Antonymy relations

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Antonymy is a relation of lexical opposition which is generally considered to involve (i) the presence of a scale along which a particular property may be graded, and hence both (ii) gradability of the corresponding lexical items and (iii) typical entailment relations. Like other types of lexical opposites, antonyms typically differ only minimally: while denoting opposing poles on the relevant dimension of difference, they are similar with respect to other components of meaning. This paper presents examples of antonymy from the domain of speech act verbs which either lack some of these typical attributes or show problems in the application of these. It discusses several different proposals for the classification of these atypical examples.


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