Different English Sense Relations Between Words

1735 Words Dec 28th, 2010 7 Pages
Dictionary.com defines a lexeme as a lexical unit in a language, as a word or base. Further a vocabulary item.
Merriam-webster.com on the other hand defines lexical as pertaining or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction.
Sense is defined as “a meaning conveyed or intended, especially one of a set of meanings a word or phrase may have/bear.”
Relation is an existing connection; a significant association between or among things.

Lexical sense relations are therefore the relationships between meaning of words, in either their similarity or contrast in a language. It (Lexical sense relations) is used in lexical semantics to t describe the relationship between
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Wind moving air Wind a road with lots of bends

Synonymy in semantics is an inter-lexical sense relation. Synonymy is sameness of meaning. Synonymy has different aspects i.e. Cognitive, Descriptive and Near-synonyms.

Cognitive synonyms These are synonyms that are substitutable in any grammatically declarative sentence (Evens M. W. 1988:8, Cruse, D.A.1986). An example of a pair of cognitive synonyms is ‘seaman’ and ‘sailor’. He is a Seaman and He is a Sailor are cognitively synonymous. Other pairs include ‘mailman and postman’, ‘buy and purchase’, ‘hard and difficult’

Descriptive synonyms:
These are synonyms that are used connotatively to express the speaker’s feelings towards what he or she describes.
For example,
Job is thrifty and Job is economical.
Jola is a bachelor and Jola is an unmarried man.
The orange is sour and the orange is rotten.
The pairs, thrifty and economical, sour and rotten, bachelor and unmarried man are descriptively synonymous.

These are expressions that appear similar, but not really identical in meaning because of the variations in their meaning. Examples of near-synonymy in English are ‘Mist and fog’, ‘stream and brook’. For instance, ‘stream’ and ‘brook’ appear similar in meaning but they are not really identical. ‘Brook’ is a small stream while ‘stream’ is a small
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