Enantiosemy is usually seen as a peculiar and infrequent case of polysemy in
which some sense of a word is somehow the opposite of another sense of the
same word. While arguing against this common sense-defying view fed by
objectivist semantics, the article develops an alternative account of enantiosemy
based on conceptual analysis of lexical units and the notion of linguistic
meaning as conceptualization. It shows that enantiosemy, far from being
rare or whimsical, is a vastly productive cognitive mechanism of “meaning
creation”. This account explicitly appeals to the “speaker’s stance in the language”
(E. Benveniste), or the speaker as a sovereign instance of meaning
production. It can also be seen as one of the steps towards a new, conceptually
based typology of lexical units in which their combinatorial properties and
grammatical behavior, hence the limits of the speaker’s exploitations of lexical
units pro domo sua, are viewed as motivated by their conceptual structure.
The article includes a number of multilingual analytical examples while maintaining
a contrastive perspective for those taken from languages other than
Russian, in accord with lexicographic interests of the author.
2008. Vol. 54, 159-178 p.