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English Orthography - Scholarship Essay Example

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English Orthography

Define the term regular polysemy and demonstrate whether or not the relation between the senses of the bold words in (a) and (b) is a regular relation. Be sure to describe the senses of (a) and (b) first, before going on to explore the polysemy of semantically similar words. If you find that it is not a completely regular relation, discuss any reasons you can see for the limits on the pattern.
Before we explore the relation between the senses of the bold words in (a) and (b) and whether it is a regular relation or not, let us throw some light upon three ubiquitous terms in semantics. These terms are polysemy, regular, and regular polysemy. First, Crystal (1988, p.236) defines polysemy as 'a term used in semantic analysis to refer to a lexical item which has a range of different meanings'. The definition sounds clear and concise. According to this definition, any lexical item (word) which has more than one meaning is polysemous and thus falls under the umbrella of polysemy. Regular, on the other hand, is 'predictable from non - lexical conceptual information', Murphy (2004, p.235). When we combine the two words together, we will get a semantic term that has gained much attention recently, viz. regular polysemy (also known as meaning shifts).
Many definitions have been give...
When we combine the two words together, we will get a semantic term that has gained much attention recently, viz. regular polysemy (also known as meaning shifts).


Many definitions have been given to regular polysemy by linguists and semanticists. According to Peters (2005, p.232) ' regular polysemy is a metonymic phenomenon: a non - literal figure of speech in which the name of one thing is substituted for that of another related to it'. Lobner (2002) refers to regular polysemy as meaning variants which are related via metaphor, metonymy or differentiation. Clearly speaking, regular polysemy denotes the process whereby a word has more than one meaning due to a general rule for making new meanings out of old ones. For example, a word which indicates a container indicates the content of the container too as illustrated below:

Can as container: I have poured coke into the can.

Can as content: I have drunk the whole can.


Also, a disc might refer to a thin, flat, round object in general as well as a magnetic disc. A mouse is used to refer to a small furry animal with a long tail only, but it is also a device that controls the movement of the cursor on a computer screen, Lobner (2002).


The relation between the senses of the bold words in (a) and (b) is a regular relation. The senses of these two words are closely related since they are all related to poultry. Turkey, in the first sentence, refers to a large, gallinaceous bird of the family Meleagrididae, especially Meleagris gallopavo of America that typically has green, reddish-brown and yellowish-brown plumage of a metallic luster and that is domesticated in most parts of the world (Dictionary.com, 2008) ...Show more

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I feel that except the grammatical and spelling errors, your work was very good on the whole. I really liked it. You have tried to explain all the concepts in detail using very good examples. I feel it would be even better if you could give a list at the end that shows the reader at a glance which word is what without having to go through the entire text…
Author : montykerluke
English Orthography essay example
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