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Unit 11 Sense Relations: Oppositeness and dissimilarity of sense and ambiguity

Entry Test
analytic/synthetic/contradiction synonymy/hyponymy paraphrase/entailment Synonymy is to paraphrase as hyponymy is to entailment.

Introduction
A traditional view of antonymy is that it is simple oppositeness of meaning. This view is not adequate, as words may be opposite in meaning in different ways. We will not talk of simple oppositeness of meaning, but will define four basic types of antonymy.

Exercise
What would you say are the opposites of the following? hot: male: thick: dead: buy: lunch: lend: liquid: Hot is not the opposite of cold in the same way as borrow is the opposite of lend.

Binary Antonym
Binary antonyms are predicates which come in pairs and between them exhaust all the relevant possibilities. If the one predicate is applicable, then the other cannot be, and vice versa.
exercise) chalk - cheese; same - different; copper - tin; dead - alive; love - have

Sometimes two different binary antonyms can combine in a set of predicates to produce a four-way contrast. ex) man, boy, woman, girl adult/non-adult, male/female ex) bachelor, spinster, husband, wife married/unmarried, male/female

Converse
When two things/people can be mentioned in the opposite order, then the two predicates are converses of each other. ex) parent-child X is the parent of Y = Y is the child of X , buy-sell; below -above; love - have, conceal - reveal

Multiple incompatibility
In binary antonymy and converseness, the antonyms come in pairs. incompatibility between more than two members In multiply incompatible system, all the terms in a give system are mutually incompatible & the members of a system cover all the relevant area. ex) season, week, cards, month

Open-ended system
Besides hears, clubs, diamonds and spades, there are no other suits. color names plant names names of metals vehecle system flower system

Gradable antonym
Two predicates are gradable antonyms if they are at opposite ends of a continuous scale of values. A good test for gradability is to see whether a word can combine with very/ very much, or how/how much. tall - short; clever - stupid; top - bottom; love - hate

Exercise
Binary/Multiple/Gradable/Converse cat - dog (M) easy - difficult (G) good - bad (G) deciduous - evergreen (B) pass - fail (B) urban- rural (B/G)

Contradictory
Antonymy is a relationship between predicates, and the corresponding relationship between sentence is contradictoriness. Given two sentences, both identical except that: (1) one contains X where the other contains Y, and (b) X is an antonym of Y, then the two sentences are contradictories of each other.

Exercise
John murdered Bill Bill was murdered by John John murdered Bill John did not kill Bill Mary is Anns parent Mary is Anns child This doorhandle is brass This doorhandle is plastic

Ambiguity
A word or sentence is ambiguous when it has more than one sense.
A sentence is ambiguous if it has two paraphrase which are not themselves paraphrases of each other. A word or phrase is ambiguous if it has two synonyms that are not themselves synonyms of each other.

The chicken is ready to eat. Visiting relatives can be boring. The thing that bothered Bill was crouching under the table. The captain corrected the list.

Homonymy
A homonymous word has some different senses which are far from each other and not obviously related to each other. Cases of homonymy seem very definitely to matters of mere accident or coincidence.
mug: drinking vessel vs. gullible person

Polysemy
A polysemous word has several very closely related senses.
mouth (of a river vs. of an animal) cup (drinking vessel vs. brassiere cup) Earth/earth

In practice it is impossible to draw a clear line between homonymy and polysemy. clear cases
tail (of a coat vs. of an animal) (P) lip (of a jug vs. of a person) (P) steer (to guide vs. young bull) (H) punch (blow vs. fruit) (H)

Lexical/Structural Ambiguity
Structural Ambiguity Any ambiguity resulting from structural relationships between words or phrases Lexical ambiguity Any ambiguity resulting from the ambiguity of a word A phrase is referentially versatile if it can be used to refer to a wide range of

Summary
Oppositeness of meaning binary antonymy, converseness, gradable antonymy, multiple incompatibility Contradictoriness Lexical/structural ambiguity Polysemy Referential versatility Referential vagueness