In contrast to the notion of sense relations, polysemy and homonymy refer to similarities rather than differences between meanings. A word is polysemous when. Abstract. In this article we examine the concepts of polysemy and homonymy. After a broad overview of the topic we focus on the treatment of several examples . Polysemy and homonymy are semantic phenomena that are part of our everyday language. Polysemous words possess two or more related senses; homonyms.

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Some words do not have the same spellings, but they share same the same pronunciation. Polysemy refers to the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English.

Difference Between Polysemy and Homonymy | Definition, Meaning, Word Origin, etc.

It is sometimes difficult to determine whether a word is anc or not because the relations between words can be vague and unclear. He drank a glass of milk. Homonymy refers to two unrelated words that look or sound the same. Although the meanings of the underlined word pairs only have a subtle difference.


His cottage is near a small wood. He fixed his hair. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

The difference between these meanings can be obvious or subtle. Given below are some examples of homonyms:. Two or more words become homonyms if they either sound the same homophoneshave the same spelling homographsor if they both homophones and homographs, polysemmy do not have polyssemy meanings.

Homonymy has completely different meanings. Both of them refer to words having multiple meanings. The above two examples are both written and read alike; they have the same spellings and sounds. A word becomes polysemous if it can be used to express different meanings. Polysemous words are listed under one entry hoonymy dictionaries.

The meaning of homonymous words cannot be guessed since the words have unrelated meanings. This is the main difference between polysemy and homonymy. Polysemy and Homonymy are two similar concepts in linguistics. He forgot to milk the cow.

Difference Between Polysemy and Homonymy

They fixed a date for the wedding. But, examining the origins of the words can help to decide whether a word is polysemic or homonymous.


He read the newspaper.

The origins of the words are related. Polysemous words can be understood if you know the meaning of one word. Polysemy refers to words or phrases with different, but related meanings. The enraged actor sued the newspaper. Polysemy is the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase.

Polysemy has different, yet related meanings. Such words are generally listed in dictionaries under one entry; numbers may be used to denote the subtle differences. The statue was made out of a block of wood. Homonymy refers to the existence of nad or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins.