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Lexicology, its aims and significance



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Lexicology, its aims and significance

Lexicology is a branch of linguistics which deals with a systematic description and study of the vocabulary of the language as regards its origin, development, meaning and current use. The term is composed of 2 words of Greek origin: lexis + logos. A word about words, or the science of a word. It also concerns with morphemes, which make up words and the study of a word implies reference to variable and fixed groups because words are components of such groups. Semantic properties of such words define general rules of their joining together. The general study of the vocabulary irrespective of the specific features of a particular language is known as general lexicology. Therefore, English lexicology is called special lexicology because English lexicology represents the study into the peculiarities of the present-day English vocabulary.

Lexicology is inseparable from: phonetics, grammar, and linguostylistics b-cause phonetics also investigates vocabulary units but from the point of view of their sounds. Grammar- grammatical peculiarities and grammatical relations between words. Linguostylistics studies the nature, functioning and structure of stylistic devices and the styles of a language.

Language is a means of communication. Thus, the social essence is inherent in the language itself. The branch of linguistics which deals with relations between the language functions on the one hand and the facts of social life on the other hand is termed sociolinguistics.

Modern English lexicology investigates the problems of word structure and word formation; it also investigates the word structure of English, the classification of vocabulary units, replenishment3 of the vocabulary; the relations between different lexical layers4 of the English vocabulary and some other. Lexicology came into being to meet the demands of different branches of applied linguistic! Namely, lexicography - a science and art of compiling dictionaries. It is also important for foreign language teaching and literary criticism.

 

Referential approach to meaning

SEMASIOLOGY

There are different approaches to meaning and types of meaning

Meaning is the object of semasiological study -> semasiology is a branch of lexicology which is concerned with the study of the semantic structure of vocabulary units. The study of meaning is the basis of all linguistic investigations.

Russian linguists have also pointed to the complexity of the phenomenon of meaning (Потебня, Щерба, Смирницкий, Уфимцева и др.)

There are 3 main types of definition of meaning:

(a) Analytical or referential definition

(b) Functional or contextual approach

(c) Operational or information-oriented definition of meaning

REFERENTIAL APPROACH

Within the referential approach linguists attempt at establishing interdependence between words and objects of phenomena they denote. The idea is illustrated by the so-called basic triangle:

 

Concept

Sound – form_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Referent

[kæ t] (concrete object)

The diagram illustrates the correlation between the sound form of a word, the concrete object it denotes and the underlying concept. The dotted line suggests that there is no immediate relation between sound form and referent + we can say that its connection is conventional (human cognition).

However the diagram fails to show what meaning really is. The concept, the referent, or the relationship between the main and the concept.

The merits: it links the notion of meaning to the process of namegiving to objects, process of phenomena. The drawbacks: it cannot be applied to sentences and additional meanings that arise in the conversation. It fails to account for polysemy and synonymy and it operates with subjective and intangible mental process as neither reference nor concept belong to linguistic data.

 

 

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Functional approach to meaning

SEMASIOLOGY

There are different approaches to meaning and types of meaning

Meaning is the object of semasiological study -> semasiology is a branch of lexicology which is concerned with the study of the semantic structure of vocabulary units. The study of meaning is the basis of all linguistic investigations.

Russian linguists have also pointed to the complexity of the phenomenon of meaning (Потебня, Щерба, Смирницкий, Уфимцева и др.)

There are 3 main types of definition of meaning:

(a) Analytical or referential definition

(b) Functional or contextual approach

(c) Operational or information-oriented definition of meaning

Classification of morphemes

A morpheme is the smallest indivisible two-facet language unit which implies an association of a certain meaning with a certain sound form. Unlike words, morphemes cannot function independently (they occur in speech only as parts of words).

Classification of Morphemes

Within the English word stock maybe distinguished morphologically segment-able and non-segment-able words (soundless, rewrite – segmentable; book, car - non-segmentable).

Morphemic segmentability may be of three types:

a) Complete segmentability is characteristic of words with transparent morphemic structure (morphemes can be easily isolated, e.g. heratless).

b) Conditional segmentability characterizes words segmentation of which into constituent morphemes is doubtful for semantic reasons (retain, detain, contain). Pseudo-morphemes

c) Defective morphemic segmentability is the property of words whose component morphemes seldom or never occur in other words. Such morphemes are called unique morphemes (cran – cranberry (клюква), let- hamlet (деревушка)).

 

· Semantically morphemes may be classified into: 1) root morphemes – radicals (remake, glassful, disorder - make, glass, order- are understood as the lexical centres of the words) and 2) non-root morphemes – include inflectional (carry only grammatical meaning and relevant only for the formation of word-forms) and affixational morphemes (relevant for building different types of stems).

· Structurally, morphemes fall into: free morphemes (coincides with the stem or a word-form. E.g. friend- of thenoun friendship is qualified as a free morpheme), bound morphemes (occurs only as a constituent part of a word. Affixes are bound for they always make part of a word. E.g. the suffixes –ness, -ship, -ize in the words darkness, friendship, to activize; the prefixes im-, dis-, de- in the words impolite, to disregard, to demobilize) and semi-free or semi-bound morphemes (can function both as affixes and free morphemes. E.g. well and half on the one hand coincide with the stem – to sleep well, half an hour, and on the other in the words – well-known, half-done).

 

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Types of meaning

The word " meaning" is not homogeneous. Its components are described as " types of meaning". The two main types of meaning are grammatical and lexical meaning.

The grammatical meaning is the component of meaning, recurrent in identical sets of individual forms of words (e.g. reads, draws, writes – 3d person, singular; books, boys – plurality; boy’s, father’s – possessive case).

The lexical meaning is the meaning proper to the linguistic unit in all its forms and distribution (e.g. boy, boys, boy’s, boys’ – grammatical meaning and case are different but in all of them we find the semantic component " male child" ).

Both grammatical meaning and lexical meaning make up the word meaning and neither of them can exist without the other.

There’s also the 3d type: lexico-grammatical (part of speech) meaning. Third type of meaning is called lexico-grammatical meaning (or part-of-speech meaning). It is a common denominator of all the meanings of words belonging to a lexical-grammatical class (nouns, verbs, adjectives etc. – all nouns have common meaning oа thingness, while all verbs express process or state).

Denotational meaning – component of the lexical meaning which makes communication possible. The second component of the lexical meaning is the connotational component – the emotive charge and the stylistic value of the word.

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Classification of compounds

The meaning of a compound word is made up of two components: structural meaning of a compound and lexical meaning of its constituents.

Compound words can be classified according to different principles.

1. According to the relations between the ICs compound words fall into two classes: 1) coordinative compounds and 2) subordinative compounds.

In coordinative compounds the two ICs are semantically equally important. The coordinative compounds fall into three groups:

a) reduplicative compounds which are made up by the repetition of the same base, e.g. pooh-pooh (пренебрегать), fifty-fifty;

b) compounds formed by joining the phonically variated rhythmic twin forms, e.g. chit-chat, zig-zag (with the same initial consonants but different vowels); walkie-talkie (рация), clap-trap (чепуха) (with different initial consonants but the same vowels);

c) additive compounds which are built on stems of the independently functioning words of the same part of speech, e.g. actor-manager, queen-bee.

In subordinative compounds the components are neither structurally nor semantically equal in importance but are based on the domination of the head-member which is, as a rule, the second IС, e.g. stone-deaf, age-long. The second IС preconditions the part-of-speech meaning of the whole compound.

2. According to the part of speech compounds represent they fall into:

1) compound nouns, e.g. sunbeam, maidservant;

2) compound adjectives, e.g. heart-free, far-reaching;

3) compound pronouns, e.g. somebody, nothing;

4) compound adverbs, e.g. nowhere, inside;

5) compound verbs, e.g. to offset, to bypass, to mass-produce.

From the diachronic point of view many compound verbs of the present-day language are treated not as compound verbs proper but as polymorphic verbs of secondary derivation. They are termed pseudo-compounds and are represented by two groups: a) verbs formed by means of conversion from the stems of compound nouns, e.g. to spotlight (from spotlight); b) verbs formed by back-derivation from the stems of compound nouns, e.g. to babysit (from baby-sitter).

However synchronically compound verbs correspond to the definition of a compound as a word consisting of two free stems and functioning in the sentence as a separate lexical unit. Thus, it seems logical to consider such words as compounds by right of their structure.

3. According to the means of composition compound words are classified into:

1) compounds composed without connecting elements, e.g. heartache, dog-house;

2)compounds composed with the help of a vowel or a consonant as a linking element, e.g. handicraft, speedometer, statesman;

3) compounds composed with the help of linking elements represented by preposition or conjunction stems, e.g. son-in-law, pepper-and-salt.

4. According to the type of bases that form compounds the following classes can be singled out:

1) compounds proper that are formed by joining together bases built on the stems or on the word-forms with or without a linking element, e.g. door-step, street-fighting;

2) derivational compounds that are formed by joining affixes to the bases built on the word-groups or by converting the bases built on the word-groups into other parts of speech, e.g. long-legged —> (long legs) + -ed; a turnkey —> (to turn key) + conversion. Thus, derivational compounds fall into two groups: a) derivational compounds mainly formed with the help of the suffixes -ed and -er applied to bases built, as a rule, on attributive phrases, e.g. narrow-minded, doll-faced, left­hander; b) derivational compounds formed by conversion applied to bases built, as a rule, on three types of phrases — verbal-adverbial phrases (a breakdown), verbal-nominal phrases (a kill-joy) and attributive phrases (a sweet-tooth).

 

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Classification of homonyms

Homonyms are words that are identical in their sound-form or spelling but different in meaning and distribution.

1) Homonyms proper are words similar in their sound-form and graphic but different in meaning (e.g. " a ball" - a round object for playing; " a ball" - a meeting for dances).

2) Homophones are words similar in their sound-form but different in spelling and meaning (e.g. " peace" - " piece", " sight" - " site" ).

3) Homographs are words which have similar spelling but different sound-form and meaning (e.g. " a row" [rau]- " a quarrel"; " a row" [rə u] - " a number of persons or things in a more or less straight line" )

There is another classification by Смирницкий. According to the type of meaning in which homonyms differ, homonyms proper can be classified into:

I. Lexical homonyms - different in lexical meaning (e.g. " ball" );

II. Lexical-grammatical homonyms which differ in lexical-grammatical meanings (e.g. " a seal" - тюлень, " to seal" - запечатывать).

III. Grammatical homonyms which differ in grammatical meaning only (e.g. " used" - Past Indefinite, " used" - Past Participle; " pupils" - the meaning of plurality, " pupil's" - the meaning of possessive case).

All cases of homonymy may be subdivided into full and partial homonymy. If words are identical in all their forms, they are full homonyms (e.g. " ball" -" ball" ). But: " a seal" - " to seal" have only two homonymous forms, hence, they are partial homonyms.

 

Classification of prefixes

Prefixation is the formation of words with the help of prefixes. There are about 51 prefixes in the system of modern English word-formation.

1. According to the type they are distinguished into: a) prefixes that are correlated with independent words (un-, dis-), and b) prefixes that are correlated with functional words (e.g. out, over. under).

There are about 25 convertive prefixes which can transfer words to a different part of speech (E.g. embronze59).

Prefixes may be classified on different principles. Diachronically they may be divided into native and foreign origin, synchronically:

1. According to the class they preferably form: verbs (im, un), adjectives (un-, in-, il-, ir-) and nouns (non-, sub-, ex-).

2. According to the lexical-grammatical type of the base they are added to:

a). Deverbal - rewrite, overdo;

b). Denominal - unbutton, detrain, ex-president,

c). Deadjectival - uneasy, biannual.

It is of interest to note that the most productive prefixal pattern for adjectives is the one made up of the prefix un- and the base built either on adjectival stems or present and past participle, e.g. unknown, unsmiling, unseen etc.

3. According to their semantic structure prefixes may fall into monosemantic and polysemantic.

4. According to the generic-denotational meaning they are divided into different groups:

a). Negative prefixes: un-, dis-, non-, in-, a- (e.g. unemployment, non-scientific, incorrect, disloyal, amoral, asymmetry).

b). Reversative or privative60 prefixes: un-, de-, dis- (e.g. untie, unleash, decentralize, disconnect).

c). Pejorative prefixes: mis-, mal-, pseudo- (e.g. miscalculate, misinform, maltreat, pseudo-classicism).

d). Prefixes of time and order: fore-, pre-, post-, ex- (e.g. foretell, pre-war, post-war, ex-president).

e). Prefix of repetition re- (e.g. rebuild, rewrite).

f). Locative prefixes: super-, sub-, inter-, trans- (e.g. superstructure, subway, inter-continental, transatlantic).

5. According to their stylistic reference:

a). Neutral: un-, out-, over-, re-, under- (e.g. outnumber, unknown, unnatural, oversee, underestimate).

b). Stylistically marked: pseudo-, super-, ultra-, uni-, bi- (e.g. pseudo-classical, superstructure, ultra-violet, unilateral) they are bookish.

6. According to the degree of productivity: a). highly productive, b). productive, c). non-productive.

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Classification of suffixes

Suffixation is the formation of words with the help of suffixes. Suffixes usually modify the lexical meaning of the base and transfer words to a different part of speech. There are suffixes, however, which do not shift words from one part of speech into another; a suffix of this kind usually transfers a word into a different semantic group, e.g. a concrete noun becomes an abstract one, as in the case with child - childhood, friend- friendship etc. Suffixes may be classified:

1. According to the part of speech they form

a). Noun-suffixes: -er, -dom, -ness, -ation (e.g. teacher, freedom, brightness, justification).

b). Adjective-suffixes: -able, -less, -ful, -ic, -ous (e.g. agreeable, careless, doubtful, poetic, courageous).

c). Verb-suffixes: -en, -fy, -ize (e.g. darken, satisfy, harmonize).

d). Adverb-suffixes: -ly, -ward (e.g. quickly, eastward).

2. According to the lexico-grammatical character of the base the suffixes are usually added to:

a). Deverbal suffixes (those added to the verbal base): -er, -ing, -ment, -able (speaker, reading, agreement, suitable).

b). Denominal suffixes (those added to the noun base): -less, -ish, -ful, -ist, -some (handless, childish, mouthful, troublesome).

c). Deadjectival suffixes (those affixed to the adjective base): -en, -ly, -ish, -ness (blacken, slowly, reddish, brightness).

3. According to the meaning expressed by suffixes:

a). The agent of an action: -er, -ant (e.g. baker, dancer, defendant), b). Appurtenance64: -an, -ian, -ese (e.g. Arabian, Elizabethan, Russian, Chinese, Japanese).

c). Collectivity: -age, -dom, -ery (-ry) (e.g. freightage, officialdom, peasantry).

d). Diminutiveness: -ie, -let, -ling (birdie, girlie, cloudlet, booklet, darling).

4. According to the degree of productivity:

a). Highly productive

b). Productive

c). Non-productive

5. According to the stylistic value:

a). Stylistically neutral: -able, -er, -ing.

b). Stylistically marked: -oid, -i/form, -aceous, -tron (e.g. asteroid)

 

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Derivational types of words

The basic units of the derivative structure of words are: derivational basis, derivational affixes, and derivational patterns.

The relations between words with a common root but of different derivative structure are known as derivative relations.

The derivational base is the part of the word which establishes connections with the lexical unit that motivates the derivative and defines its lexical meaning. It's to this part of the word (derivational base) that the rule of word formation is applied. Structurally, derivational bases fall into 3 classes: 1. Bases that coincide with morphological stems (beautiful, beautifully); 2. Bases that coincide with word-forms (unknown- limited mainly to verbs); 3. Bases that coincide with word groups. They are mainly active in the class of adjectives and nouns (blue-eyed, easy-going).

According to their derivational structure words fall into: simplexes (simple, non-derived words) and complexes (derivatives). Complexes are grouped into: derivatives and compounds. Derivatives fall into: affixational (suffixal and affixal) types and conversions. Complexes constitute the largest class of words. Both morphemic and derivational structure of words is subject to various changes in the course of time.

 

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Sources of compounds

The actual process of building compound words may take different forms: 1) Com­pound words as a rule are built spontaneously according to pro­ductive distributional formulas of the given period. Formulas productive at one time may lose their productivity at another period. Thus at one time the process of building verbs by compounding adverbial and verbal stems was productive, and numerous compound verbs like, e.g. out­grow, offset, inlay (adv + v), were formed. The structure ceased to be productive and today practically no verbs are built in this way.

2) Compounds may be the result of a gradual process of semantic isolation and structural fusion of free word-groups. Such compounds as forget-me-not; bull's-eye —'the centre of a target; a kind of hard, globular can­dy'; mainland— 'acontinent' all go back to free phrases which became semantically and structurally isolated in the course of time. The words that once made up these phrases have lost their integrity, within these particular for­mations, the whole phrase has become isolated in form, " specialized in meaning and thus turned into an inseparable unit—a word having acquired semantic and morphological unity. Most of the syntactic compound nouns of the (a+n) structure, e.g. bluebell, blackboard, mad-doctor, are the result of such semantic and structural isolation of free word-groups; to give but one more example, highway was once actually a high way for it was raised above the surrounding countryside for better drainage and ease of travel. Now we use highway without any idea of the original sense of the first element.

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Means of composition

From the point of view of the means by which the components are joined together compound words may be classified into:

1) Words formed by merely placing one constituent after another (e.g. house-dog, pot-pie) can be: asyntactic (the order of bases runs counter to the order in which the words can be brought together under the rules of syntax of the language, e.g. red-hot, pale-blue, oil-rich) and syntactic (the order of words arranged according to the rules of syntax, e.g. mad-doctor, blacklist).

2) Compound words whose ICs are joined together with a special linking-element - linking vowels (o) and consonants (s), e.g. speedometer, tragicomic, statesman.

The additive compound adjectives linked with the help of the vowel [ou] are limited to the names of nationalities and represent a specific group with a bound root for the first component, e.g. Sino-Japanese, Afro-Asian, Anglo-Saxon.

 

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Semantic fields

 

lexico-semantic groups

lexical sets

synonyms

semantic field

The broadest semantic group is usually referred to as the semantic field. It is a closely neat section of vocabulary characterized by a common concept (e.g. emotions). The common semantic component of the field is called the common dominator. All members of the field are semantically independent, as the meaning of each is determined by the presence of others. Semantic field may be very impressive, covering big conceptual areas (emotions, movements, space). Words comprising the field may belong to different parts of speech.

If the underlying notion is broad enough to include almost all-embracing sections of vocabulary we deal with semantic fields (e.g. cosmonaut, spacious, to orbit – belong to the semantic field of ‘space’).

 

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Assimilation of borrowings

The term 'assimilation of borrowings' is used to denote a partial or total conformation to the phonetical, graphical and morphological standards of the English language and its semantic system.

According to the degree of assimilation all borrowed words can be divided into three groups:

1) completely assimilated borrowings;

2) partially assimilated borrowings;

3) unassimilated borrowings or barbarisms.

1. Completely assimilated borrowed words follow all morpholo­gical, phonetical and orthographic standards, take an active part in word-formation. The morphological structure and motivation of completely assimilated borrowings remain usually transparent, so that they are morphologically analyzable and therefore supply the English vocabulary not only with free forms but also with bound forms, as affixes are easily perceived and separated in series of borrowed words that contain them (e.g. the French suffixes - age, -ance and -ment).

They are found in all the layers of older borrowings, e. g. cheese (the first layer of Latin borrowings), husband (Scand), face (Fr), animal (Latin, borrowed during the revival of learning).

A loan word never brings into the receiving language the whole of its semantic structure if it is polysemantic in the original language (e.g., ‘sport’in Old French - ‘pleasures, making merry and entertainments in general’, now - outdoor games and exercise).

2. Partially assimilated borrowed words may be subdivided depending on the aspect that remains unaltered into:

a) borrowings not completely assimilated graphically (e.g., Fr. ballet, buffet; some may keep a diacritic mark: café, cliché; retained digraphs (ch, qu, ou, etc.): bouquet, brioche);

b) borrowings not completely assimilated phonetically (e.g., Fr. machine, cartoon, police(accent is on the final syllable), [3] bourgeois, prestige, regime(stress + contain sounds or combinations of sounds that are not standard for the English language));

c) borrowings not assimilated grammatically (e.g., Latin or Greek borrowings retain original plural forms: crisis - crises, phenomenon - phenomena;

d) borrowings not assimilated semantically because they denote objects and notions peculiar to the country from which they come (e. g. sari, sombrero, shah, rajah, toreador, rickshaw(Chinese), etc.

3. Unassimilated borrowings or barbarisms. This group includes words from other languages used by English people in conversation or in writing but not assimilated in any way, and for which there are corresponding English equivalents, e.g. the Italian addio, ciao— 'good-bye'.

Etymological doublets are two or more words originating from the same etymological source, but differing in phonetic shape and meaning (e.g. the words ‘whole’(originally meant ‘healthy’, ‘free from disease’) and ‘hale’both come from OE ‘hal’: one by the normal development of OE ‘a’ into ‘o’, the other from a northern dialect in which this modification did not take place. Only the latter has servived in its original meaning).

 

Semi-affixes

There is a specific group of morphemes whose derivational function does not allow one to refer them unhesitatingly either to the derivational affixes or bases. In words like half-done, half-broken, half-eaten and ill-fed, ill-housed, ill-dressed the ICs ‘half-‘ and ‘ill-‘ are given in linguistic lit­erature different interpretations: they are described both as bases and as derivational prefixes. The comparison of these ICs with the phonetically identical stems in independent words ‘ill’ and ‘half’ as used in such phrases as to speak ill of smb, half an hour ago makes it obvious that in words like ill-fed, ill-mannered, half-done the ICs ‘ill-‘ and ‘half-‘ are losing both their semantic and structural identity with the stems of the independent words. They are all marked by a different distributional meaning which is clearly revealed through the difference of their collocability as compared with the collocability of the stems of the independently functioning words. As to their lexical meaning they have become more indicative of a generalizing meaning of incompleteness and poor quality than the indi­vidual meaning proper to the stems of independent words and thus they function more as affixational morphemes similar to the prefixes ‘out-, over-, under-, semi-, mis-‘ regularly forming whole classes of words.

Be­sides, the high frequency of these morphemes in the above-mentioned generalized meaning in combination with the numerous bases built on past participles indicates their closer ties with derivational affixes than bases. Yet these morphemes retain certain lexical ties with the root-mor­phemes in the stems of independent words and that is why are felt as occu­pying an intermediate position, as morphemes that are changing their class membership regularly functioning as derivational prefixes but still retaining certain features of root-morphemes. That is why they are sometimes referred to as semi-affixes. To this group we should also refer ‘well-‘ and ‘self-‘ (well-fed, well-done, self-made), ‘-man’ in words like postman, cabman, chairman, ‘-looking’ in words like foreign-looking, alive-looking, strange-looking, etc.

 

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Classification of homonyms

Homonyms are words that are identical in their sound-form or spelling but different in meaning and distribution.

1) Homonyms proper are words similar in their sound-form and graphic but different in meaning (e.g. " a ball" - a round object for playing; " a ball" - a meeting for dances).

2) Homophones are words similar in their sound-form but different in spelling and meaning (e.g. " peace" - " piece", " sight" - " site" ).

3) Homographs are words which have similar spelling but different sound-form and meaning (e.g. " a row" [rau]- " a quarrel"; " a row" [rə u] - " a number of persons or things in a more or less straight line" )

There is another classification by Смирницкий. According to the type of meaning in which homonyms differ, homonyms proper can be classified into:

I. Lexical homonyms - different in lexical meaning (e.g. " ball" );

II. Lexical-grammatical homonyms which differ in lexical-grammatical meanings (e.g. " a seal" - тюлень, " to seal" - запечатывать).

III. Grammatical homonyms which differ in grammatical meaning only (e.g. " used" - Past Indefinite, " used" - Past Participle; " pupils" - the meaning of plurality, " pupil's" - the meaning of possessive case).

All cases of homonymy may be subdivided into full and partial homonymy. If words are identical in all their forms, they are full homonyms (e.g. " ball" -" ball" ). But: " a seal" - " to seal" have only two homonymous forms, hence, they are partial homonyms.

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 24

 

Derivational bases

The derivational bases is the part of the word which establishes connections with the lexical unit that motivates the derivative and defines its lexical meaning. The rule of word formation is applied. Structurally, they fall into 3 classes: 1. bases that coincide with morphological stems (e.g. beautiful (d.b.) - beautifully); 2. bases that coincide with word-forms (e.g. unknown - known); 3. bases that coincide with word groups; adjectives and nouns (e.g. blue-eyed – having blue eyes, easy-going).

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 25

Criteria of synonymity

1. It is sometimes argued that the meaning of two words is identical if they can denote the same referent (if an object or a certain class of objects can always be denoted by either of the two words.

This approach to synonymy does not seem acceptable because the same referent in different speech situations can always be denoted by different words which cannot be considered synonyms (e.g. the same woman can be referred to as my mother by her son and my wife by her husband – both words denote the same referent but there is no semantic relationship of synonymy between them).

2. Attempts have been made to introduce into the definition of synonymity the criterion of interchangeability in linguistic contexts (they say: synonyms are words which can replace each other in any given context without the slightest alteration in the denotational or connotational meaning). It is argued that for the linguist similarity of meaning implies that the words are synonymous if either of then can occur in the same context. And words interchangeable in any given context are very rare.

3. Modern linguists generally assume that there are no complete synonyms - if two words are phonemically different then their meanings are also different (buy, purchase – Purchasing Department). It follows that practically no words are substitutable for one another in all contexts (e.g. the rain in April was abnormal/exceptional – are synonymous; but My son is exceptional/abnormal – have different meaning).

Also interchangeability alone cannot serve as a criterion of synonymity. We may safely assume that synonyms are words interchangeable in some contexts. But the reverse is certainly not true as semantically different words of the same part of speech are interchangeable in quite a number of contexts (e.g. I saw a little girl playing in the garden the adj. little may be replaced by a number of different adj. pretty, tall, English).

Thus a more acceptable definition of synonyms seems to be the following: synonyms are words different in their sound-form, but similar in their denotational meaning or meanings and interchangeable at least in some contexts.

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 26

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 27

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 28

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 29

Specialized dictionaries

Phraseological dictionaries have accumulated vast collections of idiomatic or colloquial phrases, proverbs and other, usually image-bearing word-groups with profuse illustrations. (An Anglo-Russian Phraseological Dictionary by A. V. Koonin)

New Words dictionaries have it as their aim adequate reflection of the continuous growth of the English language. (Berg P. A Dictionary of New Words in English)

Dictionaries of slang contain vulgarisms, jargonisms, taboo words, curse-words, colloquialisms, etc. (Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English by E. Partridge)

Usage dictionaries pass judgement on usage problems of all kinds, on what is right or wrong. Designed for native speakers they supply much various information on such usage problems as, e.g., the difference in meaning between words (like comedy, farce and burlesque; formalityand formalism), the proper pronunciation of words, the plural forms of the nouns (e.g. flamingo), the meaning of foreign and archaic words. (Dictionary of Modern English Usage by N. W. Fowler.)

Dictionaries of word-frequency inform the user as to the frequency of occurrence of lexical units in speech (oral or written). (M. West’s General Service List.)

A Reverse dictionary (back-to-front dictionaries) is a list of words in which the entry words are arranged in alphabetical order starting with their final letters. (Rhyming Dictionary of the English Language).

Pronouncing dictionaries record contemporary pronunciation. They indicate variant pronunciations (which are numerous in some cases), as well as the pronunciation of different grammatical forms. (English Pronouncing Dictionary by Daniel Jones)

Etymological dictionaries trace present-day words to the oldest forms available, establish their primary meanings and point out the immediate source of borrowing, its origin, and parallel forms in cognate languages. (Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology edited by С. Т. Onions.)

Ideographic dictionaries designed for English-speaking writers, orators or translators seeking to express their ideas adequately contain words grouped by the concepts expressed. (Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.)

Besides the most important and widely used types of English dictionaries discussed above there are some others, such as synonym-books, spelling reference books, hard-words dictionaries, etc.

 

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 30

Meaning in morphemes

A morpheme is the smallest indivisible two-facet (form and meaning) language unit which implies an association of a certain meaning and sound-form. Unlike words, morphemes cannot function independently (they occur in speech only as parts of words).

Morphemes have certain semantic peculiarities that distinguish them from words.- the don’t have grammatical meaning. Concrete lexical meaning is found mainly in root-morphemes (e.g. ‘friend” – friendship). Lexical meaning of affixes is generalized (e.g. -er – doer of an action; re- - repetition of some action).

Lexical meaning in morphemes may be analyzed into connotational and denotational components. The connotational aspect of meaning may be found in root-morphemes and affixational morphemes (e.g. diminutive meaning: booklet).

The part-of-speech meaning is characteristic only of affixal morphemes; moreover, some affixal morphemes are devoid of any part of meaning but part-of-speech meaning (e.g. –ment).

Morphemes possess specific meanings (of their own). There are: 1) deferential meaning and 2) distributional meaning.

Differential meaning is the semantic component that serves to distinguish one word from others containing identical morphemes (e.g. bookshelf, bookcase, bookhaunter).

Distributional meaning is the meaning of order and arrangement of morphemes that make up the word (e.g. heartless X lessheart).

Identical morphemes may have different sound-form (e.g. divide, divisible, division – the root morpheme is represented phonetically in different ways. They are called allomorphs or morpheme variant of one and the same morpheme.

 

Morphemic types of words

According to the number of morphemes words maybe classified into: monomorphic (root) words e.g. live, house) and polymorphic words that consist of more than one morpheme (merciless).

Polymorphic words are subdivided into:

1. Monoradical (one-root) words may be of 3 subtypes: a) radical-suffixal words (e.g. helpless), b) radical-prefixal words (e.g. mistrust), c) prefixo-radical-suffixal words (e.g. misunderstanding).

2. Polyradical (two or more roots) words fall into: a) root morphemes without affixes (e.g. bookcase) and b) root morphemes with suffixes (e.g. straw-colored).

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 1

Lexicology, its aims and significance

Lexicology is a branch of linguistics which deals with a systematic description and study of the vocabulary of the language as regards its origin, development, meaning and current use. The term is composed of 2 words of Greek origin: lexis + logos. A word about words, or the science of a word. It also concerns with morphemes, which make up words and the study of a word implies reference to variable and fixed groups because words are components of such groups. Semantic properties of such words define general rules of their joining together. The general study of the vocabulary irrespective of the specific features of a particular language is known as general lexicology. Therefore, English lexicology is called special lexicology because English lexicology represents the study into the peculiarities of the present-day English vocabulary.

Lexicology is inseparable from: phonetics, grammar, and linguostylistics b-cause phonetics also investigates vocabulary units but from the point of view of their sounds. Grammar- grammatical peculiarities and grammatical relations between words. Linguostylistics studies the nature, functioning and structure of stylistic devices and the styles of a language.

Language is a means of communication. Thus, the social essence is inherent in the language itself. The branch of linguistics which deals with relations between the language functions on the one hand and the facts of social life on the other hand is termed sociolinguistics.

Modern English lexicology investigates the problems of word structure and word formation; it also investigates the word structure of English, the classification of vocabulary units, replenishment3 of the vocabulary; the relations between different lexical layers4 of the English vocabulary and some other. Lexicology came into being to meet the demands of different branches of applied linguistic! Namely, lexicography - a science and art of compiling dictionaries. It is also important for foreign language teaching and literary criticism.

 


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