The English word-stock is extremely rich in synonyms, which can be largely accounted for by abundant borrowing.
Differences Between Synonyms
Very often words are completely synonyms in the sense of being interchangeable in any content without the slightest alteration in objective meaning, feeling-tone or evocative meaning. But majority of them may have some distinctive features, which are listed below. These differences are the following:
1. Between general and specific;
2. Between shades of meaning;
7. A synonymic dominant and a hyperonym: the problem of differentiation
Synonyms – are two or more words belonging to the same part of speech and possessing one or more identical or nearly identical denotational meanings, interchangeable in some context. Each group comprises a dominant element.
Synonymic dominant – is the most general term of its kind potentially containing the specific features rendered by all the other members of the group.
A synonymic dominant is semantically the simplest member of a synonymic set, able to express the meaning common to all members of the set, the most neutral of them, syntagmatically the freest, e.g. hope in the set "hope, expectation, anticipation
A hyperonym is a word that names a broad category that includes other words.
It’s linguistic term for a word whose meaning includes the meanings of other words. For instance, flower is a hyperonym of daisy and rose.
A word with a broad meaning constituting a category into which words with more specific meanings fall; (also called as a superordinate). For example, colour is a hyperonym of red. Contrasted with hyponym.
Antonyms as a language universal.
In lexical semantics, opposites are words that lie in incompatible binary relationship as in the opposite pairs big : small, long : short, and precede : follow.
An antonyms are words with opposite meanings. Each word in the pair is the antithesis of the other. A word may have more than one antonym. Antonyms are words belonging to the same part of speech different in sound, and characterized by semantic polarity of their denotational meaning. There are three categories of antonyms identified by the nature of the relationship between the opposed meanings: antonyms proper (graded), complementaries and conversives.
The semantic polarity in antonyms proper is relative, the opposition is gradual, it may embrace several elements characterized by different degrees of the same property. They always imply comparison. Large and little or small denote polar degrees of the same notion, i.e. size, e.g. old and young are the most distant elements of a series like: old – middle – aged – young, happy and sad, fat and skinny, wide and narrow, dark and light.
Complementaries have a relationship where there is no middle ground. Words characterized only by a binary opposition which may have only two members; the denial of one member of the opposition implies the assertion of the other e.g. not male means female, off and on, man and woman, dead and alive, true or false, brother and sister.
Conversives antonymsare sometimes considered a subcategory of complementary antonyms. With these pairs, for there to be a relationship, both must exist. Words which denote one and the same referent as viewed from different points of view, that of the subject and that of the object, e.g. buy-sell, give receive, teach and learn, east and west, front and back, up and down.
Morphologically antonyms are subdivided into root (absolute: good – bad, old - new) and derivational antonyms (appear – disappear, logical – illogical, pleasant – unpleasant, prewar - postwar).
10. Antonyms: different approaches to classification in the English and Ukrainian language.
Antonym- a word that expresses a meaning opposed to the meaning of another word, in which case the two words are antonyms of each other. Antonyms - words of the same category of parts of speech which have contrasting meanings such as hat - cold, light - dark, happiness - sorrow.
-Root words form absolute antonyms.(write - wrong).
Contradictory notions are mutually opposed and denying one another, i.e. alive means “not dead” and impatient means “not patient”.
Contrary notions are also mutually opposed but they are gradable; e.g. old and young are the most distant elements of a series like: old - middle - aged - young.
Incompatibles semantic relations of incompatibility exist among the antonyms with the common component of meaning and may be described as the relations of exclusion but not of contradiction: to say “morning” is to say “not afternoon, not evening, not night”.
5 A synonym – is a word of similar or identical meaning to one or more words in the same language. They’re no two absolutely identical words because connotations, ways of usage, frequency of an occurrence are different.
Classification: 1. Total synonyms can replace each other in any given context, without the slightest alteration in denotative or emotional meaning and connotations (e.g. noun and substantive, functional affix, flection and inflection); is a rare occasion. Ex.: áåãåìîò – ãèïïîïîòàì. 2. Ideographic synonyms. They bear the same idea but not identical in their referential content. Ex.: To happen – to occur – to befall – to chance; Look – appearance – complexion – countenance. 3. Dialectical synonyms. pertaining to different variant of language from dialectal stratification point of view; Ex.: lift – elevator; Queue – line; autumn – fall. 4. Contextual synonyms. Context can emphasize some certain semantic trades & suppress other semantic trades; words with different meaning can become synonyms in a certain context. Ex.: tasteless – dull; Active – curious; Curious – responsive. Synonyms can reflect social conventions. Ex.: clever, bright, brainy, intelligent. 5. Stylistic synonyms. Belong to different styles: child; Infant; Kid; neutral; elevated; colloquial. It refers to situations when writers or speakers bring together several words with one & the same meaning to add more conviction, to description more vivid. Ex.: Safe & sound; Lord & master; First & foremost; Safe & secure; Stress & strain; By force & violence. 6. cognitive synonyms – s. which differ in respect of the varieties of discourse in which they appear; -7. contextual/context-dependent synonyms – similar in meaning only under some specific distributional conditions, when the difference between the meanings of two words is contextually neutralized: e.g. buy and get. - 8. referential synonyms – a vague term, concerns coreferential expressions, when one denotatum can be defined differently from different points of view and in different aspects: e.g. names Walter Scott and the author of 'Ivanhoe' are coreferential because they refer to one and the same denotatum – Sir Walter Scott; - 9. terminological synonyms – two existing terms for one denotatum: e.g. borrowing and loan-word; concept and notion (the difference between them is not discriminated by some linguists);
6 Types of synonyms in the English and Ukrainian language: ideographic, stylistic, total, territorial, contextual.
The only existing classification system for synonyms was established by Academician V.V Vinogradov, the famous Russian scholar. In his classification system there are three types of synonyms: ideographic (which he defined as words conveying the
same concept but differing in shades of meaning), stylistic (differing in stylistic characteristics) and absolute (coinciding in all their shades of meaning and in all their stylistic characteristics).
Firstly, absolute (total) synonymy are rare in the vocabulary and, on the diachronic level, the phenomenon of absolute synonymy is anomalous and consequently temporary: the vocabulary system invariably tends to abolish it either by rejecting one of the absolute synonyms or by developing differentiation characteristics in one or both (or all) of them.
There seems to be right no rigid demarcation line between synonyms differing in their shades of meaning and in stylistic characteristics. There are numerous synonyms which are distinguished by both shades of meaning and stylistic colouring. Therefore, even the subdivision of synonyms into ideographic and stylistic is open question.
Total (absolute) synonyms can replace each other in any given context, without the slightest alteration in denoting meaning or emotional meaning and connotation. They are very rare. Examples can be found mostly in special literature among technical terms and others:
Contextual or context-dependent synonyms are similar in meaning only under some specific distributional conditions. It may happen that the difference between the meaning of two words is contextually neutralized, e.g buy and get would not generally be taken as synonymous, but they are synonyms in the following examples: I'll go to the shop and buy some bread. - I'll go to the shop and get some bread.
1.Semantic fields and lexico-semantic groups in the Eng.and Ukr. Semantic field- are closely connected sectors of vocabulary characterized by a common concept or semantic component.It is a large group of words of different parts of speech in which the underlying notion is broad enough to include almost all section of vocabulary. The main feature of a semantic field is national specifies. For example: mother in law is different from the Ukrainian*ñâåêðóõà,òåùà* as the English term covers the whole area which in Ukrainian is divided between the two words.
Lexico-semantic groups- are groups of words belonging to the same part of speech and linked by a common concept. For example *milk,bread,meat* make up lexico-semantic group with the concept of food.The components of lexico-semantic groups are called hyponyms they contain the components of meanings that distinguish them from each other. For example *car,bus,taxi*.The lexico-semantic group- is described by the general term which is called hyperonym. The relationship existing between hyperonym and hyponyms – is that of inclusion the meaning of *car,bus* is included in the meaning of *vehicle*.