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Lecture 5.

1. Homonyms. Sources of homonyms.

2. Classification of homonyms.

3. Synonyms. Synonymic group. Dominant synonym.

4. Classification of synonyms.

5. Antonyms. Classification of antonyms.




Homonyms – words identical in sound and spelling or in one of these aspects but different in their meaning, distribution and, in many cases, origin.

E.g.: bank – берег


ball – бал



There are 3 sources of homonyms:

1. Phonetic changes.

2. Borrowings.

3. The result of split polysemy.


1. Words undergo to phonetic changes in the course of their historical development. As a result of such changes 2 or more words which were pronounced differently may develop identical sound forms and become homonyms.

E.g.: night – knight (were not homonyms in Old English).


2. Borrowed words may in the final stage of the phonetic adaptation duplicate in form wither a native word or another borrowing.

E.g.: match – матч (native)

сірник (Latin).


3. Split polysemy – 2 or more homonyms can originate from different meanings of the same word when for some reason the semantic structure of the word brakes into several parts.

E.g.: board – дошка

пансіон, інтернат

рада директорів.

The meanings of these words are in no way associated with one another. The semantic structure of the word was split in 3 units.


Homonyms are classified into the following classes:


1. Full lexical homonyms – represent the same category of part of speech and have the same paradigm.

E.g.: box – коробка; удар; самшит

fan – вентилятор, фанат

ball – м’яч; бал; очко

match – пара; сірник; матч.


2. Partial homonyms are subdivided into:

a) simple lexico-grammatical partial homonyms – which belong to the same part of speech. Their paradigms have one identical form, but it is never the same form.

E.g.: to found – found (Past Indefinite “to find”).

b) complex lexico-grammatical partial homonyms – different parts of speech, which have one identical form in their paradigms.

E.g.: rose (flower) – rose (Past Indefinite of “to rise”)

maid (girl) – made (Past Indefinite of “to make”)

one – won (Past Indefinite of “to win”).

c) partial lexical homonyms – words of the same part of speech, which are identical only in their corresponding forms.

E.g.: to lie – to lie to can - can

lay – lied canned - could

lain – lied canned - -------


Taking into consideration sound form, spelling and meaning, homonyms are classified into:

1. Perfect homonyms – words, identical both in spelling and sound form, but different in meaning.

E.g.: case – чемодан; причина, випадок

fair – ярмарок; чесний


2. Homophones – words, identical in sound form but different in spelling and meaning.

E.g.: to see – sea; sun – son; die – dye; fair – fare; sail – sale; cite – sight; flower – flour; hair – hare; peace – piece; rain – reign.


3. Homographs–words, identical in spelling, but different in sound form and meaning.

E.g.: lead – lead; tear – tear; Polish – polish; bow – bow.




Synonyms – 2 or more words belonging to the same part of speech and possessing one or more identical or nearly identical denotational meanings, interchangeable in some contexts.

These words are distinguished by different shades of meaning, connotations and stylistic features.

Several words, belonging to the same part of speech, constitute the synonymic group.

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