heteronym (linguistics)
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A heteronym (also known as a heterophone) is a word that has a different pronunciation and meaning from another word but the same spelling. These are
homograph A homograph (from the el, ὁμός, ''homós'', "same" and γράφω, ''gráphō'', "write") is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with se ...
s that are not
homophone A homophone () is a word that is pronouncedPronunciation is the way in which a word or a language is spoken. This may refer to generally agreed-upon sequences of sounds used in speaking a given word or language in a specific dialect ("correct p ...
s. Thus, ''
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate h ...

lead
'' (the metal) and ''
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate h ...
'' (a leash) are heteronyms, but ''
mean There are several kinds of mean in mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mat ...
'' (average) and ''
mean There are several kinds of mean in mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mat ...
'' (intend) are not, since they are pronounced the same. Heteronym pronunciation may vary in vowel realisation, in stress pattern, or in other ways.


Description

A heteronym is a
homograph A homograph (from the el, ὁμός, ''homós'', "same" and γράφω, ''gráphō'', "write") is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with se ...
that is not a
homophone A homophone () is a word that is pronouncedPronunciation is the way in which a word or a language is spoken. This may refer to generally agreed-upon sequences of sounds used in speaking a given word or language in a specific dialect ("correct p ...
, a word that has a different pronunciation and meaning from another word with the same spelling. Heteronym pronunciation may vary in
vowel realisation A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, the other being the consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and also in Vowel ...
, in stress pattern, or in other ways. "Heterophone" literally just means "different sound", and this term is sometimes applied to words that are just pronounced differently, irrespective of their spelling. Such a definition would include virtually every pair of words in the language, so "heterophone" in this sense is normally restricted to instances where there is some particular reason to highlight the different sound. For example,
pun The pun, also known as paronomasia, is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which alon ...
s normally involve homophones, but in the case of heterophonic (or imperfect) puns, the two words sound different, and yet similar enough for one to suggest the other (for example, ''mouth'' and ''mouse'').


Types

Most heteronyms are doubles. Triple heteronyms are extremely rare in English; three examples, ''sin'', ''mobile'' and ''does'', are listed below.
Proper noun A proper noun is a noun A noun (from Latin ''nōmen'', literally ''name'') is a word that functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas.Exampl ...
s can sometimes be heteronyms. For example, the final syllable in the US state of Oregon is pronounced (or ), while in the name of the village of Oregon, Wisconsin, Oregon in Wisconsin, the final syllable is pronounced . Other examples include local pronunciations of Cairo, Georgia; Versailles, Kentucky; and Milan, Tennessee—compared to the more well-known Cairo, Versailles, and Milan—or the difference between the pronunciation of Louisville, Kentucky () and the town of Louisville, New York (). There are also pairs which ignore Grammatical case, case and include both initialisms and regular words, e.g., ''US'' and ''us''. Heteronyms can also occur in non-alphabetic languages. For example, the Chinese character 行 can be pronounced ''háng'', meaning "profession", or ''xíng'', meaning "OK".


Examples


Heteronyms with definitions


English

In some of these cases, American and British English pronunciation differences, American and British English pronunciations differ. One systematic case appears in the Initial-stress-derived noun, stress pattern of some deverbal nouns. For a longer list, see wikt:English heteronyms.


French

In French, most heteronyms result from certain endings being pronounced differently in verbs and nouns. In particular, ''-ent'' as a third person plural verb ending is silent while as an adjective ending, it is pronounced .


Modern Greek

Modern Greek spelling is largely unambiguous, but there are a few cases where a word has distinct learned and vernacular meaning and pronunciation, despite having the same root, and where is pronounced vs. ; there are also a few cases where the different readings of <> and <> give different words. Some of these distinctions are being neutralized in modern speech.


Italian

Italian orthography, Italian spelling is largely unambiguous, althouɡh there are some exceptions: * open vowel, open and closed vowel, closed and ( and ) are not distinguished; * the voiced and unvoiced pronunciations of and ( and ) are not distinguished; * stress, which is usually but not always on the penult, is not marked except when it is on the final syllable; * in some cases, digraph (orthography), digraphs and trigraph (orthography), trigraphs like (normally ), (), (), (), () are pronounced using the values of their component letters; * and may have a vocalic () or a consonantal () value. When stress is on the final, the vowel is written with an accent: :wiktionary:mori#Italian, mori 'mulberries' and :wiktionary:morì#Italian, morì 'he/she died'. Some monosyllabic words are also differentiated with an accent: :wiktionary:e#Italian, e 'and' and :wiktionary:è#Italian, è 'he/she is'. These cases are not heteronyms. Some common cases: :Pronunciations are shown using standard Italian orthography with the diacritic for closed vowels and ; and the diacritic for open vowels and .


Dutch

Dutch has heteronyms which vary in stress position, known as
klemtoonhomogramen
' 'stress homograms', such as '':wiktionary:appel#Dutch, appel'': 'apple' ''vs.'' 'appeal' (formerly written ''appèl''). Other examples include '':wiktionary:beamen#Dutch, beamen'', '':wiktionary:bedelen#Dutch, bedelen'', '':wiktionary:hockeyster#Dutch, hockeyster'', '':wiktionary:kantelen#Dutch, kantelen'', '':wiktionary:misdadiger#Dutch, misdadiger'', '':wiktionary:overweg#Dutch, overweg'', '':wiktionary:verspringen#Dutch, verspringen'', '':wiktionary:verwerpen#Dutch, verwerpen''. The word '':wiktionary:plant#Dutch, plant'' is generally pronounced , but may be pronounced in the sense 'he/she plans'.


German

German has :wiktionary:German heteronyms, few heteronyms, for example:Tatjana Lackner, "Homographe", ''Die Schule des Sprechens'', January 12, 2018

/ref> * Some vary in stress position: :wiktionary:umfahren#German, ''umfahren'' 'to knock down' vs. 'to bypass'; :wiktionary:übersetzen#German, ''übersetzen'' 'to translate' vs. 'to traverse'; :wiktionary:Spiegelei#German, ''Spiegelei'' 'fried egg' vs. 'mirroring'. * Some are compounded differently: ''Staubecken'' as ''Stau-becken'' vs. ''Staub-Ecken'' or ''Wachstube'' as 'Wach-stube' vs. 'Wachs-tube'; etc. * Several are borrowings: :wiktionary:modern#German, ''modern'' 'to molder' (derived from ''Moder'') vs. 'modern' (borrowed from French) or :wiktionary:Montage#German, ''Montage'' 'Mondays' vs. 'mounting, installing, assembling' (the latter borrowed from French).


See also

* Homograph * Homonym * Synonym * Shibboleth


Notes


External links


List and analysis of English homographs/heteronyms
by John Higgins
The Home of the Heteronym, featuring There's a Sewer in the Sewer




{{DEFAULTSORT:Heteronym (Linguistics) Types of words Homonymy