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positive answer to this question. Nowadays most scholars agree that in the semantic structures of all words, which regularly occur in antonymic pairs, a special antonymic connotation can be singled out. We are so used to coming across hot and cold together, in the same contexts, that even when we find hot alone, we cannot help subconsciously registering it as not cold, that is, contrast it to its missing antonym. The word possesses its full meaning for us not only due to its direct associations but also because we subconsciously oppose it to its antonym, with which it is regularly used, in this case to hot. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that the semantic structure of hot can be said to include the antonymic connotation of "not cold", and the semantic structure of enemy the connotation of "not a friend".

It should be stressed once more that we are speaking only about those antonyms which are characterised by common occurrences, that is, which are regularly used in pairs. When two words frequently occur side by side in numerous contexts, subtle and complex associations between them are not at all unusual. These associations are naturally reflected in the words' semantic structures. Antonymic connotations are a special case of such "reflected associations".

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Together with synonyms, antonyms represent the language's important expressive means. The following quotations show how authors use antonyms as a stylistic device of contrast.

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty1 world. (From Merchant of Venice by W. Shakespeare. Act V, Sc. I)

... But then my soul's imaginary sight Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,

1 naughty wicked, evil (obs.)


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