Introducing English Semantics, Second Edition is a practical introduction to understanding how meanings are expressed in the English language. Presenting the basic principles of the discipline of semantics, this newly revised edition explores the knowledge of language that speakers have which enables them to communicate - to express observations, opinions, intentions and the products of their imagination. The text emphasises pragmatic investigation with numerous illustrative examples of concepts and ample exercises to help students develop and improve their linguistic analysis skills.

Introducing English Semantics:

  • Discusses the nature of human language and how linguists categorise and examine it.
  • Covers meanings expressed in English words, prefixes, suffixes and sentences.
  • Examines such relations as synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, ambiguity, implication, factivity, aspect, and modality
  • Draws comparisons between English and other languages
  • Illustrates the importance of 'tone of voice' and 'body language' in face-to-face exchanges and the role of context in any communication
  • Contains a wealth of exercises and a glossary to clearly define all terminology

This new edition includes expanded and updated textual exercises and a greater focus on compounds and other kinds of composite lexemes. Written in a clear and accessible style, Introducing English Semantics is an essential text for any student taking an introductory course in semantics.

chapter 1|10 pages

The study of meaning

chapter 2|17 pages

Language in use

chapter 3|15 pages

The dimensions of meaning

chapter 4|14 pages

Semantic roles

chapter 5|19 pages

Lexical relations

chapter 6|18 pages


chapter 7|13 pages

Sentences as arguments

chapter 8|16 pages


chapter 9|13 pages

Factivity, implication, and modality

chapter 10|14 pages

A variety of predicates

chapter 11|27 pages

The semantics of morphological relations