Antonomy

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Oral presentation 2

Summary of the article Antonyms - from convention to meaning-making by: Carita Paradis & Caroline Willners
Lund University

Found at: http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=1718212&fileOId=1718215 10/29/12

Antonyms

As simple as it may seem to say black-white, big-small and in-out, antonyms are in fact quite complicated. One of the most commonly expressed antonyms fast-slow might be one of the more complicated as well. We can use rapid-slow, express-slow or blistering-slow and still have the same type of antonym. It seems like we have to put our antonyms in to context in order for them to make sense and actually work as commonly accepted antonym-pairs.

The questions asked in the article Antonyms - from convention to meaning-making are not hard to follow, but yet the answers might be more complex than what you predicted. One: What are the categorical characteristics of antonymy in language? and two: Why are some pairings considered ‘better’ than others?

So what makes an antonymic pair then? What characteristics must be present in order for two words to be appreciated as opposites? Well, after a rather thorough investigation the authors came up with two different categorizations to put the antonyms in place. One was that in order for two words to work as opposites they have to accommodate the exact same criteria but one. Take a scheme of expensive and cheap for example, here they have all the criteria in common, with only one exception, and that's what makes them antonyms. This category is called the categorization by configuration.

COSTNON-ANIMATEGRADABLESIZE -SMALL

ExpensiveXXX

CheapXXXX

The other category is the one the authors calls contentful meaning structures. This category is a bit more diffuse and demands more research in order to be complete. Nevertheless the authors made the conclusion that one of the most beneficial factors of two words becoming antonyms is that they...
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