Presentation on theme: "WORD RELATIONS, SENSE RELATIONS AND DOUBLETS. Word Relations Words mean what they mean because they contrast with other words or word choices. Euphemism."— Presentation transcript:
Word Relations Words mean what they mean because they contrast with other words or word choices. Euphemism Hyperbole Oppositions: analog watch, birth mother, desktop (computer) tall, grandé, venti whip, mix, frappé, blend, liquefy cause to die, kill
Word Relations Taxonomy: hierarchical relations Meronymy: part-whole relations Synonymy: shared designation Homophony: shared pronunciation (even if spellings are distinct) Antonymy: relations of opposition
Gradable versus Simple Antonyms Gradable antonyms (e.g., young-old, fast-slow) welcome intensifiers: very, really, extremely, a lot. Simple antonyms (e.g., male-female, extant-extinct) do not. Gradable antonyms designate opposite poles on a scale, so it is possible for both members of the pair to be false at a given time. Simple antonyms divide the world in half, so it is impossible for both members of the pair to be false at the same time.
Gradable versus Simple Antonyms Which of the following pairs of antonyms are simple and which are gradable? private-public clean-dirty enemy-friend cold-hot temporary-permanent young-old legal-illegal
Sense Relations We talk about sense relations when a word has two or more meanings. A word (or phrase) with two or more meanings is ambiguous. For example, the phrasal verb go out is ambiguous: The lights went out. They went out.
Sense Relations Generally, ambiguous words don’t interfere with interpretation: context tells us which sense to select. But sometimes, context is insufficient and confusion (or humor) results.humor There are two main sources of ambiguity: Homophony Polysemy
Homophony Homophony: the two meanings of a word form are unrelated, at least as far as a modern native speaker knows. Homophony is often the result of two words coming to have the same pronunciation: Bark: ‘the harsh sound uttered by a dog’ (< ME berken) Bark: ‘the tough outer coating of a tree’ (< Old Norse börkr)
Examples of Homophony bank The first modern bank was founded in Genoa, Italy in 1406. We sat on the bank and watched crocs gliding up and down. bat A bat is a mammal in the order chiroptera. In professional baseball, only wooden bats are permitted.
Polysemy The two meanings of a word form are obviously related to a modern native speaker. Polysemy is typically the result of a semantic extension: the word had an original concrete meaning and then gained an additional one via metaphorical or metonymic extension.
Examples of Polysemy The noun heel Andrea has a bad blister on her heel. I had lipstick on my teeth and my heel broke off. How did the second meaning come about? The verb explode A bomb exploded at a Serbian bank in Kosovo. Every time Billy did this, Dad exploded. How did the second meaning come about?
Vagueness versus Ambiguity A word with multiple possible meanings need not be ambiguous; it may simply be vague. A vague word has a broad meaning that context makes more specific: good (moral, tasty, interesting, functional) cousin (male or female) book (paperback or hardcover) With an ambiguous word, context selects meanings; with a vague word, context creates meanings by proving more details.
Vagueness versus Ambiguity Words with multiple uses Ambiguous words Homophony words like bat Polysemous words like explode Vague words like good
A Test for Ambiguity Take a sentence containing and. Assume one sense of your ambiguous word on one side of the and and another sense on the other: Pat went to the bank and so did Leslie. Pat and Leslie went to the bank. Let’s assume that Pat went to the side of the river and Leslie went to the financial institution. In that case, would these sentences be natural- sounding descriptions of what happened?
A Test for Ambiguity No. If Pat went to the side of the river and Leslie went to the financial institution, it would be odd to describe those two events by saying Pat and Leslie went to the bank. This means that the two senses of the word bank are maximally distinct or antagonistic toward one another. And that means that the word you’re testing is ambiguous.
A Test for Ambiguity But when you put a vague word in one of the test frames, the result is fine (not odd or funny): Harry brought a sweater and so did Fred. Assume Harry brought a cardigan and Fred bought a pullover. Is our sentence a natural way to describe those two events? Yes. So, the word sweater is not ambiguous but vague: its uses are so similar that they don’t conflict with one another in an and sentence.
Doublets The doublet relationship is a word-word relationship that only language historians are generally aware of. For us, a doublet is a pair of English words descended from a common base in Latin, one of which came directly from Latin and the other of which came into English via French. The Frenchified member of the pair tends to have missing or ‘softened’ consonants, and altered vowel qualities, especially diphthongs.
Can you Find a Doublet? Fashion Chase Grace Balm Comply Overture Hostel
New Bases (XXII) GRAT MISC, MIXT MOV, MOT NEG PURG VULG
Q1. What is the relationship between the words astonishing and amazing? a Homophony b Meronymy c Taxonomy d Ambiguity e Synonymy
Q2. Which of the following are probably doublets? a croissant and crescent b beef and bovine c carton and chart d All of the above
Q3. The sentence Clyde has a bat and so does Fred is bizarre if Clyde’s bat is a flying rodent and Fred’s is a baseball implement. What does this mean? a The word bat is vague. b The word bat is polysemous. c The word bat is ambiguous d None of the above
Q4. The word swallow means both ‘ingest’ and ‘believe’. What does this mean? a The word swallow is vague. b The word swallow is polysemous. c The word swallow is ambiguous. d Both (b) and (c)