Uterances are streches of written or spoken text. Lexical meaning of a word or lexical unit in a particular linguistic system, is the personality it acquires through usage within that system. Lexical examples: “Put an issue to bed”; “By the way”; “It’s raining cats and dogs”.
Propositional meaning of a word or an uterance arises from the relation between it and what it refers to or describes in a real or imaginary world, as conceived by the speakers of the particular language to which the word or uterance belongs. When a translation is described as “inaccurate”, it is often the proposional meaning that is being called into question. For instances, the propositional meaning of shirt is a piece of clothing worn on the upper part of the body, and it would be inaccurate to refer to shirt as a piece of clothing to wear on the foot as a sock.
Expressive meaning can not be judged as true or false. Expressive meaning relates to the speaker’s feelings or attitude rather than to what words and uterances refer to. The difference between “Don’t complain” and “Don’t whinge”, does not lie in their proposional meanings but in the expressiveness of whinge, which suggests that the speaker finds the action annoying. Two or more words or uterances can therefore have the same proposional meaning but differ in their expressive meaning. The meaning of a word or lexical unit can be both proposional and expressive, as in whinge; proposional only, as in book; or expressive only, for example bloody and various other swear words and emphasizers.
Presupposed meaning arises from co-occurrence restrictions, that is, restrictions on what other words or expressions we expect to see before or after a particular lexical unit. These restrictions are of two types: Selectional restrictions we expect a human subject for the adjective studious and an inanimate one for geometrical. Colocational restrictions these are semantically arbitrary restrictions which do not follow logically from the propositional meaning of a word. For instances, laws are broken in English, but in Arabic, they are contradicted. In English teeth are brushed , but in German and Italian , they are polished; in Polish, they are washed and in Russian, they are cleaned. The difference between selectional and collocational restrictions is not always as clear cut as the examples.
Evoked meaning arises from dialect and register variation. A dialect is a variety of language which has currency within a specific community or group of speakers. And it may be classified on the following bases: Geographical (eg., a Scottish dialect or American as opposed to British English: eg., the difference between lift and elevator). Temporal (eg., words and structures used by members of different age groups within a community or words used at different periods in the history of a language: cf. verily and really). Social (words and structures used by members of different social classes: cf. scent and perfume, napkin and serviette). Register variation is when a language user considers appropriate to a specific situation and it arises from variations along the following parameters: Field, Tenor and Mode of discourse. Different groups within each culture have different expectations about what kind of language is appropriate to particular situations.