Hyponymy: One type of branching lexical hierarchies; and a distinction between hyponymy and meronymy
Table of Content
Distinction between Hyponymy and Meronymy
III. 1: Meronymy
III. 2: The distinction
Every day we are confronted with lexical hierarchies in our correspondences, without actually thinking about it. One type of branching lexical hierarchies is the taxonomy, which structures the vocabulary of a language, for example hyponymy. Semantic relations, which are defined in terms of logical relations, underlie lexical hierarchies. Taxonomy is a way of classifying words arranged in a hierarchical structure (Murphy 2003: 218). II.
According to Yule (2007: 243), hyponymy is “the lexical relation in which the meaning of one word is included in the meaning of another”. Another definition of hyponymy is: “Hyponymy is the ‘type of’ relation among lexical items, for example rose is a hyponym of flower in that roses are types of flowers. In other words, if X is a hyponym of Y, then the extension of X is a subset of the extension of Y. Thus, we can say that hyponymy is a relation of inclusion.” (Murphy 2009: 393). As one can see, both definitions deal with hyponymy as ‘a type of’ relation. The example that has already been mentioned in the definition (a rose is a hyponym of flower) illustrates this ‘type of relation’ or the ‘kind of relation’, because a rose is a type of flower. Furthermore Yule states that “meaning of one form is included in the meaning of another and the relationship is described as hyponymy” (2007: 105). In addition Saeed (2006: 68) also encloses this definition by saying, that “Hyponymy is a relation of inclusion.” When we consider hyponymous connections, we are essentially looking at the meaning of words in a type of hierarchical relationship. As one can see in the example taken from Yule (2007: 105), words are being structured...
Bibliography: Bieswanger. Becker. 2008. Introduction to English Linguistics. Tübingen.
Murphy, Lynne. 2003. Semantic Relations and the Lexicon: Antonymy, Synonymy and other Paradigms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Murphy, Lynne. 2009. “Hyponymy and Hyperony” in Allan, Keith (ed.) Concise Encyclopedia of Semantics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Saeed, John. 2006. Semantics. sec. edit. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.
Yule, George. 2007. The Study of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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