On Sun, 24 Jan 2010 22:01:33 -0800, steve rice <[log in to unmask]> wrote: >On the other hand, probably every language has homophones, and they're usually benign. We recently had the question of whether to distinguish between "foot" as a body part and as a measurement. In Inlis, I generally try to avoid homophones, but since it's more aural than visual anyway, I'm wondering how major the problem really is. I've pretty much decided to change flawa from "flower" to "flour," leaving blosam for the plant. (I could use mil for "flour" and itin or fud for the other sense of "meal.") Heteronym/homographs are very rare in Arabic and also in Ardano ,but to be specific about the semantics, one word could have a relatively large span of "related" meanings. And because Arabic has very few homographs that are also heteronyms it uses one of the most important tricks used by linguists, novelists and poets which is "Almajaz" or Metaphor in English. I believe that Almajaz in Arabic contributed to the enrichment of a language that has no Homonyms. Arabic scientists have different opinions about this. Some of them say Arabic has no metaphor ,and words have the used meanings in their original semantics ,so we cannot call it Metaphor. And this could lead some to say Arabic has homonyms ,because the meanings could be very different. On the other hand, Homophones are very common. Sometimes only experts or linguistically educated people could tell you the real meaning of a spoken sentence. For example if you have said to a person who hadn't studied Arabic extensively the following sentence, The person would understand it totally different. The sentence is : طرقت الباب حتى كل متني ، فلما كل متني كلمتني The person will understand it like this: I was knocking the door until she spoke to me, and when she spoke to me she spoke to me. (as emphasizing) But in reality an expert will understand it like this: I was knocking the door until I had a back pain ,and when I had had a back pain she spoke to me. ("I hope my English grammar is correct") The above was only an example for two words that equal one word when pronounced. It's little bit different than the concept of Homophones ,because I have used two words combined together to equal one word. While Homophones are "one word-to-one word" ,but I hope the example was good to represent the more advanced Arabic found in some books. > >How confusing are homonyms? What if flawa meant both "flour" and "flower"? We distinguish the two in spoken English easily enough, though perhaps it's more troublesome for non-natives. > >Steve As in the above example, sometimes Homonyms could be very difficult to the native speakers ,and not just the new learners ,as I believe. So, it depends on the frequency of the words. If they are frequent ,people will understand the homonyms easily. But if they were infrequent ,it could be very tricky. which is not always bad ,because you need the auxlang to be more "entertaining" for novelists , poets and other specialized people. In the end many jokes are about homonyms. Zein.