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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Grammar
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0954  Friday, 5 April 2002

[1]     From:   Steve Roth <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 09:26:41 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 19:25:54 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar

[3]     From:   Paul E. Doniger <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 23:31:35 -0500
        Subj:   Fw: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 09:26:41 -0800
Subject: 13.0938 Re: Grammar
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar

Re: homonyms. Nobody has addressed the spelling issue, really. This is
interesting.

1. Words that:
o Sound the same
o Are spelled the same
o Have different meanings

i.e. Steve Sohmer's example "check," or "can" or "row." The useless page
calls these "heteronyms," but another page calls them "homonyms."

2. Words that:
o Sound the same
o Are spelled differently
o Have different meanings

i.e. "there" and "their" and "they're," "slay" and "sleigh." These, I
think, are homophones. Meaning is immaterial. (This last should be
comforting to Mr. Hawkes. <g>)

3. Words that:
o Sound different
o Are spelled the same
o Have different meanings

i.e. "bow." One web page suggests "homograph."

(Also those that are in categories 1 and 3 but whose meanings are only
slightly different, based usually on their part-of-speech usage. i.e.
"blot," "bloom," "abuse," and "excuse." Semi[or
quasi?]homographs/heteronyms?)

The confusion seems to arise because each of the terms defines one of
the three variables, but leaves the other two implicit. For instance,
"homograph" states identical spelling, but only implies different sound
and/or meaning.

There are probably other interesting cells in this 3D matrix that I
didn't list above. The variant-spelling issue adds another (one?)
dimension that exceeds my feeble brain's capacity. Need more coffee.

Thanks,
Steve
http://princehamlet.com

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 19:25:54 +0100
Subject: 13.0938 Re: Grammar
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0938 Re: Grammar

Nice to see people (Clifford Stetner and Martin Steward) looking up the
OED2.

There would seem to be two issues (at least) at play here -- What is a
(an?) homonym? and What is the distinction between a homophone and a
homonym?

As always, there are three distinct elements to an OED entry --
etymology, definition, and citation.

Etymologically, for what it's worth, OED2 derives 'homophone' from Greek
and 'homonym' from Latin.

The definitions given are thin and ambiguous.

And the citations are light.

More useful (at least for the purposes of SHAKSPER) is a quick trip to
the EMEDD site:

(http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/english/emed/patterweb.html)

It would seem (evidence below) that in the 16/17th C, 'homonym' and
'homophone' were distinct terms, with "homonym" being much the commoner
term.

For what it's worth, my reading of the evidence would be that "homonym"
refers to a string of orthographic symbols, while "homophone" refers to
a spoken/pronounced series of sounds.

Robin Hamilton.

(From the EMEDD:

[As the EMEDD doesn't support wildcards, truncation is the way to go.]

"homoni"

(1) Florio (Florio 1598 @ 17383929)
Homonimia, when diuers things are signified by one word.

"homony"

(1) Cotgrave (Cotgrave 1611 @ 33069680)
Homonyme: [f.] [An equiuocation, or word of diuers sig

 

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