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a word similar to another in sound; the partial coincidence in outward form occurs simply by chance and is not conditioned by semantic or word-formation processes. Examples are seen in the Russian vremia (“time”) and bremia (“burden”) and apellirovat’ (“to appeal”) and operirovat’ (“to operate”).

Some scholars regard as paronyms words with the same root that are similar in structure or sound and are the same part of speech or have common grammatical features. Because of the partial coincidence in sound, there may be an outward change in one of the words, usually the one less used; this is known in linguistics as false etymology. Sometimes a chance coincidence in sound leads to changes that become fixed in language. For example, svidetel’ (“witness”) was connected in Old Russian not with the root vid- (meaning “to see”) but with věd-, a root appearing in vedat’ (“to know”) and svedushchii (“knowledgeable”).

Paronyms may be misused by a speaker, as when stupen’ nogi is used instead of stupnia nogi to refer to the sole of the foot, the confusion arising from the similarity in sound between the Russian words for “stairstep” (or “level”) and “sole.” Paronyms are used in poetry (including rhymes) and also in puns.


Gvozdev, A. N. Ocherki po stilistike russkogo iazyka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1955.
Bel’chikov, Iu. A., and M. S. Paniusheva. Trudnye sluchai upotrebleniia odnokorennykh slov russkogo iazyka: Slovar’-spravochnik. Moscow, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
(12) Importantly, Hausmann's (1974) differentiation is not valid in instances of horizontal homophony and paronymy.
(11.) Hristea, T., "Paronymy and Paronymic Attraction in the Romanian Language" (with special reference to the oeuvre of I.L.Caragiale)", in Language and Literature, No.
(3) While, as the focal issue of the present paper, the formal composition of puns will be handled in detail in section 3, it should be mentioned at this point that, concerned with the intersection of orthography and pronunciation, it rests on linguistic mechanisms encompassing homonymy, homophony, homography and paronymy. In turn, the semantic composition, understood as a union of primary (surface-level) and secondary/tertiary/quaternary, etc.
The qualitative study is essentially two-partite and, first, sets out to investigate linguistic phenomena which lay down the framework of formal relationships in a pun (and are, thus, in a mutually exclusive way, obligatory for its creation), namely homonymy, homophony and paronymy (v.i.
Homonymy, homophony, homography, paronymy: Facts and problems
(19) The latter triggers off the problem of discriminating between low-degree (incomplete) homophony and high-degree paronymy, defined as similarity in sound and spelling.
The analysis is initially targeted at a closer representation of the aforementioned phenomena (namely homonymy, homophony and paronymy), as used in LLL, along the axis "lexical--partially lexical--non-lexical", and their subsequent quantitative distribution there.
To arrive at a fairly comprehensive picture of homonymy, homophony and paronymy it should not go unrecognized that they can be sub-divided further into partial homonymy (amounting to 6 instances in the present corpus), partial homophony (5) and partial paronymy (2), respectively.
Further analysis will distance itself from a close inspection of homonymy, homophony and paronymy (conditioning, in a mutually exclusive way, the emergence of puns) and turn to optional mechanisms which only some puns additionally enter, refining somehow their structure.
It is followed by homophony, whereas paronymy, routinely regarded an imperfect pun, occupies the other polar extremity.
These two nouns share no semantic similarities although they are strongly connected through the paronymy. As a result, the new constituent succeeds in keeping the parallel structure of the original utterance as far as the phonology is concerned.
For Jaeschke (1931: 64) paronymy has an effect as strong as homonymy, which I doubt.