Saturday, 26 September 2015

Misconstruing Synonymy

Martin (1992: 300, 301):
Closely related to hyponymy is the category of synonymy.  Indeed, synonyms might well be defined as co-hyponyms for which differences in meaning do not matter. The difference between synonyms and co-hyponyms is in other words largely a question of delicacy with respect to a particular field.

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, the difference between hyponymy and synonymy is the difference in elaboration between class membership (attributive relation) and identity (identifying relation).  See Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 572).

[2] The focus shifts here from the ("vertical") relation of hyponymy to the ("horizontal") relation between co-hyponyms — as if the latter is also hyponymy.

Co-hyponyms, like co-meronyms, can be synonyms or not; synonyms can co-hyponyms, or co-meronyms, or not.

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