Polysemy And Metaphor Essay

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The Relationship Between Polysemy, Metaphor and Semantic Change
Semantics is the study of meanings of words and sentences communicated through language (Saeed, John I., 1997: 3). Language is a dynamic process and it is believed that change in semantics is less resistant than other areas of grammar so that meaning changes relatively easily and quickly (April McMahon, Understanding Language Change). A semantic change occurs when a different intention conveyed by a word is established in usage within a community. Semantic change can be driven by a number of factors. Semantic change tends to relate to polysemy and metaphor.
This essay discusses about the relationship between polysemy, metaphor and semantic change. The essay aims to show how polysemy can be a state of semantic change. Polysemy is a process where a word has more than one meaning. Then, it discusses how metaphor can be stimulation for semantic change and when a metaphor becomes fixed, it is called a type of semantic change. Further, the essay discusses the relationship between polysemy and metaphor.
Relation of Polysemy with Semantic Change
Polysemy is a condition for semantic change. Polysemy is the phenomenon whereby a linguistic unit exhibits multiple distinct yet related meanings (Evans and
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Metaphors allow words with specific meanings to take on additional, related meanings (Lakoff, 1987). For example, the word roadblock was traditionally used to refer only to a barricade set up on a road. However, with repeated metaphoric use, roadblock has also come to refer to any obstacle in meeting a goal (as in fear is a roadblock to success). Rise of metaphorical usage is a common semantic development caused by figurative usage of literal expressions often resulting in polysemy. For instance, to be ahead of someone literally means ‘to be physically in front of someone.’ However, figuratively it means ‘to be more successful’ or ‘advanced’ (Lakoff,

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