[Lingtyp] Does bipolar polysemy exist?

Maia Ponsonnet maia.ponsonnet at uwa.edu.au
Thu May 31 19:37:41 EDT 2018


Agreed on 't'inquiète'!


I suppose that historically there would be two ways to reach bipolar polysemies:


- One single form takes on diverging senses in different contexts.


- Two different forms, one meaning X and one meaning not-X, converge in their realization. Elided negations would fall into this category - but can they be total? It seems that only different contexts could warrant successful communication?


Cheers, Maïa



Dr Maïa Ponsonnet
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Fellow


Social Sciences Building, Room 2.47
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Hwy, Perth, WA (6009), Australia
P.  +61 (0) 8 6488 2870 - M.  +61 (0) 468 571 030



________________________________
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Sebastian Nordhoff <sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de>
Sent: Thursday, 31 May 2018 8:16 PM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Does bipolar polysemy exist?



On 05/31/2018 02:01 PM, Maia Ponsonnet wrote:
> I certainly see the nuance between "not X" and "antonym (X)", as the latter is really quite common
>
>
> As for the former, as a native speaker of French "inquiète-toi" vs "t'inquiète" doesn't work for me.
>
>
> In the latter the negation is simply elided,

sure

> and this is flagged by the "t'".

the t' would be there even with "ne" present, wouldn't it?

> The full form "t'inquiète pas" is still very common and even if the short form became opaque, the reflexive instead of full O pronoun would be a clear difference in my opinion ?

indeed. My point was to show that "not-X" does not have to be coded in
the lexeme, and that negation does not even have to coded segmentally.
In one interpretation of the original question, the same segments could
thus be used once with positive polarity and once with negative
polarity. In one way, this answers the original question, although it is
probably not a satisfactory answer.
Best wishes
Sebastian






>
>
> Cheers, Maïa
>
>
>
> Dr Maïa Ponsonnet
> Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
> ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Fellow
>
>
> Social Sciences Building, Room 2.47
> Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education
> The University of Western Australia
> 35 Stirling Hwy, Perth, WA (6009), Australia
> P.  +61 (0) 8 6488 2870 - M.  +61 (0) 468 571 030
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Sebastian Nordhoff <sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de>
> Sent: Thursday, 31 May 2018 7:37 PM
> To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Does bipolar polysemy exist?
>
> On 05/31/2018 01:18 PM, David Gil wrote:
>> A point of logic.  "Not X" and "Antonym (X)" are distinct notions, and
>> the original query by Ian Joo pertains to the former, not the latter.
>
> but is there any (monomorphemic) lexeme which expresses not-X which is
> not the antonym of X?
>
> And the original questions seems to imply that negation has to be found
> in the lexeme itself. I am not sure I fully get the question, but I feel
> that the following examples from French might be relevant
>
> (1) Inquiète-toi! `you better worry'
> (2) T'inquiète! `Don't worry'
>
> The lexeme is the same, but the position of the clitic changes the
> polarity. (This only works for this particular lexeme).
>
> The original claim was
>
>> /There exists no lexeme that can mean X and the negation of X./
>
> I am not sure about the meaning of "mean" here, but if we rephrase this
> as "There exists no lexeme which can be used to make a proposition
> containing it evaluate to both true and false", I feel that some of the
> examples from the Wikipedia article would fit the bill.
>
> I believe, however, that most theories of semantics would claim that in
> all the cases mentioned on Wikipedia, we are actually dealing with
> homophonous lexemes, not with one lexeme.
>
> Best wishes
> Sebastian
>
>
>
>
>> Hence, the Wikipedia entry on "auto-antonym", however interesting in its
>> own right, is not directly relevant to the original query.
>>
>> From a narrow truth-functional perspective, "X or not X" is a tautology,
>> and hence any meaningless expression in a language (e.g. an exclamation
>> expressing an affective state) would be equivalent to, say, "go or not
>> go".  But somehow, I suspect that this is not what Ian Joo is looking
>> for ...
>>
>>
>> On 31/05/2018 12:57, Joo Ian 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
Ian Joo<http://ianjoo.academia.edu/>
ianjoo.academia.edu
Affiliations. National Chiao Tung University, Linguistics, Graduate Student



> Ian Joo<http://ianjoo.academia.edu/>
> ianjoo.academia.edu
> Affiliations. National Chiao Tung University, Linguistics, Graduate Student
>
>
>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
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