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Title: Towards an explication and description of synonymy in English
Author: Chi Wei, Tze
ISNI:       0000 0001 3540 5807
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1983
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The thesis begins by arguing for an a posteriori approach to synonymy, according to which synonymy should be treated as an empirical phenomenon which it is the task of linguistic semantics to explicate. Arguments are presented against the a priori approach often underlying treatments of synonymy, which makes it possible to define synonymy out of existence. A distinction is then drawn between three possible levels of synonymy (i.e. lexeme-synonymy, sense-synonymy and occurrence-synonymy), and it is argued that all three should be treated as legitimate levels - occurrence-synonymy as the basic level and the other two chiefly as a means of stating synonymy-relations more economically, where appropriate. This is followed by the establishment of two criteria of synonymy for ail three levels. After discussion and (in some cases) re-definition of various types of acceptability and anomaly, the interchangeability criterion is defined as the mutual substitutability of words without causing either grammatical or collocational anomaly. The sameness of meaning criterion is based on the distinctions between pragmatic and analytic equivalence and between performance and judgement equivalence, and is defined in terms of the first alternative in each case. While my concern up to this point is with the explication of synonymy, the remainder of the thesis is devoted to its description. A distinction is drawn between two types of case where two senses are synonymous in some contexts but not in others. Two types of explanation are provided accordingly. The thesis ends by discussing various types of communicatively relevant difference between synonyms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Linguistics