Perfect Synonymy Is Rare Perhaps Impossible English Language Essay

August 19, 2017 English Language

The word Synonyms comes from Ancient Greek I?I?I? ( “ syn ” ) “ with ” and I?I?I?I± ( “ onoma ” ) “ name. ” Synonymy can be defined as the semantic relation that holds between two words that can show the same significance, in other words, equivalent words are different words with similar significances. Synonyms can be any portion of address ( e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs or prepositions ) , every bit long as both members of the brace are the same portion of address such as: noun “ babe ” and “ baby ” , verb “ purchase ” and “ purchase ” , adjectival “ reasonably ” and “ attractive ” , adverb “ quickly ” and “ quickly ” . That means if the two words have same significance so they should mention to the same mention in contexts. It is true that in specific sentences one word can replace its equivalent word without altering the significance of the sentence such as: this is a { large / big } house. But even if two words are interchangeable in some sentences, there may still be differences in significance, so that there is an of import inquiry in lexical semantics, which presents itself to us, is whether entire or rigorous equivalent word exists in a linguistic communication or whether there is ever a difference between words.

As I mentioned above that equivalent word are any two words holding the same significance, and harmonizing to Alan Cruse ( 2006 ) definition of absolute equivalent word “ Words would be absolute equivalent word if there were no contexts in which replacing one for the other had any semantic consequence ” . That means we can utilize these equivalent words in contexts since these equivalent words are indistinguishable and portion same semantic characteristics. Unfortunately, synonyms ca n’t be applied in all contexts, and possibly, there is no as an absolute equivalent word for any word, because it is right that some equivalent word used in some contexts, but non all. There are some factors which control and forestall the designation of equivalent word in most fortunes and contexts. So that synonymy becomes one of the modern linguistics ‘ most controversial jobs. The dichotomy of equivalent word is their most confusing characteristic. They are slightly the same and yet they are evidently different, even though equivalent words are based on the similarity between words, there are still some jobs in utilizing equivalent word.

Harmonizing to Lyons ( 1981: 148 ) distinguishes between two sorts of synonymity in the rigorous sense, complete and absolute synonymity. He defines them as follows: “ aˆ¦lexemes can be said to be wholly synonymous ( in a certain scope of contexts ) if and merely if they have the same descriptive, expressive and societal significance ( in the scope of contexts in inquiries ) . They may be described as perfectly synonymous if and merely if they have the same distribution and are wholly synonymous in all their significances and in all their contexts of happening. ” Here he says that complete synonymity is rare, and absolute synonymity barely exists. Murphy ( 2003 ) besides stated that Wordss can be s similar in two ways. They are more similar if they portion more features in common ( holding the same indication, intension, registry, etc. ) , or they are more similar because they match more closely on any one of these characteristics – all others being equal or all others being ignored.

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However, given that a basic map of words is to be semantically alone, it is non surprising that such indistinguishable braces are rare. That being so, the job of qualifying synonymity is one of stipulating what sort and grade of semantic difference is permitted. One possibility is to specify synonymity as ‘propositional synonymity ‘ : two words A and B are synonyms if replacing either one for the other in an vocalization has no consequence on the propositional significance ( i.e. truth conditions ) of the vocalization. This is the instance with, for case, Begin: commence and false: untrue ( on the relevant readings ) :

The concert began/commenced with Beethoven ‘s Egmont Overture.

What he told me was false / untrue.

While this is a convenient and easy applied manner of specifying synonymity, it does non capture the manner the impression is used by, for case, lexicologists, in the digest of lexicons of equivalent word or in the assembly of groups of words for information on ‘synonym favoritism ‘ . Alan Cruse ( 2006 ) stated that some of the words ( withhold: detain ; joyful: cheerful ; heighten: enhance ; injure: harm ; idle: inert: passive ) are propositional equivalent word, but others are non, and for these we need some such impression as ‘near synonymity ‘ . This is non easy to specify, but near-synonyms must portion the same nucleus significance and must non hold the primary map of contrasting with one another in their most typical contexts. For more elucidation, it is better to take this illustration: collie and spaniel portion much of their significance, but they contrast in their most typical contexts.

In add-on, sometimes differences between the uses of equivalent word are a affair of stylistic features ; because the words in all are divided to formal words which are restricted to formal state of affairss, and Informal words are divided into three types: colloquial, slang, dialect words. Even though some formal words carry the same significance of informal words, we still ca n’t utilize them in informal state of affairss, this will conversation more deadening such as: the verbs commence and receive are normally used in formal manners than Begin and acquire. So that if person said to his friends at party dinner “ allow us get down dinner ” would be seen curiously over- formal. Similarly, we received the intelligence yesterday would likely be restricted to formal contexts.

Another of import component in significance is appraising or emotional overtones a word may hold which would fall within the range of expressive and societal significances is the intension of lexemes. Harmonizing to Murphy, ( 2003 ) intension definition is that “ It involves associations that do non straight affect the conditions on mention, but which may give some angle to the description ” . That means the intension of a word is the set of thoughts associated with it in add-on to its expressed significance, and the intension of a word can be personal, based on single experiences. Harmonizing to Lyons, ( 1981 ) association between words or phrases, which is typical about their typical contexts of happening, can be created by the frequent usage of a word or phrase in one scope of context instead than another. For illustration, the verbs putting to death, slaying, assassinate, and execute. Although all these words portion same significance of take away life, they are clearly non entire equivalent word. Murder has elements of intending which putting to death does n’t hold ; it implies a motivation and forethought, and most think instantly of offense of force. Assassinate besides implies a motivation, but normally an impersonal 1. Many talkers think of politically motivated killing. Execute is used in legal context and follows a socially sectional sentence of decease. So that all of these words are synonyms and portion same significance of take away life, but they each have different intensions.

In add-on, there are differences in intensions between two words although the braces can be used as equivalent word, because the talkers use them to demo positive or negative significances and blessing or disapproval. For illustration, the word fascist is normally applied non to members of the ‘Fascist Party ‘ but to reprobate or even insult people who have peculiar political position or societal attitudes. Freedom- combatant and terrorist have really different intensions. By and large the talker will mention to a group which is taking direct action in support of a cause which the talker himself supports as freedom- combatant. The label terrorist is used to reprobate actions.


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