The thinker / filusuf Greece has traditionally been reviewing and discussing the issues that can be categorized as “embryonic” semantics. Study of semantics when it can serve as a barometer of progress to think someone (Umar, 1982).
Aristotle the Greek thinker who lived during 384-322 BC was the first thinker to use the term “meaning” through limits sense of the word, which he says is the smallest unit of meaning (Aminuddin, 2003).
In relation to the “meaning”, Aristotle distinguishes between sound and meaning, is said, that the meaning is in accordance with the concept in the mind. He distinguishes between something that exists in the outside world (al-asyya ‘fil’ alam al-Kharijites), concept / meaning (at-tashawwurat/al-ma ‘ani), and sound / symbol or word (ar-rumuz/al- sentence) (Umar, 1982). Even Plato (429-347 BC) in the Cratylus revealed that the sounds of the language that implicitly contains certain meanings. It’s just really, at that time the boundary between the etymology, the study of meaning, and the study of the meaning of the word is not clear (Aminuddin, 2003).
Semantics as a linguistic subdisciplines emerged in the 19th century. In 1825, an expert classical German national named C. Chr.Reisig point about the grammar (grammar). He divides grammar into three main parts, namely (1) semasiology, the science of signs, (2) syntax, the study of the sentence, and (3) etymology, the study of the origin of the word in relation to the changes in form and meaning (Pateda, 2001, Chaer , 2002, and Aminuddin, 2003).
The term comes from Reisig semasiology is in keeping with the terms of semantics (Pateda, 2001). The term semantic themselves at that time still used even though studies have been conducted about it. (Aminuddin, 2003). Based Reisig view, the development of semantics can be divided into three phases (Pateda, 2001). The first phase includes the period of half a century, including the activities of Reisig. This phase is called the underground period of semantics.
The second phase, beginning in 1883 (the book Pateda, 2001 mentioned early in 1880) begins with the appearance of a book by Michel Breal, a French nationality through his article titled “Les Lois Intellectuelles du langage”. At that time, the study of more semantically related elements outside of language itself, such as the shape change of meaning, the background changes to the meaning, the meaning changes with logic relationships, psychology and other criteria. Breal classic work in the field of semantics at the end of the 19th century was Essai des Science de Semantique Significations (1897), translated into English Semantics: Studies in the Science of Meaning (Pateda 2001 and Aminuddin, 2003).
The third phase, the first three decades of growth abab XX represents the study of meaning. This phase is characterized by the appearance of a book entitled Meaning and Change of Meaning with Special Reference to the English Language (1931) the work of Swedish philosopher named Gustaf Stern (Pateda, 2001 and Aminuddin, 2003). Stern has done his studies in empirical studies with opposite meaning from one language, namely English (Aminuddin, 2003). Earlier, namely in 1916, Ferdinand de Saussure is often referred to as the father of modern linguistics, has written a book entitled Cours de Linguistique Generale (in 1959, the book was translated into English Course in General Linguistics). He argues that linguistic studies have focused on the existence of the language at a certain time (Chaer, 2002). Thus, the study of the language must be implemented using a synchronous approach or a descriptive study. Meanwhile, the study of the history and development of a language and is the study of historical diachronic approach (Aminuddin, 2003).
The view de Saussure has implications for the study of semantics is characterized by (i) an historical view has been abandoned due to a synchronous approach, although the problem is also discussed changes to the meaning, (ii) directed attention strukture vocabulary, (iii) affected by stilistika semantics; (iv) the semantic studies have focused on specific language and is not public anymore, (v) studied the relationship between language and thought because language is not regarded as a force to determine and direct the mind, (vi) although the semantics has gone from philosophy, but not means that philosophy can not help the development of semantics (Pateda, 2001, Chaer, 2002, and Aminuddin, 2003).
According to de Saussure whose full name MONGIN Ferdinand de Seassure (born in Geneva in 1857), a language consists of a set of signs or ‘signs’ which is the unity of the signifiant (marker or part of the speech sound) to signifie (signed or part of the meaning). Each of these markers can not be separated, because the words or their meaning is determined by the difference in the signs on the system. Without a system exists in about language, we have no basis to talk about the sound or the concept / meaning (Sampson, 1980). Semantic terms also vary, among other things, signifik, semasiology, semiology, semiotic, sememmik, and semik. Palmer (1976), Leech (1974), and Lyons (1977) used the term semantics (Djajasudarma, 1, 1993).