In this talk I will present a contrastive analysis of the meaning of two greetings, Hi in English and Ciao in Italian adopting the methodology of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage. The analysis is aimed at making three points: (i) greetings are used differently across languages and this can lead to cases of miscommunication in cross-cultural interactions; (ii) greetings have a proper semantic content consisting of a particular professed way of thinking about the addressee and expressed feelings which I call interactional meaning following Wierzbicka (1992); (iii) the interactional meaning of greetings can be determined using a suitable methodology which permits to identify and capture the semantic differences between greetings clearly. I will start discussing the need for a semantic analysis of greetings and then I will introduce the methodology of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage. After presenting the general characteristics of NSM, I will show how this approach can be effectively used for a contrastive analysis of greetings. I will present two NSM semantic explications which capture the different interactional meanings of Hi and Ciao showing how their semantic differences are reflected in
their differences in use.
Thursday, 27 October 1:15-2:30pm
Room 433, Education Building
To find out more, visit
Dr Sebastian Fedden | Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Letters, Art and Media | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
N367, John Woolley Bld A20 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
T +61 2 9351 7518 | F +61 2 9351 2434
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