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A hyponym is a word or phrase whose semantic field is included within that of another word.

A meronym denotes a constituent part of, or a member of something

It can be said that "parents" is not just a plural form of "parent", it is lexicalized, since expresses such as "two parents", "some parents" are not normally used, and "parents" refers always to the mother and the father of someone.

The question becomes thus: Is "parent" a type of or a part of "parents"?

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    "It can be said that "parents" is not just a plural form of "parent", it is lexicalized, since expresses such as "two parents", "some parents" are not normally used, and "parents" refers always to the mother and the father of someone." Can you give some examples of this? I don't really understand what you're trying to say. Usually people will say "my parents" or "her parents". When people say "parents" without a possessor it's often in the context of something like a school, where it refers to all the parents, not just a strict two parents. – curiousdannii Aug 26 at 1:47
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None of them, nor meronym nor hyperonym. Because they are the same word, they share the same meaning.

Signified of parent is : idea of parent + idea of singular (zero form)

Signified of parents is : idea of parent + idea of plural

So, this kind of classification cannot be applied to things that denominate the same thing. That goes also for plurals realised by suppletion.

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    Now I understand. I draw analogy to cats: Cats can be categorized in boy cats and girl cats, as well as parents can be categorized in fathers and mothers. Nothing is about meronymy or hyponymy hence. The only reason I thought "parents" was lexicalized is that the express "your parents" usually refers to the combination of a father and a mother by which father/mother becomes a part of or a type of "parents", which is a bi-product of the humanity, the social structure. As for "some parents", it can be 100 parents totally consisted of women, or 80 men, 20 women osv. – wodemingzi Aug 28 at 19:05
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I would say a meronym.

The rule of thumb for a hyponym is, "is every X a Y? is not every Y an X?" For example, every cat is an animal, but not every animal is a cat, so cat is a hyponym of animal.

In this case, is every parent a parents? Is not every parents a parent? The answer, if we overlook the strange syntax, would have to be no. So it's probably not a hyponym.

(Depending on the semantic theory you're using, it's usually a bit more complicated than this. But this rule of thumb works reasonably well in most of the theories I'm aware of, so it's still valuable.)

On the other hand, every "parents" includes at least one "parent". A "parent" is a part of every "parents" (again overlooking the weird syntax). So it is, according to the rule of thumb, a meronym.

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    Are you a strong lexicalist? (That would surprise me, as I didn't think there were many). Because wouldn't only a strong lexicalist consider these separate lexemes, so only they would say it's possible to categorise a lexical relationship between them? – curiousdannii Aug 26 at 1:39
  • @curiousdannii I'm not, but the questioner seems to be working within such a framework. – Draconis Aug 26 at 1:42
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    OP doesn't make much sense to me :/ – curiousdannii Aug 26 at 1:45
  • @curiousdannii True! But the right answer within their chosen theory seems clear, so it seemed worth posting it. – Draconis Aug 26 at 3:00

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