From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


One of the most reproduced and quoted sentences of this article is : "The basic area of study is the meaning of signs, and the study of relations between different linguistic units: homonymy, synonymy, antonymy, polysemy, paronyms, hypernymy, hyponymy, meronymy, metonymy, holonymy, linguistic compounds." Unfortunately, it is really not one of the best:

  • "Polysemy" is not literally a relation between linguistic units, it is the attribute of one linguistic unit.
  • "Paronymy" isn't a word, so "paronyms" was chosen instead. It is probably the most adequate way to include it in the list but it makes the sentence more difficult to understand.
  • Linguistic compounds, finally, is hardly on the same level as the rest of the list.

I am therefore proposing the following correction: The basic area of study is the meaning of signs, and the study of relations between different linguistic units and compounds: homonymy, synonymy, antonymy, hypernymy, hyponymy, meronymy, metonymy, holonymy, paronyms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Semantia (talkcontribs) 13:35, 5 December 2011 (UTC)


In the main, semantics (from the Greek and in greek letters "σημαντικός" or "significant meaning," derived from sema, sign) is the study of meaning, in some sense of that term.

Added title to thread. (talk) 17:54, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I do not agree with the Greek translation you provide for the word semantics. It is misleading, if not plain wrong altogether. The word should have been "σημασιολογικός" which comes from "σημασία" (meaning), and NOT "σημαντικός". I don't see how the words "important" or "significant" (σημαντικός) translate to "meaning". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

A Historical Perspective?[edit]

IMHO, the study of meaning actually comes from two distinct sources: logico-philosophical and historico-linguistic.

The logico-philosophical tradition started as a part in symbolic logic and analytic philosophy, and then spread through Montague's work to linguistics, and at the same time spread from formal logic systems to computer science and beyond.

The historico-linguistic tradition started purely in linguistics: from historical lexical changes, Saussure's semiotic precursor, and American structural lexical analysis to generative semantics, and current studies in the lexical semantics field. The new development of semantics in the cognitive science is probably more of a matter of an extension of the lexical semantics tradition.

Thus, I think it is better to organize this article in a way to reflect the historical development or ramifications of the theory of semantics.

Not enough semantics[edit]

The kind of semantics as currently practiced in the linguistics departments in major American and European universities is called Formal Semantics a la Montague, which is different from the Formal Semantics as practiced in computer science. This Montagovian linguistic formal semantics field is probably one of the most important fields which are named "semantics". This specific field deserves better mention in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Daviddhy (talkcontribs) 18:29, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Dynamic semantics is a particular version of formal semantics (Heim, Kamp, Groenendijk and Stokhof, etc.O. The term "dynamic turn" is unfortunate without mentioning this school of thought. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chibben (talkcontribs) 01:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


It seems that the word "Sémantique", French for Semantics, was invented by Michel Bréal in 1987. This would be a good addition to this article.

Why? Lucidish 16:28, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The Theoretical Linguistics table is misleading[edit]

while i think Semantics rightfully appears as a subcategory of Theoretical Linguistics, that is not the only subcategory i feel it should be placed in. Semantics is itself wholly a subcategory of Semiotics, & Semiotics intersects Theoretical Linguistics, but also extends each of its subcategories to other sign systems - i.e., Semantics does NOT belong to JUST Theoretical Linguistics, if Theoretical Linguistics does not concern all sign systems (which Semantics does). unfortunately, the Theoretical Linguistics table on the right of the Semantics webpage implies that Semantics belongs ONLY to Theoretical Linguistics. so, i feel that should stay there, but to not mislead, perhaps a category table of Logic & also Computer Science / Math (or at least a link Formal Semantics), & perhaps a Philosophy of Language table each showing Semantics' place in them should be added, too.

disagreements welcome.

Factotum 10:03, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Episodic & Semantic Memory[edit]

JA: I reverted an edit to the definitions of episodic and semantic memory that advanced a specific hypothesis about their mechanisms. The purpose of the definitions is to tell what episodic and semantic memory are, not to advance a specific hypothesis about how they might work. This can be done at a later point in the section, better yet, in the main article for those topics under cognitive science. Jon Awbrey 03:40, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Re -- Revert[edit]

Hi Jon,

The reason I edited the section on semantic memory was because I think what is there now is a little off. Although I think you have it right that researchers in the field take semantic memory to be the hypothesized store for 'meaning' I don't think describing it as a 'gist' does it justice.

Also, the episodic store is not characterized by being 'ephemeral' in any way. Episodic memory can store information for long durations but is characterized as having a qualitatively different structure to that of the semantic. By ephemeral I think you might have meant some sort of sensory memory.

I won't change anything until you comment.


Azymuthca 02:03, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

JA: I'm just saying that this is an article on Semantics, and probably only calls for a tangential mention of semantic and episodic memory, as there will be places to develop those topics on their own, or under the aegis of some cog sci article. I worried about ephemeral, but used it as a less arcane substitute for the tech term in philosophy, which I think would have to be haecceity. It's not that the memory is transient, but that the content remembered is personalized and unique to each passing moment. Best I remember, though, but that's a memory of another haziness. Jon Awbrey 03:04, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Azy: Good Points, no need to expand this section. However, I still think 'gist' and 'ephemeral' need to be altered in some way. If I were to successfully explain Godel's first incompleteness theorum this would be due to information encoded in semantic memory, and would definately not be charachterized as 'gist.' How about subsituting 'gist' for 'generalized content.' As for ephemeral, I think your other two descriptions capture the concept well. Ephemeral leads to some ambiguity and I don't think it adds to the introductory nature of the passage. What do you think? 23:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

for the layman[edit]

Can anyone give a simple example of semantics? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:34, 4 February 2007 (UTC).

this article seems to define linguistic terms with other linguistic terms. it's hard to understand. examples would be great! Bantosh 06:00, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I heard a riddle the other day which has been described by various people as semantics, but im unsure of exactly why, i hope someone can shed some light on this. if this is entirely irrelevant please feel free to delete it. this is the riddle:
Three men share a hotel room that comes to £30 in total. They each pay the receptionist £10 each. The receptionist then realises that there is actually an offer on that room, and that it is £25 for the night. So the 3 men discuss what to do with the £5 refund as they can't split it between the three of them. They decide to keep £1 each and pay the other £2 to the receptionist. Now, this means that each man has paid £9 for the room (they paid £10 and received £1 back). 3 x £9 = £27. the receptionist has the £2... £27 + £2 = £29. where is the other pound gone?
Its a little weird, but as i say, i think this may be a relevant example of semantics but im not sure. Please shed some light on this.



I can't say how relevant the riddle is to semantics, but I can explain the riddle:
There is no other pound. The correct statement should be “£27 − £2 = £25”. The three men paid a total of £27, and the extra two pounds went to the receptionist as a tip. When you're saying “£27 + £2 = £29”, you're counting the £2 tip twice, so that statement is a misleading. This is a bit of sleight-of-hand, directing the listener down a blind alley.
--William Moates (talk) 06:58, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree, this article is hard to understand. I just read the intro and it seemed to be way over my head. (talk) 17:19, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Also agreed. Understanding the introduction is hard work for the casual reader following a link to find out (at a high level) what is meant by the word 'semantics' -- which is probably kind of ironic, isn't it? Hymek (talk) 15:08, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I've read it several times now (and realize it was also recently nominated for deletion). It needs a lot of work. There is a way of starting an article on the subject that allows it to remain accessible to the ordinary reader. I've come to the conclusion that many of the more ordinary aspects of semantics should be represented, less emphasis put on the more formal linguistics studies. While the article has a list of people one can reference as "experts," they are mostly philosophers of language, while the relevant linguists are not mentioned and in any case, when you go to those bios, it's just biographic information - only a few of those pages has interesting content on semantics. A separate article on philosophy of language exists and should be referenced (this page will eventually need a disambiguation page, I think). Also, a wide variety of ordinary language problems dealing with semantics already have articles (reference, irony, etc.) and those should be mentioned in the article, and then some of the more complex material and footnoted material can be moved there. I will work on it. --Levalley (talk) 15:38, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley
the reason this is happening (in my view) is that the basic data collection and observational process (speech act analysis, anthropological linguistics) is woefully underrepresented, while incredibly obscure aspects of semantics are invoked here (sometimes because some single person has a point of view to push). I teach an undergrad course on linguistics and will admit the term "semantics" is slippery - but that should be acknowledged. Entire article needs examples - and humor,irony and other human semantic issues need links. Semantics is fun!--Levalley (talk) 05:16, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Being a layman has nothing to do with the tragedy of this article. The part above the jump is the kind of space filling circumlocution of an undergrad trying to turn a 2 page paper into a 10 page one. Single sentence example: "The field of semantics is often understood as a branch of linguistics." What kind of opening is that for a definition? If you opened a dictionary to "Panda" and saw, "The panda is often understood as a species of bear," you'd buy a new dictionary. Were it up to me I'd replace the whole above the jump with the simple version and I would if I thought it wouldn't be reverted within half an hour. (talk) 20:57, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Retracted. Mundart did a good job. Still a little wordy but nothing to be embarrassed about. (talk) 14:17, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Help wanted with semantics in Wikipedia please[edit]

I have done a lot of editing on Wikipedia, which I love, but keep reaching a dead end with other editors over what I think is best classed as a matter of semantics. The latest is on Evolution where I find an example, yet again, of what I might call 'semantic hi-jacking' or 'misappropriation of a higher category as one that it includes'.

On Evolution, the word is being defined as the 'theory of evolution as currently accepted by most people'. I argue that this is to equate the phenomenon itself with one theory regarding the phenomenon. To do this is to 'end science' since science proceeds by theory, and any theory is only a provisional explanation of a phenomenon until superceded by a better theory.

Is this semantics? Would any editors here like to take a look at the page and offer their analysis of my argument on the talk page please? --Memestream 20:30, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think your argument belongs on this page, but you indirectly raise a point that needs to be addressed here, namely, that in modern English, the word semantics has different meanings:
  • The study of meaning (this is what is presently discussed on this page)
  • Issues of meaning (which is what your remark is about)
  • Meaning or assignment of meaning (e.g. in computer science the word is used in this sense all the time)
So the page needs to be expanded. Rp 18:48, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it does and should offer some help to an interested individual like Memestream. It's probably too late, but I'll try to offer more help to Memestream. --Levalley (talk) 05:12, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley
I notice that in the present version, the second meaning is covered, but the third is not. Similarly, it is claimed that "syntax" is the study of sentence structure, while it primarily refers to sentence structure itself. Rp (talk) 22:13, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Re:John loves a bagel[edit]

Quote: "For example, in the sentence, "John loves a bagel", the word bagel may refer to the object itself, which is its literal meaning or denotation, but it may also refer to many other figurative associations, such as how it meets John's hunger, etc., which may be its connotation"

How is John loving a bagel interpretable in any way other than John likes to eat bagels (and for that matter how exactly does a bagel meet hunger)? An example such as this needs to be more explicit in it's distinction between alternate interpretations. I'd happily try to provide one but if I'm here to look up the meaning of the word I'm guessing I'm unqualified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

An example of a connotative usage would be:
[John, Mary, and Liz are talking]
Mary: I am famished, let's go eat somewhere.
Liz: John loves a bagel.
Where bagel may refer to a class of restaurant, and part of its appropriateness involves the property of the bagel to meet hunger. Other connotative usage may be that John is an artist and loves to decorate his paintings with bagels, and so on. BTW, the meaning of love is also underspecified, it depends on this argument, a point underlined in Pustejovsky. A surprisingly high fraction of language involves this type of connotative usage. However, this sentence is not the best example perhaps, but it has been there for a very long time in the article, and perhaps the edits in the article have overtaken its utility. Either we should change the example, or make its connotative usage more obvious. mukerjee (talk) 08:34, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree--this example is more confusing than illuminating, and should be replaced. Joost.b (talk) 06:24, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


The article says "Traditionally, the formal semantic view restricts semantics to its literal meaning, and relegates all figurative associations to pragmatics, but this distinction is increasingly difficult to defend" This seems to me not a neutral point of view. Does anyone have any idea how to change this in something more neutral? Perhaps "...but less and less people describe to this distinction?" But I don't even know if that is true.

--Merijn2 (talk) 13:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The sentence hints at a long standing debate, and the word "hard to defend" perhaps refers to the growing tilt towards the cognitive linguistics view in linguistics as a whole: the word "defend" seems to be talking of this debate. On one side of the debate is the Chomsky-Fodor group, and on the other are those who are usually renegades from that tradition, including Lakoff, Jackendoff, Pinker, etc. We could refer to the debate more explicitly and name the two groups perhaps to to make it more NPOV... mukerjee (talk) 07:47, 22 September 2008 (UTC)


That editors who contribute to and watch this article check out this Article for Deletion nomination and comment. Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:27, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, I haven't helped with this up until, but by a circuitous chain of events, it has come to my attention. This article has so many separate problems, I'll just start with one. Philosophy of language (and its notion of semantics) should not be primary. Linguistics, with its notion of semantics, should be equally promoted along with the philosophy of language. I'll state my bias: linguistics is important in semantics; philosophy of language is a separate field with its own separate pages. However, I believe that some philosophy of language (semantics) belongs here, and that the hapless Wikipedia reader should be guided to A) common, etymological meanings of the word; B) major linguistic views on the topic and C) philosophy of language.

The list of persons involved in semantics is heavily biased toward philosophy of language, to the detriment of linguistics, while the article itself barely mentions philosophy of language. Minor philosophers of language are included while major persons in the history of semantics are not mentioned. Needs fixing. People who specialize in subfields of linguistics dealing with semantics should definitely be listed (I can think of many). At any rate, this article needs to head in the direction of including different kinds of semantics, as explored by various fields including but not limited to neuropsychology, etymology, and others.--Levalley (talk) 02:51, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley


Have a disambiguation page directing to semantics (philosophy) and semantics (linguistics). Two different things. Have each mention the other, if needed. That's the only thing that can possibly justify having (relatively) minor figures and ideas in philosophy being included while entire major aspects of linguistics are missing. Let the linguists get their side up to snuff; but also let wikireaders be very aware of the difference between the two approaches.--Levalley (talk) 03:27, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

What's a semanticist?[edit]

Did we just collapse linguistics and all the subfields in paragraph one into one group? Why? The sentence "it has related meanings in several other subfields..." well, how about we just stick to semantics in this first paragraphs? "semantics" having "several other meanings" is approaching oxymoronhood. Just cut it short, say it's linguistic, and if other fields (not subfields) are mentioned, mention some of the subfields (philosophy of language is really the only major contender - so it's basically begging the question to have this nonspecific last sentence in the lead paragraph). --Levalley (talk) 03:39, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Lists on this page[edit]

There are problems with all the lists, but the list of notable semanticists is unbalanced. Some famous and deserving folks are not mentioned; there are no anthropological linguists or etymologists or lexicologists that I see; whereas philosophy of language (even when only tangentially related to semantics or of third tier notability) are mentioned. Some people I eliminated are dear to me (I love rhetoricians, but I think it's separate field). Let's also take "reference" (a subfield) to its own page with its own list. List also needs to be reordered and reformated - why not use alphabetical order to begin with? I took the following off the list and hope that others will add people who are more noteworthy (quite a few are missing); I'll work on it. Cognitive approaches are sadly underrepresented. But, I don't just want to add a bunch of names - I'm against long lists as references, there's no point- average reader has no clue which to click on. Would also suggest a brief parenthetical indication of the discipline/specialties of each of the remaining.

The excluded:

As a specific example, someone important like deSaussure is referenced on the page - but isn't on the list. There are a host of other similar figures. Also, people from literature (like Tolstoy or Austen) clearly have semantic theories - but the article should not in fact stretch out to encompass everything (although surely both rhetoricians and literary figures should be mentioned; where is the section on ancient theories of meaning?)

--Levalley (talk) 04:41, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

I'd be in favor of eliminating the long list of names entirely. As you point out, it's hardly useful to anyone, and it's extremely weighted towards philosophers (not that the average reader would know that, either). Mundart (talk) 04:27, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Scope (was: General comments while editing)[edit]

Since the scope of this article is one of its main problems, I'm fine with the paragraph that says "mainly about signs" (even though that could be argued; and some would definitely substitute "lexemes," while others would say "morphemes." Still, it puts the article on linguistic footing, which is where it belongs. Wider view still needs to be developed.--Levalley (talk) 04:45, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Oh dear. The opening paragraph points to linguistics (and related fields) and then properly pulls in philosophy of language - but the rest of the article points to topics not mentioned in the introduction, while the topics mentioned in the introduction remain woefully undeveloped. Let's try and get the main aspects of semantics better covered before the article moves on to "psychology" as a semantic field (it's true there are psychologists whose works can be incorporated, but really, there are far too many linguists and philosophers in line for discussion for psychology to have such a section. I'm not married to this opinion, but that's very much how it strikes me. I am still cringing over the semantics=signs and their uses; not just because it's obscure, but because the originators of those ideas (I can think of quite a few early people to cite) never meant for signs to be a starting place (signs are part of a taxonomy, in semantics - an early taxonomy, which is often an accessible place to start. However, it would be hard to do so without outright stealing from Roland Barthes who is not even mentioned. --Levalley (talk) 04:50, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Naturally, separate sections on a lot of subtopics (pragmatics, reference, etc.) would have varying citations, but semantics (as a whole) must acknowledge linguistics far more.--Levalley (talk) 05:02, 1 April 2009 (UTC)LeValley

I fully agree that this article is a mess wrt to scope. If I type "semantics" in google books I get a page-full of book that are solely about semantics of natural languages. So, I think the rest of the stuff should not be here, but have a dab-type hatnote. Tijfo098 (talk) 18:29, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

A good discussion about what is in (linguistic) semantics is in [1]. Tijfo098 (talk) 18:56, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

The distinction between linguistic and philosophical semantics is made here. More here. Tijfo098 (talk) 23:33, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Alternatively, the article could be split in linguistic semantics and an overview along the lines of [2]. Tijfo098 (talk) 23:23, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

A convenient distinction of two kinds of meaning[edit]

Link...-->      --Faustnh (talk) 19:47, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Again, examples...[edit]

It would seem to be nearing a year since the previous discussion on examples was last modified, and yet it appears that the article hasn't really eliminated the problems described. The wording is excessively obtuse to a layman, which is exacerbated by the continuing dilemma of a lack of examples to which the reader can relate the concepts being described. The "bagel" example is problematic because the presentation of this example is minced to the point of incoherence to an individual with limited understanding of, say, "syntactic and semantic head"s. other example, concerning "red", seems relatively useful, but the phrase "Indeed, these colours by themselves would not be called 'red' by native speakers" is arguable, at least in the case of red soil (which can indeed be "red" by itself) and red wine (which, viewed with backlight, is quite clearly red). The idea of "white" wine in relation to red wine is stronger as it is clear that without the context of the darker wine, white wine is yellowish/golden/clear.

I am splitting hairs, maybe, over this example. It seems clear, however, that more examples are needed to compete with the gauntlet of technical text whose terms will not be familiar to the unstudied. With good examples, however, nearly any individual can begin to relate the idea in terms to their own experiences and thus make some sense of the text without having to do extensive research simply to get through the page. Imagine, for instance, if a website listing rhetorical terms only defined the terms without examples- how difficult it is for most people to learn such concepts without the anchor of some sort of concrete idea!

Allow me to quote a simple response on WikiAnswers which, I think, provides a view decent examples which help to make the idea of "studying meaning in language" a bit more digestible:

For example, in Middle English, the word "deer" meant "wild animal" or "beast", so the meaning of "We plan to hunt deer" has a different meaning then than it does now. As another example, the word "awful" originally meant "full of awe" instead of "frightful" or "very bad", so it also would have very different meanings depending on the context.
Also, there are denotations and connotations. The denotation of a word is its direct meaning, while the connotation is an indirect or implied meaning. As an example of the difference, referring to the "smell of baking apple pie" would directly refer to the smell of cinnamon and other spices, but it might indirectly refer to happy memories in Grandma's kitchen or the comfort of home.
There are figures of speech that in their entirety do not mean what each word means literally. "Raining cats and dogs" does not mean cats and dogs are falling from clouds.
Semantics is the study of meanings in language, for instance, when people say "I love" this can have numerous meanings.

I believe that examples like these may work slightly better, especially in the case of "awful" (or, in a similar sense, "awesome").

Making an article which is quite informative and yet useful only to a segment of readers is problematic, especially when one considers that there is generally no restriction on size. The article can be kept with the information it possesses, and yet with bridges to examples and rephrasing that would make the curve of information a bit more relaxed.-C.Logan (talk) 20:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Besides the practical limits on size, say 1MB, there are the de-facto community standards, but neither come close to being relevant for the current size. Removing the section tag. Probably a merge with Meaning (linguistics) is worth considering. (talk) 17:47, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I have removed the merge-tag because "semantics" and "linguistic meaning" are two different concepts as I have no doubt will show up in further work on both articles. Hpvpp (talk) 22:36, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Prototype Theory[edit]

So, what is wrong with the description of prototype theory, submitted by user Suraduttashandilya? Edunoramus (talk) 14:49, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism on the article?[edit]

The main article has a signed post that looks like it belongs on the talk page before the table of contents. I'd normally edit that out, but I felt like informing others before removing it. (talk) 02:06, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

See also section[edit]

It doesn't make any sense to subdivide the See also section into articles referring to categories such as linguistics and semiotics, logic and mathematics, computer science, psychology. In fact, very few, if any, of these articles would be too specialized not to find their way into a semantics course as taught in a linguistics department. Take ideasthesia which is the only member in its category, psychology. Does it really belong to psychology or to psycholinguistics? Phenonema relating to ideasthesia are ultimately induced by "representations" which would mostly fall into the category of "computer science" whether we call them knowledge representations or semantic representations; unless we call them concepts which would fit any of the above categories. To categorize better, it wouldn't help to fall back on semantic primes or on semantic analysis, the latter having already been marked by a user as needing disambiguation. Even meaning would have to be disambiguated. As it is, any theoretical linguistic framework for meaning or semantics, due to its formal character, would "lend itself particularly well to computer applications, including machine translation, phraseology, and lexicography." Computer science, to a large extent, is an outgrowth of formal linguistics; and formal language theory might be thought of as a branch of applied mathematics. One could go on and on with that kind of bickering.

I will give it some thought and eventually come up with some solution. Eklir (talk) 20:01, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

I can't agree or disagree with your general remark, but some side notes on computer science:
  • You can't equate 'formal linguistics' with 'formal grammar': in computer science, the latter subject is exclusively concerned wih syntax, and completely ignores semantics. There are various well-established ways in computer science to formally describe semantics, but none of them are considered to be part of formal language theory.
  • There is a lot more to computer science than just the study of syntax and semantics: algorithmic complexity, concurrency theory, etc. Rp (talk) 22:27, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments but I can't really subscribe to your side notes on computer science:
Best. Eklir (talk) 19:54, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, formal language theory is concerned with the semantics of grammars, but not, generally speaking, with the semantics of the languages described by the grammars (although there are tangential areas such as attribute grammar which do include semantics).
  • Of course, computer science is concerned with the formal description of the semantics of languages (as this article states) but it does not typically consider this a part of formal language theory. This is just a question of labeling.
  • I agree that many of the relevant topics cannot uniquely assigned to a specific discipline.
Rp (talk) 10:03, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Is Semantics a subtopic of Linguistics?[edit]

I would imagine Linguistics to be a sub-topic of Semantics. The article begins with and seems to predominantly have a linguistic "lens" to semantics. For instance, the first paragraph says:

Semantics (from Ancient Greek: σημαντικός sēmantikós)[1][2] is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, like words, phrases, signs, and symbols, and what they stand for, their denotation.

The relation between signifiers and their meaning is basically "linguistic semantics" -- by no means is this the "focus" of the study of meaning. It is an important component of the field of semantics, but I'd say, it is not the main focus of semantics. The study of meaning includes questions like whether meaning is objective, independent of the observer; and the building blocks of a semantic meta-model like types, aggregations, ownerships and such. -- Fgpilot (talk) 09:16, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Linguistics is a sub-topic of semiotics. You're probably confusing semiotics and semantics. Eklir (talk) 16:38, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, Eklir is right. Semantics is also always considered a subdiscipline of linguistics. Semantics is studied in linguistics departments not the other way round.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:26, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Certainly not confusing semantics with semiotics. I'd assert that Semantics is a subtopic of Philosophy, not Linguistics (while, here it is listed as part of a Linguistics portal). Linguistic semantics, which is a subtopic of Semantics is indeed also a subtopic of Linguistics. -- Fgpilot (talk) 18:27, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
You would need to provide some sources that support your assertion. I don't know of any sources that distinguish between semantics and linguistic semantics. It is of course true that semantics is the place where philosophy of language, semiotics and linguistics intersect, and I would have no problem with also adding the Philosophy of Language template or portal.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:57, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, the article itself talks about Linguistic Semantics and distinguishes it from Formal Semantics and other topics of semantics like Connotations and Semiotics. (Second paragraph in the introductory section). A template on the Philosophy of Language would definitely add value IMO. -- Fgpilot (talk) 19:25, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

mentioned --- david crystal wrote linguistics book[edit]

how englishman approches language and tounge cab be red here +++ co uk can be set to com. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Computer Science: Programming Languages[edit]

Aren't the examples given in that section SYNTAX in the various programming languages? I do not see any MEANING in those examples. DEddy (talk) 15:12, 17 January 2015 (UTC)