ings. So, the adjective dull has the antonyms interesting, amusing, entertaining for its meaning of "deficient in interest", clever, bright, capable for its meaning of "deficient in intellect", and active for the meaning of "deficient in activity", etc.
Antonymy is not evenly distributed among the categories of parts of speech. Most antonyms are adjectives which is only natural because qualitative characteristics are easily compared and contrasted: high — low, wide — narrow, strong — weak, old — young, friendly — hostile.
Verbs take second place, so far as antonymy is concerned. Yet, verbal pairs of antonyms are fewer in number. Here are some of them: to lose — to find, to live — to die, to open — to close, to weep — to laugh.
Nouns are not rich in antonyms, but even so some examples can be given: friend — enemy, joy — grief, good — evil, heaven — earth, love — hatred.
Antonymic adverbs can be subdivided into two groups: a) adverbs derived from adjectives: warmly — coldly, merrily — sadly, loudly — softly; b) adverbs proper: now — then, here — there, ever — never, up — down, in — out.
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Not so many years ago antonymy was not universally accepted as a linguistic problem, and the opposition within antonymic pairs was regarded as purely logical and finding no reflection in the semantic structures of these words. The contrast between heat and cold or big and small, said most scholars, is the contrast of things opposed by their very nature.
In the previous chapter dealing with synonymy we saw that both the identity and differentiations in words called synonyms can be said to be encoded within their semantic structures. Can the same be said about antonyms? Modern research in the field of antonymy gives a