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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 ?
A dictionary of paronyms (Vishnjakova 1984: 177) notices that the two adjectives are synonymous because they both mean 'showing impudence', e.g.
According to a dictionary of paronyms (33), [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], -ar, -oe is used with abstract nouns, whereas [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], -ar, -oe is used with concrete ones.
It seems that Russian dictionaries of paronyms succeeded quite well in highlighting the differences between the two competing variants of adjectives with simplex and complex suffixes.
We realize then, the importance of rhyme in the poetry after antiquity: in that "small linguistic Babylon" resulted from Romanization, for example, when the words get to lose their basic meaning and to gain more other meanings--double rhyme comes to restore a meaning, the second word (either a paronym or an alliteration or the repeated word) reinforces the first, gives it power.
English dramatic(ally), on the other hand, is quite different from its Spanish paronym, especially as far as its semantic relation with the noun drama and its connotations are concerned.
Apart from this primary sense of dramatic, this English adjective, like its Spanish paronym, also has the sense directly derived from its base form drama, i.e., something connected with the theatre or written in the form of a play.
The adverb is progressively losing its evaluative meaning, like its English paronym, and the positive or negative sign of the piece of discourse in which dramaticamente is found depends more and more, also like in English, on the 'things' that change, rather than on the adverb.
The text included 304 words, 36 of which were paronyms.
The categorization of the students' errors regarding paronyms was based on phoneme error patterns (see also Argyropoulos et al., 2007).
As the disruptive play of paronyms and mistaken conflations in this text so pointedly demonstrates, speaking without knowing here is a figure for the general impossibility of making words mean exactly what you want them to say, with no excess or lack of meaning of any kind, with no signifying doubt or uncertainty.
In a concluding proverb "qui vient a propos" (994), he will ultimately confirm in a final play of paronyms what has only been too obvious throughout, that the only way to keep someone from putting words in your mouth is to keep your mouth closed in the first place: "En close bouche, n'entre point mouche" (994).
In opposition to false friends, the false xenism does not come from a paronym, or common root, of both languages, but its etymology belongs entirely to the SL.