This article is encyclopedia of applied linguistics pdf the subfield of linguistics. The sentence “You have a green light” is ambiguous.
Without knowing the context, the identity of the speaker or the speaker’s intent, it is difficult to infer the meaning with certainty. The meaning of the sentence depends on an understanding of the context and the speaker’s intent. This suggests that sentences do not have intrinsic meaning, that there is no meaning associated with a sentence or word, and that either can only represent an idea symbolically. If someone were to say to someone else, “The cat sat on the mat,” the act is itself an utterance.
In many cases, it expanded upon his idea that language has an analyzable structure, composed of parts that can be defined in relation to others. This field only gained linguists’ attention in the 70s. The study of the speaker’s meaning, not focusing on the phonetic or grammatical form of an utterance, but instead on what the speaker’s intentions and beliefs are. The study of the meaning in context, and the influence that a given context can have on the message. It requires knowledge of the speaker’s identities, and the place and time of the utterance.