[Lingtyp] Does bipolar polysemy exist?

Joseph Brooks josephdbrooks at umail.ucsb.edu
Thu May 31 16:39:04 EDT 2018


This does not really answer your question about lexemes per se but seems
pretty relevant. In Chini (Ramu, Papuan) the irrealis form of any given
verb (where the minimal morphological form is more or less : root-REALIS or
root-IRREALIS) is generally interpreted in terms of positive polarity, eg
mbru-i 'will cut, used to cut etc' but under certain pragmatic
circumstances, the same verb form (and no difference otherwise in the
clause) can have a negative interpretation, specifically to express either
a frustrated realization or a counter-to-normative-expectation type of
thing.
cheers
Joseph

On Thu, May 31, 2018 at 3:57 AM, Joo Ian <ian.joo at outlook.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
>
>
> I would like to know if the following universal claim holds:
>
>
>
> *There exists no lexeme that can mean X and the negation of X. (For
> example, no lexeme can express “to go” and “to not go”).*
>
>
>
> I wonder if such “bipolar polysemy” exists in any lexeme, because I cannot
> think of any, and whether this claim is truly universal.
>
> I would appreciate to know if there is any counter-evidence.
>
>
>
> From Hong Kong,
>
> Ian Joo
>
> http://ianjoo.academia.edu
>
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>
>
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