Semantics The Meaning of Linguistic Utterances

Understanding the syntactic relationships among words in a sentence does not assure understanding the meaning of the sentence. Sentence (23) shows a famous example by Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, of a perfectly grammatical sentence that has no meaning.

(23) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

Understanding a patient report requires not only knowledge of the syntactic relation of the words but also knowledge of the meaning of the words in the report, knowledge of semantic relations between the words, and knowledge of the relationships between the words and the ideas they represent.

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