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The problem of the delimitation of the polysemy from the lexical homonymy in the modern italian language

Author: Porumb Tatiana
Degree:doctor of philology
Speciality: 10.02.05 - Romance Languages (with specification of language)
Scientific adviser: Ion Dumbraveanu
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 27 November, 2008
Approved by NCAA on the 26 February, 2009


Adobe PDF document0.31 Mb / in romanian


CZU 811.131.1’ 374(043.3)

Adobe PDF document 1.27 Mb / in romanian
155 pages


Calque (loan translation), semantic field, claseme, conversion, denotatum, derivative, hyperoseme, hyposeme, lexicalization, metaseme, homonymization, polysememization, radiation, seme, semanteme, sememe, significance, sense, meaning, lexical-semantic variant


The present research paper is dedicated to the study in synchrony of the possible ways of reciprocal crossing between such regular language phenomena as polysemy and homonymy. It is well known that semantic changes in language are numerous and various. In some particular cases of the language development process we observe the addition of new semes to the semic structure of the word, in other cases – removal of some semes. New meanings may appear on the basis of the original meaning (radiation), otherwise the new meanings emerge successively one from the other (catention). At the same time it is possible the neutralization of some semes (usually of hyposemic order), and as a result the correlation between lexical-semantic versions of the word’s polysemantic structure is lost and this leads to the origin of words-homonyms.

The main goal of this study is to examine the changes of the meanings’ semic composition in order to determine the regular semantic models which lead to the desintegration of the polysememic nouns in the Italian language.

The semantic study is based on the component analysis of the word’s lexical-semantic versions (semantemic analysis) and their confrontation in order to ascertain the presence or the absence of common semes. In case the common seme is lost, then the lexical unit breaks up into homonyms.

Concerning the determination of the regular models leading to the desintegration of the polysememic words – the research has shown that these are, first of all, some types of metaphorical and metonymical derivation, homonimization of meanings of the polysememic words may also occure during convergence of parts of speech, during borrowing of semantic loans and interlingual paronyms and during lexicalization of diminutive nouns