CONNOTATIVE MEANINGS OF SOME SIMILAR WORDS: AN APPLICATION OF SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL

Hakan AYDOĞAN

Mustafa ŞENEL

Connotation and denotation are two important topics in semantics. Connotation of words can be examined by applying so-called semantic differential technique. It can help us to describe and estimate metaphorical as well as emotional meanings of words. In this study, we estimated the meaning of the following words: ''mum'', ''mother'', ''home'', ''house'', ''man'', and ''person''. We used a seven-point Likert scale, with ten pairs of opposites (adjectives). This scale was distributed among 76 students at the University of Sarajevo, where 21 of them were males and 55 were females. Our results pointed out the three following things. First, the word ''mum'' compared to the word ''mother'' sounds ''younger'', more ''active'', ''stronger'', more ''beautiful'', and ''closer''. The word ''home'' compared to the word ''house'' was somehow ''hotter'', ''softer'', more ''active'', more ''beautiful'', ''closer'', and more ''clear''. Connotative meanings seem to be a very interesting subject of semiotics/semantics.

Key words: semantic differential technique, semantics, synonyms, denotation, connotation