Philological Studies

at Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce

ISSN 2300-5459 e-ISSN 2450-0380



Author Martyna Król-Kumor
Title The meaning of word as a value (based on comparison of metonymization models in Polish and English)
Keywords value of lexeme, linguistic value of meaning, speech value of meaning, metonymization patterns, homonymoidity
Pages 263-273
Full text
Volume 33


The article is devoted to the issue of value in the language in reference to meaning – the meaning is here understood as value. In order to present the complexity of lexical processes determining the change or preservation of semantic value of a lexeme, the effects of functioning of metonymization patterns in the Polish language have been compared to English.
They are, most of all, lexical speech-formation paradigms, as they are used for actualization of specific elements of invariant lexical meaning in the speech production process and as a result speech units (so called lexical-semantic variants of a word) come into being. In that case we can speak about some invariable value in a language as only the speech value undergoes a change (there is no appearance of a new lexical unit). However, metonymization models may also lead to creating new lexical units in the case of autonomizing a single current meaning in verbal activity of users of a particular language. The existence of separate metonymizing patterns that create language signs (mostly single ones) is just as possible as transforming speech units resulting from regular metonymization patterns into the very same sign. The appearance of a new invariant meaning means creation of a new word. And then a new value appears in a language.
This brief and selective comparative analysis of functioning of lexical metonymization models in Polish and English shows the differences concerning the changes of linguistic value. All patterns mentioned in the article fulfill in Polish the function of actualization of speech meaning with no change in linguistic value of analyzed lexical units. However, in English, not every pattern has only the speech value.