7. SENSE RELATIONS (2016)

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Universidad Universidad de Barcelona (UB)
Grado Estudios Ingleses - 3º curso
Asignatura Semantics
Año del apunte 2016
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Fecha de subida 24/04/2016
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Encuentra más apuntes en Unybook.com - @aserrano SENSE RELATIONS (Syntagmatic relations – structures that collocate with others.) Paradigmatic relationships – several lexical items in the language system can be used in the same linguistic slot to substitute others. These similar sense relations may show similarity, contrary, several meanings, etc.
It is called paradigmatic because they are similar words that could be used in the same context, although each word collocates with some others (syntagmatic).
Synonymy Sense relations between words of similar meaning, similar sense. However, it is rare to find exact/strict/absolute synonymy. So, synonymy can be considered to be partial synonymy. For words to be exact synonyms they would have to be interchangeable in the same context. What makes two same words not synonyms are the stylistic, collocational, and connotative differences. – there is no fixed number of synonyms. It is not a binary possibility.
When we found two synonyms, one of them tends to appear in a greater variety of contexts. Circularity may appear when the first word directs to the other, and the second one leads to the first one. Their main difference will be their collocations, then.
Happy and Merry could be described equally but… Ex: Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday. They are partial synonyms because they are not interchangeable. Both of them collocate with their own words.
~ A careful choice of synonyms is essential for good writing. ~ - In most cases, one word is better than the other(s) in a particular context.
Cut herself – moan the grass – slice the bread Careless writer – reckless driver Dark room – gloomy prospects - In English there are many pairs of words in which one of the terms is Classical (from Latin or Greek) and is more formal than the other.
Forgive – pardon (formal) / Predict – foretell (formal) - There may be a difference in register between synonyms (technical vs non-technical) Abdomen (technical) – stomach / Cranium – skull / Thorax – chest Encuentra más apuntes en Unybook.com - @aserrano - There may be a difference in dialectal use between synonyms Trousers (BrE) – pants (Ame) / Bill – check / Angry – mad / Nasty – mean / Film – movie - One synonym may have a metaphorical use Mar de dudas (mar, océano) / She’s a real gem (gem, jewel).
- Synonymy is not just noun for noun or adjective for adjective substitution.
The monarch – The King / the scientists – the biologists – the reasearchers – these experts.
Antonymy Antonymy involves binary relations (exact opposites). The two opposite ends of a continuum. Not all words in the lexicon have an antonym. When we talk about the opposite or antonym of a word, we are talking about the opposite of its only sense or one of its senses. Late (Adj.) – may refer to time (antonym would be early) or to dead (antonym would be alive).
 Types of antonyms: - Gradable: Two opposite extremes out of a range of possibilities.
They lexicalise opposite ends of a continuum. The logical contraries. Most of them are adjectives, because they can be graded (can be used in the comparative, superlative (both not necessary by means of inflection –er, -est), and modified by adverbs) or middle-ground terms; the meaning can be illustrated by means of scale, size, temperature, height, weight, speed, etc. old – young.
It is highly subjective, so both may appear the same time (hot for me, cold for you, for example. Young for me, old for you).
Also, there may be intermediate terms and all these adjectives can be modified by adverbs (quite, fairly, pretty, etc). Hot – warm – cool – cold.
The “heavier” (unmarked / frequently used one / basic) term is used in questions. How far/near is X from Y? - Complementaries Complementary antonyms are mutually exclusive. It is one or the other. The assertion of one of the terms implies the denial of the other. An entity cannot be both at the same time. Ex: married – single. Middle-grounds are possible married – separated – divorced – single.
Encuentra más apuntes en Unybook.com - @aserrano There are colloquial instances of gradability as for example: that’s highly illegal; that fly looks a bit dead; you look rather dead than alive. All of these examples shouldn’t be graded, but sometimes they are.
- Converses Converses are mutually entailing. The existence of one member of a pair implies the existence of the other. Up and down. Both terms need each other. They describe a sort of symmetrical or reciprocal relationship. Both states exist at one and the same time. It is just a matter of perspective. We describe the same relationship but with reverse roles.
If there is a buyer, there is a seller. Above and below. To lend and to buy. In front and behind.
Middle-ground terms can take place in all the types of antonyms.
*Incompatibles (not a type of Antonymy) – they are mutually exclusive terms, the use of one term from a set excludes all the others. The use of one implies the denial of all the others. Incompatibility must be distinguished from mere difference of meaning.
Mother and Liz are different in meaning but not incompatible.
Homonymy Homonymy refers to the existence of lexical items which have the same form (spoken – homophones- or written –homographs- form) but which differ in meaning.
Examples: English can – to be able OR a tin / Spanish haya have, there is OR beech tree / Catalan truita omelete OR trout.
Homophones sounds the same but are spelt differently (threw – through).
Homographs are spelt the same but they sound differently (wind-n- and wind-v-) Words that are homophones and homographs at the same time exist too (bear –animal/to carry-, duck –bird/to bob down-, race –ethnic group/contest-) *Dictionary compliers often decide whether two words are homonymous or polysemous on the basis of their origin. The following pairs are homonyms (different lexemes): Bear animal (akin to OE brun ‘brown’) Bear to carry (akin to Latin Ferre, Gr pherein, anaphora).
However, this is sometimes unsatisfactory. Words that are etimologycally related but they recquire separate dictionary entries on the basis of their different meaning.
Encuentra más apuntes en Unybook.com - @aserrano Bank (side of a river / financial institution) Pupuil (the centre of the eye / school student) Port (harbour / type of wine) Homonymy usually means partial homonyms. For a given form to be considered to be an absolute homonym, it should follow three conditions: 1) Lexical distinctness (example: centre of the eye, student) 2) Formal identity (example homographs) 3) Grammatical equivalence (example noun) It is very difficult to fulfil all of these three requirements.
“Even though the distinction between monosemy and polysemy is in principal clear enough, it is in many cases tantalizingly difficult to decide if two uses of a linguistic form instantiate two different senses [homonymy] or whether they represent two exemplars, one perhaps more central (core) than the other of a single sense [polysemy].
Polysemy Polysemy refers to the existence of multiple meanings in one and the same lexical item.
Polysemy takes place when the sense or the meaning of a given word is extended metaphorically. It goes from the more literal senses to the more figurative senses.
Sometimes the metaphorical uses of a word are more used than the literal ones.
Superordination & hyponymy Words may be included in other and more generic terms. Chair, table, sofa are all hyponyms (co-hyponyms) of the superordinate furniture.
Armchair and deckchair are hyponyms (co-hyponyms; type of) of the superordinate chair.
Superordinate (hypernyms) → core words (basic-level terms) → → subordinate (hyponym) This is a transitive relation.
Core words are easier to define than superordinate words.
Different language show different lexical gaps, so sometimes either a superordinate term or hyponym may be lacking if we compare the vocabulary of two languages.
Superordinate Embutido in Spanish and English has the superordinate sausage/cold Encuentra más apuntes en Unybook.com - @aserrano meat, but English lacks many of the hyponyms of Spanish like butifarra, longaniza, chistorra, etc.
Some terms (usually masculine) are used as both core words and hyponyms Dog (m)-> dog and bitch / Sheep -> sheep-ram and ewe Cow (f) -> bull and cow / Duck -> drake and duck Meronym Certain terms are related because of the part-whole relationship (holonym and meronym). Holonym is the whole, and meronym is a part of this whole.
Sense relation than is establish in a possible part of a whole. Sometimes, certain **Hyponymy – X is a hyponym of Y. X is a type of Y.
**Meronymy – X is a meronym of Y. X is a part of Y. Y is the holonym of X.
Meronymy is not a transitive relationship: Face is a meronym of head. Beard is a meronym of face. But beard is not a meronym of head.
The degree of structural integration of meronyms with their holonym varies.
Not all hands have 5 fingers. Not all faces have beard. Not all doors have handles. Not all libraries have books.
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