Balancing the Sword - A comprehensive study guide to life's manual
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Definition of word.

semantic cueing system
se-man-tic cue-ing sys-tem

The semantic cueing system is one of the main four language cueing systems. This technique is also known as the contextual cueing system or the lexical cueing system. The semantic cueing system is based upon meaning within context. Semantic understanding is largely determined by the reader's vocabulary or lexicon.

Semantic cues are gained through using knowledge of known words which precede or follow the unknown word. For example, suppose that you do not recognize the word gourd. We read about a gourd in Jonah 4:6-7. "And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered." The meaning of gourd can be deciphered from the meaning of other known words within the context. The gourd provided shade, was killed by a worm, and withered. Therefore, we can glean that the gourd was a fast growing plant with broad foliage.

Homonyms can throw your correct understanding, but synonyms and antonyms interlaced into the text help us to decode meaning of unknown words (as is found in the parallel poetry frequently employed in Psalms and Proverbs). Furthermore, surrounding similes and metaphors aids us in learning unknown words.

The word yoke is easy to pronounce because it follows simple phonetic rules, so a young reader who's never read the word may be able to pronounce the word without difficulty. But, did he understand what was meant? The only meaning of yoke for the young, urban reader may be the center of an egg. However, taken within context, Jesus' reference to yoke in Matthew 11:28-30 cannot be speaking of the yoke of an egg. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Mt. 11:28-30). The words labour, heavy laden, rest, easy, burden, and light would all imply that yoke has something to do with stress and work.

See cueing systems.

Author: Allen B. Wolfe

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