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  1. YayaGurl
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    #1

    Question Metonymy and Polysemy

    What are their differences and can you give examples...

    If I were to say "Computer chips created an important new technology." then what would my "chip" be? Is it a Polysemy because it has another meaning (like "Potatoe Chips")? Or Metonymy?

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Metonymy and Polysemy

    Hi YayaGurl

    Polysemy is logically motivated:
    concrete to abstract
    Ex: sharp knife-> sharp mind

    mundane to technical
    Ex: chip of wood-> computer chip
    Metonymy is using a word to denote something nearby:

    Ex: White House = president

    Source

    A typical examples of metonymy would be 'bottle' in I drank the whole bottle, where the container (BOTTLE) stands for its contents (the liquid in the bottle) a container and its contents being contiguous or closely associated.

    Source


  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Metonymy and Polysemy

    Quote Originally Posted by YayaGurl View Post
    What are their differences and can you give examples...

    If I were to say "Computer chips created an important new technology." then what would my "chip" be? Is it a Polysemy because it has another meaning (like "Potatoe Chips")? Or Metonymy?
    As often with figurative language - where a figure of speech can have many layers - 'chips' here is both (with added personification).

    Polysemy - as in 'potato[no E) chips' (which itself trades on the other meaning - as in 'chip of wood'/

    Metonymy - 'chips' doesn't just mean chips. It doesn't even just mean computers, nor does it just mean all the domestic appliances and other everyday things that have computer chips in them - phones, cars, washing machines... It means the software that uses the chips, what it can do, and all the associated changes that the new technology brings.

    Personification - a person creates things.

    See more here: English Grammar Glossary - UsingEnglish.com

    b

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Metonymy and Polysemy

    I've a question. Would the idiomatic phase 'chip off the old block' be an example of metonymy?

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    #5

    Re: Metonymy and Polysemy

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I've a question. Would the idiomatic phase 'chip off the old block' be an example of metonymy?
    I'd say it was (the rule-of-thumb definition I use is 'part for whole'). But that's not the whole story. The metonym doesn't work until the metaphorical equivalence of block and father is established, and as the word "father" isn't there at all the figure of speech has to do a lot of work!

    b

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    #6

    Re: Metonymy and Polysemy

    Hi BobK

    'part for whole', that's my rule of thumb too, and the reason I asked the question. I wasn't sure.

    Thanks.

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    #7

    Re: Metonymy and Polysemy

    On the subject of polysemy, this (attached) caught my attention.

    b
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