The traditional classification of homonyms is based on the formal criterion of the sound/graphic form. Accordingly homonyms are classified into:
1. Homophones – words identical in sound form but different in spelling (graphic form) and meaning. Examples: son :: sun, see :: sea, piece :: peace, knight :: night, write :: right, I :: eye, two :: too :: to.
2. Homographs – words identical in spelling but different in sound form and meaning. Examples: bow, v., n. [bau] ‘bending of head or body’, bow, n. [bou]‘a weapon for shooting arrows’, lead, v. [li:d] ‘guide’, lead, n. [led]‘soft, heavy, easily melted metal, Rus. свинец, tear, v. [teə]‘pull Clаssificаtion of Homonyms apart by force’, tear, n. [tiə]‘drop of salty water coming from the eye’, row, n. [rou]‘line of benches, people, etc., row, n. [rau] ‘noisy quarrel’.
3. Proper homonyms (full, absolute) - words identical in sound and graphic form but different meaning. Besides the above examples bank 1, bank 2 there area lot of others: ball 1 ‘dancing party’, ball 2 ‘round sphere used in games, pupil 1 ‘child at a school’, pupil 2 ‘hole in the central part of the eye, through which the light passes, seal 1 ‘sea animal’, seal 2, n. ‘design printed on paper by means of a stamp’ seal 3, v. ‘close tightly’, case 1 ‘box Clаssificаtion of Homonyms, container’, case 2 ‘something that happens’, etc.
By the type of meaning homonyms are classified into lexical, lexico-grammatical and grammatical:
1. Lexicalhomonymsare words of the same part of speech, differing in their lexical meanings: bank 1:: bank 2, ball 1:: ball 2; piece :: peace, knight :: night, air :: heir and many others.
2. Lexico-grammatical homonymsdifferin lexical and part-of-speech meanings, i.e. they belong to different parts of speech: sea, n. :: see, v., red, a. :: read, v., mean, a. :: mean, v., paw, n. :: pour, v. etc.
3. Grammaticalhomonymsare word-forms belonging to the same paradigm, differing in their grammatical meanings. For example, in the Clаssificаtion of Homonyms paradigm of the noun: brothers, pl. - brother's, sing. possessive case - brothers', pl. possess. or in the verb paradigm: to cut, infinitive - cut, past indefinite- cut, past participle.
А.I.Smirnitsky singled out two big classes of homonyms: I. full and II. partial homonyms . To full homonyms refer words coinciding in all grammar forms, i.e. having identical paradigms. It implies that full homonyms either belong to the same part of speech as, for instance, pupil1 and pupil 2: pupil - pupil’s - pupils - pupils’, or have no paradigms: too :: too :: to.
Partialhomonyms fall into three subgroups:
А. Simple lexico Clаssificаtion of Homonyms-grammatical partial homonyms are words of the same part of speech. Their paradigms have words with identical sound and/or graphic forms (differing in meanings). Examples:
(to) found, v. (Infinitive) :: found , v. (Past Indef., Past Part. of to find);
(to) lay, v. (Infinitive) :: lay, v. (Past Indef. of to lie);
(to) bound, v. (Infinitive) :: bound, v. (Past Indef., Past Part.of to bind).
Б. Complex lexico-grammatical partial homonyms are words of different parts of speech, having identical sound and/or graphic forms, differing in meanings:
rose, n. :: rose, v. (Past Indef., Past Part. of to rise);
maid, n. :: made Clаssificаtion of Homonyms, v. (Past Indef., Past Part. of to make);
left, adj. :: left, v. (Past Indef., Past Part.of to leave);
one, num. :: won, v. (Past Indef., Past Part. of to leave).
В. Partial lexical homonymsare words of the same part of speech, identical in sound and/or graphic form used in the same grammar form, differing in lexical meanings:
to lie (lay, lain), v. ‘лежать’ :: to lie (lied, lied), v., ‘лгать, обманывать’;
to hang (hung, hung), v., ‘висеть’ :: to hang (hanged, hanged), v., ‘вешать’;
to can (canned, canned), v., ‘консервировать’ :: (I) can (could), v., ‘мочь, быть в состоянии’.
One should Clаssificаtion of Homonyms not confuse homonymy and polysemy. In homonyms unlike polysemantic words there are no sematic links between various lexemes.