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Chapter 8 Sense relations & semantic field(me)


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8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5

Chapter 8 Sense relations between words
Definition of sense relations Synonymy Antonymy Hyponymy semantic field
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8.1 Definition of Sense Relations
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Semantically, all words are related in one way or another. Sense relations refers to the relations of related words in sense; it is a semantic classification of words.

There are generally 3 kinds of sense relations: sameness relation, oppositeness relation and inclusiveness relation
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They include: synonymy (同义), antonymy (反义) and hyponymy (上下义).

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Classification of sense relations
Sense relations
Polysemy
Radiation Concatenation Full homonym

homonymy
homograph homophone

synonymy
Complete Partial Complementary

Antonymy
gradable conversive

Hyponymy
superordinate subordinate

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8.2 Synonymy
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Synonymy is a word made up of syn- (together), and onyma (name), the implication being that this is another name for the same thing, that the two synonyms have the same meaning ( Laird, 1981, p. 271, as cited in Zhang, H. 2004, p.124)

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Synonym is a word having the same meaning as another word: as one of two or more words of the same language and grammatical category having the same essential or generic meaning and differing only in connotation, application, or idiomatic use: one of two or more words having essentially identical definitions (as cited in Zhang, Y. 2005, p. 125)

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Synonyms share a likeness in denotation as well as part of speech, for a verb cannot have an adjective as its synonym. Thus in every synonymous group a common denotative component brings the words together.
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girl – maid generous – extravagant end – final ? brother – fraternally ?
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A sign in the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park states: Please do not annoy, torment, pester, plague, molest, worry, badger, harry, harass, heckle, persecute, irk, bullyrag, vex, disquiet, grate, beset, bother, tease, nettle, tantalize, or ruffle the animals (Fromkin & Rodman, 1998, p. 165)

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8.2.1 Kinds of synonyms
?Synonyms

Complete (absolute, strict, or pure) synonyms

Partial (near, relative) synonyms/ quasisynonyms

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Complete synonyms
Two words are totally synonymous only if they are fully identical in meaning and interchangeable in any context without the slightest alteration in connotative, affective and stylistic meanings. ? Dr. Johnson remarked, “ Words are seldom exactly synonymous” (as quoted in Zhang, Y. 2005, p.125). ? 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. motherland--- fatherland mother tongue--- native language ;Submarine/U-boat
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Partial synonyms
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Partial synonyms are words similar or nearly the same in denotation, but embracing different shades of meaning or different degrees of a given quality. They can be substituted in some but not all contexts according to their denotative and connotative meanings.

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Discrimination of synonyms
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The difference between synonyms lies in three aspects: denotation (conceptual meaning), connotation (associative meaning) application (usage).

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Specifically ? 1. Difference in range and intensity of meaning语义范围 与强度的不同 e.g. anger, rage, fury, indignation and wrath(pp.126-127) ? look: stare, gaze, eye, peep, glance laugh: chortle, chuckle, giggle, guffaw, snicker/snigger,titter make one’s way: thread one’s way, dig one’s way, break one’s way, push one’s way, shoulder one’s way, elbow one’s way, worm one’s way

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Synonyms may differ in degree of intensity. ? Take rich and wealthy for example. A rich man and a wealthy lady are both rich, but the wealthy lady is felt to possess more money and property than a rich man.
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The same difference is found between work and toil, the former being a general term having no special implications as ?light? or ?heavy?, and ?mental? or ?physical?, and the latter usually suggesting ?heavy and tiring work?, associated more with manual than mental labour.

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挣钱
苦钱
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Want, wish, desire afford another example of the kind of the three terms, want is the most general and has the widest range of meaning while wish and desire are much narrower in sense. As far as intensity is concerned, both are stronger than want and desire the strongest of all.

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2. Difference in emotive coloring e.g. small and little

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Many synonyms have clear affective values.
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Take result/consequence for example. Result is neutral, neither appreciative nor derogatory. Used with good it conveys a positive attitude and with bad it expresses a negative meaning. Consequence, however, always has a negative implication. There is also clear difference between big and great. Big is generally used to show the bigness of size, volume, extent, weight, number, and so on, without any emotive coloring, whereas great suggests ?distinguished?, ?eminent?, ?outstanding?, etc.
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3. Difference in stylistic features e.g. associate, friend, buddy, pal, mate; policeman, constable, bobby, cop, pig; (p.128)

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4. Difference in application

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e.g. pretty vs handsom Many words are synonymous in meaning but
different in usage in simple terms. They form different collocations and fit into different sentence patterns. For example
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allow and let are synonyms, but we allow sb. to do sth. and let sb. do sth. It is the same with answer and reply. Answer is a transitive verb and takes direct object while reply is an intransitive verb and needs a preposition ‘to’ to function transitively. Therefore, we say answer the letter but reply to the letter. Nevertheless, answer the door is perfectly all right whereas reply to the door is unacceptable. 17 chapter 7 sense relations

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Empty, vacant, blank are synonyms, but their collocations are not the same: box seat street chair room apartment Empty implies that there is no one or nothing inside while vacant suggests that something or some place is not occupied.
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The English words lump, slice, chunk, sheets, cake can convey the same concept ?piece?, but have various collocations, e.g.
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a lump of sugar a slice of meat/bread a chunk of wood a sheet of paper a cake of soap

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a flock of sheep/goats/birds

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a herd of elephants/cows/zebras/antelops a shoal/school fish/whales/dolphins a swarm of bees/ants/locusts(蝗虫) a stable of horses a pride of lions a troop of monkeys a pack of wolves a herd of cattle
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8.2.2. Sources of synonyms
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A) Borrowing (loaned words) B) Dialects and regional English C) Figurative and euphemistic use of words D) Coincidence with idiomatic expressions

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A).Borrowing :1). double scale pattern (p.131)
native room foe help leave bodily Latin chamber enemy aid depart corporal

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2).triple scale pattern:
Native French Latin

time
belly fire ask

age
stomach flame question

epoch
abdomen conflagration interrogate

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B).Dialects and regional English
lift tube petrol call box charm elevator subway gasoline telephone booth glamour (ScotE)

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C). Figurative and euphemistic of words

occupation dreamer

walk of life star-gazer

drunk
lie

elevated
distort the fact

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D).Coincidence with idiomatic expressions

pick up give up go on with put off win hesitate

choose abandon continue postpone gain the upper hand be in two minds

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8.3.3.Appropriate use of synonyms
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Synonyms are useful for avoiding monotonous repetition and for achieving precision in meaning and variety in style. Read pp.132-134 As a non-native student of English, one must always be on guard against being misled by the Chinese translation of such English terms and regard them as synonyms. E.g. object vs oppose, doubt vs suspect Read p.135
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8.3 Antonymy
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Antonymy is a kind of semantic opposition. It refers to the linguistic fact that two words or other expressions have opposite meanings. These words or expressions are called antonyms, which can be classified as… on the basis of semantic contrast ? Contrary (Gradable) antonyms相对反义词 ? Complementary (contradictory) antonyms互
补反义词
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Conversive (relational) antonyms换位反义词
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8.3.1.Contraries /gradable
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Contraries include pairs like the following:
Antonyms of this type are best viewed in terms of a scale running between two poles or extremes. The two opposites are gradable. hot, warm, cool, cold beautiful, pretty, good-looking, plain, ugly

love , like , indifference, antipathy , hate
old-young, open-close, big-small, poor-rich

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Features: 1). Thy allow intermediate terms. 2). They can take comparative degrees and allow
adverbs of intensity like very to qualify them.

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8.3.2 Complementary(Contradictory) antonyms
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These antonyms represent oppositeness of meaning.

true A

false B

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Complementary (Contradictory ) antonyms
Complementary antonyms include pairs like the following: These pairs are called asleep awake Complementary antonyms because they dead alive represent an either/or on off relation. remember forget If you permit some behavior, then it is not win lose forbidden. true false
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Since they are not gradable, they do not allow comparison

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Features: 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. 2) They are non-gradable. They cannot be used in comparative degrees and do not allow adverbs of intensity like very to qualify them.

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Take single/married for example. If someone is single, s/he cannot be married. It is incorrect to say ‘S/He is very single, or more single, or extremely single.’
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E.g. dead/alive; present/absent; male/female; same/different; boy/girl; brother/sister; man/woman; prose/poetry……
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8.3.3 Conversive (relational) antonyms
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This type consists of relational opposites. They indicate such a reciprocal (相互的)social relationship that one of them cannot be used without suggesting the other. This type also includes reverse terms逆向反义, which comprise adjectives and adverbs signifying a quality, or verbs and nouns signifying an act or state that reverse the quality, action or state of the other. This kind of antonyms is always found in words concerning social and spatial relationships.
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Converse antonyms (逆行)
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The following are examples of converse antonyms: borrow wife below after in front of sell receive child listen
Lend is the converse of borrow and vice versa; i.e. the substitution of one member for the other does not change the meaning of a sentence if it is accompanied by the change of subject and object. John lent Mary five dollars.

lend husband above before behind buy give parent speak

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Mary borrowed five dollars from John.
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Contradictory antonyms vs. Converse antonyms
The bridge is above the river. The river is below the bridge.
Converse antonyms are relational antonyms.

This behavior is allowed. This behavior is not prohibited.
Contradictory antonyms are either/or antonyms.
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parent--child; husband--wife; teacher--pupil predecessor--successor; employer--employee; sell--buy; give--receive; lend--borrow; north--south; right--left; above--below; in front of --behind……

The relationship between them is that, for instance, if A sells a watch to B, B buys a watch from A; or if A lends money from B, B borrows money from A.

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8.3.4. morphological antonyms
etc. Antonyms are classified on the basis of morphological structure. root antonyms: love-hate deep-shallow up-down derivational antonyms: happy-unhappy loyal-disloyal prewar-postwar
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8.3.5.Some Characteristics of Antonyms (1)
★ Antonyms differ in semantic inclusion. Pairs of antonyms are seen as marked and unmarked terms respectively. In many pairs we find that one member is more specific than the other and the meaning of the specific is included in that of the general. e.g. There is a tiger in the cage. There is a tigress in the cage. How tall/old is she? How long ….?
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E.g. man (unmarked)/woman (marked) dog (unmarked)/bitch (marked). tall--short, old--young, long--short, small-- big Read p. 138

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Characteristics of Antonyms (2)
★ Contrary terms are gradable antonyms, differing in degree of intensity, so each has its own corresponding opposite. E.g. cold-hot; warm-cool; ★ Some words can have two different types of antonyms at the same time, one being the negative and the other opposite, known as derivative antonym and root antonym. E.g. happy/unhappy/sad; productive/unproductive/destructive; interesting/uninteresting/dull; ……
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Characteristics of Antonyms (3)
★A

word which has more than one meaning can have more than one antonym.

E.g. thin-thick; thin-fat; fast-slow; fast-eat…… clever? pp. 139-140
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Characteristics of Antonyms (4)
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★Lexical antonymy VS syntactic negation(using not) impossible--- not possible unfair--- not fair ★ Word order of antonymous pairs: P 141

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8.3.6.Use of Antonyms
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Help to define the exact meaning of a given word and its antonyms. Give a clear and comparative effect. - More haste, less speed. - To save time is to lengthen life. - Every tide has its ebb. - Adversity leads to prosperity. - The wise man knows he knows nothing, the fool thinks he knows all. - Speech is silver, silence is gold. - Few words, many deeds.
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It was the best times, it was the worst times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us… --From Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
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Classify the following pairs of antonyms
hot-cold married-single male-female give-take big-small awake-asleep north-south logical-illogical win-lose buy-sell doctor-patient above-below dead-alive, parent- child usefuluseless
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Contraries: hot-cold ,
big-small

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Complementaries:
married-single, win-lose, awake-asleep, dead-alive

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Conversives: buy-sell,
give-take, doctor-patient, above-below, parent- child

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Derivatives: logicalillogical , useful-useless

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8.4 Hyponymy
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It deals with the relationship of semantic inclusion. That is, the meaning of a more specific word is included in that of another more general word. These general words are hyperonyms (or superordinate terms/ upper terms). And these specific words are as hyponyms (or subordinate terms).

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Hyponymy can be described in terms of tree-like graphs, with higher-order superordinates above the lower subordinates. But their status either as superordinate or subordinate is relative to other terms

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food

meat

vegetable

fruit

beef

mutton

celery

spinach

peach pineapple

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Make a tree diagram to arrange the following words in order of hyponymy

animal, dog, pig, insect, living things, plant, rose, creature, cockroach, pine, flower, plant, tree, horse, cabbage, vegetable

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Living thing
Creature plant tree
pine

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Animal
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insect flower vegetable

Dog pig horse crockroach rose cabbage

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8.5 Semantic field
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Semantic field: the term is used to denote a set of semantically related words whose meanings delimit each other and are said to cover a whole conceptual or objective field without gaps. In other words, vocabulary is an integrated system of lexemes interrelated in sense and the words of language can be classified in semantically related sets or field, that is, semantic field.

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The words of a semantic field are not synonyms, but they are joined together by a common semantic feature such as the concept of color or the concept of kinship ? E.g. Kinship terms such as father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt belong to a semantic field whose relevant features include generation, sex, membership of the father?s or mother?s side of the family.
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In English the semantic field of color includes words such as black and red that distinguish colors, or are hyponyms of the more general term color. Words in the same semantic field are likely to have a number of collocations in common. e. g. pork, beef, mutton--- stew, fry, roast, tasty, overdone, raw, underdone
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Analysis of semantic relations

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A B C D E 1). men, football players, bachelors ( ) 2). Chinese, musicians, people ( ) 3). lions, birds, pigeons ( ) 4). males, black-haired, teachers ( ) 5). meat, food, vegetables ( )
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Analysis of semantic relations

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A B C D E 1). men, football players, bachelors ( E ) 2). Chinese, musicians, people ( D ) 3). lions, birds, pigeons ( C ) 4). males, black-haired, teachers ( B ) 5). meat, food, vegetables ( A )
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