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Semantics for Translation Students



Ali Almanna

This book is an introduction to semantics for students and researchers who are new to the field, especially those interested in Arabic–English translation and Arabic–English contrastive studies. The book first presents key concepts in semantics, pragmatics, semiotics, syntax and morphology and gradually introduces readers to the central questions of semantics. These issues are then analysed and discussed in conjunction with the act of translating between Arabic and English. Seeking a balance between theoretical developments and empirical investigation, the book thus provides both a systematic overview of semantics and an application in the field of English and Arabic contrastive semantics, hence offering a resource for students and teachers of Arabic–English translation.


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Chapter 10: Levels of Meaning


Chapter 10 Levels of Meaning Key terms • Affective meaning • Allusive meaning • Associative meaning • Attitudinal meaning • Collocative meaning • Connotation • Denotation • Interpretive semiotics • Paradigmatic axis • Reflected meaning • Semiotics • Sign • Signified • Signifier • Structural semiotics • Stylistic meaning • Syntagmatic axis The previous chapter considered the two main semantic principles: the open choice principle and the idiom principle. This chapter gives full consid- eration to the levels of meaning, such as denotative meaning, connotative meaning, affective meaning, allusive meaning, associative meaning, attitu- dinal meaning, collocative meaning, reflected meaning, and stylistic mean- ing. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of paying extra attention 154 Chapter 10 to paradigmatic and syntagmatic axes in testing the sign’s significance and, thus, translation accuracy. 10.1 Denotation versus connotation Approached from a semiotic perspective, signifiers are often classified into two main types: a denotative signifier and a connotative signifier (Al-Shehari 2001: 151). According to Peirce, any sign can produce two kinds of meaning: denotative and connotative. The denotative meaning is the literal (direct) meaning that can be understood via a direct and clear relationship between the sign and the thing it refers to. The connotative meaning, on the other hand, is that meaning which comes into existence as a result of an interac- tion between the sign and the user’s context. So, the denotative meaning of the lexical item ةقيدح refers to “a piece of land (usually near a house) where flowers and vegetables are grown usually with a piece of grass” (Oxford Wordpower 2010: 331). However, more recently this word has acquired a...

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