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Homonyms in English Language Essay

  • Submitted by: addina
  • on April 16, 2015
  • Category: English
  • Length: 563 words

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Below is an essay on "Homonyms in English Language" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Homonymy is a wide-spread phenomenon in English language. Homonyms are usually the cause of the difficulty in understanding English speech by those who began learning a language. Sometimes even professional interpreters can’t cope with all the features of homonyms.
In their native language people, who are interested in learning a language, can find out the meanings of homonyms from the context. When learning a foreign language attention is paid to the meaning of the speech. In order to use homonyms in a proper way, learners should broaden their lexical knowledge by learning the homonyms and their meanings by heart. [1]
Words that sound identically, but have different meanings are traditionally called homonyms. English language is exceptionally rich in homonymous words. Several similar linguistic concepts are related to homonymy:
  * Homographs (literally "same writing") are usually defined as words that share the same spelling, regardless of how they are pronounced – for example, bow (the front of a ship) and bow (a type of knot).
  * Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled – for example, to, too, two, and there, their, they’re.
  * Heteronyms (literally "different name") are the subset of homographs that have different pronunciations (and meanings). That is, they are homographs which are not homophones. Such words include desert (to abandon) and desert (arid region); row (to argue or an argument) and row (as in to row a boat or a row of seats - a pair of homophones).
  * Capitonyms are words that share the same spelling but have different meanings when capitalized (and may or may not have different pronunciations). Such words include polish (to make shiny) and Polish (from Poland); march (organized, uniformed, steady and rhythmic walking forward) and March (the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar). [2]

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