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Homonymy in English and Arabic: A Contrastive Study

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 اريج اسعد جعفر الطائي
7/9/2011 9:07:17 PM
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Homonymy in English and Arabic: A Contrastive Study
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Ahmed Mohammed Ali Abdul Ameer & Areej As’ad Ja’far Altaie Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
Introduction
In fact, although homonymy is defined differently in English, yet in general, a word is similar in form with another word either in pronunciation (i.e. homophone) or in spelling (homograph), or both, but differs from it in meaning. On the other hand, in Arabic, there is a general agreement that the homonym is an expression with one enunciation (or form) and more than one meaning. Actually, this phenomenon creates lexical and syntactic ambiguity in both languages. Thus, it should be studied and examined. In addition, homonymy has its own features, specifications and forms in each language.  Hence, this research aims at:

1- investigating homonymy in English and Arabic.
2- making a comparison between the two languagesto show the similarities and differences between them.
Homonymy in English
Definitions of Homonymy
Originally, the word "homonym" comes from the conjunction of the Greek prefix homo-, meaning "same", and suffix -?nymos, meaning "name". Thus, it refers to two or more distinct concepts sharing the "same name" or signifier (Wikipedia 2010: 1). Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
Homonymy in Arabic
Definitions of Homonymy

Homonymy in Arabic is known as الاشتراك أو المشترك أللفظي or المتجانس أللفظي or المتشابه أللفظي. Also, homonyms are called الوجوه والنظائر in the holy Qur’an (Al-Dhaminالضامن 1990: 66). In philology, (Al-Salih(الصالح 1968:302, (-Khuliالخولي 2001:141, and Mansur  منصور2009:1) define homonymy as a word or a sentence that has one articulation (or form) and more than one meaning. For example, the word سن has one articulation whether it means age or tooth; and دقيق which means flour, precise, and thin. An instance of homonymy from the holy Qur’an is"فلا رفث ولا فسوق ولا جدال في الحج" in which رفث  may mean to have intercourse or to say dirty words.

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