Polysemous Relation

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A Polysemous Relation is a Lexical Relation between two Referencers (Polysemes) that refer to Similar but Distinct Referencer Senses.



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  • 2009

    • (WordNet, 2009) ⇒ http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=polysemous
      • S: (adj) polysemous, polysemantic (of words; having many meanings)
    • http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/polysemous
      • (linguistics) Having multiple meanings or interpretations.
    • http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/polysemy
      • (semantics) The ability of words, signs and symbols to have multiple meanings.
    • (Jurafsky & Martin, 2009) ⇒ Daniel Jurafsky, and James H. Martin. (2009). “Speech and Language Processing, 2nd edition." Pearson Education.
      • The meaning of a lexeme can very enormously given the context. Consider these two users of the lemma bank ...
      • We represent some of this contextual variation by saying that the lemma bank has two 'senses (footnote: confusingly, the word "lemma" is itself ambiguous; it is also sometimes used to mean these separate senses, rather than the citation form of the word. You should be prepared to see both uses in the literature). A sense (or word sense) is a discrete representation of one aspect of the meaning of a word. Loosely following lexicographic tradition, we represent each sense by placing a superscript on the orthographic form of the lemma as in bank1 and bank2.
      • The sense of a word might not have any particular relation between them; it may be almost coincident that they share an orthographic form. For example, the financial institution and sloping mound sense of bank seem relatively unrelated. In such cases we say that the two senses are homonyms, and the relation between the sense is on of homonymy'
      • When two senses are related semantically, we call the relationship between them polysemy rather than homonymy.
      • While it can be useful to distinguish polysemy from homonymy, there is no hard threshold for how related two senses must be to be considered polysemous. Thus the difference is really one of degree. This face can be make very difficult to decide how many sense a word has. … We might consider two senses discrete if they have independent truth conditions, different syntactic behavior, and independent sense relations, or if they exhibit antagonistic meaning.
      • One practical technique for determining if two sense are distinct is to conjoin two uses of a word in a single sentence; this kind of conjunction of antagonistic readings is called zeugma.
      • We generally reserve the word homonym for two sense which share both a pronunciation and an orthography. A special case of multiple senses that cause problems for speech recognition and spelling correction is a homophone. Homophones are senses that are linked to lemmas with the same pronunciation but different spellings, such as wood/would or to/two/too. A related problem for speech synthesis are homographs (Chapter 8). Homographs are distinct senses linked to lemmas with the same orthographic form but different pronunciations, such as the homographs of bass.


    • (Carter, 1998) ⇒ Ronald Carter. (1998). “Vocabulary: Applied Linguistic Perspectives; 2nd edition." Routledge.
      • We can also see that the notion of lexeme helps us to represent the polysemy - or the existence of several meanings - in individual words: that, far (n.). “fair (adj. as in good, acceptable) and fair (adj. as in light in colour, expecially of hair), would have three different lexeme meanings for the same word-form. The same applies to the different meanings of lap … But there are numerous less clear-cut categories. For example, in the case of line (draw a line; rail line; clothes line) is the same surface form realized by one, two, or three separate underlying lexemes? And are the meanings of chair (professional appointment; seat) or paper (newspaper; academic lecture) or dressing (sauce; manure; bandages) specialization of the same basic lexeme or not.