Thursday, 13 May 2010



Hyponymy is a relation between two words in which the meaning of one of the words includes the meaning of the other word. The lexical relation corresponding to the inclusion of one class in another is hyponymy.

A hyponym is a subordinate, specific term whose referent is included in the referent of super ordinate term.

E.g. Blue, Green are kinds of color. They are specific colors and color is a general term for them.

Therefore, color is called the super ordinate term, and blue, red, green, yellow, etc are called hyponyms.

A super ordinate can have many hyponyms. Hyponymy is the relationship between each lower term and the higher term (super ordinate). It is a sense relation. It is defined in terms of the inclusion of the sense of one item in the sense of another. E.g. The sense of animal is included in the sense of lion.

Hyponymy is not restricted to objects, abstract concepts, or nouns. It can be identified in many other areas of the lexicon.

E.g. the verb cook has many hyponyms.
Word: Cook
Hyponyms: Roast, boil, fry, grill, bake, etc.

Word: color
Hyponyms: blue, red, yellow, green, black and purple.

In a lexical field, hyponymy may exist at more than one level. A word may have both a hyponym and a super ordinate term.

For example,
Word: Living
Hyponym: bird, insects, animals

Now let’s take the word bird from above hyponyms.
Word: Bird
Hyponyms: sparrow, hawk, crow, fowl

We thus have sparrow, hawk, crow, fowl as hyponyms of bird and bird in turn is a hyponym of living beings. So there is a hierarchy of terms related to each other through hyponymic relations.

Hyponymy involves the logical relationship of entailment. E.g.
‘There is a horse’ entails that ‘There is an animal.’

Hyponymy often functions in discourse as a means of lexical cohesion by establishing referential equivalence to avoid repetition.


The word Homonym has been derived from Greek term 'Homoios' which means identical and 'onoma' means name.

Homonyms are the words that have same phonetic form (homophones) or orthographic form (homographs) but different unrelated meanings.

The ambiguous word whose different senses are far apart from each other and are not obviously related to each other in any way is called as Homonymy. Words like tale and tail are homonyms. There is no conceptual connection between its two meanings.

For example the word ‘bear’, as a verb means ‘to carry’ and as a noun it means ‘large animal’.

An example of homonym which is both homophone and homograph is the word ‘fluke’. Fluke is a fish as well as a flatworm. Other examples are bank, an anchor, and so on.

No comments:

Post a Comment