Sememe  

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A sememe (from the sēmaino), "mean, signify") is a semantic language unit of meaning, correlative to a morpheme.

A sememe is a proposed unit of transmitted or intended meaning; it is atomic or indivisible. A sememe can be the meaning expressed by a morpheme, such as the English pluralizing morpheme -s, which carries the sememic feature [+ plural]. Alternately, a single sememe (for example [go] or [move]) can be conceived as the abstract representation of such verbs as skate, roll, jump, slide, turn, or boogie. It can be thought of as the semantic counterpart to any of the following: a meme in a culture, a gene in a genetic make-up, or an atom (or, more specifically, an elementary particle) in a substance.

There are five types of sememes: two denotational and three connotational, with connotational occurring only in phrase units (they do not reflect the denotation):

  1. Denotational 1: Primary denotation, for example "head" (body);
  2. Denotational 2: Secondary denotation by resemblance with other denotation: "head" (ship);
  3. Connotational 1: High position, as the role or function of "head" in the operation of the human body;
  4. Connotational 2: Emotive, e.g., meaning in "honey";
  5. Connotational 3: Evaluative, e.g., meaning in "sneak" – move silently and secretly for a bad purpose

A Sememe is a proposed unit of transmitted or intended meaning; it is atomic or indivisible. A sememe can be the meaning expressed by a morpheme, such as the English pluralizing morpheme -s, which carries the sememic feature [+ plural]. Alternately, a single sememe (for example [go] or [move]) can be conceived as the abstract representation of such verbs as skate, roll, jump, slide, turn, or boogie. It can be thought of as the semantic counterpart to any of the following: a meme in a culture of ideas, a gene in a genetic makeup, or an atom in a substance.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sememe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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