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HOMONYMY. I.Answer the following questions.
I. Answer the following questions.
1) What are homonyms? Why is English so rich in homonyms?
2) A. What are the main sources of homonymy?
Illustrate your answer with examples.
B. Could you explain the origin of these homonyms?
night – knight,
a football fan – an electric fan,
need – knead,
food ads – to add,
compound " an enclosure" – compound " a mixture of elements",
cage – to cage.
II. How are homonyms classified?
1) Find homonyms proper for the following words:
band " a company of musicians",
to bore " make a long round hole, esp. with a pointed tool which is turned round",
to hail " greet, salute",
draw " something that attracts attention",
fall " act of falling".
2) Find homophones for the following words, explain their meanings:
weather, dye, peace, sight, steel, hare, coarse.
3) Find homographs of the following words and define their meanings, transcribe both homonyms:
wind " air in motion",
to bow " to bend the head or body",
to tear " pull apart by force",
to desert " go away from a person or place",
row " a number of persons or things in a line".
4) Classify the following homonyms:
A. We eat what we can; what we can't we can;
B. A mean person – to mean business;
C. To bark a tree – to bark loudly at a stranger;
D. To write letters – to turn to the right – a solemn rite – political rights.
III. Can you explain these jokes?
1) Which bank has no money? – The bank of the river.
2) Which is the strongest day of the week? – Sunday, because all the others are week-days.
IV. 1) What is the essential difference between homonymy and polysemy? What do
they have in common?
2) What criteria are used to distinguish between polysemy and homonymy? Are they reliable? Why or why not?
3) Do we deal here with polysemy or homonymy? How many words (one, two or three) do we have below? Explain your answer.
custom ¹ " something done becaus it is traditional";
custom ² " (fml) the practice of regularly using a particular shop or business";
custom ³ " (pl) the place where luggage is checked for illegal drugs, guns, etc. when you enter a country".
4) The noun custom has only one entry in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English and three entries in the Cambridge International Dictionary of English. How would you explain it?
V. Polysemy or homonymy?
1) They live in a third-floor flat.
The countryside here is terribly flat and boring.
To join the Fitness Club you pay a flat fee of £ 500.
He erected the tent in 5 minutes flat.
2) He struck a match and looked around the cave.
The teenage cooks in the competition were a match for any of the adults.
Their marriage has been called a match made in heaven.
3) It's only fair that we should share the housework.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is an important event for most publishers.
They marched on through fair weather or foul.
His marks in the final exams were fair to disappointing.
I've got fair eyelashes that look awful without mascara.
4) The capital of the country is Vienna.
I need a lot of capital to set up a private practice.
5) There are 26 letters in the alphabet.
He writes her letters every week-end.
6) The MS dates back to the 16th century.
Jane has been dating Peter for a year now.
They've got a date next Sunday.
It's a date palm, isn't it?
They agreed to discuss the contract at a later date.
The document was dated June 16, 2003.