Language and Meaning

Analysis project part 1: Semantics
Complete this as a pair project. Each pair should make only one submission, to be submitted in
four parts via Turnitin on UMMoodle by 23:59 on 9 April, 2019. Absolutely no late submission.
I. Consider the English lexical item fit in two of its senses: one relating to a person’s physical/
health condition, and one relating to an action. Map out their respective networks of sense
relations. The diagram below is a possible format for presenting your solutions. Consult also
the last slide of the course notes on the module ‘sense relations’ for reference.
Provide all necessary annotations, labelling all the relations and items. Not counting the lexical
item fit itself, limit each of your two networks to a maximum of three levels as in the example
above. (4 marks)
II. Consider the lexical category of nouns in English. English nouns can denote highly concrete,
stable, and individuable objects such as oven, nurse, and jeans, or highly abstract ideas such as
liberty, or hard-to-individuate phenomena such as globalisation, or even dynamic and unstable
events such as swimming. This has prompted the position that nouns in English (and probably
in most languages) are actually a prototype category. Discuss this position with reference to the
characteristics of prototype categories, and support your discussion with evidences from
English. (4 marks)
III. Choose two toponyms (place names) from a place of your choice, e.g., 亞婆井前地 in Macau, or
尖沙嘴 in Hong Kong. They should, in your opinion, have their origins grounded basically in
two different types of metonymy, one for each toponym. Explain in no more than 200 words
your choices with relevant concepts discussed in the course. Try to be as specific about the
metonymies as you can; e.g., instead of simply saying WHOLE FOR PART, discuss the metonymy
more specifically as COUNTRY FOR ARMY, for instance, if applicable. (4 marks)
IV. The following figure is poster by the Student Affairs Office (SAO) of the University of Macau to
inform its students about the services and resources offered to them by the SAO. With reference

to Conceptual Metaphor Theory (e.g., Lakoff & Johnson 1980), analyse and discuss the design
in no more than 200 words by addressing the following questions. (4 marks)
• What is the design about?
• What may be the conceptual metaphor which underlies it? Write out the conceptual
metaphor using the standard notation of TARGET IS SOURCE.
• How is the conceptual metaphor being realised in the design, i.e., what may be the mappings
• What inferences do you think the reader is supposed to make from this?
• Given your analysis, do you think there are any inconsistencies/inadequacies in this design?
If yes, what are they and why?