Polysemy and homonymy

Polysemy is contrasted with monosemy, on the one hand, and with homonymy, on the other. While a monosemous word form has only one meaning, a homonymous word form is associated with two or several unrelated meanings e. Polysemy is pervasive in natural languages, and affects both content and function words. While deciding which sense is intended on a given occasion of use rarely seems to cause any difficulty for speakers of a language, polysemy has proved notoriously difficult to treat both theoretically and empirically.

Polysemy and homonymy

It is imputed and is mediated by concept or designation. Ogden and RichardsHow is this concept formed? A person observes different objects of the extralinguistic world and marks different occurrences of the referent.

He compares the similar and contrasting features of this referent with those of the other referents. This enables him to make abstractions and form a general idea or concept of the thing in his mind.

When a person sees a cat at the first occasion he may not know what to call it. But when he sees it again and again, he finds that it has certain characteristics, it mews, it drinks milk, it has a long tail etc.

These characteristics of the 'referent' make the speaker form a concept of its picture in his mind.

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He compares them with similar other 'things' with the same characteristics. He understands that all referents having these characteristics are animals. The association of the linguistic form cat with the thing of the above description makes him understand that this particular animal is a cat.

In formation of this idea he first observes the general features and then specific features. We may take another example.

When one sees a chair repeatedly he discovers certain qualities or features associated with it. He finds that it has four legs, it is used for sitting, it has a backrest and it usually not always has hands.

He associates these features with the linguistic form chair by hearing it and concludes that all things having these characteristics are chairs. These features are different from those of a stool, a table, or a cot, all pieces of furniture, sharing some features with chair and not sharing some others.

On the basis of these features the person forms the concept of the referent in his mind. These features are, thus, crucial or criterial for the formation of the concept.

Every word has a bundle of such features which in their totality are crucial for the determination of the meaning of a word. It is not only the presence of these features which is crucial for the determination of the meaning even their absence is equally crucial.

So this is a positive or plus feature.Polysemy is characterized as the phenomenon whereby a single word form is associated with two or several related senses. It is distinguished from monosemy, where one word form is associated with a single meaning, and homonymy, where a single word form is associated with two or several unrelated meanings.

Although the distinctions between polysemy, monosemy, and homonymy . polysemy is a word that has more than one meaning. homonymy are words that sound the same or are the same but have different meanings.

So and sew = homonymy. The word 'bridge' has several meaning - it can be a bridge - a span constructed over a body of water. It can also be the act of connecting any two things. Polysemy and homonymy are nouns and so describing the adjectives polysemous and homonymous is misleading.

Homonymy is present when two words have the same spelling or . Sep 22,  · Hello, “Persistence,” as in perseverance “Insistence,” as in continuing to believe that what you are believing, thinking, and doing are the right .

Homonymy in English. Polysemy vs homonymy

May 18,  · Multiple Meanings: Homonymy vs Polysemy In a previous post, polysemy (the multiple meanings of words) was discussed.

How does this differ from homonyms, which are words that are spelled the same and have different meanings? 6. Polysemy in English.

Polysemy and homonymy

Polysemantic words - words possessing 2 or more meanings. Factors, determining the frequency of polysemy: 1) extra-linguistic The most debatable problem of homonymy is the demarcation line “between homonymy and polysemy.

Difference Between Persistent And Insistent