Update: 2009-12-22 02:19 AM +0800


TIL Grammar Glossary


Compiled by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net ), from various sources. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale.

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Grammar Glossary - H

• head • helping verb (auxiliary verb) • homograph • homonym • homophone • HTML (hypertext markup language) • hyperbole • hypertext • hyponym • hypothetical question

UKT Notes
• homonym and related terms

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From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_(linguistics) 080622

In linguistics, the head is the word that determines the syntactic type of the phrase of which it is a member, or analogously the stem that determines the semantic category of a compound of which it is a component.

For example, in the big red dog, the word dog is the head, as it determines that the phrase is a noun phrase. The adjectives big and red modify this head noun. That is, the phrase big red dog is a noun like dog, not an adjective like big or red. Likewise, in the compound noun birdsong, the stem song is the head, as it determines the basic meaning of the compound, while the stem bird modifies this meaning. (That is, a birdsong is a kind of song, not a kind of bird. If bird were the head, the order would be different: a songbird is a kind of bird.)

Head directionality and head mark
Some language typologists attempt to classify language syntax according to a head directionality parameter in word order, that is, whether a phrase is head initial or head final, assuming that it has a fixed word order at all. It is also common to classify language morphology according to whether a phrase is head marking or dependent marking.

However, these simple dichotomies run into problems when they are extended, as they often are, to describe the entire language rather than specific areas of its grammar. For one, many languages are not consistently either head initial or final, or head or dependent marking, across different aspects of their grammar; and secondly, it is difficult find a definition of 'head' that is consistent across these different aspects. For instance, either the subject or the verb may be considered the 'head' of the clause in different theoretical treatments, resulting in alleged descriptions of languages as 'head initial' or 'head marking' that are theoretical claims rather than actual descriptions.

Prosodic head
In a prosodic unit, the head is that part which extends from the first stressed syllable up to (but not including) the tonic syllable. The high head is the stressed syllable which begins the head and is high in pitch, usually higher than the beginning pitch of the tone on the tonic syllable. For example:

The ˈbus was late.

The low head is the syllable which begins the head and is low in pitch, usually lower than the beginning pitch of the tone on the tonic syllable.

The ˌbus was late.

Wikipedia refereces
• Corbett, G. G., N. M. Fraser, and S. McGlashan (eds). 1993. Heads in Grammatical Theory. Cambridge University Press.
• Hudson, R. A. 1987. "Zwicky on heads". Journal of Linguistics 23, pp. 109–132.
• Zwicky, A. M. 1993. "Heads, bases and functors". In G. G. Corbett, et al (eds) 1993, pp. 292–315.
• Zwicky, A. M. 1985. "Heads". Journal of Linguistics 21, pp. 1–29.

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helping verb (auxiliary verb) 

See • auxiliary verb • linking verb (copula)

From LBH 
A verb used with another verb to convey time, obligation, and other meanings:

You should write a letter. You have written other letters.

The modals include:
[e.g.] • can , could / may , might  • must , ought  • shall , should  • will , would.

The other helping verbs are:
 • forms of be • have  • do  

(See pp. 303, 308–12.)

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From UseE
Homographs are words that are written the same way but have different meanings and often different pronunciations:
     'Wind' can mean the movement of air when talking about the weather. It can also mean to follow a course or way that is not straight; the road winds through the mountains. These are different words with different pronunciations although they are written the same way.

UKT: For pronunciations, use phonetic dictionaries like DJPD16:
     <wind> (n.) air blowing -- /wɪnd/
     <wind> (v.) go round -- /waɪnd/
Since pronunciations can vary from country to country, it is best not to mention the pronunciation. I would prefer to define "Homographs that are written the same way."

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See • antonym • synonym
See also note on Homonym and related terms in my notes.

From LBH
Words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings, such as:

heard / herd
to / too / two  

(See pp. 604–05 for a list.)

From UseE
A Homonym is a word that is written and pronounced the same way as another, but which has a different meaning.
     'Lie' can be a verb meaning to tell something that is not true or to be in a horizontal position. They look and sound the same, but are different verbs as can be seen from their forms:
     lie / lied / lied -- to tell something untrue
     lie / lay / lain -- to be in a horizontal position

Always check the pronunciations with pronouncing dictionaries such as DJPD16: 

<heard> (from <hear>) (Brit) /hɜːd/ (US) /hɝːd/ -- 248
<herd> (Brit) /hɜːd/ (US) /hɝːd/ -- 250

<to> (adv.) /tuː/ (this form of <to> is found in expressions such as <to and fro>. -- 539
<too> /tuː/  -- 541
<two> /tuː/ -- 553

<lie> (n. v.) (<falsehood>) /laɪ/ -- 315
<lie> (v.) (<recline>) /laɪ/ -- 315

homonym n. 1. One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning. 2. a. A word that is used to designate several different things. b. A namesake.

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From UseE
Homophones are words that are spelt differently but sound the same.
     rain / rein / reign
     to /  two /  too

For pronunciation, see phonetic dictionaries such as DJPD16.
     <rain> /reɪn/ -- 443
     <rein> /reɪn/ -- 451
     <reign> (n. v.) /reɪn/ -- 451

homophone n. 1. One of two or more words, such as nightand knight, that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning, origin, and sometimes spelling.

For pronunciation, see phonetic dictionaries such as DJPD16.

<night> /naɪt/ -- 366
<knight> /naɪt/ -- 302


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HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

From LBH
A computer language used for creating Web pages. An HTML editor is a program for coding documents in HTML. (See pp. 235–42.)

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See • figurative language .

From UseE 
Hyperbole is overstatement or exaggerated language that distorts facts by making them much bigger than they are if looked at objectively. The media use it a lot to make stories seem more important or interesting than they really are (an apparently unfair boxing decision was described as the 'crime of the century' by one newspaper which seems excessive when compared to murder). It may be used to entertain or more seriously.

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From LBH
Text such as that on the Web that provides links allowing users to move easily and variously within and among documents. Contrast linear text. (See pp. 224–26.)

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From UseE
A hyponym is a word that represents different categories covered by a superordinate:
     Superordinate: -- Animal
     Hyponym:        -- cat, horse, etc

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hypothetical question

From UseE
A HYPOTHETICAL question is one asked out of interest, as the answer will have no effect on the situation.

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UKT notes

Homonym and related terms

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym 080608

In linguistics, a homonym is one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Some sources only require that homonyms share the same spelling or pronunciation (in addition to having different meanings), but these are the definitions most other sources give for homographs and homophones respectively. The state of being a homonym is called homonymy. Examples of homonyms are stalk (which can mean either part of a plant or to follow someone around), bear (animal) and bear (carry), left (opposite of right) and left (past tense of leave). Some sources also consider the following trio of words to be homonyms, but others designate them as "only" homophones: to, too and two (actually, to, to, too, too and two, being "for the purpose of" as in "to make it easier", the opposite of "from", also, excessively, and "2", respectively). Some sources state that homonym meanings must be unrelated in origin (rather than just different). Thus right (correct) and right (opposed to left) would be polysemous (see below) and not be homonyms.

There is similar confusion about the definition of some of the related terms described below. This article explains what appear to be the "standard" meanings, and variant definitions are then summarised under "Terminological confusion".

The word "homonym" comes from the conjunction of the Greek prefix homo- (meaning same) and suffix -onym (meaning name). Thus, it refers to two or more distinct words sharing the "same name".

UKT: The word "name" or {naam} in Pali-Myanmar is more than a "name". It is essentially the "spirit" as opposed to the "corporal body" in the duality {naamarupa.} (body and soul). If we can relate the Greek to Pali, -onym can mean the "meaning" of the word. It is a point for my peers to consider. And, if they would concur with me, the word "homonym" should be considered to stand for a word with the same meaning.

Related terms
Several similar linguistic concepts are related to homonymy. The term 'homonym' is ambiguous because there are a number of ways that two meanings can share the 'same name' and because the term is used in different ways by educated speakers, and these variant meanings are recorded by dictionaries. The terms homograph and homophone are however usually defined the same way as meaning "same spelling" and "same sound" respectively, and heteronym and homonym can be seen as respective subclasses of these.

• Homographs are words that share the same spelling. Homographs may be pronounced the same, in which case they are also homophones – for example, bark (the sound of a dog) and bark (the skin of a tree). Alternatively they may be pronounced differently, in which case they are also heteronyms – for example, row (argument) and row (propel with oars). ("Homograph" also has a specialised meaning in typography, where it may be used as a synonym for homoglyph.)

• Homophones are words that share the same pronunciation. Homophones may be spelled the same (in which case they are also homographs) or spelled differently (in which case they are heterographs). Homographic examples include tire (to become weary) and tire (on the wheel of a car). Heterographic examples include to, too, two, and there, their, they’re.

• Heteronyms can be seen as the subclass of homographs (words that share the same spelling) that have different pronunciations. That is, they are homographs which are not homophones. This means words that are spelled the same but with different pronunciations (and meanings). Such words include desert (to abandon) and desert (arid region). Heteronyms are also sometimes called heterophones. ("Heteronym" also has a specialized meaning in poetry; see Heteronym (literature).)

• Homonyms can be seen as the subclass of homophones that are spelled the same, which is logically the same as the subclass of homographs that are pronounced the same. This means words that are spelled and pronounced the same (but have different meanings).

• Polysemes are words with the same spelling and distinct but related meanings. The distinction between polysemy and homonymy is often subtle and subjective, and not all sources consider polysemous words to be homonyms. Words such as "mouth", meaning either the orifice on one's face, or the opening of a cave or river, are polysemous and may or may not be considered homonyms.

• 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).

In derivation, homograph means "same writing", homophone means "same sound", heteronym (somewhat confusingly) means "different name", and heterophone means "different sound".


Terminological confusion
There is considerable confusion and contradiction in published sources about the distinction between homonyms, homographs, homophones and heteronyms. Significant variant interpretations include:

• Chambers 21st Century Dictionary (Wiki-fn01) defines a homonym as "a word with the same sound and spelling as another, but with a different meaning" (italics added). Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (Wiki-fn02) also defines a homonym as "a word that is spelt the same and sounds the same as another, but is different in meaning or origin." Random House Unabridged Dictionary (Wiki-fn03) explains in greatest detail that homonym is the technically correct term for words that are simultaneously homographs and homophones but that it is used in the sense of only homograph or only homophone in nontechnical contexts. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (Wiki-fn04) also says that a homonym is "one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning" (italics added), but appears to also give homonym as a synonym for either homophone or homograph. Cambridge Dictionary of American English (Wiki-fn05) defines homonym as "a word that is spelled the same as another word but that does not have the same meaning" and adds "A homonym is also a homophone".

• The entry for homograph in The Encyclopaedia Britannica (14th Edition) states that homographs are "words spelt but not sounded alike", and homophones are "words alike only in sound (i.e. not alike in spelling)" (italics and comment added).

• Homographs are defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as words that are spelled and pronounced the same as another but with a different meaning (which is the definition of a homonym in most other sources), thus excluding pairs such as desert (abandon) and desert (arid region), which are considered homographs by most other sources.

• The Encarta dictionary (Wiki-fn06) defines heteronym as "each of two or more words that are spelled the same, but differ in meaning and often in pronunciation" (italics added). The "Fun with Words" website (Wiki-fn07) similarly says that a heteronym is "One of two (or more) words that have the same spelling, but different meaning, and sometimes different pronunciation too".

Further examples
A further example of a homonym which is both a homophone and a homograph is fluke. Fluke can mean:

• A fish, and a flatworm.
• The end parts of an anchor.
• The fins on a whale's tail.
• A stroke of luck.

All four are separate lexemes with separate etymologies, but share the one form, fluke.* (Wiki-fn08)

Similarly, a river bank, a savings bank, a bank of switches, and a bank shot in pool share only a common spelling and pronunciation, but not meaning.

The words bow and bough are interesting because there are two meanings associated with a single pronunciation and spelling (the weapon and the knot); there are two meanings with two different pronunciations (the knot and the act of bending at the waist), and there are two distinct meanings sharing the same sound but different spellings: (bow, the act of bending at the waist, and bough, the branch of a tree). In addition, it has several related but distinct meanings - a bent line is sometimes called a 'bowed' line, reflecting its similarity to the weapon. Thus, even according to the most restrictive definitions, various pairs of sounds and meanings of bow and bough are homonyms, homographs, homophones, heterophones, heterographs, and are polysemous.

• bow - To bend forward at the waist in respect (e.g. "bow down")
• bow - the front of the ship (e.g. "bow and stern")
• bow - the weapon which fires arrows (e.g. "bow and arrow")
• bow - a kind of tied ribbon (e.g. bow on a present, a bowtie)
• bow - to bend outward at the sides (e.g. a "bow-legged" cowboy)
• bough - a branch on a tree. (e.g. "when the bough breaks...")
• bō - a long staff, usually made of tapered hard wood or bamboo
• beau--a male paramour

Hononymy in historical linguistics
Homonymy can lead to communicative conflicts and thus trigger lexical ( onomasiological) change (Wiki-fn09). This is known as homonymic conflict.

Wikipedia references
Wiki-fn01. Chambers Reference Online - Homonym. Retrieved 080114 . Wiki-fn01b
Wiki-fn02. Longman dictionary of contemporary English. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn02b
Wiki-fn03. Dictionary.com - Homonym. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn03b
Wiki-fn04. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn04b
Wiki-fn05. Cambridge Dictionary of American English. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn05b
Wiki-fn06. Encarta. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn06b
Wiki-fn07. Fun with Words. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn07b
Wiki-fn08. The Online Etymological Dictionary. Retrieved 080114. Wiki-fn08b
Wiki-fn09. On this phenomenon see Williams, Edna R. (1944), The Conflict of Homonyms in English, [Yale Studies in English 100], New Haven: Yale University Press, Grzega, Joachim (2004), Bezeichnungswandel: Wie, Warum, Wozu? Ein Beitrag zur englischen und allgemeinen Onomasiologie, Heidelberg: Winter, p. 216ff., and Grzega, Joachim (2001d), “άber Homonymenkonflikt als Auslφser von Wortuntergang”, in: Grzega, Joachim (2001c), Sprachwissenschaft ohne Fachchinesisch: 7 aktuelle Studien fόr alle Sprachinteressierten, Aachen: Shaker, p. 81-98. Wiki-fn09b

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