A Semantic Analysis to Lewis Carroll’s Novel Alice in Wonderland

  • Zhalla Adam Kadir Department of English - College of languages / Salahaddin University-Erbil
  • Suhayla Hameed Majeed Department of English - College of languages / Salahaddin University-Erbil
Keywords: Semantics, Syntagmatic relation, Paradigmatic relation, Word play, Humor


This semantic study is an attempt to analyze Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Being a logician, Lewis Carroll must have been an enthusiastic investigator of the semantic phenomena in language. His works provide an insight into the issues of meaning, the consequences of word play and ambiguity in the creation of humor. Following this tendency, the researcher examines the concepts of syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations and aims at shedding light on the way they operate to trigger laughter. Consequently, the researcher strives to answer the questions; what are the syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations used in the story, how these relations are used by the writer to form the language of the story, and to what extent humor is achieved by the use of these semantic relations. The research uses a qualitative and descriptive method. First, it describes the types of syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations and then identifies these relations in the novel. Based on the analysis of the data, it is concluded that Carroll used collocation, idiom, and proverb on the syntagmatic plane and synonymy, antonym, hyponymy, homonymy, and polysemy on the paradigmatic plane to produce humorous effect.


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How to Cite
Kadir Z, Majeed S. A Semantic Analysis to Lewis Carroll’s Novel Alice in Wonderland. JAHS [Internet]. 5Dec.2019 [cited 12Jul.2020];23(6):261 -274. Available from: http://zancojournals.su.edu.krd/index.php/JAHS/article/view/3079

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