Interlingual homograph

An interlingual homograph is a word that occurs in more than one written language, but which has a different meaning or pronunciation in each language.[1][2]

A homograph is a word that is written the same as another word, but which (usually) has a different meaning. Interlingual means "spanning multiple languages". In some cases, the identical spelling of a word in two languages is coincidental; in other cases, it is because they descend from the same ancestor word. Words that come from the same ancestor are called cognates.

Another way of describing interlingual homographs is to say that they are orthographically identical,[1] since a language's orthography describes the rules for writing the language: spelling, diacritics, capitalization, hyphenation, word dividers, etc.

See also


  1. Dijkstra, Ton (2007). "Task and Context Effects in Bilingual Lexical Processing § Interlingual Homographs". In Kecskes, Istvan; Albertazzi, Liliana (eds.). Cognitive Aspects of Bilingualism. Springer. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-4020-5935-3. OCLC 915958351. Retrieved 2017-06-23 via Google Books.
  2. Chen, Lillian (2008). "Background § Language-Selective Access" (PDF). Top-down Effects on Multiple Meaning Access Within and Between Languages (Thesis). University of Michigan. p. 25. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
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