Objectives: To discuss the main sense relations among words; To explain semantic field. Teaching focus: Polysemy 一词多义关系 Homonymy 同形同音异义关系 Synonymy 同义关系 Antonymy 反义关系 Semantic Field 语义场 Hyponymy 上下义关系
1. Polysemy 一词多义关系 p93-96 The word polysemy is of Greek origin (polys, much+sema, meaning), meaning the coexistence of many possible meanings of a word or phrase. According to Crystal(1980:274), a polysemic word refers to a lexical item which has a variety of meanings used in semantic analysis. Polysemy means that one single word has two or more senses at the same time. 它是指一个单独的词同时有两个或更多的意义。 The bulk of English words are polysemantic; one– meaning words are rare and are mainly scientific terms such as hydrogen, molecule, SARS, H1N1 and AV.
1.1. Two approaches to polysemy Diachronic approach 历时研究方法 It is assumed to be the result of growth and development of the semantic structure of one and same word. 一词多义是同一个 词的语义结构历史发展的结果。 The first meaning is the primary meaning 原始意义. Later meanings are called derived meanings 派生意义.
Synchronic approach 共时研究方法 Synchronically, polysemy is viewed as the coexistence of various meanings of the same word in a historical period of time. 从 共时的角度看，在同一个历史时期，同一 个词可以拥有许多不同的意义。 The basic meaning of a word is called the central meaning 中心意义. The derived meanings are secondary in comparison.
1.2. Three processes of sense-shift p94 Sense-shift is also called sense development. There are three processes of sense-shift: 1) Radiation 辐射型 p94 2) Concatenation 连锁型 p95 3) Proliferation 增殖
1) Radiation 辐射型 p94 Semantically, radiation is the process which the primary or central meaning stands at the center while secondary meanings radiate from it in every direction like rays. 从语义学上讲，辐射型 是这样一种过程，在此过程中，本义（也称中心 意义）处在中心位置，次要意义从此处象光线一 样朝各个方向辐射。 All the meanings are independent of one another, but can all be traced back to the central meaning. 这些次要词义之间相互独立，但均可追 溯到中心义。
Take head for example: the head of the school, six pence per head, the head of a page, to come to a head 时机成熟, 濒临危急关头, to lose one’s head 失去理智, six head of cattle Though these senses have little in common, they all derive from special application of the central idea of head as a part of the body.
2) Concatenation 连锁型 p95 Concatenation is a semantic process in which the meaning of a word moves gradually away from its first sense by successive shifts until there is no connection between the sense that is finally developed and the primary meaning. 连锁 型是一种语义过程，在此过程中，一个词的意义 象链条一样，通过连续的改变，逐渐从本义移开， 直至最后发展出来的意义和本义没有了任何关系。
例 1 board ：木板 → 伙食 → 会议桌 → 董事会 例 2 candidate ： 穿白袍的人 a person in white → 身着白袍申请职位的人 a white-robed seeker for office→ 候选人 an applicant for office or a person taking an exam.
3) Proliferation 增殖 Proliferation in fact is a comprehensive process in which a single primary meaning of a word developed to polysemic by means of radiation and concatenation or by extension, narrowing or transference. Take the word “face” for example:
Face A: the front of the head from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin, and from ear to ear B: appearance(extension) C: surface, front(extension) D: expression, look(narrowing) E: reputation(transference) F: the surface of anything(extension and transference)
1.3. Sources of Polysemy (1) Changes in application (2) Specialization in a social milieu (3) Figurative language
2. Homonymy 同形同音异义关系 p96 *Homonyms 同形同音异义词 are generally defined as words different in meaning but either identical both in sound and spelling or identical only in sound or spelling. 同形 同音异义词是意义不同、而发音与拼写皆 相同或只有拼写或只有发音相同的词。 *Homonymy refers to the relations between words of homonyms.
2.1 Types of homonyms Perfect homonyms:p96 1) Perfect/absolute homonyms 完全同形同音异义 词 Partial homonyms: 2) Homophones 同音异形异义词 3) Homographs/Heteronyms 同形异音异义词 Of the three types, homophones constitute the largest number and are most common.
1) Perfect Homonyms 完全同形同音异义词 Words identical in sound and spelling, but different in meaning are called perfect homonyms. A Riddle: Why is a book as noble as a lord?
Key : It has a title and many pages, too. TITLE: (1) name of a book, picture, etc. (2) word used to show a person’s rank, occupation, status, etc. PAGE: (1)one side of a leaf of a paper in a book, periodical, etc. (2) boy servant, usu. in uniform, in a hotel, club, etc.
More Riddles: A. What month do soldiers hate? B. Why is an empty purse always the same? C. How do we know the ocean is friendly? Key A: March( 三月，行军 ) Key B: There is no change( 零钱，变化 ) in it. Key C: It waves.( 起波浪，挥手致意 )
More Examples: POP: popular music POP: short, sharp, explosive sound POP: abbreviation for poppa=papa SOUND: healthy, in good condition SOUND: that which is or can be heard SOUND: make sth. produce sound SOUND: test the depth of (the sea, etc) by letting down a weighted line SOUND: narrow passage of water joining two larger areas of water, strait
2) Homophones 同音异形异义词 Words identical in sound but different in spelling and meaning are called homophones. dear deer meet mete meat right write wright rite
3) Homographs/Heteronyms 同形异音异义词 Words identical in spelling but different in sound and meaning are called homographs. TEAR: n. drop of salty water coming from the eye TEAR: v. pull sharply apart or to pieces MINUTE: the sixtieth part of an hour MINUTE: very small
More Examples: p98 close : v. close: adj. sow: v. sow: adj. or n lead: n. lead: v.
2.2 Sources of Homonymy (p99) (1)Diverging sense-Development 含义背道而驰 (p100) It refers to the split of polysemy. Different meanings of the same word move so far away from each other that they come to be regarded as two separate words, e.g. “flower” and “flour” originally were one word—homonyms. (flour in OF flor: “flower”; G. flos: “the finest part of wheat” )
(2) Convergent Sound Development 语音发展的一致 It refers to the process by which two or more words which were once different in origin and phonetically have come to coincide in sound by chance, e.g. I ＜ OE ic—eye ＜ OE eage). (P99) (3) Abbreviation 省略 Abbreviation has created many homonyms accidentally, e.g. pop( a clipped form of popular music)—pop( an explosive sound); rock(shortened form for rock’n’roll) —rock(a large piece of stone forming a peak or cliff) (4)Foreign influence （ p100 ） gate--
2.3 Problem of Polysemy and Homonymy ( 思考 1) Since both polysemy and homonymy are confusing, they can bring about lexical ambiguity in isolated sentences. A lexical ambiguity arises because some word has more than one interpretation, e.g. He is a bachelor. In this sentence, bachelor is a polysemic, meaning (1) a man who is not and has never been married; (2) a person who holds a first degree from a university or other academic institution. The two senses are relatively close, traditionally denoting “a young person”.
2.4 Stylistic/ Rhetoric Value of Polysemy and Homonymy ( 思考 2) It is the possibility of ambiguity caused by polysemy and homonymy that leads to playing on words, which can achieve stylistic purposes such as pun, irony and humor, or can heighten dramatic effect. See to the following two English riddles whose humorous keys contain phonetic pun, the use of homophones: Riddle1: Why is the bell the most obedient thing in the world? Key 1: Because it never speaks till it is told/tolled.
Riddle 2: What trees come in two’s? Key 2: Pear/Pair trees. In the following sentences, polysemy and homonymy are employed to create semantic pun: (1) The young sow wild oats ( 野生燕麦，纵情欢乐 ), the old grow sage ( 鼠尾草，圣人 ). (2)We must all hang ( 紧紧团结在一起 ) together, or we shall hang ( 被绞死 ) separately. (Benjamin Franklin) (3) A man sits down at a table in a restaurant and asks, “Do you serve ( 供应，出售 ) crabs here?” The waiter says, “Sure, we serve( 为 …… 服务 ) anybody.”
More Examples: (1) “Waiter” “Yes, sir” “what’s this” “It’s bean soup, sir.” “No matter what it’s been, what is it now?” (2) Why should a man never tell his secrets in a cornfield? Because it has so many ears. (3) Why is the Middle Ages also called the Dark Ages? Because there were so many Knights. From the above examples, we can see that homonyms are often employed to create puns for desired effect of humor or irony for stylistic purposes.
3. Synonymy 同义关系 (p83) Synonym is derived from GK, “sy” means “together”, “onym” means “meaning”. It is used to mean the sameness of meaning. Therefore, Synonymy means the relation between words with the sameness of meaning. Synonyms are words different in sound and spelling but most nearly alike or exactly the same in meaning. 同义词 是发音和拼写不同但在意义上极为相似或完全相同的词。 Synonyms share a likeness in denotation as well as part of speech, for a verb cannot have an adjective as its synonym. 同义词在外延意义和词性上要具有相似性。
3.1 Types of synonyms(p86) 1 ） Absolute synonyms 绝对同义词 (p86) Absolute synonyms are words whose meaning is fully identical in any context so that one can always be substituted for the other without the slightest change in meaning. This kind of synonyms are rare and may be found in special terminology such as compounding and composition in lexicology, malnutrition and undernourishment in medicine. 2 ） Relative synonyms 相对同义词 (p86) Synonyms which denote different shades of meaning or different degrees of a given quality are called relative synonyms, they are also called as Quasi- synonyms/Semi-synonyms.
They differ from complete synonyms in the following respects (6 points) A. in degree of a given quality or in shade/nuance of meaning 微妙差异 B. different in affective and stylistic meanings or register 使用 域 C. different in collocation and distribution 搭配 ( D. American English and British English)
A. in degree of a given quality or in shade/nuance of meaning 微妙差异 Some synonyms have the same denotative sense with differences in degree of intensity, e.g. Tiny, small, diminutive, minute, microscopic, infinitesimal; ---denote different degrees of smallness; decline, refuse, reject, turn down; watch, glance, stare, gaze, peep ； ---differ in shade of meaning.
B. different in affective and stylistic meanings or register( 使用域 ) Commendatory Derogatory thrifty/frugal niggardly/miserly bravery hardiness firm pigheaded intellectual egghead
Synonyms can be distinguished in terms of formal/ literary, neutral, informal/ colloquial; or in terms of frozen/oratorical, formal/deliberate, consultative, casual, intimate proposed by Martin Joos(1967), e.g.
See to more examples: man(neutral) chap(colloq.) fellow(colloq.) bird(colloq.) guy(sl.) bozo(sl.) gent(sl.) horse(neutral) steed(poetic) charger(poetic) courser(poetic) palfrey(archai c) nag(colloq.) plug(colloq.) 人马
C. different in collocation and distribution: e.g. native language √ mother tongue √ mother language × native tongue ×
Collocate pretty and handsome with the following words: boy girl child man flower car table garden color raincoat airline village cottage income
pretty girl child flower garden color village cottage handsome boy man car table overcoat airline income
“ 一群 ……” in different collocations: a crowd/throng of a flock of a herd of a drove of a school/shoal of a swarm of a pride of a crash of a smother of an exaltation of people sheep cattle/elephants cattle/sheep/people whales/fish bees/ants lions/peacocks rhinoceroses spiders larks
3.2 Sources of synonyms(p84—p85) 1). Native origins fast—speedy—swift; handsome—pretty—lovely. 2). Borrowing (p84) English is a sponge, which has absorbed many other languages. The richness of English synonyms is due to the loans from Greek, Latin and French and the variants of English itself. Loans are more academic and sophisticated. 3). Dialects and regional English (p85) child—bairn (Scot.); ghost—bole (Scot.); dark—murk (Old Norse);Tally—TV (AmE.); money—beans, bucks (AmE.); liquor—whisky (Irish); trick—gimmick (AmE.)
4). Figurative and euphemistic use of words business—biz; to spend—to blow in; an unemployed man—a forgotten man (euphemism); to scold—to call down (euphemism) 5). Coincidence with idiomatic expressions decide—make up ones mind; hesitate—be in two minds.
3.3 Notes( 思考 3) (1) Some words or phrases look opposite in form, but they are synonyms, e.g. unloose/unfasten ( 解开 ) flammable/inflammable ( 易燃地 ) valuable/invaluable ( 有价值的 ) shameful/shameless ( 可耻的 ) heritable/inheritable ( 可继承的 )
More examples: fill in/fill out ( 填空 ) to best one’s opponent/to worst one’s opponent ( 大胜对手 ) a good scare/a bad scare ( 吓了一 大跳 ) a slim/fat chance ( 成功的可能性不 大 ) quite a lot/few ( 很多 )
(2) Although Some words look different in form and sound, they are not synonyms, but lexical variants ( 词汇变体 ). e.g. whatever/whatsoever( 无论什么 ), whoever/whosoever( 不论是谁 ), toward/towards, sere/sear( 干枯的 ), egoism/egotism( 利己主义 ), hippie/hippy, whisky/whiskey
3.4. Discrimination of synonyms 同义词的区别 To sum up, the differences between synonyms may boil down to three areas: denotation, connotation, and application. Difference in range and intensity of meaning 语义范围与强度的不同 Difference in stylistic features Difference in emotive colouring Difference in application
4. Antonymy 反义关系 (p89-93) Antonymy deals with semantic opposition. 反义关系研究的是语义上的对立。 What are antonyms? Antonyms can be defined as words which are opposite in meaning. 反义词可被定义为意义上对立的 词。 (p89)
4.1. Types of Antonyms 反义词的种类 *Antonyms can be divided into three types according to semantics (p90-92) 1) Complementaries 互补反义词 2) Contraries 相对反义词 3) Converses 逆反反义词 Antonyms can be divided into two types according to morphology: (omitted) 1) root antonyms: large—small 2) Derivative antonyms: polite—impolite
1) Complementaries 互补反义词 Complementaries are forms of antonyms which truly represent oppositeness of meaning. 互 补反义词是真正反映意义对立的反义词形式。 E.g. Adj.: dead — alive, present — absent, male — female, true — false, same — different, perfect — imperfect, single — married Noun: boy — girl, man — woman
Features of complementaries 互补反义词的特点 (1) They are so opposed to each other that they are mutually exclusive and admit no possibility between them. The assertion of one is the denial of the other or vice versa. 它们互相完全 对立，互相排斥，之间不允许有任何可能项。肯 定一方就等于否定另一方，反之也一样。 (2) Another distinctive feature of this category is that such antonyms are nongradable. 这类反义 词的另一个显著特征是这种反义词是非等级的。 (we cannot use more than or how to modify them.)
2) Contraries 相对反义词 Contraries are best envisaged in terms of a scale running between two poles or extremes. 相对反义词最好被想像为处于两极之间的一个标 尺。 Words such as rich--poor, old--young, big-- small represent two points at both ends of the pole. The existence of one is in relation to the other. …This shows what is called semantic relativity. 像富 — 穷、老 — 少、大 — 小这样的词 表示了一根杆子的两端。一方的存在与另一方有 关。 …… 这就是所谓的语义相对性。
Characteristics: Examples: (1) poor —— rich, good —— bad cold —— hot, old —— young (2) rich, very rich, richer, richest Characteristics: 1)Antonyms of this kind are characteristic of semantic polarity. These antonyms form part of a scale of values between two poles and can accommodate a middle ground belonging neither to one pole nor to the other. 这 种反义词的特点是语义二极性。这些反义词形成了处于两 极之间的一支等值尺，并可以提供不属于两端的中间地带。 2)They are gradable -- can be used in comparative degrees, and can be modified by very and how.
3) Converses 逆反反义词 Converses consist of relational opposites such as parent—child, husband—wife, predecessor— successor, employer—employee. The pairs of words indicate such a reciprocal social relationship that one of them cannot be used without suggesting the other. 逆反反义词 包含了像父母 — 孩子、丈夫 — 妻子、前任 — 后任、 雇主 — 雇员 这样的关系对立词。这些成对的词表 明了一种相互的社会关系，即使用一个词必然会 提起另一个。
And Converses consist of Reverse terms 反 向词. Reverse terms comprise adjectives, adverbs signifying a quality, verbs and nouns signifying an act or state,which reverse or undo the quality, action or state of the other. 反向词包括表示性质的形容词 和副词和表示行为或状态的动词和名词，这 些性质、行为和状态与另一个词的性质、行 为和状态相反。
4.2 Characteristics of antonyms( 思考 4) 1). Antonyms must belong to the same semantic field. e.g. My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late. (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act I Scene V)
You and I Moving in the dark, Bodies close but souls apart, Shadowed smiles, secrets unrevealed. (Song, The color of the night) 祸兮福所倚，福兮祸所伏。 忧喜同门兮，吉凶同域。 ( 汉：贾谊《服鸟赋》 )
2). Not all notions can be opposed to one another, not all words have antonyms. For instance, in Chinese, 飞机 — 高射炮， are not taken as opposites although there are some contrasting elements between them. Antonyms are primarily found in words expressing qualities, hence in adjectives of quality. Next come verbs denoting action or activity. Nouns express quality and state, beauty – ugliness, love – hatred. And lastly in adverbs, up – down; forwards – backwards, quickly – slowly, etc.
3).A word which has more than one meaning can have more than one antonym. e.g. (p92) Fresh: fresh bread – stale bread fresh air – stuffy air fresh flowers – faded flowers He looked fresh – He looked tired. Old: an old man – a young man An old house – a new house
Further, the same word in the same combination may have different antonyms, that is to say, antonyms can be studied with reference to a context. e.g. Clever: a clever boy (intellectually brilliant) – a stupid boy. A clever boy (bright in conversation) – a dull boy. Powerful: a powerful man (position) – a powerless man A powerful man (strength) – a sick man
4) Antonyms can be studied according to the theory of markedness. One of the antonymous pairs, usually the one with general meaning is unmarked, the other with specific meaning is marked. e.g. unmarked marked author authoress actor actress hero heroine heir heiress doctor lady doctor athlete woman athlete nurse male nurse tiger tigress
# form: markedness is carried by an extra or a different form. # distributional: the marked term is distributionally more limited. e.g. He who laughs best laughs last. *She who laughs best laughs last. Everybody must do his/their duty. *Everybody must do her duty.
As to antonymic/antonymous terms, one is unmarked, and the other is marked. In many cases, the meaning of the specific is included in that of the general, this is called semantic inclusion. For instance: There is no man on the island. Man signifies “human being”, naturally including woman. Freedom of man. * Freedom of woman. “ 快瞧小脚呀！ ”“ 我瞧见小脚啦！ ”“ 多大？多小 ？ ” （冯骥才《三寸金莲》）
4.3 The use of antonyms (p92) 1) Antonyms are useful in defining the meanings of words. “Fresh” above is an example (fresh bread – stale bread; fresh air – stuffy air; fresh flowers – faded flowers; He looked fresh – He looked tired). For another: Unlike her gregarious sister, Jane is a shy, unsociable person. 2) Antonyms are often used to form antithesis 对 照 to achieve emphasis by putting contrasting ideas together. e.g.:
Easy come, easy go. United we stand, divided we fall. Penny wise, pound foolish 贪小便宜吃大亏. Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals. He who laughs at crooked man, should walk very straight. A joke never gains an enemy, but often loses a friend.
Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. When false is taken for true, true becomes false; If non-being turns into being, being becomes non-being. (A dream of red mansions)
3) A pair of antonyms can form a compounding term, usually the one conveying positive meaning or unmarked initials the compounded word. ( 思考 5) e.g. big and small, good or bad, more or less, father and son, mother and daughter, man and wife, day and night, body and soul. 多少，大小，高低，善恶，买卖，胜败，快慢， 美丑，真假，进退，先后，粗细， （也有相反的情形：死活，贫富，呼吸，虚实）
4) Asymmetrical 非对称的 in use for most antonyms, e.g. ( 思考 6) 这块布三尺长。 * 这块布三尺短。 这条河二米深。 * 这条河二米浅。 这条鱼一斤重。 * 这条鱼一斤轻。 左撇子。 * 右撇子。
5. Semantic Field 语义场 Semantic Fields: Jost Trier first proposed semantic field theory in Europe in the 1930s. According to Crystal(1980: 316), the theory took the view that the vocabulary of a given language is not simply a listing of independent items, but is organized into areas, or fields, within which words interrelate and define each other in various ways.
e.g. the words blue, red, yellow, white, etc. may be described as making up the semantic field of color; and apple, pear, grape, lemon, orange, strawberry, watermelon, etc. can compose the semantic field of fruit.
6. Hyponymy 上下义关系 (p100-102) Hyponymy refers to the relationship which obtains between generic 属的 / 类的 and specific lexical items (between the genus 类 and the species 种 ). The generic lexical item used to designate 标明 / 指明 a whole class of specific instances is called the superordinate 上位词, and the specific item the subordinate 下位詞.
The set of terms which are hyponyms of the same hypernym are called co- hyponyms, which are also known as semantic fields. Broadly speaking, a semantic field is an area of meaning covered by a set of related lexical items. (McCarthy, 1990: 159) Therefore, a semantic field is retained by hyponymy, including meronymy 整体 - 部分关系, troponymy 下位关系 in broader sense.
Meronymy 整体 - 部分关系 is part- whole relation, e.g. “oar” is a meronym of the holonym 整体词 “boat”. (McCarthy, 1990:158) Meronym 下位关系 is the name of the part; holonym 整体词 is the name of the whole.