What is Semantics, What Does It Mean?

What is Semantics, What Does It Mean?

July 1, 2021 Off By Felso

The science that studies meanings…

Also known as semantics. Semantics can be considered from two different perspectives: philosophical or logical and linguistic. The philosophical or logical approach emphasizes the connection between signs or words and their referents and examines properties such as naming, denotation, connotation, truth. The linguistic approach, on the other hand, focuses on issues such as changes in meaning over time, the structure of language, and the interconnection between thought and meaning.

In the fields of philosophy and linguistics, semantics is the study of the connection between the signs of a language and their meanings. Although semantics has been approached with different methods and purposes, both fields have tried to explain how people derive meaning from linguistic expressions.

Because philosophical problems have to be expressed in a language, they eventually become inquiries about language itself. In the 1920s and 1930s, logicians of the positivist school sought to bring to language the precision and clarity found in mathematics and logic. According to them, “natural languages” are far from clear and precise. For these reasons, they tried to develop a semantic theory based on an “ideal” language free from ambiguity and polysemy.