Functioning of compound antonyms in modern English

Lexico-semantic features of antonyms in modern English. The concept of polarity of meaning. Morphological and semantic classifications of antonyms. Differences of meaning of antonyms. Using antonyms pair in proverbs and sayings. Lexical meaning of words.

05.10.2011
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Functioning of compound antonyms in modern English

Introduction

The subject-matter of the Course Paper is to investigate lexico-semantic features of antonyms in modern English.

The topicality of the problem under investigation results from the necessity to update basic assumption provided by different linguists in order to be able to establish the classification of antonyms depending on their morphological and semantic classifications in Modern English.

The novelty of the problem arises from the necessity of a profound scientific investigation of antonyms.

The main aim of the Course Paper is to summarize and systemize different approaches to the study of antonyms in Modern English.

The aim of the course Paper presupposes the solutions of the following tasks:

To expand and update the definition of the term antonym

To reveal characteristic features of modern cognitive linguistics

To establish the difference between different kinds of antonyms

To have some skills of recognizing all categories of antonyms

According the tasks of the Course Paper its structure is arranged in the following way:

Introduction, the Main Part, Conclusion, Resume, Literature, test of Reference Material, List of Electronic References.

In the Introduction we provide the explanation of the theme choice, state the topicality of it, establish the main aim, and the practical tasks of the Paper.

In the main part we analyze the character features of modern the classification of antonyms depending on their morphological and semantic classifications, differences between absolute (or root) antonyms and derivational antonyms, main characteristics of antonyms proper, complementaries and converives.

In conclusion we generalize the results achieved.

Resume, in Ukrainian, outlines the gist of the Paper covering in brief all the questions under consideration.

Part 1. Lexico-Semantic Features of Antonyms in Modern English

Thanks to the differences between our two hemispheres of our brains (emotional and rational), we react to different thing in a different way, but we do that more readily to the emotional than the rational. Similarity or polarity of meaning catches our attention and stick it with what we see and feel with our right brain too. That's why many different systems which describe semantic features of antonyms in modern English have been appeared. But the investigation problems of the concept of polarity of meaning is not the main task of this Course Paper, therefore this problem has been described briefly.

Stylistic features of words and problems of stylistic stratification in general were discussed in connection with different types of meaning. Synonyms and antonyms are usually felt to be correlative notions: firstly because the criterion of synonyms is semantic similarity which is in exact opposition to the criterion of antonyms - semantic polarity; secondly because synonyms and antonyms seem to overlap in a number of cases. When we speak of the words daddy and parent as synonyms, we do so because of the similarity of their denotation meaning and polarity of their stylistic reference (ex. daddy - colloquial, parent - bookish). [74]

In most cases the grammatical features of a word reveals itself in a context. There are, however, words which do not acquire grammatical meaning even in the context. We will speak of them when we analyze the relations between lexical and grammatical meanings in words. Our subject-matter is lexico-Semantic meaning of a word. It is possible to distinguish three essential types of lexical meaning of words:

Nominative meaning determined by reality. The direct nominative meaning stand in one-to-one relationship with a word. For instance: cat, table, sun.

Phraseologically bound meaning of words depending on the peculiarities of their usage in a given language, e.g. to take care, to have a smoke, to catch cold.

Syntactically conditioned meanings of words are those which change with the change of the environment. For instance: to look - to look for - to look after. [18]

In the structure of lexical meaning of a word we distinguish two main components:

Denotative;

Connotative.

Denotative meaning is the conceptual nuclear of the word meaning. Denotative meaning is bound up with its referent. Referent is an object or phenomenon in our world which the given word names. Denotative meaning may have one constant referent. (moon), but also it can have several referents (ex. a hand - firstly its referen tis a part of human arm; its second referent is the pointer on a clock; its third referent is a person (workman)).

Denotative meaning may have diffusive character, as in the case with the words: good, bad, clever, progressive. The denotative meaning is sometimes called: logical meaning; referential meaning, cognitive meaning; conceptual meaning or simply speaking, the literal meaning of a word. [18]

If the denotative meaning is the nuclear part of the lexical meaning of a word, then the connotative meaning is its shell. Simply speaking, the connotative meaning is what we call additional, non-literal meaning of a word. It contains various shades. For example, the denotative component of the lexical meaning of the word awful, is "very bad". [18]

According to the subject-matter of the Course Paper, let us examine a question the Concept of Polarity of Meaning.

1.1 The Concept of Polarity of Meaning

The investigation problems of the concept of polarity of meaning is not the main task, therefore this problem has been described briefly. The term polarity exists in such fields of human knowledge as physics, mathematics, chemistry, psychology and etc. In linguistic this term can be found in semantic classification of the words.

The problem of the polarity of semantic meaning may be viewed in the Course Paper as a theoretical base to describe some classifications in various ways. The matter is that semantic classifications are generally based on the semantic similarity (or polarity) of words (or their component - morphemes). [75]

Semantic similarity or polarity of words may be observed in the similarity of their denotational or connotational meaning. Similarity or polarity of the denotational component of lexical meaning is to be found in lexical groups of synonyms and antonyms. Similarity or polarity of the connotational components serves as the basis for stylistic stratification of vocabulary units. [75]

Antonymic pairs are usually listed in a special dictionary called thesaurus. Yet there are other criteria according to which it is possible to reveal antonyms. The most important of them are: contextual criterion, the possibility of substitution, and identical lexical valency.

According to the contextual criterion two words are considered antonyms if they are regularly contrasted in actual speech. The use of antonyms in the same contexts has produced fixed antonymic constructions, such as: a higher degree of abstraction or more generalized character.

Unlike synonyms antonyms do not differ in style, or emotional coloring (they express, as a rule, emotional characteristics of the same intensity. [37]

So, we can base on the definition antonyms as two or more words belonging to the same pat of speech, contradictory or contrary in meaning, and interchangeable at least at some contexts. [57]

Group of antonyms is the type of semantic relation between lexical units having opposite meanings. Antonyms do not simply involve complete difference in meanings. It involves a sense opposition which can be applied to the same object or phenomenon.

Antonyms (Greek anti - opposite, onyma - name) are words belonging to the same part of speech, identical in style and having opposite denotative meanings. For example: light - dark; happiness - sorrow; up - down. Antonyms are usually believed to appear in pairs. Yet, this is not true in reality. For instance, the adjective cold may be said to have warm for its second antonym, and the noun sorrow may be very well contrasted with gaiety. [18, p.28]

However, polysemantic word may have an antonym or several antonyms for each of its meanings. So, the adjective dull has the antonym interesting, amusing, entertaining and active for its meaning of deficient in interest, and clever, bright, capable for its meaning of deficient in intellect and active for its meaning of deficient in activity. Antonyms are not evenly distributed among the categories of parts of speech. Most antonyms are adjectives, which seems to be natural, because qualitative characteristics are easily compared and contrasted. For example: high- low, strong - weak, wide - narrow, friendly - hostile. Verbs take the second place, so far as antonym is concerned. For example: to lose - to find, to live - to die, to open - to close. Nouns are not rich in antonyms. For example: good - evil, love - hatred.

Antonymic adverbs can be subdivided into two groups:

a) adverbs derived from adjectives: warmly - coldly, loudly - softly;

b) adverbs proper: now - then, ever - never, in - out. [18]

This gives up rights to speak about morphological classification of antonyms.

1.2 Morphological Classification of Antonyms

Antonyms have traditionally been defined as words of opposite meaning. This definition, however, is not sufficiently accurate as it only shifts the problem to the question of what words may be regarded as words of opposite meaning. Therefore the latest linguistic investigations emphasize, that antonyms are similar as words belonging to the same part of speech and the same semantic field, having the same grammatical meaning and functions, as well as similar collocations. [14]

According to their morphological structure antonyms may be classified into:

root antonyms (having different roots): to love - to hate, long - short, day - night;

derivational antonyms (having the same roots but different derivational affixes): regular - irregular, fruitful - fruitless. [18, 14, 26 ]

Absolute or Root Antonyms So, V.N. Comissarov in his dictionary of antonyms classified them into two groups: absolute or root antonyms and derivational antonyms.

Absolute antonyms have different roots and derivational antonyms have the same roots but different affixes. [60]

We can find in Collins Cobuild dictionary such definition: The antonym of word is another word which means the opposite. [78]

There is another term, which is quit interesting to our opinion: Words that are antonymous are opposite in meaning. [78]

Such, the pair of words should be called antonymous, but one of them, which is not always just one, has a name antonym. Kinds and examples of root antonyms are observed in the second part of the Course Paper. But in the theoretical part we want to refer to a very interesting source.

In dealing with antonymic oppositions it may be helpful to treat antonyms in terms of marked and unmarked members. The unmarked member can be more widely used and very often can include the referents of the marked member but not vice versa. This proves that their meanings have some components in common. In the antonymic pair `old - young the unmarked member is old. We've found an interesting example on one of studied sources:

It is possible to ask: How old is the girl?, without implying that she is no longer young. [76] Some authors, J.Lyons among them, suggest a different terminology. They distinguish antonyms proper and complementary antonyms. The chief characteristic feature of antonyms proper is that they are regularly gradable. Antonyms proper, therefore, represent contrary notions. Grading is based on the operation of comparison. One can compare the intensity of feeling as in love -- attachment -- liking -- indifference -- antipathy -- hate. Whenever a sentence contains an antonym or an antonymic pair, it implicitly or explicitly contains comparison. [76]

Thus, discussing the group of root antonyms, we should to speak about complementary antonyms and contrary notions, a semantic classification of antonyms.

1.2.1 Derivational Antonyms

Derivetional antonyms are more difficult to study. As we mentioned above, derivational antonyms have the same roots but different affixes. [60]

Negative prefixes for antonyms are un-, dis-, non-, but sometimes they are formed by means of suffixes -ful and -less. The number of antonyms with the suffixes -ful and -less is not very large, e.g. "successful" -"unsuccessful", "selfless" - "selfish". The same is true about antonyms with negative prefixes, e.g. "to man" is not an antonym of the word "to unman", "to disappoint" is not an antonym of the word "to appoint". [77]

The difference between derivational and root antonyms is not only in their structure, but in semantics as well. Group of derivational antonyms express contradictory notions, one of them excludes the other, e.g. "active"- "inactive". Absolute antonyms express contrary notions. If some notions can be arranged in a group of more than two members, the most distant members of the group will be absolute antonyms, e.g. "ugly", "plain", "good-looking", "pretty", "beautiful", the antonyms are "ugly" and "beautiful". [77]

Leonard Lipka in the book Outline of English Lexicology defines types of oppositeness, which we study in the next chapter of this Course Paper. Thus, we should to study now some characteristics of Semantic Classification of Antonyms.

1.3 Semantic Classification of Antonyms

Leonard Lipka is one of the linguists, who describes different types of oppositeness, and subdivides them into three types:

a) complementary, e.g. male -female, married -single,

b) antonyms, e.g. good -bad,

c) converseness, e.g. to buy - to sell.

He does that in the following way. The denial of the one implies, the assertion of the other, and vice versa. John is not married implies that John is single. The type of oppositeness is based on yes/no decision. This concerns pairs of lexical units.

Antonyms are the second class of oppositeness. It is distinguished from complimentarity by being based on different logical relationships. For pairs of antonyms like good - bad, big - small only the second one of the above mentioned relations of implication holds. The assertion containing one member implies the negation of the other, but not vice versa. John is good implies that John is not bad, but John is not good does not imply that John is bad. The negation of one term does not necessarily implies the assertion of the other.

Converseness is mirror-image relations or functions, e.g. husband - wife, pupil - teacher, precede - follow, above - below, before - after etc. [80]

L. Lipka also describes the type which is called as:

directional opposition, ex. up - down;

consiquence opposition, ex. learn - know;

antipodal opposition, ex. North - South, East - West, ( it is based on contrary motion, in opposite directions.)

oppositions, which involve motion in different directions, ex. come - go, arrive -depart.[80]

L. Lipka also points out non-binary contrast or many-member lexical sets. Here he points out serially ordered sets, such as:

scales, ex. hot- warm, cool - cold ;

colour words, ex. black, grey, white ;

ranks, ex. marshal, general, colonel, major, captain etc.;

gradable examination marks, ex. excellent, good, average, fair, poor;

units of time, ex. spring, summer, autumn, winter . [80]

Thus, let's investigate the complementary, proper antonyms, and converseness differences in details.

1.3.1 Antonyms Proper

Some authors, J.Lyons among them, suggest a different terminology. They distinguish antonyms proper and complementary antonyms. The chief characteristic feature of antonyms proper is that they are regularly gradable. This kind of antonyms proper represents contrary notions. They say, that grading is based on the operation of comparison. The group of words, which name intensity of feeling, ex. love -- attachment -- liking -- indifference -- antipathy -- hate, can be compared. [27]

Whenever a sentence contains an antonym or an antonymic pair, it contains comparison. J. Lyons discusses an interesting example of antonyms also dealing with elephants: A small elephant is a large animal. The size-norm for elephants is not the same as that for all animals in general: the elephant which is small in comparison with other elephants may be big in comparison with animals as a class. [27]

This example may also serve to show the difference and parallelism between antonyms proper and complementarity (expressing contradictory notions). The semantic polarity in antonyms proper is relative, the opposition is gradual, it may embrace several elements characterized by different degrees of the same property. The comparison they imply is clear from the context. Large and little denote polar degrees of the same notion. The same referent which may be small as an elephant is a comparatively big animal, but it cannot be male as an elephant and female as an animal: a male elephant is a male animal.

Having noted the difference between complementary antonyms and antonyms proper, we must also take into consideration that they have much in common so that in a wider sense both groups are taken as antonyms. [76]

1.3.2 Complementaries

J.Lyons among also describes complementaries. Like other antonyms they are regularly contrasted in speech (ex. male- female), and the elements of a complementary pair have similar distribution. According to him, the assertion of a sentence containing an antonymous or complementary term implies the denial of a corresponding sentence containing the other antonym or complementary:

The poem is good > The poem is not bad (good : : bad -- antonyms proper) This is prose > This is not poetry (prose : : poetry -- complementaries)

As to the difference in negation it is optional with antonyms proper: by saying that the poem is not good the speaker does not always mean that it is positively bad. Though more often we are inclined to take into consideration only the opposite ends of the scale and by saying that something is not bad we even, using litotes, say it is good. So complementaries are a subset of antonyms taken in a wider sense. [27]

The complementary opposite, sometimes is known as the contradictory. Like the gradable adjectives, the complementary adjectives share a semantic dimension, but it is a dimension which has no middle values. As Cruse describes it:

The essence of a pair of complementaries is that between them they exhaustively divide some conceptual domain into two mutually exclusive compartments, so that what does not fall into one of the compartments must necessarily fall into the other". [80]

It is sometimes hard to decide whether a pair of opposites belongs in the set of gradable adjectives or in the set of complementaries. But, as Cruse says, in addition to adjectives, verbs such as pass - fail and obey - disobey, nouns such as day - night, prepositions such as in - out, and adverbs such as backwards - forwards are also sometimes considered examples of complementaries.

Although by definition, complementaries are pairs which allow no logical middle term, in actual use, complementaries are sometimes used like gradable adjectives; for example, we can say that something is almost true, or that someone is barely alive. [80]

However, as Lyons (1977) points out, in these cases it may be the "secondary implications" of the words that are being graded rather than the main sense. That is, someone who is barely alive is actually entirely alive, but s/he is not as lively or energetic as most people are. Directional opposites are another type of opposite, described in Lyons (1977) and in greater detail in Cruse (1986). These are generally adverbs or prepositions and include pairs such as up - down, in - out, and clockwise - anticlockwise. [27]

Reversive opposites, described in Lehrer and Lehrer (1982) and Egan (1968), are yet another type of opposite, Egan describes reversive opposites in this way:

These comprise adjectives or adverbs which signify a quality or verbs or nouns which signify an act or state that reverse or undo the quality, act, or state of the other. Although they are neither contradictory nor contrary terms, they present a clear opposition. [27]

This class contains many verbs, for example, tie - untie, marry - divorce, enter - leave, appear - disappear. Cruse and Lyons consider the reversive verbs to be a subtype of directional opposites, because they all describe activities which result in an object undergoing a change from one state to another. Thus Cruse says the opposition seen in pairs of reversive verbs is similar to the kind of opposition in pairs of directional prepositions such as to - from. [27]

1.3.3 Converives

Relational opposites is the term given by Cruse [26] also called relative terms according to Egan [27] and conversive terms difined by Lyons [27], include pairs such as above - below, predecessor - successor, parent - child and teacher - student.

Egan describes these as pairs of words which indicate such a relationship that one of them cannot be used without suggesting the other. [27]

Cruse considers this class to also be a subclass of the directional opposites. He says that these pairs "express a relationship between two entities by specifying the direction of one relative to the other along some axis." In examples such as above - below, this axis is spatial, but other examples (e.g. ancestor - descendant) involve "an analogical or metaphorical extension of spatial dimensions". [27]

Lyons points out that many opposites of this type involve social roles (teacher - student, doctor - patient) or kinship relations (father - mother), and these types of reciprocal relations have been well documented in many languages in the anthropological literature. [26]

Conversives (or relational opposites) as F.R. Palmer calls them denote one and the same referent or situation as viewed from different points of view, with a reversal of the order of participants and their roles. The interchangeability and contextual behaviour are specific. The relation is closely connected with grammar, namely with grammatical contrast of active and passive. The substitution of a conversive does not change the meaning of a sentence if it is combined with appropriate regular morphological and syntactical changes and selection of appropriate prepositions, ex. He gave her flowers. She received flowers from him. = She was given flowers by him.[48]

An important point setting them apart is that conversive relations are possible within the semantic structure of one and the same word. M.V. Nikitin mentions such verbs as wear, sell, tire, smell, etc. and such adjectives as glad, sad, dubious, lucky and others. It should be noted that sell in this case is not only the conversive of buy, it means be sold, find buyers. The same contrast of active and passive sense is observed in adjectives: sad saddening and saddened, dubious and doubtful mean feeling doubt and inspiring doubt.[66]

So, semantically antonyms can be classified as gradable antonyms (describing something, which can be measured and compared with something else), complementary antonyms (which are matter of being either one thing or another), and converse antonyms (these antonyms always depend on each other). Morphological classification of antonyms includes two types of antonyms:

Absolute or Root Antonyms (with root polarity), and

Derivational antonyms (which has morphems with polar meanings).

Taking into account the main aims of these investigation, all these points of scientific view should be worked out and analyzed in the next part of the Course Paper.

Lexico-Semantic meaning of words distinguishes three essential types of lexical meaning of words: nominative meaning determined by reality, phraseologically bound meaning of words depending on the peculiarities of their usage in a given language, and syntactically conditioned meanings of words are those which change with the change of the environment.

In the structure of lexical meaning of a word we distinguish two main components: denotative and connotative.

Polysemantic word may have an antonym or several antonyms for each of its meanings. Antonyms are not evenly distributed among the categories of parts of speech.

Antonyms are similar as words belonging to the same part of speech and the same semantic field, having the same grammatical meaning and functions, as well as similar collocations. According to their morphological structure antonyms may be classified into: root antonyms and derivational antonyms (having the same roots but different derivational affixes).

Some linguists tell us about three types of pairs with opposite meaning. So, semantically antonyms can be classified as gradable antonyms (describing something, which can be measured and compared with something else), complementary antonyms (which are matter of being either one thing or another), and converse antonyms (these antonyms always depend on each other).

Part 2. Textual Presentation of Antonyms in Modern English

2.1 Textual Presentation of Antonyms in Modern English

It's time to study examples of antonyms in detail.

Arnold handles a problem of using of antonyms in a literary as means of giving emphasise to some contrast. Antonyms create emotional tension as in the following lines from Romeo and Juliet (Act I, Scene V):

My only love sprang from my only hate

Too early seen unknown, and known too late!

The opposition is obvious: each component of these pairs means the opposite of the other. Some other examples:

1. If you've obeyed all the rules good and bad, and you still come out at the dirty end ... then I say the rules are no good (M. Wilson).

2. He was alive, not dead (Shaw).

3. You will see if you were right or wrong (Cronin)

4. The whole was big, oneself was little (Galsworthy)...

Another important example is the possibility of substitution and identical lexical valency [60]. This possibility of identical contexts is very clearly seen in the following lines:

1. There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly becomes any of us To talk about the rest of us (Hock).

As for the same antonymic pair, they reveal nearly identical spheres of collocation. Examples: the adjective hot in its figurative meaning of angry and excited is chiefly combined with names of unpleasant emotions: anger, resentment, scorn, etc. Its antonym cold occurs with the same words.[26]

The example with Elephant mentioned in the theoretical part, gives us an interesting notice such words as young - old; big - small; good - bad do not refer to independent absolute qualities but to some-implicit norm, they are relative.

The Elephant

When people call this beast to mind,

They marvel more and more

At such a little tail behind,

So large a trunk before.

The tail of an elephant is little only in comparison with his trunk and the rest of his body. For a mouse it would have been quite big. J. Lyons discusses an interesting example of antonyms also dealing with elephants: A small elephant is a large animal. The implicit size-norm for elephants is not the same as that for all animals in general: the elephant which is small in comparison with other elephants may be big in comparison with animals as a class.

Almost every word can have one or more synonyms. Comparatively few have antonyms. This type of opposition is especially characteristic of qualitative adjectives. E. g. in W. Shakespeare's Sonnet LXXVI":

For as the sun is daily new and old, So is my love still telling what is told.

It is also manifest in words derived from qualitative adjectives, e. g. gladly - sadly; gladness - sadness. Irrespective of the part of speech, they are mostly words connected with feelings or state: triumph - disaster; hope - despair. Antonymic pairs, also irrespective of part of speech, concern direction (hither and thither) (L.A. Novikov calls these vectorial antonyms"), and position in space and time (far and near).

Nothing so difficult as a beginning,

In poetry, unless perhaps the end (Byron).

There are also day - night, late - early, over - under. [27]

2.2.1 Root Antonyms in language

As we said in the first part, antonyms and conversives reflect polarity. We'll try to show that using antonyms. We've used [71, 84]

So, all antonyms can be divided into two big groups: root antonyms and derivational. First let us found a group of root antonyms. These are words, roots of which have opposite meanings.

New - old

The new town of Whitney Clay had swallowed up the old village.

New - not existing before; introduced, made, invented, etc. recently or for the first time. Old - having been in existence or use for a long time.

We can see that these pairs of words are pairs of antonyms, whereas the particle not is an element of formation of antonyms. We can find it using chain of meanings if the words. Distant - near

It may be near, it may be distant; while the road lasts nothing turns me.

The meanings of these words enclose opposite semes, such as distant - near= far away - short, therefore they are antonyms. Our next examples illustrate pair of words, which are antonymous pairs: Guilty - innocent

So the law assumed there must be one guilty party, and one innocent party who has been wronged by desertion of the matrimonial bed.

Loathe - love

If a man and woman sinned, let them go for into the desert to love or loathe each other there. Giant - pigmy

So you think your friend in the city will be hard upon me, if i fail a payment? - says the trooper, looking down upon him like a giant. My dear friend, I am afraid he will, - returns the old man looking up at him like a pigmy.[84]

2.1.2 Derivational antonyms in language

The second group of antonyms (derivations) can be made with: un -, in -; (il -; im -; ir -;); dis -, and -less. Some examples of derivationals:

Approve - disapprove

Who am I to approve or disapprove?

Tied - untied

People get tied up, and sometimes they stay tied - because they want to stay or because they haven't the will power to break or others become untied and make a new start.

Engage - disengage

How soon will you be disengaged? I didn't say you i was engaged.

Just - unjust

The A.F. of L. port leaders, as loyal servitors of capitalism, unquestionable support all wars, just or unjust, declared by the capitalist class and its government.

Audible - inaudible

Little audible links, they are chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.

Concerned - unconcerned

It concerned her in some way, but she herself was unconcerned, and she slid without effort into the position of mistress of the farm.[71] So, it's easy to find these examples in Modern English. Their meanings are quite clever and understandable.

2.2 Differences of meaning of antonyms

However, the meanings can sometimes be different. Let us to analyze the verb agree. This verb has five meanings, but only three of them have antonyms.

Agree - v. 1.to say yes, ex: I asked for a pay rise and she agreed. - refuse; 2.to have a similar opinion to somebody, ex: I agree with his analysis of the situation. - disagree; 3.to be consisted with something; to match, ex: You account of the affair doesn't agree with hers. - disagree. [83]

Some more examples:

Order - n. The word has fourteen meanings, but only two of them have antonyms:

1.the state that exists when people obey the laws, rules or authority, ex: The police are trying to restore public order. - disorder;

2.the state of being carefully and neatly arranged, ex: Get your ideas into some kind of order before beginning to write. - disorder.[83]

Black - adj. The word has nine meanings, but only three of them have antonyms:

1.of the very darkest colour, ex: A big black cloud appeared. - white.

2.without milk, ex: Two black coffees, please. - white. 3.of a race that has dark skin, ex: Many black people emigrated to Britain it the 1950s. - white.[83]

Active - adj. The word has six meanings, but only two of them have antonyms: 1.doing things; lively, ex: She takes an active part in local politics.; -inactive.;

2.of the form of a verb whose subject is the person or thing that performs the action (grammar), as in He was driving the car and the children have eaten the cake. - passive.[83]

Down - adv. The word has nine meanings, but only four of them have antonyms:

1.from the upright position to a lower level, ex: He bent down to pick up his gloves.- up.;

2.indicating a lower place or state, ex: The bread is on the third shelf down. - up.;

3.to be read from top to bottom, not from side to side, ex: I can't do 3 down. - across.;

4.away from a university (Brit), ex: going down at the end of the year. - up.[83]

For - prep. The word has seventeen meanings, but only one of them have antonyms:

1. in defence or support of somebody/something, ex: I'm all for pubs staying open all day. - against.[83]

2.3 Using antonyms pair in proverbs and sayings

The main field of use pairs of antonyms is proverbs and sayings. Proverbs are phenomenon of thout, language, art. The main sense of proverbs and sayings is not the information given but artistic pattern, meaning content. Some examples:

The time passes away but sayings remain.

After a storm comes fair weather, after sorrow comes joy.

An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening.

There'd be no good fortune if misfortune hadn't helped.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Breaking is not making.

Knowledge is light, ignorance is darkness.

You started speaking with delight and finished with a sorry sight!

Native dogs are fighting here, foreign ones should not interfere.

Greet him according to the clothes, take leave according to what he knows.[59]

Thus, based on the examples given above , we can say that antonyms are resource of a category opposition.

We have found a confirmation that antonyms can be expressed:

as words with different roots;

as words, which are formed with negative prefixes.

Almost every word can have one or more synonyms. Comparatively few have antonyms. The main field of use pairs of antonyms is proverbs and sayings. The main sense of proverbs and sayings is not the information given but artistic pattern, meaning content. We have found a confirmation that antonyms can be expressed: as words with different roots and as words, which are formed with negative prefixes.

The main criterion of antonyms is steady using their pairs in contexts. Antonym pairs thread Modern English. However, antonyms imply polarity of one of the semantic components of the words showing us the same main point. But understanding antonyms as polarity of the several semantic components of the words showing two polarity main points is possible.

Conclusions

In most cases the grammatical features of a word reveals itself in a context.

There are three essential types of lexical meaning of words:

Nominative meaning determined by reality.

Phraseologically bound meaning of words depending on the peculiarities of their usage in a given language.

Syntactically conditioned meanings of words are those which change with the change of the environment.

In the structure of lexical meaning of a word we distinguish two main components: denotative and connotative.

We can base on the definition antonyms as two or more words belonging to the same pat of speech, contradictory or contrary in meaning, and interchangeable at least at some contexts. However, polysemantic word may have an antonym or several antonyms for each of its meanings.

According to their morphological structure antonyms may be classified into:

root antonyms (having different roots);

derivational antonyms (having the same roots but different derivational affixes).

There is the describing of different types of oppositeness, and subdivides them into three types: complementary, antonyms, and converseness.

Complementaries (like other antonyms) are regularly contrasted in speech and the elements of a complementary pair have similar distribution. Conversives (or relational opposites) denote one and the same referent or situation as viewed from different points of view, with a reversal of the order of participants and their roles.

Morphological classification of antonyms includes two types of antonyms: absolute or root antonyms (with root polarity), and derivational antonyms (which has morphems with polar meanings).

As for the same antonymic pair, they reveal nearly identical spheres of collocation. Almost every word can have one or more synonyms. Comparatively few have antonyms. Antonymic pairs, also irrespective of part of speech, concern direction and position in space and time.

The main sense of proverbs and sayings is not the information given but artistic pattern, meaning content. We have found a confirmation that antonyms can be expressed: as words with different roots and as words, which are formed with negative prefixes.

The main criterion of antonyms is steady using their pairs in contexts. Antonym pairs thread Modern English. However, antonyms imply polarity of one of the semantic components of the words showing us the same main point. But understanding antonyms as polarity of the several semantic components of the words showing two polarity main points is possible.

Resume

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Bibliography

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List of Illustrative Materials

Semantic contrasts. Antonyms & conversives. I

Antonyms - words of opposite meaning.

In an antonym pair only one member is marked (the use of marked member is more restricted) Ex.:

big - small

We may ask:

how big is it?

Not: how small is it?

May: this bed is too big for my room

Not: this bed is sufficiently small for my room

Small is marked.

Nikitin: Antonymy is based on the opposition of features ().

It is a kind of a way of word structuring.

Three conditions for two features to be opposite:

1. (incompatible in things)Ex.:

- (underage - unmarried) ? they are not antonyms

2. (similar, homogeneous features)Ex.:

- (red - green) ? not antonyms

- < = antonyms => -

3. 2 (2 features must cover associative area) Ex.:

= - antonyms ? - not antonyms (alive - half dead - dead)

- - - - (cold - chilly - cool - warm - hot)

. (Associative area must be regulated and put in order) - .(Opposite features-symmetrical to each other)

Nikitin:

- qualitative & quantitative ( - )

- , - ; apprehensive - brave, light - heavy

Quantitative antonyms

=> ( ) feature increase

Qualitative antonyms

<=> ( ) no feature increase

- one-root & different roots (according to their morphological structure)

- -

- logical classification

contrary - contradictory

There is a middle term between them/There is no middle term between them

- - -

- Intentional & extensional Intentional Extensional - ; - -

.. , , , . .

Semantic contrasts. Antonyms & conversives. II Ex.: mother


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