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Homophones, Homonyms, and Homographs

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Sophie.A
621813.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:42 am Reply with quote

OpDDay2001 wrote:
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. Phone being Ancient Greek for sound, and homo being Greek for "same". Words like tire, and tire; as well as to, too, and two are examples.

Homonyms are words that are spelled and said the same way, but have entirely separate meanings. Nym is Ancient Greek for "name". An example being stalk and stalk.

Homographs are words that share only spelling, regardless how they sound. Graph is once again Greek, this time for "writing". An example would be wind (short i, emphasis on the d; as in an air current) and wind (long i, emphasis on the i; as in twisting).

So a homonym is a word that is both a homophone and a homograph, is that it?

 
OpDDay2001
621947.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:05 am Reply with quote

Term Meaning Spelling Pronunciation
Homonym Different Same Same

Homograph Different Same Same
or different

Homophone Different Same Same
or different

They overlap at certain points, but they aren't always the same thing. That is to say, a homonym is not always a homograph, nor is it always a homophone. It's a linguistics thing and depends on it's use more than anything really. I'm leaving out a couple of definitions/linguistic classifications, maybe those will clear things up a bit.

From Wikipedia, the indispensable liar (i.e. Take with a grain of salt):

"* Heteronyms (literally "different name") are the subset of homographs (words that share the same spelling) that have different pronunciations (and meanings). That is, they are homographs which are not homophones. Such words include desert (to abandon) and desert (arid region); row (to argue or an argument) and row (as in to row a boat or a row of seats). Note that the latter meaning also constitutes a homophone. Heteronyms are also sometimes called heterophones (literally "different sound"). ("Heteronym" also has a specialized meaning in poetry; see Heteronym (literature).)

* Polysemes are words with the same spelling and distinct but related meanings. The distinction between polysemy and homonymy is often subtle and subjective, and not all sources consider polysemous words to be homonyms. Words such as "mouth", meaning either the orifice on one's face, or the opening of a cave or river, are polysemous and may or may not be considered homonyms.

* Capitonyms are words 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); march (organized, uniformed, steady and rhythmic walking forward) and March (the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar)."

As you can guess, it can get a bit confusing depending on the question you are trying to ask, but it'd certainly be amusing. As an example. I imagine Mr. Fry holding up a card (or it appearing on the screen) that says "Wind", and asking how it is pronounced. Seems like an easy enough question right? Well, as far as I've seen when eople see the word "wind", most think of and say it as if it was a current of air. This could then set off the buzzer and so would the other pronunciation. As the correct answer is both wind (short i) and wind (long i). That's one type of question that could be asked, but there are many other types of questions. There are many different types of homonyms, homographs, and homophones and the way they overlap could be fun. Besides there are plenty to talk about on a lot of words. Words like bark, rose, wind, and so on. There are plenty of words available and thus, plenty of wiggle room for other quite interesting things to be talked about.

Wikipedia link to the page on Homonyms (but it has a lot of information on the other linguistic terms):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym

 
suze
621948.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:07 am Reply with quote

Sophie.A wrote:
So a homonym is a word that is both a homophone and a homograph, is that it?


As described here, yes. Although that usage isn't universal - some define homonym in the way that we have here defined homograph.


If we are to have a homo-show, then we must also have a hetero-show. And in the hetero-show, I'd like to confuse Stephen with the Grelling-Nelson Paradox (which was called Weyl's Paradox when I first learned of it, but that name is wrong).

Autological means that a word describes itself - so for instance, "word", or "unhyphenated", or "finite". A word which does not describe itself is said to be heterological. Is the word "heterological" of itself autological or heterological?

(Note to longer established forum members - yes, we have done this one before on these forums.)


Last edited by suze on Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Sophie.A
621949.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:10 am Reply with quote

OpDDay2001 wrote:
Term Meaning Spelling Pronunciation

Homophone Different Same Same
or different

I presume you mean Homophone Different Same or different Same.

 
OpDDay2001
621955.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:20 am Reply with quote

Oh bother. Why did the the format look correct when I previewed the post but go completely to pot when I posted it. Effin' thing sucks. lol.

Yes.

Homograph is Different meaning, Same spelling, and Same or different pronunciation.

Homophone is Different meaning, Same or different spelling, and Same pronunciation.

 
Sophie.A
621958.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:27 am Reply with quote

OpDDay2001 wrote:
Oh bother. Why did the the format look correct when I previewed the post but go completely to pot when I posted it. Effin' thing sucks. lol.

When you post, phpBB replaces multiple spaces with a single space. You can try putting your text in code tags; this will preserve mutiple spaces as well as making all characters have the same width.

Code:
Term      Meaning   Spelling       Pronunciation

Homophone Different Same/Different Same


Last edited by Sophie.A on Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:22 am; edited 3 times in total

 
Davini994
622021.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:47 pm Reply with quote

Suze wrote:
If we are to have a homo-show, then we must also have a hetero-show.

Typical!

;)

 
Rudolph Hucker
622032.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:00 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
it's still a valid example whichever way you spell it because it's all pronounced the same.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


That was rather my point: if you write the same word twice, naturally enough it will be pronounced the same.

I was asking whether my perception that there are not two separate words spelt tire in the English language was correct. If not, then what is the meaning of the second one.

 
Leith
622109.  Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:31 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Sophie.A wrote:
So a homonym is a word that is both a homophone and a homograph, is that it?

As described here, yes. Although that usage isn't universal - some define homonym in the way that we have here defined homograph.

So homonym and homonym are homonyms while homonym and homograph are synonyms?

 
Jenny
622305.  Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:09 am Reply with quote

Tire in English, as well as being a word meaning to become weary, is also an archaic word meaning (as a noun) attire, and as a verb to adorn the hair with an ornament.

 
Leith
622389.  Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:11 pm Reply with quote

Homonyms abound in this 1950s article on frequently used words:
Time Magazine - Education: First Things First
The author of the work reviewed claims 800 different meanings for the word 'run' and its compounds.

The series Balderdash and Piffle highlighted 'set' as a word with over 200 meanings in some versions of the OED.

Does anyone know of words exhibiting a similar degree of semantic versatility in other languages?

 
suze
622548.  Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:01 pm Reply with quote

Set has 464 meanings according to the full OED; on the last list that the Oxford people published, run comes next with a mere 396.

Although in fact, make has overtaken set in the last couple years, and has even more meanings. (I'd tell you just how many, but I can't see any easier way to find that out than to count them and I'm not going to!)

The supplementary question is an interesting one, and I don't at once know the answer. Depending on how we define "word", there may possibly be Chinese words with a vast number of meanings.

Here's one thing I do know though. Next time you are in Serbia, you might find yourself needing to say "Up there, worse black forests burn worse in the higher parts". Then again, you might not - but if you do, don't worry about your limited knowledge of Serbian. That sentence is:

Gore gore gore gore gore gore gore.

 
Jenny
622774.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:09 pm Reply with quote

'Cast' is another one with a great many meanings.

 
exnihilo
622821.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:57 pm Reply with quote

And our old favourite: (B/b)uffalo.

 
thedrew
622824.  Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Personally, I'm fond of the (only?) word that is pronounced differently depending upon whether or not it is capitalized:

P/polish

 

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