Linguistic categories

May 15, 2010
  • Acronyms – Acronyms are words that are produced using the first letter of other words. Acronyms are often used in government and business. Some examples of common acronyms are NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus).
  • Capitonyms – A capitonym is a word that has a different meaning and may be pronounced differently in capitalized form. For example, “The Polish woman used polish on her nails.”
  • Eponyms – Eponyms are words that come into the language from a person’s name. For example, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, gave the English language the word “aphrodisiac”.
  • Homographs – Homographs are two or more words that are spelled the same but differ in pronunciation and meaning. For example, “The dove glided through the air while the eagle dove toward the ground.”
  • Homonyms – Homonyms are two or more words that are spelled and pronounced the same but have different meanings. An example: “It’s best not to court your tennis opponent while on the court.”
  • Homophones – Homophones are two or more words that are pronounced the same but differ in spelling and meaning. The words “four, for, and fore” are homophones. A sentence with two homophones would be “I need you to knead this dough for me.”

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