Semantics is the study of meaning in language. It involves studying how individual words are interpreted, how sentences are constructed and how the way the text is written can be literally interpreted (Foley 15). A good understanding of semantics directly relates to all the academic disciplines of all languages, which will allow one to communicate his or her message with clarity and without fear of misinterpretation.
Semantics is important in language acquisition. This discipline, being a concerned with the meaning of words, closely relates to language acquisition. Scientists use the understanding of semantics to gain knowledge on the way language is learned. Language is acquired initially by replicating sounds for verbal speech and replicating images for written speech (Langacker 20). These sounds and images require to be assigned meaning, and this is where semantics comes in. Human beings learn words meanings in a basic way at first, but later more complex meanings emerge as capability with a language grows. Semantics expounds on the different types of meanings existing within a language, as a result offers insight into the way an individual builds ability and understanding of a language.
Semantics is important in maintaining the structure of a language. Without it, language would lack structure (Giannini 612). The intrinsic understanding of semantics, which accompanies language acquisition, enables speakers not to string words together without any order. Stringing words in any order would give listeners a hard time trying to derive meaning from sentences. Semantics avails speakers a structure to adopt when slotting words into sentences, thus creating discernable meaning.
Semantics is important as it enables scientists and academics to connect language to other disciplines. For example, the study of how language is used is paramount in psychology. The discipline of semantics gives a framework for analyzing and understanding language use, even in contexts of fields outside a strict linguistic area of study.
A lot of the meaning attached to language is bestowed through inferences. Human beings write things, and the reader infers the meaning of the write-up basing on information available to him or her. Pronouns are an effective type of inference. For instance in the sentence: “Jack went to the market. He brought some mangoes,” it is not openly shown that the second phrase refers to Jack. However, the initial sentence allows us to infer that Jack brought the mangoes. This is the use of homophoric reference in the study of deixis (Peregrin 50). Writers as a result must understand some semantics to ensure the proper inference of their meanings.
Semantics is also useful in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using the characteristic of universe of discourse, search engines attain an understanding of a language, for example English. The engines have an understanding of the synonyms and antonyms of a language (Gärdenfors 18). Let us take an example of Google, which uses semantics to relate niches and keywords. Google can develop complex relationships in keywords by using its huge information database. For instance, searching Google for “internet marketing services” and “online marketing” will reveal similar results. Search engines use semantics to relate long tail keywords and related keywords, including the long tails of the related keywords.
In conclusion, the discipline of semantics is very useful in everyday human partaking.