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Types of word segmentability



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

Morphemic segmentability may be of three types: 1. complete, 2. conditional, 3. defective.

A). Complete segmentability is characteristic of words with transparent morphemic structure. Their morphemes can be easily isolated which are called morphemes proper or full morphemes (e.g. senseless, endless, useless). The transparent morphemic structure is conditioned by the fact that their constituent morphemes recur with the same meaning in a number of other words.

B). Conditional segmentability characterizes words segmentation of which into constituent morphemes is doubtful for semantic reasons (e.g. retain, detain, contain). The sound clusters " re-, de-, con-" seem to be easily isolated since they recur in other words but they have nothing in common with the morphemes " re, de-, con-" which are found in the words " rewrite", " decode", " condensation". The sound-clusters " re-, de-, con-" can possess neither lexical meaning nor part of speech meaning, but they have differential and distributional meaning. The morphemes of the kind are called pseudo-morphemes (quasi morphemes).

C). Defective morphemic segmentability is the property of words whose component morphemes seldom or never recur in other words. Such morphemes are called unique morphemes. A unique morpheme can be isolated and displays a more or less clear meaning which is upheld by the denotational meaning of the other morpheme of the word (cranberry, strawberry, hamlet).

 

Basic criteria of semantic derivation within conversion pairs

There are different criteria if differentiating between the source and the derived word in a conversion pair.

1. The criterion of the non-correspondencebetween the lexical meaning of the root-morpheme and the part-of-the speech meaning of the stem in one of the two words in a conversion pair. This criterion cannot be implied to abstract nouns.

2. The synonymity criterionis based on the comparison of a conversion pair with analogous synonymous word-pairs (e.g. comparing to chat – chat with synonymous pair of words to converse – conversation, it becomes obvious that the noun chat is the derived member as their semantic relations are similar). This criterion can be applied only to deverbal substantives.

3. The criterion of derivational relations. In the word-cluster hand – to hand – handful – handy the derived words of the first degree of derivation have suffixes added to the nominal base. Thus, the noun hand is the center of the word-cluster. This fact makes it possible to conclude that the verb to hand is the derived member.

4. The criterion of semantic derivation is based on semantic relations within the conversion pairs. If the semantic relations are typical of denominal verbs – verb is the derived member, but if they are typical of deverbal nouns – noun is the derived member (e.g. crowd – to crowd are perceived as those of ‘an object and an action characteristic of an object’ – the verb is the derived member).

5. According to the criterion of the frequency of occurrence a lower frequency value shows the derived character. (e.g. to answer (63%) – answer (35%) – the noun answer is the derived member).

6. The transformational criterion is based on the transformation of the predicative syntagma into a nominal syntagma (e.g. Mike visited his friends. – Mike’s visit to his friends. – then it is the noun that is derived member, but if we can’t transform the sentence, noun cannot be regarded as a derived member – Ann handed him a ball – XXX).

 

ЭКЗАМЕНАЦИОННЫЙ БИЛЕТ № 29

Word-formation: definition, basic peculiarities

According to Смирницкий word-formation is a system of derivative types of words and the process of creating new words from the material available in the language after certain structural and semantic patterns. The main two types are: word-derivation and word-composition (compounding).

The basic ways of forming words in word-derivation are affixation and conversion (the formation of a new word by bringing a stem of this word into a different formal paradigm, e.g. a fall from to fall).

There exist other types: semantic word-building (homonymy, polysemy), sound and stress interchange(e.g. blood – bleed; increase), acronymy (e.g. NATO), blending (e.g. smog = smoke + fog) and shortening of words (e.g. lab, maths). But they are different in principle from derivation and compound because they show the result but not the process.

 

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 connotationaland 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 meaningis 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).

 


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