Re: Pragmatic/Semantic

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Tue Mar 17 1998 - 07:12:07 EST

Thanks to Rod and Jonathan,

It appears that my confusion is well founded. The meaning of "semantic" as you
describe it is quite foreign to me. I can begin to see how there might be an
"uncancelable" meaning to a complete utterance, although I have some
reservations. But I cannot see how there can be an "uncancelable" meaning to a
single word or a grammatical form. The notion that there is an
'uncancelable' meaning of a word or grammatical form is not a part of the
system of linguistics I use. According to the system of linguistics I follow,
The meaning of a word or grammatical form does not exist until it is used in a
context. A word or grammatical form is just so many marks on a piece of
papyrus until it appears in a context which gives it meaning. Accordingly
semantics is an umbrella term for the whole realm of meaning which starts with
words and grammatical forms in a context and extends to the higher levels of

It seems that the way you are using these terms presupposes a theory of
meaning quite different than the one I am using. That would explain the
confusion I was having.

Anyway, This is linguistics and philosophy and doesn't belong here so I will
drop it.

Thanks again.

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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