Meaning of semantic field

What is Semantic Field:

The semantic field, in linguistics, is one that makes up a group of words that share one or more features in their meaning.

In our language there are many words or lexical units among which we can recognize similar aspects. For example, we can say that gate, wall and wall share the same semantic field since the three words designate barriers.

All the words belong to different lexical fields. Thus, we can say that a light bulb shares a semantic field with a candle, but also with artificial light or electricity, unlike a candle, which would be in the same semantic field as fire.

See more about Semantics.

Types of semantic fields

Semantic fields can be classified in many ways, mainly depending on the relationships that are identified between the elements that make them up. Here are some types of semantic fields:

Closed semantic field

It is the one to which new elements can no longer be added, since it already forms a complete field in itself. For example: the days of the week, which are only seven, or the months of the year, which are twelve.

Open semantic field

It is the one to which we can always add new terms. For example, computer accessories: camera, keyboard, mouse, pen drive, headphones, etc.

Gradual semantic field

It is the type of field in which the elements imply a scale with its different shades. For example, the moods: enthusiastic, content, cheerful, joyful, jubilant, blissful, happy.

Antonyms semantic fields

They are those formed by words between which relationships of opposition are established. For example: happy / sad, peace / war, night / day.

Associative semantic field

It is one that is conformed due to the proximity of the reality they refer to. For example, forest, tree, jungle, heath, flora, fauna, wild, shadow. This type of association is usually more subjective.

Examples of semantic fields

  • Semantic field of animals: dog, cat, dove, lion, mouse, elephant, giraffe, chimpanzee, puma.
  • Fruit semantic field: apple, orange, pear, strawberry, tangerine, melon, watermelon, peach.
  • Semantic field of flowers: rose, sunflower, hydrangea, tulip, dahlia, lily, carnation, cherry blossom, orchid, daisy.

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