Does a hypernym for 'specialization' and 'generalization' exist? I.e. a term that describes the is-a relationship between one entity A and entity B, regardless of direction.
Derivative is not a hypernym of specialization and generalization.
In linguistics, a hyponym (from Greek hupó, "under" and ónoma, "name") is a word or phrase whose semantic field is included within that of another word, its hyperonym or hypernym (from Greek hupér, "over" and ónoma, "name").
In simpler terms, a hyponym shares a type-of relationship with its hypernym. For example, pigeon, crow, eagle and seagull are all hyponyms of bird (their hyperonym); which, in turn, is a hyponym of animal.
Specialization and generalization do not share a semantic field with derivative.
Semantic field (Wikipedia)
In linguistics, a semantic field is a set of words grouped semantically (by meaning) that refers to a specific subject.
Another example would be colour. Colour is a hypernym of red and blue.
The meanings of the words you have enquired about:
A particular area of knowledge or the process of becoming an expert in a particular area.
Is altogether different semantically:
A written or spoken statement in which you say or write that something is true all of the time when it is only true some of the time.
Specialization is specifically to do with knowledge as a field of study, whereas generalization is to do with an extrapolation of truth from a narrow scope to a wider scope.
However, there are similar words... which do share a hypernym:
A specialist is a person who has a particular skill or knows a lot about a particular subject.
A person who is knowledgeable in many fields of study
A hypernym for specialist and generalist would be scope of knowledge.
A subsumption relation in category theory, semantic networks and linguistics, also known as a "hyponym-hypernym relationship" (Is-a) - wikipedia disambiguation page for subsumption
A subsumptive containment hierarchy is a classification of object classes from the general to the specific. Other names for this type of hierarchy are "taxonomic hierarchy" and "IS-A hierarchy". - wikipedia
The natural sense of the term is derived from the word subsume. While the verb is biased towards generalisation, the noun subsumption can be used for relations in both directions. In particular, both generalisation and specialisation are subsumption relations.
subsume verb Include or absorb (something) in something else. ‘most of these phenomena can be subsumed under two broad categories’ - ODO
Specialization [spesh-uh-luh-zey-shuh n] /noun
- the act of being restricted to some specific, or the act of becoming specialized.
Generalization [jen-er-uh-luh-zey-shuh n] /noun
- the act or process of generalizing.
I would say that these are both "graduations" in the sense of the definition given below, or "gradations".
Graduation [graj-oo-ey-shuh n] /noun
- arrangement in degrees, levels, or ranks.
Gradation [grey-dey-shuh n] /noun
any process or change taking place through a series of stages, by degrees, or in a gradual manner.
a stage, degree, or grade in such a series.
the act of a grading (degree or step in a scale, as of rank, advancement, quality, value, or intensity).
You could call the field of determining such relationships and classifications ontology.
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic categories of being and their relations... ontology often deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Although ontology as a philosophical enterprise is highly hypothetical, it also has practical application in information science and technology, such as ontology engineering.
You could describe the relationship between entity A and entity B as ontological, regardless of direction.
showing the relations between the concepts and categories in a subject area or domain.
Specialization is a spectrum that ranges from unspecialized (generalist) to highly specialized (specialist), so (degree of) specialization is hierarchically superior to generalization, which is a special case of specialization.
For example, in a society without division of labor, every member is by default a generalist. As soon as members start taking advantage of their comparative advantage, specialties and sub-specialties emerge.
The ...is a... relationship only goes one way, so the question is a little off kilter. If you're only asking about how to talk about hypernymic relationships, you can just call them that. Or generalization, or supercategory, or @Lawrence's subsumption. To actually talk about going either way, you need something broader.
You're actually just talking about the concept 'relationship' itself:
The state or fact of being related; the way in which two things are connected; a connection, an association.
To make it any more specific, you'd use a qualifier. In the case of hypernym and hyponym, those are semantic relations or relationships. The place most civilians will see these terms is browsing Wiktionary and per their formating guidelines:
There are several different kinds of semantic relations and at least the following ones are relevant to Wiktionary. Terms that are semantically related to a given term can be included both at the term’s page and at a Wikisaurus page.
The relations mentioned include synonymy, antonymy, hypernymy, hyponymy, meronymy, holonymy, troponymy, and "coordinate term" and "otherwise related".
My initial intuition was that the OP, in using the term "specialization", was considering the following definition:
Specialization [spesh-uh-luh-zey-shuh n] /noun
- the act of specializing, or pursuing a particular line of study or work
And I assumed that the use of "generalization" was a misnomer for the opposite of specialization.
If this is accurate I would suggest the following term:
Skill set [skil-set] /noun
- a particular combination of skills that a person has developed, especially ones that can be used in a job.
protected by tchrist♦ Jul 29 '17 at 22:52
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