Questions tagged [homophony]

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0answers
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Term for non-homograph homophone synonyms?

In Japanese, 熱い and 暑い are both read atsui and both mean 'hot'. The former pertains to an object (e.g. hot coffee) and the latter to weather. In French 'cuissot' and 'cuisseau' have the same ...
7
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3answers
205 views

Etymology of some Romance languages' verbs meaning “to sleep”

Portuguese, Spanish and French dormir, Italian dormire etc. come from the Latin verb dormīo. Wiktionary's entry says that its etymology is: From Latin dormīre, present active infinitive of dormiō, ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Can a semantic prime have a homophone which is also a semantic prime?

If semantic primes which are homophones exist, is it possible to create sentences which have perfectly valid interpretations which differ? I'm thinking of something like a "meaning" hash-collision ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Antonyms yet homophones

In Japanese, 私立 means 'private' and 市立 means 'public, city-owned', both are pronounced shiritsu. Is such a troublesome phenomenon common? Does it have a name?
6
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3answers
1k views

Did Latin “cum” get replaced in French by “avec” because “con” sounded obscene?

While the words for "with" in most Romance languages seem to be direct descendents from Latin "cum" (e.g. Spanish/Italian "con", Portuguese "com", Romanian "cu") it got replaced by "avec" in French. ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

Is it rare for a language to contain both heterographs and heteronyms?

English has many heterographs: words that are spelled differently but pronounced the same. Examples include there/their/they're, hear/here, red/read, led/lead, etc. English also has heteronyms: words ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

How can it be decided whether two grammatical cases should be taken to be just homophonous (i.e. as separate) or actually equal?

I've come across this in multiple grammars: Two grammatical cases (e.g. ergative and instrumental) are said to be "homophonous" - they make use of the (apparently?) same marker and yet, they are ...
6
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4answers
282 views

Is there a trend toward more homophones over time? What can counteract that trend?

It is my understanding (correct me if I am wrong) that many homophones develop as a result of phonemic mergers. For instance, I, like many Americans, have a "cot-caught" merger where I do not make a ...
5
votes
2answers
561 views

Are English homonyms distinguishable by pitch profile?

I was told years ago by a teacher at a Carden School that they teach their students that English homonyms, especially those with diphthongs, can be told apart by the pitch profile of the vowel sound. ...
11
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4answers
11k views

When you think one word, but write another, similar sounding word?

If you are writing or typing and you are thinking of one word, but then type another word made of the same phonemes, what is that called and what are the linguistic and /or psychological phenomena ...