How many meanings or senses do you know for the following English words? top page button ring the top of the volcano the top of the cupboard the top of the crop the sports pages page of honour pageboy the buttons of a jacket the TV button a policeman’s button a gold ring to hit the ring (basketball) circus ring Metonymy A type of relation between words based simply on a close connection in everyday experience • Container-content relationship (can/juice) • Whole-part relationship (car/wheels) • Representative-symbolic relationship (king- crown) • E.g. He drank the whole bottle. Consider the following English words and decide whether they are best thought of in terms of homonymy or polysemy, and why. cap face row club way bed match plot - Try translating them into your native language. - Are there several possible translation equivalents? Key cap - polysemy face - polysemy row - homonymy (homographs) club - homonymy way - homonymy bed - polysemy match - homonymy plot - polysemy Consider the translatability of the word back. Which of the following sentences could be translated using the L2 word meaning the rear part of the human body? 1. She sat at the back of the class. 2. My back aches from all that work. 3. The index is in the back of the book. 4. I’m tired, I want to go back. 5. The back of the chair is broken. 6. The back of your jacket is stained. 7. Open the back of the camera to put the film in. Collocations • We know which words tend to occur with other words. • Some collocations are joined pairs, binomial idioms made up of two parts connected by and, whose order cannot be modified.: – salt and pepper – husband and wife – knife and fork Any others? • Bed and breakfast • Fork and knife • Pros and cons • Ups and downs • Fish and chips • Sick and tired • Home and dry • Safe and sound • Bags and baggage Compositional meaning It is when the meaning of the phrase/sentence is the result of the meaning of the single words componing it So for example the first clause (as well as the second) of I got up on the wrong side of my bed, and therefore tripped over my shoes. has compositional meaning, because it's the literal sense. Therefore if you know the meaning of all the words, plus you have the syntactic parse, you can figure out what the whole construction means. But in • Watch out for the boss--he must have gotten out of bed on the wrong side. the meaning of the similar clause is non- compositional or metaphoric: it means something other than rolling out of bed on to the floor. • Re-edit = compositional meaning (“to pay again”) • Repay = non-compositional meaning (it doesn’t mean “to pay again”) Metaphorical meaning • The central meaning of a word may often be the basis of metaphorical extensions of a word. • Metaphors enable us to talk about one thing in terms of another. • Metaphors are useful in expanding existing concepts and creating new ones. Metaphors we live by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) • Most of our conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. Time is money • You’re wasting my time • Taking the bus will save you hours. • I don’t have time to give you. • How do you spend your time these days? • I’ve invested a lot of time in her. • I don’t have enough time to spare with that. • You’re running out of time. • It’s not worth your time. • You don’t use your time profitably. Argument is war • Your claims are indefensible. • He attacked every weak point in my argument. • His criticisms were right on target. • I demolished his argument. • I’ve never won an argument with him. • You disagree! OK, shoot! • If you use that strategy, he’ll wipe you out. • He shot down all my arguments. Even declaratives aren’t always statements posh I need a tie. restaurant [statement] (Appropriate reply: “What a shame.”) Even declaratives aren’t always statements I need a tie. [request] (Possible reply: “We’ll show you everything we have, sir.”) Even declaratives aren’t always statements I need a tie. [order] (Appropriate reply: “Certainly, sir, I’ll bring one immediately”) Meaning doesn’t just depend on linguistic knowledge of words but also on the context of use.
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