A cross-linguistic study of the discourse functions of antonymy in Albanian and English


  • Ekaterina Strati University of Durres, Albania
  • Ergys Bezhani University of Tirana, Albania




antonymy, co-occurrence, pairs, corpus-based research, discourse functions


Antonymy is considered a binary lexical-semantic opposition of words, a lexical-sematic relation among other relations such as synonymy, hyponymy, and meronymy. Several authors have categorized the binary opposition of antonyms when considering the typology of antonyms. Issues such as the use of antonyms in discourse, how different languages use antonyms, patterns of distribution, etc., are dealt with in this paper. This study aims to provide a comparative perspective of the Albanian and English patterns of co-occurrence of antonymous pairs in sentences. The co-occurrence of antonyms in sentences and the roles of antonymous pairs have been the object of cross-linguistic study in different languages, including French, Swedish, Chinese, Serbian, Romanian, etc. In terms of novelty, this article adds Albanian to the list of cross-linguist studies, providing a broader database for further comparative studies and opening the way to other comparative studies between similar and different languages other than English. In the given paper, there are examples of antonym pairs co-occurring in the same syntactic frame using an empirical, quantitative method. The Albanian National Corpus is used as a “clinical setting” for the investigation. There is also a detailed analysis of the distribution of such pairs in the English and Albanian corpora, with examples illustrating similarities and differences. Both languages show a predominance of ancillary and coordinated antonymy. Also, coordinated antonyms are more significant in number in both languages and are followed by the second major group of ancillary antonyms. Regarding differences, far more examples were classified as residual in Albanian compared to the English language.