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About homonyms

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  1. 1. Homonyms
  2. 2. Definition of HomonymyDefinition of Homonymy  GreekGreek homonymous – homos “the same” and onoma “name”  Two or more words identical in sound form and spelling, or, at least, in one of these aspects, but different in meaning, distribution and (in many cases) in origin are called homonyms
  3. 3. Types of homonymsTypes of homonyms Since there are several “types” of homonyms (e.g., same spelling but different pronunciation, same pronunciation but different spelling, same spelling and same pronunciation), further categorization is needed. We can say that homonyms represent the big category, from which 3 sub-categories emerge: Homophones: two or more words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings. They may or may not be spelled on the same way. Examples: write and right, desert (to abandon) and desert (a thing deserved) Homographs: homonyms that share the same spelling. They may or may not have the same pronunciation. Examples: present (a gift) and present (to introduce), row (argument) and row (propel with oars) Heteronyms: those are homonyms that share the same spelling but have different pronunciations. That is, they are homographs which are not homophones. Example: desert (to abandon) and desert (arid region)
  4. 4. Sources of Homonymy 1.1. Convergent development ofConvergent development of sound formsound form 2.2. Divergent meaningDivergent meaning developmentdevelopment
  5. 5. Convergent development ofConvergent development of sound form (phonetic changes)sound form (phonetic changes)  two or more words which weretwo or more words which were pronounced differently at an earlier datepronounced differently at an earlier date develop identical sound formsdevelop identical sound forms  e.g. OEe.g. OE зemane “common” mean OEOE manen “think”
  6. 6. Divergent semantic developmentDivergent semantic development (split polysemy)(split polysemy) different meanings of the samedifferent meanings of the same word move so far away from eachword move so far away from each other that they come to beother that they come to be regarded as two separate unitsregarded as two separate units chestchest “large box”“large box” e.g. OEe.g. OE cestcest chestchest “part of human“part of human body”body”
  7. 7. Other Sources of Homonymy  shorteningshortening e.g. fan – “an implement for waving lightly to produce a cool current of air” fan fanatic  sound-imitation e.g. bang – “a loud, sudden, explosive sound bang – “a fringe of hair combed over the forehead”
  8. 8. Other Sources of Homonymy  borrowingsborrowings e.g. bank – “a shore” – a native word bank – “a financial institution” - an Italian borrowing
  9. 9. Synonyms  words of the same languagewords of the same language  belong to the same part of speechbelong to the same part of speech  possess one or more identical or nearlypossess one or more identical or nearly identicalidentical denotationaldenotational meaningsmeanings  interchangeable, at least in some contextsinterchangeable, at least in some contexts
  10. 10. Sources of Synonyms  synonymic attraction - thethe referent which is very popular attracts a large number of synonyms e.g.e.g.  variants and dialects of English e.g. lass (Scottish) - girl (English) long-distance call (USA) – trunk call (British)
  11. 11. Sources of Synonyms  word-building e.g.e.g. lablab laboratorylaboratory –– shortening cheery - cheerful affixation anxiety – anxiousness  phrasal verbs and set expressions e.g. to continue – to go on to smoke – to have a smoke
  12. 12. Sources of Synonyms  euphemisms – a shift of unpleasant meaning of a word to a more pleasant or milder one e.g. drunk – merry naked – in one’s birthday suit
  13. 13. Antonyms  belong to the same part speech  belong to the same semantic field  identical in style  nearly identical in distribution  denotational meanings render contradictory or contrary notions  do not differ stylistically, in emotional colouring
  14. 14. Classification of Antonyms 1. absolute or root antonyms (contrary notions) e.g. to love – to hate 2. derivational antonyms (express contradictory notions)  formed with negative prefixes (un-, non-, dis-) e.g. to please – to displease  antonymous suffixes –ful and –less e.g. painful - painless