Synonymy

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Synonymy

 

a binary relation between two equivalent but not identical expressions. Equivalence is understood as correlation either with the same denotation (fact, object, or the like) or with the same sense (linguistic meaning). In the first case, exten-sional synonymy is being considered, for example, “A. S. Pushkin = the author of Eugene Onegin” or “7 + 1 = 23.” In the second case, intensional synonymy is being considered, for example, “huge = enormous” or “A · B = A ∧ B,” in prepositional calculus.

Synonymy is one of the most fundamental concepts in linguistics, logic, logical semantics, and semiotics. Linguistics studies mainly intensional synonymy. The expressions A and B are called synonymous (that is, there is synonymy between A and B) if their signifiers are not the same, that is, if Φ(A) ≠ Φ(B), but their significata are the same, that is, S (A) = S (B). Synonyms constitute a special case of synonymous expressions. One also often speaks of synonymy in cases where the corresponding significata are sufficiently close; however, such cases involve the concept of quasi synonymy, to use more precise terminology. Linguistics distinguishes morphological synonymy (as demonstrated by the Russian agentive affixes -tel’ and -I’shchik in spasatel’, “rescue worker,” and nyrial’shchik, “diver”), lexical synonymy (as demonstrated in the lexemes gelikopter and vertolet, “helicopter”), and syntactic synonymy (that is, the synonymy of the syntactic constructions krasivee Mashi and krasivee, chem Masha, “prettier than Masha”).

Traditional linguistics primarily studied lexical synonymy and lexical synonyms; modern linguistics directs more attention to the synonymy of entire utterances—sentences or even larger fragments of a text. It is the synonymy of utterances that forms the basis for theoretical investigations of semantics in natural languages, where the sense of an utterance is treated as an invariant of synonymous transformations of the utterance, and “synonymous transformation” is understood as the transition from utterance A to synonymous utterance B. It is clear that synonymy is a relation of equivalence on the set of utterances.

Synonymy is usually considered in connection with the concepts of homonymy and polysemy [Φ(A) = Φ(B) · Φ(A) ≠ S (B)]. It is imperative to emphasize that synonymy, on the one hand, and homonymy or polysemy, on the other hand, are essentially nonsymmetrical. Homonymy and polysemy are characteristic of smaller linguistic units (morphs, lexemes, and, more rarely, syntactic constructions) but less likely in full texts. Synonymy, on the contrary, is typical of larger sections of texts; a rather complex sentence of two dozen words may have hundreds of thousands of synonymous paraphrases. Synonymy is also found among smaller units.

Synonymy is also characteristic of the semiformalized languages of scientific theories. In particular, any explicit definition establishes synonymy, whether extensional, intensional, or both, between the definiendum and the definiens. In the formalized languages used to write formal deductive theories (calculi), intensional synonymy is possible but not mandatory. Extensional synonymy occurs in all formalized languages for expressions having at least one nontrivial relation of equivalence or equality (that is, in languages that have as truths or theorems not only expressions of the type A ~ A or A = A but also of the type A ~ B or A = B, where A and B are graphically different). Typical examples of such a type are the algebraic equation (a + b)(a - b) = a2 - b2 and the equivalence of the calculus of predicates ⌉∀ xA (x)~ ∃xA (x)(that is, the equivalence of the assertions that there exists objects that do not have a certain quality and that not all objects have this quality). Analogously, quasi synonymy with contracted or expanded meaning is an order relation on the set of words or expressions.

REFERENCES

Church, A. Vvedenie v matematicheskuiu logiku, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from English.)
Mel’chuk, I. A. Opyt teorii lingvisticheskikh modelei “Smysl—Tekst.” Moscow, 1974.
Apresian, lu. D. Leksicheskaia semantika: Sinonimicheskie sredstva iazyka. Moscow, 1974.
Shreider, Iu. A. Logika znakovykhsistem. Moscow, 1974.
References in periodicals archive ?
We call them "weak" because, differently from [[rho].sub.strong], which takes only synonymies into account, [[rho].sub.weak] considers also overlappings and hyponymies, that are weaker properties than synonymies in the representation of concept similarities.
--Our approach considers two kinds of sub-schema similaritie, namely, strong similarities, computed starting from synonymies, and weak similarities, computed by taking also hyponymies and overlappings into account.
we have chosen to construct IPD by applying the approaches described in (6); however, any other approach proposed in the literature for deriving synonymies, hyponymies and overlappings among elements of different XML Schemas could be exploited.
(5) we point out again that any other approach conceived for deriving synonymies, hyponymies and overlappings could be exploited for constructing IPD.
The results, together with Cordeiro (2004) works indicated that the three varieties 'Sobral, Martinho and Pedro Miguel D'Obidos' should be considered as synonymies of the same variety.
We think that failure to recognize synonymies is likely high in the less studied faunas, for which most species have been described from sparse individuals, but this is balanced by the presence of still undescribed species.
Stabilization in synonymies suggests that most taxonomists agree in considering the diagnostic characters presented in species descriptions as gaps sufficiently strong to mark discontinuities among populations.
This paper provides a contribution in this setting and proposes an approach for uniformly extracting synonymies, hyponymies, overlappings and homonymies from a set of XML Schemas.
It is worth pointing out that, in the past, we have proposed some algorithms for deriving synonymies and homonymies specifically conceived to operate on XML Schemas [5].
As pointed out in the Introduction, we shall concentrate our attention on the following properties: (i) Synonymies: a synonymy indicates that two x-components have the same meaning.
Our approach exploits a thesaurus storing lexical synonymies holding among the terms of a language; specifically, it uses the English language and WordNet [19].
4.2 Derivation of synonymies, hyponymies, overlappings and homonymies