lunes, 28 de febrero de 2011


now I show you lots of examples and some brief definitions in a web page


 click here for examples





Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. For instance, "Westminster" is used as a metonym (an instance of metonymy) for the Government of the United Kingdom, because it is located there.
Metonymy may also be instructively contrasted with metaphor. Both figures involve the substitution of one term for another. In metaphor, this substitution is based on some specific similarity, whereas, in metonymy, the substitution is based on some understood association (contiguity).
Metonymy works by the contiguity (association) between two concepts, whereas metaphor works by the similarity between them. When people use metonymy, they do not typically wish to transfer qualities from one referent to another as they do with metaphor: there is nothing press-like about reporters or crown-like about a monarch, but "the press" and "the crown" are both common metonyms.
Two examples using the term "fishing" help make the distinction better.The phrase "to fish pearls" uses metonymy, drawing from "fishing" the idea of taking things from the ocean. What is carried across from "fishing fish" to "fishing pearls" is the domain of metonymy.
In contrast, the metaphorical phrase "fishing for information" transfers the concept of fishing into a new domain. If someone is "fishing" for information, we do not imagine that he or she is anywhere near the ocean; rather, we elements of the action of fishing (waiting, hoping to catch something that cannot be seen, probing) into a new domain (a conversation). Thus, metonymy works by calling up a domain of usage and an array of associations (in the example above, boats, the ocean, gathering life from the sea), whereas metaphor picks a target set of meanings and transfers them to a new domain of usage.


Sometimes, metaphor and metonymy can both be at work in the same figure of speech, or one could interpret a phrase metaphorically or metonymically.For example, the phrase "lend me your ear" could be analyzed in a number of ways. We could imagine the following interpretations:
  • Analyze "ear" metonymically first — "ear" means "attention" (because we use ears to pay attention to someone's speech). Now, when we hear the phrase "lending ear (attention)", we stretch the base meaning of "lend" (to let someone borrow an object) to include the "lending" of non-material things (attention), but, beyond this slight extension of the verb, no metaphor is at work.
  • Imagine the whole phrase literally — imagine that the speaker literally borrows the listener's ear as a physical object (and the person's head with it). Then the speaker has temporary possession of the listener's ear, so the listener has granted the speaker temporary control over what the listener hears. We then interpret the phrase "lend me your ear" metaphorically to mean that the speaker wants the listener to grant the speaker temporary control over what the listener hears.
  • First, analyze the verb phrase "lend me your ear" metaphorically to mean "turn your ear in my direction", since we know that literally lending a body part is nonsensical. Then, analyze the motion of ears metonymically — we associate "turning ears" with "paying attention", which is what the speaker wants the listeners to do.
It is difficult to say which of the above analyses most closely represents the way a listener interprets the expression, and it is possible that the phrase is analysed in different ways by different listeners, or even by one and the same listener at different times. Regardless, all three analyses yield the same interpretation; thus, metaphor and metonymy, though quite different in their mechanism, can work together seamlessly. For further analysis of idioms in which metaphor and metonymy work together, including an example very similar to the one given here, read this article titled Metaphor and Metonymy in Contrast


This is an image from Venn diagram showing the relationships between heteronyms and related linguistic concepts

domingo, 27 de febrero de 2011

A learning funny song




Homonyms are different lexemes with the same form (written, spoken or both). For example, bank is both an elevated area of ground and a place or business where money is kept. You may think these are the same words, but this is not so, since the meaning is an essential feature of a word. In some cases, the same form (as with paper) has the same origin but this will not always be the case. The etymology of a lexeme will tell us where it comes from and how it acquired a given meaning.
Identity of form may apply to speech or writing only. David Crystal calls these forms “half” identical. They are:
  • Homophones - where the pronunciation is the same (or close, allowing for such phonological variation as comes from accent) but standard spelling differs, as in flew (from fly), flu (“influenza”) and flue (of a chimney).
  • Homographs - where the standard spelling is the same, but the pronunciation differs, as in wind (air movement or bend) or refuse (“rubbish” or “disallow”, stress falls on first and second syllable, respectively). 
  •  Heteronymy. Heteronyms are homonyms that share the same spelling but have  different pronunciations. That is, they are homographs which are not homophones. Such words include desert (to abandon) and desert (arid region)
  •  Capitonymy. Capitonyms are homonyms that share the same spelling but have different meanings when capitalized (and may or may not have different pronunciations). Such words include polish (to make shiny) and Polish (from Poland).
    Notes from Topic: Semantics, Linguistics Signature, Ms Jimenez, Yolanda, Universidad Camilo Jose Cela


      In linguistics, a specific term used to designate a member of a class. For instance, oak is a hyponym of tree, and dog is a hyponym of animal. The opposite of a hyponym is a hypernym.

      Examples and Observations:

      • "In general, there are a number of hyponyms for each subordinate. For example, boar and piglet are also hyponyms of the subordinate pig, since the meaning of each of the three words sow, boar, and piglet 'contains' the meaning of the word pig. (Note that in defining a word like sow, boar, or piglet, the subordinate word pig is often used as part of the definition: 'A sow is an adult female pig.') Thus, it is not surprising that hyponymy is sometimes referred to as inclusion. The subordinate is the included word and the hyponym is the including one."
        (Frank Parker and Kathryn Riley, Linguistics for Non-Linguists. Allyn and Bacon, 1994)
      • "Hyponymy is a less familiar term to most people than either synonymy or antonymy, but it refers to a much more important sense relation. It describes what happens when we say 'An X is a kind of Y'--A daffodil is a kind of flower, or simply, A daffodil is a flower."
        (David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2003)
      • "House is a hyponym of the subordinate building, but building is in turn, a hyponym of the subordinate structure, and, in its turn, structure is a hyponym of the subordinate thing. A subordinate at a given level can itself be a hyponym at a higher level."
        (Patrick Griffiths, An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics. Edinburgh University Press, 2006)

      A linguistic term for a word whose meaning includes the meanings of other words; the opposite of hyponym.

      Examples and Observations:

      • "The foot of footstep narrows down the type of step being expressed to the step made by a foot. A footstep is a kind of step; or, in more technical terms, footstep is a hyponym, or subtype, of step, and step is a hypernym, or supertype, of footstep. . . . Doorstep is also a hyponym of step, and step is a hypernym of doorstep."
        (Keith M. Denning, Brett Kessler, and William Ronald Leben, English Vocabulary Elements. Oxford Univ. Press, 2007)
      • "The most illuminating way of defining a lexeme is to provide a hypernym along with various distinguishing features--an approach to definition whose history can be traced back to Aristotle. For example, a majorette is 'a girl' (the hypernym) 'who twirls a baton and accompanies a marching band.' It is usually possible to trace a hierarchical path through a dictionary, following the hypernyms as they become increasingly abstract, until we arrive at such general notions (essence, being, existence) that clear sense-relations between the lexemes no longer exist."
        (David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003)
      • "A hypernym is a word with a general meaning that has basically the same meaning of a more specific word. For example, dog is a hypernym, while collie and chihuahua are more specific subordinate terms. The hypernym tends to be a basic-level category that is used by speakers with high frequency; speakers usually refer to collies and chihuahuas as dogs, rather than using the subordinate terms, which are consequently of relatively low frequency."
        (Laurie Beth Feldman, Morphological Aspects of Language Processing. Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995)