Selasa, 09 Oktober 2012


Polysemy is words which have multiple meaning that are related conceptually or historically. You can find it on the dictionary, you will find words with more than one definition. For example ; guard, music and bear

Bear is polysemous with meanings ‘to tolerant’, to carry’, to support’, bear (animals).

Of course, it is possible for 2 forms to be distinguished via homonymy and for one of the form also to have various uses via polysemy. The word date (= a thing we can eat), and date (= a point in time) are homonyms. However, the point in time’ kind of date is polysemous in terms of a particular day and month (= on a letter), an arranged meeting time (= an appointment), a social meeting (= with someone we like), and even a person (=that person we like).

We adopt as a working hypothesis the view that almost every word is more or less polysemous, with senses linked to a prototype by a set of relational semantic principles which incorporate a greater or lesser amount of flexibility. We follow the now common practice in polysemy research and regard polysemy as a graded phenomenon . . ., where contrastive polysemy deals with homonyms such as match (a small stick with a tip which ignites when scraped on a rough surface) and match (contest in a game or sport), whereas complementary polysemy deals with interrelated semantic aspects of a word, such as, in the case of record, for example, the physical object and the music.

If we aren’t sure whether different uses of a single word are examples of homonymy or polsemy, we can check in a dictionary. If the word has multiple meanings, it is polysemous, then there will be a single entry, with a numbered list of the different meanings of that word. If two word are treated as homonyms , they will typically have two separate entries  

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