1. General characteristics of Antonymy

Antonymy is exemplified by such pairs as long-short, fast –slow, easy-difficult, good-bad, hot-cold.
Antonyms have the following characteristics:
(1) They are fully gradable (most are adjectives, a few are verbs).
(2) Members of a pair denote degrees of some variable property such as length, speed, weight, accuracy, etc.

(3) When intensified the members of a pair move, as it were, in opposite directions along the scale representing degrees of the relevant variable property. Thus, very heavy and very light, e.g., are more widely separated on the scale of weight than fairly heavy and fairly light.
(4) The terms of a pair do not strictly bisect a domain: there is a range of values of the variable property, lying between those covered by the opposed terms, which cannot be properly referred to by either term. As a result, a statement containing one member of an antonym pair stands in a relation of contrariety with the parallel statement containing the other term. Thus It’s long and It’s short are contrary, not contradictory statements. Furthermore, It’s neither long nor short is not paradoxical, since there is a region on the scale of length which exactly fits this description. The range of values that is not referred to by either term is called the pivotal region.
To picture how a typical pair of antonyms work, we need to refer to two scales – an absolute scale, which covers all possible values of the scaled property from zero to infinity and a relative scale which is movable relative to the absolute scale and whose values are directly relatable to the terms of the antonymous pair.
a long/short river; long/short eyelashes; a hot oven/hot star
Antonyms even when not explicitly comparative in form, they are always interpreted comparatively.
A tall man entered the room – to be interpreted taller than the average adult male human

2. Types of antonyms (Cruse, Arnold)

Antonyms fall into three classes according to the following criteria:
How they form How questions;
According to their evaluative meaning;
How they form their comparative degree
(1) Polar antonyms: long-short, fast-slow, heavy-light;
(2) Overlapping: good-bad, pretty-plain, polite-rude, kind-cruel, clean-dirty, safe-dangerous, honest-dishonest;
(3) Equipollent: there are not many of them – beautiful- ugly, pleasant-unpleasant, hot-cold, happy-sad;
How they form How questions
Polar antonyms – only one member of a pair forms a normal ‘how question’ and that question is impartial. We ask How long is it? But not How short is it?
Overlapping antonyms – both terms of a pair yield a normal ‘how question’. How good is it? How bad is it? One member forms an impartial ‘how question’ and the other – a committed one. How bad is it? is a committed question.
Equipollent antonyms – both members form a normal ‘how question’ and both questions are committed: How pleasant is it? How unpleasant is it?
How they differ in their evaluative meaning
Polar antonyms – they are evaluative neutral and objectively descriptive. In the majority of cases the underlying scaled property whose values they denote can be measured in conventional units such as grams or miles per hour.
Overlapping antonyms – all have an evaluative polarity as part of their meaning: one term is commendatory (good, pretty, polite, kind, clean, safe, honest) and the other is deprecatory (bad, plain, rude, cruel, dirty, honest).
Equipollent antonyms – they refer to distinctly subjective sensation or emotions
How they differ in forming their comparative degree
Polar antonyms – both members form a pseudo comparative – heavy-light.
Overlapping antonyms – one member form a pseudo comparative, the other member a true comparative, e.g., clever and dull; cleverer – a pseudo comparative of clever; duller - a true comparative of dull.

Equipollent antonyms – both members form a true comparative: hotter, colder.
A second classification of antonyms
Antonyms may be defined as 2 or rarely more words of the same language belonging to the same part of speech identical in style and nearly identical in distribution associated and used together so that their denotative meanings render contrary or contradictory notions.

Antonyms proper – the semantic polarity is relative, the opposition is gradual.
love – attachment – liking – indifference – antipathy -  hate

Complementaries – the opposition is binary, the denial of one member of the opposition implies the assertion of the other. E.g., not male implies female
It’s not bad implies It’s good
Litotes – understatement used ironically, esp. using a negative to express the contrary, e.g. ‘I shan’t be sorry when it’s over’ meaning I shall be glad.

Coversivesbuy-sell, give-receive, cause-suffer. Conversives denote one and the same referent as viewed from different points of view that of the subject and that of the object. Their interchangeability and contextual behaviour are specific. The substitution of a converse doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence if it is combined with appropriate morphological and syntactic changes and selection of appropriate propositions.
He gave her flowers – She received flowers from him.

Derivational antonyms
Dis- disappear, dislike, disease, dishonest, discover, disgrace, discourage, discontinuous, disinherit, dismount, disqualify, dissatisfy, disagree;
In- innsincere, inapplicable, inaudible, incapable, incoherent, inconvenient, indecent, inconceivable, incomprehensible, inconsistent, inconsiderable, inability, inaccurate, inadequate, inapplicable, inarticulate, intransitive;
Un- unclear, unhappy, uncover, unhook, unlikely, unheard, unravel, unwind, undo, unofficial, unlawful, unpleasant, untidy, unusual;
Ir- irrational, irrecoverable, irregular, irresistible, irreligious;
Im- immortal, immovable, immeasurable, immoral, impartial, impermanent, improper, impure, impossible

Il- illegal, illegitimate, illogical.

Няма коментари:

Публикуване на коментар