For the record, sovereign as an adjective, as it is pitched in the first worksheet, means “enjoying autonomy” and “independent.” As it happens, as an adjective, sovereign carries several meanings. As a noun, it means “one possessing or held to possess sovereignty,” “one possessing or held to possess supreme political power or sovereignty,” “one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere,” and “an acknowledged leader.” When we use this word in English, particularly in social studies courses, we mean king or queen.
You have no doubt noted that a sovereign is “held to possess sovereignty.” What does sovereignty, the subject of the second document, mean? For the purposes of the second worksheet, on sovereignty, it means “supreme power, especially over a body politic,” “freedom from external control,” “autonomy,” “controlling influence.” But again, this is a complicated word that isn’t exactly polysemous, but close to it.
You might ask students, if you’ve taught them the verb and noun reign, if they recognize a word they know inside sovereign or sovereignty. It’s a nice way to help students build the kind of semantic web that leads to transfer of learning.
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