Synonymic Traps in Selected English Lexical Semantics Terms

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The paper zooms in on terminological and conceptual scrutiny of selected eight English lexical semantics terms with the aim of pointing out their terminological synonymy, which is often misrecognized by English linguistics undergraduates. Does a ‘loose synonym’ denote in lexical semantics the same thing as a ‘partial synonym’ or ‘cognitive synonym’? Is the cognitive content of the term ‘false friend’ identical with that of a ‘pseudosynonym’ or ‘paronym’? What aspects of the semantic continuum are shared and non-shared by the selected terms? These questions are at the core of this contribution which can serve didactic purposes of English linguistics teaching. The desk research findings are part of semantic and lexicographic studies and aspire to forewarn English linguistics undergraduates of conceptual misinterpretations in common lexical semantics terms. The paper operates from the perspective of cultural linguistics across the Anglophone semantic continuum. It is based on a tailored Sharifian’s premise [2015] that the metalanguage of English lexical semantics is a repository of cultural conceptualizations that leave traces in its current terminological practice. The study suggests that some English lexical semantics terms offer a considerable space for their synonymic treatment, however, to the detriment of their correct conceptual decoding. The credit of the paper lies in raising undergraduates’ awareness of metalinguistic terminology but also in increasing their conceptual fluency in the selected terms.

About the authors

K. Bednárová-Gibová

University of Prešov

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Associate Professor of Translation Studies, Institute of British and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov, Slovakia

1, ul. 17 Novembra, Prešov, Slovak Republic, 080 01


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Copyright (c) 2019 Bednárová-Gibová K.

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