Semantic repetitions consist in the recurrence of the units of the plane of content in heterogeneous units of the plane of expression, semantic repetitions fall into synonym repetition, and semic repetition.
Synonym repetition. In synonym repetition semantic and lexico-grammatical features are repeated in materially different words, i.e. it is the reiteration of a lexical meaning by means of synonyms. In literary art synonym repetition is typical of epic.
Epic style is characteristic of early narrative poems which were heroic legends originally recited, not written. An epic is always a long poem celebrating the achievements of one or more heroes of history or tradition. The epic style in poetry abounds in the description of detail, picturesqueness, obviousness, ornation. Among the great epics of the world may be mentioned The Iliad, Odyssejy of classical, and Beowulf of Anglo-saxon literature. Among "literary" epics Milton's Paradise Lost and Longfellow's Hiawatha are well known.
Synonyms are organized syntactically into binomials, trinomials and whole catalogues.
Semic repetition. The analysis of word meanings has shown that the sense of a word is a complex item that can be broken down into its minimal distinctive features, that is, into components which contrast with other components. G. Leech provides a very simple example of componential analysis: the words "man", "woman", "boy", "girl" all belong to the semantic field of "human race" and their senses can be represented by formulae in which the components of meaning are expressed by feature symbols like HUMAN and ADULT. The meanings of the individual words can be expressed by combinations of these features:-
man: +HUMAN +ADULT +MALE
woman: +HUMAN +ADULT -MALE
girl: +HUMAN -ADULT -MALE
These formulae are called componential definitions of the words, they can be regarded as formalized dictionary definitions (according to Turner).The ultimate semantic components are termed "semes". In the above formulae along with the contrastive semes
- +ADULT and -+male there is the seme +HUMAN which is present in all the four combinations and within the meanings of these four words plays not the contrastive but integral role.
A reliable criterion for detecting integral semes in words is ideographic dictionaries in which words are arranged according to a logical classification of notions they denote, the most authoritative English dictionary of this type being Rogets Thesaurus.
We can further assume that if the words "man" and woman" are found in the same text a specific kind of semantic repetition occurs, The repetition of some integral seme can be termed "semic".
The words of the text containing semic repetition are exponents of the themes of the text and can be called "thematic words". The analysis of thematic words is of great help in disclosing the author's message.