Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Thu Sep 6 15:51:40 UTC 2001

Not a dialect question, but a word history question.  Hope you don't mind!

I'm looking for earlier use of the word 'enantiosemy', which is a fancy way
of referring to "words that are their own opposites" (or the state of being
a word with incompatible meanings) (aka Janus words, auto-antonyms,
contronyms, antagonyms...).  The word is not in the OED, but I suspect that
some lexicographers out there somewhere might have collected info on it
even if it doesn't merit inclusion in the dictionary.

The earliest reference I have is 1981, but that's clearly not where it
originated.  Please don't refer me back to the long Linguist List
discussion of the topic--the answer is not there!

Best wishes,

M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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