Rabu, 29 Desember 2010

Discourse Meaning

Chapter I
One of the branches of linguistics is semantic that studying about meaning of sentence. It typically focuses on the relation between signifiers, such as words, phrases, signs and symbols, and what they stand for. Linguistic semantics is the study of meanings that humans use language to express. Other forms of semantics include the semantics of programming languages, formal logics, and semiotics.
The formal study of semantics intersects with many other fields of inquiry, including lexicology, syntax, pragmatics, etymology and others, although semantics is a well-defined field in its own right, often with synthetic properties.[4] In philosophy of language, semantics and reference are related fields. Further related fields include philology, communication, and semiotics. The formal study of semantics is therefore complex
The sentence can be grouped into a paragraph. The sentences must have correlation, so it will have one meaning in paragraph. Studying semantic is very important because we should know the exact meaning of sentences. Sometimes, understanding the meaning of sentences is hard because they have special meaning. The meaning of sentence can be ambiguity, so we should elaborate it more. Moreover, if we want to make a statement, other people should understand it, so we can convey our message. Conveying our message needs special knowledge. Moreover, one of the skills of linguistics is combining phones becomes morphemes, then combining the morphemes becomes word, than combining the words becomes sentence. Actually, we often need to take some ideas in one sentence. Linguistics also has knowledge about it that is called discourse meaning. In semantic, we learn about it. There are some kinds of discourse meaning. They are text-sentences (sense of sentence), differences of text (sequences of sentences) and context, utterance meaning and context, \ ,

Chapter II

Discourse is combining some sentences.  Sometimes, we have an idea and want to share to other people.  Conveying the idea usually need an explanation.  The explanation is not enough to explain in one sentence.  Therefore, we must add another sentence to explain the idea, so other people will understand about it. In this case, we need discourse to combine the sentence so that it will be meaningful. Discourse meaning is a part of semantic that is discussed about the meaning of discourse. This is the definition of discourse from some expert:    
1.      Crystal                                                : Discourse is a term used in linguistics to refer to a
  continuous stretch of language larger than a sentence.
2.      Fromkin                                  : Linguistic knowledge accounts for speakers’ ability to
combine phonemes into morpheme, morpheme into word, and word into sentences. Knowing a language also permits combining sentences together to express complex thought and ideas. This linguistic ability makes language an excellent medium for communication. These larger linguistic units are called discourse.
3.      Frances Henry and Carol Tator: Discourse is the way in which language is used
     socially to convey broad historical meanings. It is
     language identified by the social conditions of its
     use, by who is using it and under what conditions.
     Language can never be 'neutral' because it bridges
     our personal and social worlds.

Kinds of discourse meaning
a.    Text-sentences
The term text-sentence for this more concentrates sense of ‘sentence’ –the sense in which sentences are a subclass of utterance-inscriptions and, such, may happen (in some language at least) as entire texts or segments of text. Utterances are grammatically incomplete but it is meaningful. This will let us say that the utterance of a particular system-sentence. Example:
‘I have not met Dina’, will result, in some contexts, in the production of a text sentence, such as ‘I have not met Dina’ (with or without the construction of have not to haven’t).
It has been stated that the utterance of sentence is not necessary a sentence. This can be illustrated with reference to utterance of ‘I have not met Dina’. Suppose we are faced with the following text, either it is spoken or written:
·                                   Have you met Dina?
·                                    I haven’t.
·                                   Dila hasn’t either.
·                                   She is never here when she should be.
The first and perhaps the fourth are complete sentences. On the other hand, the second and the third are elliptical sentence-fragment.
Ø I haven’t is utterance and the complete sentence is ‘I have not met Dina’.
Ø Dila hasn’t either is utterance and the original sentence is ‘Dila has not met Dina.’
Ø She is never here when she should be is maybe the utterance and it is respect to ‘Dina
is not here when she should be here.   
It is important to realize that, even though it has introduced a certain amount of technical terminology to handle the requisite theoretical difference, the difference themselves are actual in everyday experience of the use of language.
We have no difficulty in determining that ‘I haven’t’ has the proportional content ‘ I have not met Dina’ in one context, of ‘I have not been to Jakarta’ in another ‘I have not got any money’ in yet a third, and so on. In fact, out of context ‘I haven’t’ is infinitely ambiguous. In context, I haven’t’ loses it ambiguity merely in so far as it is possible to say which of the infinitely many sentences of English (with the suitable grammatical structure) have been uttered (lyons, 1995).

b.    What is a text? and What is text?
A text is a sequence of sentence. From the viewpoint of semantics (and pragmatic) text and context are complementary. This answer is clearly unsatisfactory – if ‘sentence’ means, as it must be in this context, text sentence. The finite majority of every day colloquial texts are made up of combination of sentence, sentence fragments, and ready-made locutions. Nevertheless, this defect in the definition of ‘text’ that has just been given is merely one aspect of a more serious deficiency: its unsuccessful to make explicit the fact that the units to which a text is composed, whether they are sentences or not, are not merely strung together in sequence, but must be related in some contextually appropriate way. The text as a whole must show the connected, but distinguishable, properties of cohesion and coherence (lyons, 1995).
Cohesion and coherence
a)         Coherence
Coherence in linguistics is what makes a text semantically meaningful. It is especially dealt with in text linguistics. Coherence is achieved through syntactical features such as the use of anaphoric and cataphoric elements or a logical tense structure, as well as presuppositions connected to general world knowledge. The purely linguistic elements that make a text coherent are subsumed under the term cohesion.
However, those text-based features which provide cohesion in a text do not necessarily help achieve coherence, that is, they do not always contribute to the meaningfulness of a text, be it written or spoken. It has been stated that a text coheres only if the world around is also coherent.
Robert De Beaugrande and Wolfgang U. Dressler define coherence as a “continuity of senses” and “the mutual access and relevance within a configuration of concepts and relations”. Thereby a textual world is created that does not have to comply with the real world. But within this textual world the arguments also have to be connected logically so that the reader/hearer can produce coherence.
"Continuity of senses" implies a link between cohesion and the theory of Schemata initially proposed by Bartlett in 1932 which creates further implications for the notion of a "text". Schemata, subsequently distinguished into Formal and Content Schemata (in the field of TESOL by Carrell & Eisterhold in 1983) are the ways in which the world is organized in our minds. In other words, they are mental frameworks for the organization of information about the world. It can thus be assumed that a text is not always one due to the fact that the existence of coherence is not always a given. On the contrary, coherence is relevant because of its dependence upon each individual's content and formal schemata.

Syntactical features
1.         Endophora
Endophora is a term that means an expression which refers to something intralinguistic, i.e. in the same text.
"I saw Sally yesterday. She was lying on the beach".
"she" is an endophoric expression because it refers to something already mentioned in the text, i.e. "Sally".
By contrast, "She was lying on the beach," if it appeared by itself, has an exophoric expression; "she" refers to something that the reader is not told about. That is to say, there is not enough information in the text to independently determine to whom "she" refers. It can refer to someone the speaker assumes his audience has prior knowledge of or it can refer to a person he is showing to his listeners. Without further information, in other words, there is no way of knowing the exact meaning of an exophoric term.
Endophora can be broken into three subcategories: cataphora, anaphora and self-reference.
a)         Cataphora
In linguistics, cataphora (from Greek, forward carry) is used to describe an expression that co-refers with a later expression in the discourse. That is to say, the earlier expression refers to or describes a forward expression. Cataphora is a type of endophora and it is the opposite of anaphora, a reference forward as opposed to backward in the discourse.
"Finding the right gadget was a real hassle. I finally settled with a digital camera." The "right gadget" is an instance of cataphora because it refers to "a digital camera," an object that hasn't been mentioned in the discourse prior to that point.
As a general rule, cataphoras are quite less common than anaphoras in all natural languages; furthermore, cataphoras that are not sentence-internal are typically very uncommon in informal, conversational contexts.
The use of cataphora
v  Using for rhetorical effect. It can build suspense and provide a description.
       For example: He's the biggest slob I know. He's really stupid. He's so cruel. He's my boyfriend Nick.
v  Using in subordinate clauses within a sentence. For example:
·  If you want some, here's some parmesan cheese.
·  After he had received his orders, the soldier left the barracks.
v  to provide a description in advance of a name. For examples:
·   A little girl, Jessica, was playing on the swings.
b.                           Anaphora Using
In linguistics, anaphora is an instance of an expression referring to another. In general, an anaphoric expression is represented by a pro-form or some kind of deictic. In some theories, the strict definition of anaphora includes only references to preceding utterances. Under this definition, forward references are instead named cataphora, and both effects together are endophora. Also, the term exophora names situations where the referent does not appear in the utterances of the speaker, but instead in the real world. Some linguists prefer to define anaphora generically to include all of these referential effects.
·  The monkey took the banana and ate it. "It" is anaphoric under the strict
   definition (it refers to the banana).
·  The dog ate the bird and it died. "It" is anaphoric, and ambiguous (did the dog
   or bird die?).
c.          Self-reference
Self-reference occurs in natural or formal languages when a sentence or formula refers to itself. The reference may be expressed either directly—through some intermediate sentence or formula—or by means of some encoding. In philosophy, it also refers to the ability of a subject to speak of or refer to himself, herself, or itself: to have the kind of thought expressed by the first person pronoun, the word "I" in English. Self-reference is related to self-reflexivity and apperception. A reflexive sentence has the same subject and object (e.g., "The man washed himself"). In contrast, a transitive sentence requires both a direct subject and one or more objects (e.g., "The man hit John")

b)        Cohesion
Cohesion is the linguistic elements that make a discourse semantically coherent. To go back to our sample text ‘I have not met Dina’ should have the form ‘I haven’t’, rather than ‘I have not met Dina’ is a matter of cohesion. So too is the use of ‘either’ in Dila hasn’t either’ and the use of pronoun ‘she’, rather than ‘Dina’ in the first clause of ‘She is never here when she should be’.
The destruction of cohesion:
a. The first three text units are put in different order. Example:
·         ‘Dila hasn’t either’.
·         ‘I haven’t.
·          ‘Have you met Dina?’
b. We replace each of text-units with the corresponding complete text-sentence. Example:
·         ‘Have you met Dina’
·         I haven’t met Dina.
·         Dila hasn’t met Dina either.
·         Dina is never here when she should be here’
It is clear that the latter does not have the same kind of connectedness that the text: ‘Have you met Dina? I haven’t. Dila hasn’t either. She is never here when she should be here. For this reason it is difficult, even though not impossible, to make the sequence as a text, rather than a string of disconnected utterance. Ellipse and the use of pronouns and also the use of particular relating particles and conjunctions (however, yet, etc) generally serve to make and maintain that kind of connectedness to which the term ‘cohesion’ is used. Languages differ much with respect to the grade to which they allow or oblige their users to relate text-units are sequence by means of explicit indications of cohesion.
At last, it must be emphasized that the account about speech acts in the preceding discussion is intended to cover in principle whole aspect of production of text. Speech-act theorists have especially dealt with the production of text-sentence without drawing the difference that has been drawn between text sentences and system sentences. However, the utterance of a sentence, in practice, always involves its contextualization- the process of making the product of utterance both cohesive and coherent relation to its context. As it was described previously that text and context are complementary. What then is context? And how does it connect to utterance meaning?

c.         Utterance-meaning and context
The context of an idea or event is the general situation that relates to it, and which helps it to be understood. Context decides utterance-meaning at three distinguishable grades in the analysis of text discourse.
1.    It will generally, if not always, make clear what sentence has been stated- if a sentence has really been uttered.
2.    It will generally make clear what proposition has been stated- if proposition has been stated with one sort of illocutionary force rather than another.
In all aspects, context is relevant to the determination of what is said (lyons, 1995).
Nevertheless, utterance-meaning goes beyond what is actually said: it also involved what is presupposed. In addition, context is highly relevant to this part of the meaning of utterance. In this part, we shall limit our attention to what is stated: to the locutionary and illocutionary aspect of utterance meaning. Context may tell us what sentence has been uttered is clear from our discussion of locutionary acts. As we saw, tokens of the same utterance-type can result from the utterance, on different occasions, of different sentences.
In this case, the utterance inscription itself will generally be either grammatically or lexically ambiguous. However, it would normally be obvious in a given context which of the two homonyms, ‘port 1’ (harbor) or ‘port2’ (kind of wine), is being used-and also which sense of the polysemous verb ‘pass’ is wanted. Polysemy, is not like homonymy, does not give us grounds for differentiating one sentence from another (on a traditional view of sentence). However, it many none the less give to lexical ambiguity. In collocation with ‘port 2’the most salient sense of ‘pass’, in most context, is clearly the one in which it means ‘hand from one another’. Yet, it is easy to see that in suitable context ‘pass’ means ‘go past’. As it was stated previously discourse is composed in more than one utterance; to achieve meaningful unit, the utterance must be related in some contextually appropriate way or the text as a whole must show connectedness (lyons, 1995).
Furthermore, the taxonomy of types of explicit markers of conjunctive relation is exemplified in the forms of additive, adversative, casual, and temporal conjunction. Brown et all (1996: 191, 192, 193).
 The description above shows that discourse meaning includes both lexical and sentential meaning. Therefore, the ambiguity that generally occurs in word and sentence meaning also occur in discourse meaning. Since discourse is composed in more than one sentence, to achieve meaningful unit, the utterance must be related in some contextually appropriate way or text as a whole must show connectedness, yet distinguishable properties of cohesion and coherence by applying appropriate conjunctions, pronouns, and elliptical forms (lyons, 1995).


Ahmadin, Dimjati.-. Levels of Meaning in Semantic Course. Uin Malang


Truth Condition and Entailment
      The meaning of a sentence in terms of truth conditions on that sentence is said to be equivalent to characterizing the meaning of a sentence in terms of its logical form. Knowing the meaning of a sentence involves knowing its truth-condition. A native speaker has intuitions about the truth-condition of any given sentence in her language.
e.g.: Bill is a bachelor.
From that example we may get some inferences, which are the necessary conditions for the truth of the sentence, which can be derived, such as:
·         Bill has never been married
·         Bill is a man
·         Bill is an adult
·         Bill is human
As we have known together that the meaning of the sentence was characterized as the set of conditions necessary and sufficient for the truth of the sentence. So that, in case of our example, we may see that, Bill is a bachelor means Bill has never been married. Why is it so? Because has never been married is a necessary condition of being bachelor. Therefore, it must be true, when Bill is a bachelor, Bill has never been married. And so on for every sentence, in which any necessary condition will be an inference of that sentence simultaneously.
Another term which has been used in place of inference is entailment. From the explanation above, we may see that to give meaning of a sentence in terms of the necessary and sufficient condition for the truth of that sentence is to provide a specification from which entailments of a sentence can be derived by an automatic procedure.
            Since the semantic relations of entailment, synonymy and contradiction are all interdependent, the successful characterization of one of these terms will guarantee that the other relations can be accounted for. Synonymy for example, when two sentences have identical truth conditions, they must have the same meaning. And when a sentence contradicts with another sentence, they must be the negation for each other.
e.g.: Jane was certified as a doctor
        Jane was declared as a doctor
            From that example, we may see that certified and declared are synonymy. Those words have the same sense and identical truth. Therefore, when Jane was certified as a doctor, it must be true that she was declared as a doctor.
e.g.: Bill is so staving
            From the sentence “Bill is so starving” stands in a relation of contradiction to “Bill have eaten much” and “Bill is full”, in which the sentence “Bill have eaten much” and “Bill is full” are the negations of “Bill is so starving”. If Bill is full, of course Bill is not starving.
            More examples:
whenever A is true, B is also true.
(6) John is a middle-aged American man.
a. John is male.
(6) entails (a)
(a) does not entail (6)
b. John is an American.
(6) entails (b)
(b) does not entail (6)
c. John is married.
 (6) does not entail (c)
(c) does not entail (6)

whenever A is true, B is false.
(7) John is a middle-aged American man.
a. John is female.
(7) contradicts (a)
(a) contradicts (7)
b. John is a child.
(7) contradicts (b)
(b) contradicts (7)
c. John is married.
(7) does not contradict (c)
(c) does not contradict (7)

When A entails B and B entails A (i.e. A and B entail each
other), A and B have the same truth-condition.
1. A entails B
? In all circumstances where A is true, B is also true.
2. B entails A
? In all circumstances where B is true, A is also true.
3. 1. and 2.
? A and B are true under the same circumstances.
? A and B have the same truth-condition.
When A contradicts B, it necessarily follows that B
contradicts A. (i.e. it’s impossible that A contradicts B but B
doesn’t contradict A).

Sentence meaning and the non- declaratives
In this part we have seen how the interdependence between meaning and truth can provide the basis for a theory of meaning, provided that the concept of truth invoked is that of analytic truth rather than simply of truth itself. The declarative sentence or declaration is the most important type. A declarative sentence simply states a fact or argument, states an idea, without requiring either an answer or action from the reader. It does not give a command or request, nor does it ask a question. Declarative sentences consist of a subject and a predicate. The subject may be a simple subject or a compound subject.
For example:
“His  name  is  John.”
In this sentence, the subject is "his name" and the predicate is "is John".
 Many people have pointed out that only declarative sentences can be used to make statements, and so only these can be true or false. There are many sentences in a declarative form which are no more descriptions of events than are questions or commands.
Think for example:
  1. I promise that I will be there.
  2. I hereby agree that I was wrong.
  3. I suggest that he is innocent.
Sentences such as these were first noticed by the philosopher J. L. Austin, who drew attention to the untrue of assuming even that declarative sentences were consistently description of event, which would be said to be true or false depending on the correspondence or lack of it between the sentence and the non linguistic event which the sentences described. Sentences of second type were said by Austin to be used for performative utterance, so- called because they are not describing anything but on the contrary constitute action. For example the very utterance of a sentence such as (1) it is composed the performance of the action of promising, the utterance of (2) itself an action of agreement, and utterance of (3) the action of suggesting.  This is dramatic contrast to most declarative sentences: the utterance of I enter the stage from the back does not itself constitute the act of entering, nor is the utterance I can hear you now itself the action of hearing. Now these performative utterances are important for linguists. So it shows that speech act semantics can explain not only the properties of declaratives sentences, as can a truth- conditional semantics, but also many of the areas which prove problematic for truth conditional semantics.

            Kempson, M. Ruth. Semantic Theory. Cambridge University Press.
      Suda, Yasutada. March 18, 2009. 24.900 Introduction to Linguistics; Truth-Condition, Entailment, contradiction and Presupposition. Retrieved from pdf