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It’s just polysemy folks

Language Log talks
about how people mistake
polysemy (multiple meanings of phrases or words depending on context)
in languages that are not their own as a sort of deep philosophical message.


“In the same way, what is mere polysemy in English is not a philosophy seminar in Mohawk. It’s just polysemy.”

When I first started learning foreign languages, I fell into the same
trap myself about polysemy being some deep message in the foreign
language until I realized it really is just another way of expressing
some concept/thing/etc. But one problem that I’ve observed is that
someone that hasn’t reached a deep enough level in learning
a foreign language has a hard time seeing this. I’ve always been
grasping a way to try to explain this nice and crisply but never
really could. However, the post on Language Log captures these sentiments
exactly.

Go
read it yourself

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