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  1. aliaa

    Lightbulb It is really urgent, please

    Hi teachers
    I have got an exam in contrastive linguistics, but the field of over lexicalization is confusing. I don not know how I can comment on the lexicons: lion , lioness , Leo. In Arabic there are about 50 synonyms for lion and I know the answer, but for English I have no idea. I hope you answer my question before the exam

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,190

    Re: It is really urgent, please

    Have a look at slang. MAK Halliday pointed out that overlexicalisation is a common feature of antilanguages, so if you look at antilanguages, you will fiund many examples. There are thousands of terms for drunk, and areas such as drugs abound with overlexicalisation- there are dozens of terms for each drug. It's probably the purset area of overlexicalisation that I can think of; we have areas that are rich in terms, we probably have more terms in English for types of rain than you do in Arabic, but this doesn't seem to be overlexicalisation, but a response to the realities of the environment around us.

  3. aliaa

    Re: It is really urgent, please

    Thanks tdol , I do appreciate your help

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 2

    Re: It is really urgent, please

    It seems that overlexicalization occurs when users of the lannguage become aware of variation (both geographical and sociolinguistic) so they consider many words (which from a strict point of view are considered dialectal and not belonging to the same variety) as synonyms. Poets make use of this. Having a number of lexical items that have the "same" meaning enables them to decide which one would fit into the verse prosodically or which one wourld fit the rhyme (phonetically). If you are composing a poem in Arabic and you are stuck in some place where you want to use the word "horse" but you don't know which one to use, you would easily pick up a word from a rich lexicon of "horse" synonyms.

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