Psycholinguistic aspects of honomymy


Olena GAPCHENKO, PhD (Philology), Associate Prof.,
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,
Kyiv, Ukraine

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6458-6248


This article is devoted to an experimental study of assimilation, storage and functioning features of homonyms in the Ukrainian speaker’s lexicon. One of the effective methods of researching homonymy is an unbound nonrestrictive associative experiment which allows to deepen the knowledge about the assimilation, interpretation, compatibility, functionality and use, including false ones, of homonyms in speech. The main object of analysis was the speakers’ associative reactions to homonymous stimuli obtained during a unbound associative experiment. The content and structure of the associative meaning of lexical homonyms, the types of verbal associative connections of stimuli-homonyms and words-reactions are studied. The analysis outcome of the obtained associative reactions establishes that the
number and nature of associative reactions are determined by the degree of relevance of homonymous stimuli for informants. Homonymous stimuli evoke more paradigmatic associative reactions than syntagmatic ones in informants for whom this language is native. There have been identified the
factors affecting the actualization (manifestation in the informants’ reactions) of a certain component of the homonymous group. The informant’s age and knowledge of different languages significantly
influence the association process. The most frequent were attributive reactions caused by characteristic features of the object such as quality, property, function, significant detail for the speaker, etc., and situational ones where reactions associated with a certain situation or its component.
Subjective-definitive reactions containing an explanation of the stimulus word, were also numerous. The strategies of associating homonymous stimuli caused by the influence of age, gender and other informants’ characteristics are analyzed. Due to experimental studies, the homonymy phenomenon receives a more extended interpretation than presented in lexicographic sources.

Keywords: psycholinguistics, homonymy, polysemy, associative experiment, verbal associations, lexicon.