Meaning in "neaming" : the processing of word puns involving morphological and syntactic transposition using the "reverse principle".
Kamanga, Chimwemwe Mayinde Mystic.
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The word pun is one of the figures of speech that people employ in everyday communication and especially in literary works in order to advance intricate aspects of meaning that may not be easy to express using 'plain' language. The word pun generally provides a speaker with an opportunity to mean more while saying less instead of saying more while meaning less. Considering the facts that people primarily communicate in order to exchange meaning, and that meaning can be very elusive and controversial, there are two questions about the use of the word pun. Can people understand the meaning in word puns? And, if they can, how do they do so? These questions are especially relevant in the case of literary works because the author is far removed from the audience. As such, there is no room for the negotiation of meaning. The current study probes these two questions by considering two types of word pun, Chiasmus and Metathesis, which are composed through the transposition of the morphological and or syntactic order of expressions. At a theoretical level, the study explores and explains the common underlying processes that guide the comprehension of the word puns. Further than that, it demonstrates through a case study that people are able to understand the word puns by using what the study proposes to be the reverse principle. Ultimately, the study illustrates how people derive meaning of utterances through interplay of the different subsystems of the language system. The word puns in this study present a good context in which to explore interfaces between semantics and other language fields by linking insights drawn from different fields of linguistic enquiry to the concept of meaning and demonstrating how aspects of all these come together in explaining the processing of word puns that involve morphological and syntactic transposition. Additionally, the study demonstrates that people understand the world by relating concepts to one another because of the underlying relationships existing between concepts and by virtue of the relationships that hold between and among words or word parts.