to estimate their meaning called?

Is there a word for this? I'll use an example to show what I mean: Let's say you don't know what sepsis means, which is bacterial infection of blood. So, you start thinking. You break the word up into ...
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Is being “invited to” an interview the same as being “invited for” one?

I'm writing a LinkedIn post about an interview I did with The College Fix. The first sentence of my post is: “After seeing one of my Austin news segments, Jon Garaffa from The College Fix invited me ...
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Are magnets sticky?

A common definition of sticky is Having the property of adhering or sticking to a surface; adhesive. Is there any reason its not correct to call magnets sticky, even though they can be described as ...
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"[...] hasn't worked for me as much as I would like it to has": is this grammatically correct? [closed]

Is the following sentence grammatically and semantically correct? If not, what would be its alternatives? [...] but unfortunately, that principle hasn't worked for me as much as I would like it to ...
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The present paper VS the current paper

I am writing an article. I wonder if the two following expressions are equivalent when I refer to the article and compare it with another article? or is there any semantic difference between them? -...
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What semantic meaning does the copula 'be' have in its specifying use?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 252) says: It may be that the be of [Kim is fond of animals] should be regarded as semantically empty, serving the purely syntactic function of ...
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how to avoid duplication when object becomes subject in second half sentence: X has an Y, and this Y does Z

(1) A software project should comprise a test suite, and this suite should be ever growing. How to avoid the duplication of suite? (2) A software project should comprise a test suite that should be ...
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Is there a positive version of "tempt"? [closed]

The verb "to tempt" refers to enticing or influencing somebody to do something, with strong connotations of that thing being something wrong, something they should not do. But when I think ...
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Give or Take - Which is Give and Which is Take

I was recently asked for a rough estimate on how long a small project will take. I figured it would be a couple weeks, most likely a bit less, but could also be a bit more depending on a few unknowns, ...
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What do you call a person who is not involved directly in a situation but they have some ideas and assumptions about it?

linguists! We are conducting research on a suicide, and we are asking people who have suicidal ideation/behavior about the possible causes, but we're also asking those who don't have about what they ...
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What does "one more step from the future" mean?

I'm not sure it's a correct English sentence. Can it be interpreted as "bringing something back from the future and advancing the present"? Maybe it would be better to use "one more ...
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Is the semantics of this sentence correct?

The speaker tries to say that I could have explained what I mean more accurately which would increase the chances of him solving my problem. He says the following: "Your attempt at explaining ...
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