The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

published. We read these carefully; first, to understand, and then to determine whether or not they corroborated semantic theory that seemed to be emerging from actual practice.
In Parts Two, Three, and Four of this Primer, we shall explore three important theoretical sources in the field of semantics which confirmed and broadened the practical approach.
In Ogden's and Richards* The Meaning of Meaning (1923), we found the first confirmatory hints toward a semantic theory that was congenial to our perspective. In Alfred Korzybski's Science and Sanity (1933), again, we found corroboration and expansion of theories that had grown out of practice. But it was in Charles Morris's Signs, Language and Behavior (1946) that we found a science of signs that provided the semantic apparatus for a field theory of communication and the semantic devices appropriate to it1958. (The superscript is, of course, a semantic device to refer to the time dimension.)
6. The goals of semantics
The subject matter of semantics is concerned with techniques (devices) by which to communicate effectively. And we communicate effectively when we effect the desired purpose.
The utility of semantics is no longer questioned. It is recognized as a practical means of attaining goals. The business executive who sits at a desk equipped with an intercom system and several telephones has already taken the first decisive steps in the use of the new discipline. Business is a transactiona trans-actionan action that crosses over. Business is a you-give-me-something and 111-give-you-something relationship. This is a transaction that