Semantic Field : An Integrated System

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What is a semantic field and why is it important in the composition of written communication? Give specific examples to support your answer. According to Brinton (2000) the term ‘’semantic field denotes a segment of reality symbolized by a set of related words’’, or more broadly speaking, refers to a group of terms that share a similar meaning. It was first established by German Scholar J.Trier in the 1930’s who stated ‘’the vocabulary of language is an integrated system of lexemes interrelated in sense.’’ In order to comprehend a better range of vocabulary we must understand the interrelation of words within a semantic field and thus be able to use them to better the composition of both spoken and written communication. Once assimilated, using semantic fields enable the writer to express elaborate detail, and in choosing a specific term expose extensive connotations to the reader. In order to analyse the importance of a ‘semantic field’ we must identify the different classifications within semantic field theory such as; Hyponymy, Antamony and Synonymy, and how they advance in different ways, our ability to grasp a better composition of written communication. The most common branch of Semantic field theory is Hyponymy, which allows us to identify a general term or ‘’hypernym’’ that can be divided into more specific terms ‘hyponyms’. This allows us to divide ‘’Flower’’- the hypernym, into specific sub categories of ‘hyponyms’- such as “Rose, daffodil, carnation’’etc.
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