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Carmen Raya Nájera

on 12 December 2013

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3. Heterographs
Heterographs are words that are spelled differently, but sound the same. Regarding the looser definition of homonym, this is also a sub-category of the more general homonyms. All the heterographs are also homophones as they sound the same, but noy every homophone is an heterograph since there are homophones that share the spelling.

two - too - to
roll - role
piece - peace

4. Capitonyms
"A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when it is capitalized; the capitalization usually applies due to one form being a proper noun. A capitonym is a form of homograph and – when the two forms are pronounced differently – also of heteronym. In situations where both words should be capitalized (such as the beginning of a sentence), there will be nothing to distinguish between them except the context in which they are used" (Wikipedia)
5. Polysemy
1. Homonyms
"One of a group of words pronounced or spelt in the same way but having different meanings" (Collins Dictionary)

Examples of homonyms:
see - sea
write - right
rock (music) - rock (stone)
for - fore - four
2. Homophones
"Two or more words that share the same pronunciation but have different meanings. They may or may not be spelled on the same way"

buy - by - bye
to - two - too
heal - he'll - heel
holy - holey - wholly

1. Homonyms
2. Homophones and homographs
3. Heteronyms and heterophones
4. Capitonyms
5. Polysemes
6. Puns
Homonyms classification
However, homonym is extremely general and a further explanation is needed. There are several types of homonyms so that homonyms are considered a general category and the others are sub-categories.

I. Same spelling but different pronunciation.
II. Same pronunciation but different spelling.
III. Same spelling and same pronunciation.
Homographs are homonyms that share the same spelling. They may or may not have the same pronunciation. So a group of words can be both homophones and homographs if they are spelled and pronounced alike: tear (break) - tear (crying)

Polysemy is "the existence of several meanings in a single word" (Collins Dictionary). Polysemes are those words that have the same spelling but related or distinct meanings. For example, mouth (body part) and mouth (the opening of a cave) are polysemous.

Other example is the word 'set'. probably the most polysemous word in English with 120 meanings in dictionaries.
For many others, homonyms are words that share the same spelling and are pronounced the same, but have a different meaning. For example, bark (the sound a dog makes) and bark (part of a tree).

The difference lies in the conception of what a name ('nym') is: just the spelling, just the pronunciation or both.
Heteronyms are a subset of homographs that have different pronunciations and meanings. In other words, they are homographs, but not homophones. These include row (as in an argument) and row (at to row a boat or a row of seats); and live (verb) and live (adjective).

The Oxford Engish Grammar notes that heteronyms include "a number of words where the stress varies in speech according to whether the word is functioning either as a verb or as a noun or adjective", and lists conduct, convict, permit, rebel, absent...

the programme when they try to beat the world
for word nerdiness"

Examples of Capytonyms
-Polish (from Poland) polish (to make shiny)

-march (rhythmic walking) and March (the third month of the year)

-Cancer (a constellation or a astrological sign) and cancer (disease)


Carmen Raya Nájera
Image taken from: http://thenosemilk.com/comics/puns-i-love-to-hate/
Image taken from:http://www.sodahead.com/fun/share-some-good-puns/question-4003575/?link=ibaf&q=&esrc=s
Image taken from:http://izismile.com/2013/02/19/puns_you_cant_help_but_laugh_at_44_pics_1_gif.html
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Savingenglish, Heterographs (2012) <http://savingenglish.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/heterographs-part-1/> [accessed 8 December 2013].
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English Word Information, Polysemy, Polyseme, Polysemes, and Polysemous (2012) <http://wordinfo.info/unit/3039/s:and%20polysemous> [accessed 9 December 2013].
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