Table II







Difference and Identity in Words
A Different lexical meaning A Nearly same lexical meaning
Different grammatical meaning Partial Homonymy Patterned Homonymy D Same basic form
light, -s n light, -er, -est a flat, -s n flat, -er, -est a for prp for cj before prp before adv before cj eye, -s n eye, -s,-ed, -ing v
might n maymight v     thought n thought v (Past Indefinite Tense of think) D Different basic form
Same grammatical meaning axis, axes n axe axes n batbutted v buttbutted v     Synonyms
lielaylain V lie lied lied v Full Homonymy spring, -s n spring, -s n spring, -s n Polysemy Variants of the same polysemantic word D Same basic form
  Different paradigm Same paradigm or no changes Different paradigm  

The 12 classes are:

ABCD.Members of the opposition light n the contrary of darkness : : light a not heavy are different in lexical and grammatical meaning, have different paradigms but the same basic form. The class of partial homonymy is very numerous. A further subdivision might take into consideration the parts of speech to which the members belong, namely the oppositions of noun : : verb, adjective : : verb, n : : adjective, etc.

ABCD.Same as above, only not both members are in their basic form. The noun (here might power) is in its basic form, the singular, but the verb may will coincide with it only in the Past Tense. This lack of coincidence between basic forms is not frequent, so only few examples are possible. Compare also bit n a small piece and bit (the Past Indefinite Tense and Participle II of bite).

ABCD.Contains pairs of words belonging to the same part of speech, different in their basic form but coinciding in some oblique form, e. g. in the plural, or in the case of verbs, in the Past Tense. Axe axes, axis axes. The type is rare.

ABCD.Different lexical meaning, same basic form, same grammatical meaning and different paradigm: lie lay lain and lie lied lied. Not many cases belong to this group.

ABCD.Represents pairs different in lexical and grammatical meaning but not in paradigm, as these are not changeable form words. Examples: for prp contrasted to for cj.

ABCD.The most typical case of full homonymy accepted by everybody and exemplified in every textbook. Different lexical meanings, but the homonyms belong to the same part of speech: spring1 n a leap :: spring2 a source :: spring3 n the season in which vegetation begins.

ABCD.Patterned homonymy. Differs from the previous (i.e. ABCD) in the presence of some common component in the lexical meaning of the members, some lexical invariant: before prp, before adv, before cj, all express some priority in succession. This type of opposition is regular among form words. .

ABCD.Pairs showing maximum identity. But as their lexical meaning is only approximately the same, they may be identified as variants of one polysemantic word.

ABCD.Contains all the cases due to conversion: eye n : : eye v. The members differ in grammatical meaning and paradigm. This group is typical of patterned homonymy. Examples of such noun-to-verb or verb-to-noun homonymy can be augmented almost indefinitely. The mean-ing of the second element can always be guessed if the first is known.

ABCD.Pairs belonging to different parts of speech and coinciding in some of the forms. Their similarity is due to a common root, as in thought n : thought v (the Past Indefinite Tense of think).

ABCD.Similarity in both lexical and grammatical meaning combined with difference in form is characteristic of synonyms and hyponyms.

ABCD.The group is not numerous and comprises chiefly cases of double plural with a slight change in meaning such as brother brothers : : brother brethren.

It goes without saying that this is a model that gives a general scheme. Actually a group of homonyms may contain members belonging to different groups in this classification. Take, for example, fell1 n animals hide or skin with the hair; fell2 n hill and also a stretch of North-English moorland; fell3 a fierce (poet.); fell4 v to cut down

trees and as a noun amount of timber cut; fell5 (the Past Indefinite Tense of the verb fall). This group may be broken into pairs, each of which will fit into one of the above described divisions. Thus, fell1 : : fell2 may be characterised as ABCD, fell1 : : fell4 as ABCD and fell4 : : fell5 as ABCD.


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