What exactly is a semantic loan, how can a word borrow a meaning it already has?

I am trying to figure out whether there are any limitations (can we choose any morphemes) on the recipient word and the meaning it already has (whether a word can borrow a meaning it already has).

An example is the Greek word αντίληψηenter image description here

A complex process through which humans acquire knowledge about reality, either directly through the senses or indirectly through the intervention of reason.

Lidel Scott Jones says the word already meant that since classical times. Grasping with the mind, apprehension, perception, comprehension, Epicur.Fr.250, Stoic.2.206, Diog.Oen.4; φυσικὴν ἀντίληψιν ποιεῖσθαί τινος D.S.3.15; οὐκ ἐπιστρέφει τὴν ἀντίληψιν does not attract the attention, [Longin.] Rh.p.190H.; of sensuous perception, Stoic.2.230, Ti.Locr. 100b, Anon.in Tht.59.48, Phld.Herc.1003, Alex Aphr.in Top.91.5; ποιοτήτων Plu.2.625b, cf. Metrod.1.

enter image description here

I am thinking that per (thoroughly) should be translated as παρa (or at least κατα) and capio should be translated as κτω. Usucapio χρηστικτησία. There is the issue of the voice too. Capio is active Capior is passive

Παρακτώ or Κατακτώ (which actually is an existing word meaning Conquer, Seize).

  • I’m not sure I get quite what you’re asking here. A semantic loan is when the meaning of an existing word is extended to include an additional meaning an equivalent word in another language has. As I understand it, αντίληψη ‘perception’ already meant ‘how something is understood’, but was extended to include the broader sense ‘ability to perceive through the senses’ (and some other senses) based on French use. [As an aside, why should capio ‘grasp, seize, get’ be translated with κτάομαι ‘get, obtain’, rather than λαμβάνω ‘grasp, seize, take’?] Commented Mar 29 at 13:24
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I don't understand the difference between the supposed 2 meanings (The Classical one and the Borrowed one). They seem to be the same to me. One is just a more comprehensive definition of the same meaning (as I understand it). As I understand it is λαμβάνω that means get, obtain and κτω (active) mean seize, conquer. Καταλαμβάνω, κατάληψη is Squatting, Seizing while Κατακτώ means to conquer (it seems to be much more forceful). Commented Mar 29 at 13:35
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    The difference is concrete vs abstract, I’d say. The existing sense is basically equivalent to ‘understanding’ (i.e., the act or an instance of perceiving/understanding something). The borrowed sense is more about the abstract human ability to use our senses to perceive and make sense of the world around it – a term one might use when discussing philosophy or psychology. Commented Mar 29 at 13:41
  • @JanusBahsJacquet So it's not just 2 definitions for the same thing (same meaning)?Could we formulate this into an answer for What exactly is a semantic loan, how can a word borrow a meaning it already has? The question was about semantic loans in their generality across any languages. Commented Mar 29 at 14:44
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    A good example of a semantic loan is the Malay/Indonesian word buah “a fruit, like a banana or a pineapple” which acquired another meaning “result” by semantic loan from Sanskrit where the noun फल (phala) means both “fruit” and “result, yield, consequence”. Here we have exactly the same thing as with your Greek word, the original meaning was concrete, but the 2nd, abstract, meaning was borrowed from a language where the corresponding word had both meanings, concrete and abstract, as @JanusBahsJacquet reasonably points out.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Mar 29 at 14:59


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