chapter  5
ByBetty J. Birner
Pages 11

This chapter focuses on some of the primary issues in philosophy of language, semantics, and pragmatics. It discusses two aspects of semantics: lexical and sentential. Within lexical semantics, the question at hand is what it means for a word to mean something. One way to look at word meaning is through componential semantics, in which we take the meaning of a word to be built up of smaller bits of component meanings, or semantic primitives. Scholars have disagreed about the status of the presupposition, and in fact whether presupposition is a semantic or a pragmatic phenomenon. There are many excellent linguistics textbooks that provide a broad introduction to the field and its subfields. Every introductory linguistics textbook will cover the basic principles of linguistics, the importance of a descriptive approach, and at the very least the core subfields of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.