Re: [xmca] sense and meaning

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Wed Jul 13 2005 - 07:59:50 PDT

Hi Phil, Ruqaiya, and all others:

I was just thinking that these comments slip again into the abstract,
leave out the contexts in which things happen. And this makes me think
that perhaps we should try to work through these questions by taking a
brief videotape, share it via the internet, and then work through some
of the language issues grounding ourselves in the video, going back to
it whenever we talk about language.

Would something like this be interesting, feasible? Mike, what do you

I am thinking about something like we have done in a conference
session, also involving Jay and a few others; the different
interpretations were subsequently published online.

But in the present case, I would think that the tape, the situation, is
the touchstone that we could use to hold each other accountable for
what we say/write.


On 13-Jul-05, at 6:53 AM, Phil Chappell wrote:

> Dear Ruqaiya,
> It's good to have you back! As you can see, the discussions are
> covering many territories. Just a quick comment - your response to my
> thoughts (below) appears that you read me as somehow "defining"
> sense-as-thought and meaning-as-context. If this is so, that was
> unintended and a stylistic error. What I was attempting to do in that
> rather rough posting was to lay the ground for readers without a SFL
> background to appreciate the idea of congruency - highly relevant to
> the current discussion of *language in situ*. You say "The "higher
> strata" ie context semantics and lexicogrammar are held together by
> the dialectic of realization". This seems a hot topic for the most
> recent half-dozen posts. Unfortunately, you are the only SFL academic
> joining in here, which makes for a rather wiggly path to be woven.
> Phil
> Begin forwarded message:
>> When it comes to talking about the "same" thing in language, we often
>> rely on the orthographic/phonological (or philological) identity of
>> words;
>> this may delude us into thinking that what we are treating as the
>> same words
>> must (or even ought to) mean the same thing. But it is just a
>> delusion. For
>> example, as a linguist, I feel quite puzzled by Phil's statement
>> (communication of 11 July in response to Mike's original message on
>> the
>> subject) that when "confronted with the concepts 'sense' and
>> 'meaning' I (ie
>> Phil) immediately attend(s) to the notion of thought and context." I
>> don't
>> think I know any linguists who would feel comfortable with this way of
>> looking at these two words.
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