A Hypernym is a term that is used to describe or encompass other more specific terms. It is a more extensive way of referring to something, in order to be understood in conversations or explanations more broadly. For example, a Hypernym (Countries) followed by four hyponyms would be Countries: Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Argentina. Hypernym meaning and examples
This linguistic technicality, pertaining to structural semantics, came into being around the middle of the 20th century. Although its concept and use were understood long before, until that time its name was not assigned.
Etymologically it is composed of the prefix “hyper” and the suffix “ónimo”. The first is a word that in most Indo-European languages means “above” or “above others.” “Ónimo”, meanwhile, means “name” or any word derived or synonymous with it, according to its Indo-European equivalence.
According to their etymology, then, we can define hypernym as “those names that are above other names”, which cover and encompass them as if they were an umbrella or an ozone layer.
The names that the hypernym receives, those that it receives under yes, are called “hyponyms”, because “they are below it”.
Hypernyms allow the expressor to be understood more easily when the lyrical receiver does not have a wide bank of words, as well as allowing the latter to more easily grasp what is being communicated to him.
Characteristics Hypernym meaning and examples
Hypernym as a linguistic resource have a series of peculiarities that must be taken into account when using them. Several of these peculiarities will be shown below:
All his features are contained in his hyponyms
Each one of the hyponyms sheltered under a hypernym contains the basic features of the latter. These distinctive qualities are what generate the links that allow us to link both terms and relate them to each other, one as the one that is above everything and the other as the one that is protected by the superior.
Save unnecessary anaphora
Although anaphoras are a widely used poetic resource —the product of the repetition of words to achieve a certain rhythm in poetic composition—, when they result from a lack of knowledge of language, synonyms and hypernyms, they are not well regarded.
They help the good communicational and cognitive performance
As is well known, an important part of intelligence lies in the proper use of language. hypernyms are a key piece in the development of the communicational brilliance of each individual.
As far as speeches are concerned, it is also a tool for relaxed use by speakers, since it facilitates the ability to address large groups without letting minorities escape, accommodating all attendees.
A hypernym can be a hyponym at the same time Hypernym meaning and examples
This is more common than it seems, and is given by the hierarchical relationship that is formed between certain words. For example, the word “fruit” is a hypernym that encompasses all fruits (apple, grapes, pears, mangoes, among others), but at the same time it is a hyponym of the word “food”.
As well as the example presented, there are many others in the Spanish language that will be shown later. As explained above, all this responds to the steps that words can occupy within the communicative process.
They always start from a “meaning” to arrive at a “signifier”
This refers, in general terms, from a general idea to one of the many specific words it contains. As the onomasilogy puts it.
Of course, it must be taken into account, and especially in Spanish and its large number of dialect variants, that many times there is no reliable correspondence between the meaning (idea) and the signifier (word protected under the main word), and the communicative context plays a crucial role in this.
Context plays a crucial role
Indeed, according to the linguistic environment in which those who make the semantic relationship in the text develop, the results obtained will be. The context exerts a determining influence on the realization of the linguistic correlations typical of hypernyms and hyponyms.
For example, if the relationship between the words is made by individuals who handle a colloquial fishing jargon of a town “x”, there will be specific words from that area that may be related to the hypernym in question. Hypernym meaning and examples
Following the order of ideas of the previous paragraph, if we take the same correlation to another distant location, to another group of fishermen, even when they speak the same Spanish, their jargon presents variants that differentiate the correlations between the hypernym and the hyponyms.
Examples Hypernym meaning and examples
Here is a compilation of hypernyms with four hyponyms for each:
- – Ship: destroyer, frigate, oil tanker, ferry.
- – Dog: Mastiff, Greyhound, Poodle, Pitbull.
- – Insect: wasp, ant, fly, mantis.
- – Bird: sparrow, nightingale, greenfinch, dove.
- – Flower: rose, daisy, petunia, carnation.
- – Book: dictionary, novel, manual, notebook.
- – Writer: translator, poet, essayist, novelist.
- – Automobile: car, bus, tourism, truck.
- – Legume: lentils, beans, peas, beans.
- – Letter: alpha, beta, delta, efe.
- – Road: street, sidewalk, alley, avenue.
- – Mammals: human, dog, bear, cat. Hypernym meaning and examples
- – Press: daily, weekly, magazine, pamphlet.
- – Month: January, April, March, July.
- – Cereal: wheat, rice, barley, oats.
- – Number: cardinal, two, ordinal, five.
- – Furniture: table, bench, armchair, chair.
- – Citrus: orange, lime, lemon, mandarin.
- – Tool: hammer, screwdriver, pliers, spanner.
- – Dance: rock and roll, merengue, salsa, tango.
- – Color: green, yellow, blue, red.
- – Family: brother-in-law, cousin, son, grandfather.
- – Fruit: banana, banana, apple, strawberry.
- – Finger: thumb, ring finger, index finger, little finger.
- – Canid: jackal, dog, wolf, fox.
- – Home: house, apartment, dwelling, hut.
- – Vegetables: lettuce, cabbage, onion, eggplant.
- – Tuber: potato, squash, sweet potato, tigernut.
- – Fuel: gasoline, diesel, diesel, oil .Hypernym meaning and examples
- – Sword: katana, saber, rapier, cutlass.