Application Of Semantic Theories English Language Essay

Semanticss is the survey of word significance in linguistic communication. The semantic constituent refers to the significance conveyed by words, phrases and sentences. Semanticss besides refers to the regulations regulating significance dealingss among words and sentences. Semantics involves a individuals ‘ vocabulary or vocabulary.

Impairment concerns the beginning of harm doing structural or functional abnormalcy. It is the beginning of the job in footings of physiological or psychological footings. When it comes to semantics the speech-language diagnostician ‘s occupation is to steer people to give the right significance to the right signifier. Thus cognition of semantics is straight relevant to the speech-language diagnostician and their apprehension of linguistic communication damages. This essay aims to research the intrinsic nexus nowadays between semantics and speech-language pathology in pattern. In the first portion of this essay the applications of theories to the speech-language diagnostician shall be discussed. I will so travel frontward to discourse the significance of lexical development followed by looking at specific linguistic communication damages in kids and grownups.

Part I: Application of Semantic Theories to the Speech-Language Diagnostician

The Communication Chain

Crystal and Varley, 1998, describe the theoretical account of communicating. This shows that communicating involves 7 stairss which are:

The Pre-linguistic Phase

Language Encoding

Motor Programing

Motor Execution




Language Decoding

Message Interpretation

The speech-language diagnostician ‘s occupation is to ease linguistic communication decrypting and message reading when persons adopt a receiving system function in communicative exchanges. Message preparation and reading involves a individual ‘s cognition and representation of significance. Language encoding or decrypting draws on the ability to associate intending to a linguistic communication signifier. If a client or a patient has a job with linguistic communication decryption or linguistic communication encoding it is up to the speech-language diagnostician to step in so that something can be done to better the client/ patient ‘s status so that s/he would be able to understand what significance is and to be able to map it to the right signifier. The communicating concatenation is one of the cardinal facets of semantics ; hence cognition of semantics is important to the speech-language diagnostician as without intending communicating would non do sense and has no usage.

Saussure ‘s Theory of Language

Another cardinal theory which plays a major portion in semantics is the 1 proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure. He argued ( as cited in Saeed, 2003 ) that the significance of lingual looks derives from two chief beginnings which are: how the universe is portrayed and which portion of linguistic communication they are in. Harmonizing to Saussure words refer to specific entities in the universe. If a client or a patient can non map or give significance to a peculiar entity than the universe would non do much sense and words would about experience empty and that is where the speech-language diagnostician ‘s cognition of semantics is required. Two major types of relationships exist between lingual elements in a system. These are syntagmatic ( combinative ) and paradigmatic ( associatory ) relationships. In Saussure ‘s sentiment any sentence is a sequence of marks ( construct and signifier ) . Each mark makes a part to the significance of the whole and contrasts with all other marks in a linguistic communication. A syntagmatic relationship is the additive relationship between the marks nowadays in a sentence. A paradigmatic relationship is a peculiar relationship between a mark in a sentence and a mark non present in a sentence, but portion of the remainder of the linguistic communication. An illustration of this would be that pronouns in a sentence can be replaced by others. The speech-language diagnostician can non make without this cognition which is a major portion of semantics. It is through this cognition that the diagnostician can be of assistance to anyone holding problem set uping the links between linguistic communication marks.

Part II: The Significance of Lexical Development

As was mentioned above cognition of semantics includes cognition of the vocabulary or vocabulary. Vocabulary is a important portion of anyone ‘s linguistic communication system as without the equal vocabulary we would non be able to show ourselves consequently. It is hence important that the speech-language diagnostician have equal apprehension of the topic particularly when it comes to lexical development. Knowledge of how this vocabulary develops is really of import to the speech-language diagnostician as when it lexical development impaired s/he would be able to step in, buttocks and work on bettering the job.

The Social Pragmatic Theory of Word Learning by Michael Tomasello

Tomasello identified 3 procedures for word acquisition: requirement processes which include cleavage of address and conceptualising referents, foundational procedures are joint attending, cultural acquisition and purpose reading and facilitative procedures take into history lexical and lingual context. These accomplishments help kids to develop a vocabulary as kids learn words through their societal act.

Prerequisite Procedures:

Cleavage of address involves the designation and isolation of the units of address in a linguistic communication such as morphemes, words and phonemes. Childs have the ability to see forms in which grownups use words communicatively. It is through this procedure that kids begin to place the units of address. Child directed address or motherease is the manner grownups or the chief health professional particularly speak to their kids. It is a procedure which helps kids place the units of address. Smith ( as cited by Tomasello, 2000 ) asserted that the rudimentss of word larning involve tie ining sounds with outstanding facets of perceptual experience. This is what is known as gestating referents and besides forms a portion of the prerequisite procedures of lexical development.

Foundational Procedures:

For word acquisition to be effectual kids need to larn to map significances onto signifiers. This entails that kids recognise that signifiers symbolise entities in our universe as has been discussed above and construing the significance of a peculiar word harmonizing to the state of affairss the kid is in.

Tomasello argues that linguistic communication acquisition begins at around 12 months of age as this is the clip where joint attending starts to develop. Joint attending is one of the most cardinal facets of the foundational procedures of lexical development. Social interaction is evidently a demand for attending sharing as the kid would necessitate to supervise the chief health professional ‘s focal point and attending. All foundational procedures involve socio-cognitive accomplishments which are clearly seen when the kid is socializing with the grownup and seeking to read the grownup ‘s purpose. To every address act there is purpose and kids learn to construe other ‘s purposes in conversation through purpose reading. The linguistic communication and pragmatics used aid kids in infering the significance of words. Children besides have the ability of calculating out intending through a procedure which has been termed fast mapping where they spontaneously guess the significance of words in a peculiar context.

Before traveling on to looking at the facilitative procedures of lexical development it is of import that one remembers the connexion nowadays between lexical development and the speech-language diagnostician ‘s apprehension of linguistic communication damages. If the speech-language diagnostician has no thought of semantics, so how is s/he traveling to assist the client/ patient when showing with a vocabulary job? Yes, cognition of such theories is important to the speech-language diagnostician ‘s apprehension of linguistic communication damages.

Facilitative Procedures:

Lexical and linguistics contexts make up the facilitative procedures. By lexical context one means that kids are larning how to do a differentiation between words that may be used likewise. This is an of import procedure as kids begin to larn the construct of equivalent word which farther broadens their vocabulary. However until the construct of equivalent word is to the full developed kids might hold problem with a word which has the same significance but different signifiers. Meaning can besides be derived from lingual context as has been mentioned above. Children are able to think significances of words depending on the relevant context.

Matter-of-fact Principles in Meaning Acquisition

Every linguistic communication community has a peculiar manner in which they talk and Clark ( 2003 ) defined conventionality as the fact that certain signifiers are given their significance by convention that is the manner the community negotiations. She besides went on to specify contrast that is any difference in signifier signals equals a difference in significance. Lexical contrast helps kids to stipulate their significances. Children can besides delegate intending to signifiers and therefore larn a new word by measuring the lingual context which it is in. Understanding the middleman ‘s communicative purpose is besides necessary to understanding significance.

This theory is besides one of the demands so that the speech-language diagnostician would hold a better apprehension of linguistic communication damages as if there is trouble in either contrast or conventionality or both communicating for the client/patient would non be every bit efficient as is required so with this cognition the speech-language diagnostician would cognize what to make in order to assist.

Part III: Semantic Damages in Children and Adults

Knowledge of semantics besides involves analyzing possible linguistic communication damages both in kids and in grownups. It goes without stating that this portion of semantics is a necessity to the speech-language diagnostician in pattern. Semantic damages are merely portion of the bigger image that is the broad scope of linguistic communication damages which both kids and grownups brush.

Childhood Damages

Assorted types of semantic damages in kids shall be tackled foremost. Word larning troubles arise from a limited shop of lexical-semantic representations. Signs that the speech-language diagnostician wound need to look out for when executing an appraisal to look into for this sort of damage is that kids shown a slower rate of word acquisition and hapless acquisition of the significance of new words. Children may besides confront word happening troubles. The kid would hold the word stored in memory but can non look to pull out it therefore vacillation is common in kids with this sort of damage as they try to sort of hunt for the needed word. There are jobs with word retrieval and the kid would seek to obtain the word by explicating the map, where it is found and others. Children who have word determination troubles would place the word/object given a phonemic cue as they know what the signifier of the word is. However this might non ever be the instance for a individual with a limited semantic shop as the signifiers of words are non available to him/her. Another sort of kid semantic damage is over extensions. Here kids group a broad of range things into a big class. Another sort of semantic damage in kids is confusion of polar antonyms where words such as on and off are confused. The concluding type of damage to be discussed is troubles with lexical-semantic administration. This may be present in kids with linguistic communication upsets and include: slow development and troubles with semantic field boundaries, stiff object boundaries, overexploitation of deictic footings and lexical entree troubles.

Although there is a smaller scope of the sorts of semantic damages in grownups they still occur and will be looked at below.

Adult Impairment:

In grownups semantic damages normally occur due to a injury such as encephalon hurt. Prior to the injury grownups would hold a to the full functioning linguistic communication system. The first type of damage to be discussed is shortages in audile comprehension of spoken words. Symptoms include word sound hearing loss, word signifier hearing loss, word significance hearing loss and cardinal semantic shortages. Post-trauma grownups may besides endure from shortages in spoken word production. The client/patient may see cardinal semantic shortages where there is impairment in significance every bit good as impaired spoken word retrieval. S/he may besides hold troubles with lexical storage and retrieval in this sort of damage. They might besides hold a tough clip with phonological assembly, articulative scheduling and articulation such as dysarthria.


Through this essay I have looked at a scope of facets get downing from the theoretical facets of semantics and traveling on to existent semantic damages. These have been analysed and their relevancy to the speech-language diagnostician ‘s apprehension of linguistic communication damages has been shown through the assorted illustrations discussed. It is in fact from the illustrations discussed that one can reason that an apprehension of semantics is required so that the speech-language diagnostician can understand some of the types of linguistic communication damages and aid clients/patients as best he/she can.