Homonymy, Polysemy and Zero Derivation in the English-Macedonian Context


  • Marjana Vaneva University American College Skopje, School of Foreign Languages


Since the notions of homonymy, polysemy and zero derivation share some characteristics that make them similar, while they are independent language phenomena that linguistically distinguish from one another; this paper aims to explain the features of these three concepts, by defining them individually, giving their similarities, contrasting the two types of semantic relation: homonymy and polysemy on one side, and the word formation process of zero derivation on the other. The analysis attempts to explain the reason for the confusion they cause due to the same form of the word, by distinctly clarifying the semantic moment behind the concerned lexemes. In addition to the meaning, and regarding zero derivation, the lexical category is taken as a crucial factor because in all cases the form is the same, the words can belong to the same word class, but have related meanings when talking about polysemy, completely different meanings when homonymy is in question, and expanded meaning in zero derivation, while in this word formation process on which the analysis is particularly focused, the change of the word class is obligatory. The existence of these concepts in linguistics is illustrated with examples from English and from Macedonian, taken as language structures where the three processes are equally present. The semantic transfer – the transfer of the meaning between the lexemes is used as a method in the analysis of these processes.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p77


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How to Cite

Homonymy, Polysemy and Zero Derivation in the English-Macedonian Context. (2013). Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), 77. https://www.richtmann.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/view/452