Semantics: Essay questions MA Linguistics Professor Shi Baohui School of Foreign Languages, Beijing Forestry University July 2006 Write an essay of about 3,000 words on ONE of the following topics. 1. Discuss the principle of compositionality. 2. Discuss the contextual variability of word meaning. 3. What are paradigmatic and syntagmatic sense relations? 4. Use examples from English and Chinese to show how lexical meaning is decomposed. 5. Show how structuralist and cognitive ideas differ in the analysis of word meaning. 6. What is truth-conditional semantics? 7. Discuss how quantified expressions are analyzed in predicate logic. 8. Discuss how referring expressions are analyzed semantically. 9. Discuss the Discourse Representation Theory. 10. Discuss the relation and difference between semantics and pragmatics in the study of meaning.