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Sample Questions for Quiz 6 (Scheduled for Monday, 11 April)

posted Apr 8, 2016, 7:01 PM by Lynn Gordon
  1. Given the following set of English words, please describe their semantic relationships in terms of synonymy, hyponymy, and antonymy. If the words are opposites, identify them as complementary antonyms, gradable antonyms, converses or reverse antonyms.      speak     yell     whisper   scream     shout   
  2. Use the notion of analytic, contradictory and synthetic sentences to describe the differences in the meaning and truth values in these sentences.

                a. My boss is a man.

                b. The queen of England is a man.

                c. My paternal grandfather is my father's father.

  3. The utterance  The organist extracted himself from the wreckage  presupposes that _________________________________________________________

  4. Grice stated a set of maxims or postulates which he proposed govern the speech of a cooperative participant in a conversation. The maxims are listed below. Using whichever of these maxims seems relevant (either as something being adhered to or being violated), explain how the following remark could be interpreted as a compliment and how they could be interpreted as an insult.

    What can I say about that movie? Well, the music was beautiful. 

    Be specific as to what conditions must hold for each interpretation and how those conditions together with the Gricean maxims determine the hearer's interpretation. 

    Grice's Maxims ("Logic and conversation", in Syntax and Semantics: Speech Acts, 1975, edited by Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan: 45-7):

    1. The Maxim of Quantity
       a.  Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).
       b.  Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.

    2.  The Maxim of Quality: Try to make your contribution one that is true.
       a.  Do not say what you believe to be false.
       b. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.

    3. The Maxim of Relevance: Be relevant.

    4. The Maxim of Manner: Be perspicuous.   
       a. Avoid obscurity of expression.
       b. Avoid ambiguity.
       c. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).
       d. Be orderly.