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In the annals of linguistics, the term "polysemy" stands as a testament to the intricate nature of language. It denotes the phenomenon wherein a single word encompasses multiple meanings, often divergent in their interpretations. This linguistic peculiarity is not a mere quirk, but a fundamental characteristic of language evolution.


Consider the word "bank." In its simplest form, it refers to the financial institutions where monetary transactions occur. Yet, the same word can also evoke images of a natural incline by a body of water, where one might leisurely recline. The polysemy of "bank" exemplifies the adaptability of language to encapsulate diverse concepts within a single lexical unit.


However, the realms of polysemy extend far beyond commonplace words. In the domains of science and philosophy, terms such as "wave" and "paradigm" demonstrate a kaleidoscope of meanings. A wave may denote a physical phenomenon in physics, a gesture of greeting, or a fluctuation in societal trends. Likewise, a paradigm can refer to a model in science, a framework in linguistics, or a fundamental shift in philosophical thought.


The implications of polysemy ripple through the fabric of communication, adding layers of complexity to interpretation. It challenges both native speakers and learners of a language to navigate the nuanced meanings embedded within seemingly familiar words. In essence, polysemy serves as a reminder that language is a dynamic entity, fluid in its evolution, and rich in its capacity for expression.



According to the passage, what is the significance of the term "polysemy" in linguistics?



Option: 1

It signifies the simplicity of language.

Option: 2

It illustrates the adaptability of language to encompass multiple meanings in a single word.

Option: 3

It demonstrates the rigid nature of language evolution.


Option: 4

It indicates the decline of linguistic diversity.

Answers (1)


The passage highlights that "polysemy" denotes the phenomenon of a single word having multiple meanings, showcasing the adaptability of language.


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