Logo GenDocs.ru

Поиск по сайту:  


Лекции на английском языке - Лексикология\Lexicology Беляева Е.П - файл 1.docx

Лекции на английском языке - Лексикология\Lexicology Беляева Е.П
скачать (63.7 kb.)

Доступные файлы (1):

1.docx64kb.17.11.2011 08:54скачать



Реклама MarketGid:
Беляева Елена Петровна

Lexicology and its links with other branches of linguistics.

Definition of lexicology.

The word lexicology is Greek. It consists of two morphemes: lexis (“word”) + logos (“science”). Lexicology is the science of the word.

Another definition: lexicology is the part of linguistics which studies the vocabulary and characteristic features of words. It investigates various meaning relations existing in the language and how words provide and support meaningful communication.

The basic task of lexicology is the study and systematic description of the vocabulary in respect to its origin, development and current use.

Different branches of lexicology:

General lexicology is a part of linguistics (общее языкознание). It studies the vocabulary in general irrespective of (безотносительно) the specific features of any particular language.

Special lexicology is the lexicology of a particular language (частная лексикология).

Historical lexicology studies the historic changes of words in the course of language development. It studies the development of the vocabulary, the origin of words, their semantic relations in the course of time and the development of their meaning. The word “diachronic” consists of two morphemes: dia (“through”) and chronos (“time”), i.e. in the course of time.

Descriptive lexicology studies the vocabulary of a particular language at a definite stage of its development. The word “Synchronic” consists of two morphemes: syn (“together with”) and chronos (“time”).

The first person who spoke about the distinction of synchronic and diachronic was Saussure. Today these two approaches are closely interconnected because the synchronic state of a language is the result of the historical development.

One more subdivision of the lexicology. Lexicology can be comparative and contrastive. Comparative lexicology studies closely related languages from the point of view of their similarities and differences. Contrastive lexicology studies both related and nonrelated languages and establishes its differences and similarities.

Applied lexicology (прикладная) studies how the knowledge of lexicological problems can be applied to such spheres as translation, lexicography and so on. Lexicography is the science of dictionary making.

^ The links of lexicology with other branches of linguistics.

1) Lexicology is closely connected with phonetics because they have the same object of studies, they both studies the word, but phonetics studies the outer form and lexicology studies the inner form of the word.

2) Lexicology is connected with grammar because lexicology studies words and grammar studies the grammatical relations between words and how words are combined into phrases and sentences. Meaningful communication is not possible without knowing the grammar rules.

3) Lexicology is connected with the history of language because the history of language studies the changes and the development of the vocabulary in the course of time.

4) Lexicology is connected with stylistics because stylistics studies the differentiation of the vocabulary according to the sphere of communication.

5) Lexicology is connected with the sociolinguistics because sociolinguistics studies the extra linguistic and social causes of the changes in the vocabulary of a language.

The word.

Word and its meaning.

The lexicologists were ancient Greeks. And actually they really did quite a lot. They tried to give a definition to word:

1) words are label for things (Plato)

2) word is the smallest significant unit of speech (Aristotle)

They also made first classifications of words.

^ Aristotle classified words into full words and form words. Full words are words with independent meaning, they preserve their meaning even in isolation. Form words have no independent meaning proper, their meaning always depends on the way they are used, and they acquire (приобретают) their meaning only in conjunction with other words (f.e.: if, for, it). Later this classification was developed by Henry Smith. And nowadays we still have it – notional and function words (знаменательные и служебные слова).This division is not strict enough because sometimes form can become full words and v.v., f.e.: to get a present, to get tired, to get cold. The process in the cause of witch full words start to be used as form words is called grammaticalisation.

^ The second classification. Ancient Greeks classified words into transparent (прозрачный) and opaque (непрозрачный). Is it easy to understand the meaning of transparent words from the meaning of their parts, f.e. driver – someone who drives, etc. Opaque words are not motivated. They are conventional. F.e. desk, dog, table. Nowadays this classification is the classification into motivated and non-motivated words. Motivation is the relationship existing between the phonemes or the morphemic composition, or the structural pattern of the word on the one hand and its meaning on the other hand. Types of motivation:

1) phonetic motivation - when there is a certain similarity between the sound form of a word and its meaning. Such words are called sound imitating / onomatopoeic (звукоподражательный). F.e. whistle, to bang the door, etc. Onomatopoeia is sound imitation.

2) morphological motivation – all derivatives are always motivated by the parent word. F.e. driver, wooden, washable, etc. All derivatives are transparent words.

3) semantic motivation – is based on the co-existence of direct and figurative meanings of a word. F.e. the foot of a person and the foot of a mountain.

^ Other classifications of words.

No.1. Words can be classified semantically: monosemantic – words with one meaning, polysemantic – words with more than one meaning. There are words that develop meanings easily, f.e. adjectives of colour.

Systemic semantic classifications:

a) synonyms, antonyms

b) hyperonyms and hyponyms (гиперонимы и гипонимы). All words of the language are in hyper-hyponymic relations with each other (гипергипонимические / родовидовые отношения). Hyperonym is a generic term (родовое понятие). Hyponym is a specific term (видовое понятие).

Furniture - hyperonym: table, chair, sofa – hyponyms for furniture and co-hyponyms for each other.

Co-hyponyms = equonyms.

Lacunae / linguistic gaps.

No.2. Morphologically: monomorphemic words and polymorphemic.

No.3. Syntactically: full and form words.

No.4 Stylistically: neutral, bookish and colloquial. F.e.: clever, intelligent and brainy.

No.5. Etymologically: native, borrowed and hybrids. Hybrids are words which consist of several elements of different origin.

Different approaches to the problem of the word.

1) materialistic approach:

- words are no mere sounds, but names of matter (by the English philosopher T. Hobbes)

- word is a universal signal that can substitute any other signal from the environment in evoking a response in a human organism (Pavlov)

2) grammatical approach (Henry Smith): the word is the minimum of the sentence

3) phonological approach (Фортунатов): word is any speech sound having meaning

4) psycholinguistic (Выготский, Chronasser): word is a microcosm of human consciousness (Выготский); word is a symbol representing a psychic event which can be the psychological image of the object (Chronasser)

5) syntactic approach (Bloomfield): word is a minimum free form

6) semiotic approach (Saussure): word is a sign to express notions or opinions

7) linguocultural approach: language is a key to the manner of living of a certain nation and so words represent collective memory of language bearers, a mirror of the life of a certain nation.

Lexical elaboration

8) complex approaches:

8.1 phonological + semantic (Saussure): word is a stretch of sounds which, when cut from what precedes and what follows it, renders the meaning of a certain notion

8.2 semantic + phonological + grammatical (Meillet): word is the basic unit of a language resulting from the association of a particular meaning with a particular group of sounds capable of a particular grammatical employment

The word is the basic unit of the vocabulary, the highest unit of the morphology as it consists of morphemes and the lowest level of syntax as it serves building material for collocations (устойчивые сочетания), phrases, clauses (части предложения) and sentences.

^ Features of the word.

1) reproducibility (воспроизводимость) means that we can reproduce one and the same word as many times as we need

2) isoability (выделимость) – a word is a logically complete stretch of speech which can be reproduced in isolation

3) positional mobility (позиционная самостоятельность) – a word can take any position within a sentence

4) indivisibility (неделимость) – the word cannot be cut into smaller units without a disturbance of meaning

F.e. marry-go-round, ladybird.

5) wholeformedness (цельнооформленность) – the word is dressed in a morphological form only once. Here lies the difference between a word and a word combination because a word combination is not characterize by v and each element of a word combination has its own morphological form. F.e. blue bottle as «синяя бутылка» blue bottle as «василёк».

6) semantic integrity (семантическая целостность) – the word expresses only one concept; polysemantic words have many meanings but they all united by the common idea.

^ The size of unit problem (Проблема отдельности слова).

In writing the flow of speech is divided into words by empty spaces. The size of unit problem is the problem of how we know when the one word ends and the other word begins in oral speech (the problem of the boundaries of the word).

Scholars worked out several principles which help to single out words in speech. Speech can be studied on three levels:

1) the feature level (уровень дифференциальных признаков / уровень фонем) – studies typical combination of sounds which are acure on word boundaries. Vowels in English never cluster. Consonants can form three types of clusters:

- prevocalic (перед гласной)

- postvocalic (после гласной)

- intervocalic (между гласными)

This branch of linguistics is called phonotactics.

2) semantic level. On this level scholars studies pausation (паузация) and other international species. We make pauses to separate meaningful bits of information. F.e.: On the first floor │ there is a canteen. │

3) metasemeotic level. Words are given emphasis to get them important. F.e.: It’s a completely new book.

Other factors: syllable division (close type is widespread), type of word stress (f.e., fixed stress in French language).

^ The identity of unit problem (Проблема тождества слова).

When one word ends the other begins? It’s a problem in English.

The nature of the English is one more problem which complicates the matter:

1) English is an analytical language

2) words are invariable and syntactic relations between them are shown by word order

3) English tends to bring its units into complex. F.e.: merry-go-round; sit-by-the-fire; no-nothing; forget-me-not.


1) strict compounds.

Hyphen – дефис.

Let sleeping dog lie – 4 words. Let-sleeping-dog-lie – 1 word.

2) loose compounds. F.e.: blue bottle; speech sound.

Different scholars treat this problem differently:

- Some scholars treat the first component as an adjective formed from the noun. In this case the whole complex is a word combination “adjective + noun”. F.e. stone wall.

- The first component is a noun. It means that the whole complex is a compound word because there is such a rule in English that two nouns in common case are always connected by a preposition or conjunction. This problem hasn’t yet been solved. It is “the stone wall” problem.

Scholars try to work out different criteria to solve the problem:

- If it is possible to add to this complex the word “very”, it is a word combination. If it is not, it is a word. But this criteria doesn’t always work (f.e. black market).

- If it is possible to transform this complex into an of-phrase or a phrase with another preposition, it is a compound word. F.e. stone wall – a wall of stone; armchair – a chair with arms. But this criteria doesn’t always work (f.e. toothpick – a pick for tooth – it is impossible).

- If this complex is pronounced with one stress, it is a word (‘blue bottle, ‘blackboard), If each component is stressed, it is a word combination (‘black ‘board). But this criteria doesn’t always work. Compound adjectives in English have two stresses, but they are words, not word combinations (‘blue-‘eyed).

- Nomination criterion. If two elements of this complex express a single notion, they become a word.

3) cases of phonetic, morphological and lexical variation

3.1 phonetic variation – can be accentual (разница в ударении)

3.2 morphological variation takes place when different derivational morphemes are used. F.e. academic – academical, morphologic – morphological; but historic – historical, economic – economical.

3.3 lexical variation – appears as the result of different styles, formal and informal, spoken and written. F.e. examination – exam, laboratory – lab.

Language as a system of signs.

Saussure was the first who spoke about Language as a system of signs.

Sapir: language is a purely human and non instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of symbols.

Saussure also proposed the necessity of a special science that would study the life of signs within society. Saussure called this science semiology. Semiology is a very general science and linguistics is only part of it.

The science really appeared in the beginning of the 20th century and it was called semiotics. The founders of the science are considered to be Charles Pierce and Charles Morris.

Semiotics is a science which studies signs, sign phenomena and sign using behavior.

The scheme of linguistic communication (The transmitter – receiver circuit):

The process of communication is the exchange of linguistic signs. The linguistic sign units a concept and sound image.

The scheme of linguistic sign:

Trends in semiotics:

1) lingua semiotics – studies both natural and artificial languages

2) ethno semiotics – studies sign using behavior of people in connection with their culture

3) bio semiotics – studies signs produced by humans and animals

4) art semiotics – studies how different massages can be conveyed with the help of signs in art (ballet, music)

5) computer semiotics

^ Classification of signs.

Charles Pierce:

1) icons are signs which are based on similarity.

Two types of icons: images (f.e. some road signs) and diagrams (always show the proportion between the sides of one whole, f.e. bar chart, pie chart).

2) indexes are based on contiguity

3) symbols are based on convention

Hierarchy. The most primitive signs are sins indexes because they always describe what is here and now. Then come iconic signs because always presuppose a certain degree of abstraction. The most complex type of signs because they have the highest degree of abstraction.

Saussure: There are no signs that are purely symbolic. F.e. the symbol of justice (a pair of scales), the symbol of infinity.

Charles Pierce: There are no pure icons, indexes and symbols. All signs are mixtures to this or that extend. F.e. the symbol of the Olympic Games.

All types of signs can be found in natural languages. Sound imitating words are iconic.

^ The principles of iconicity.

The principles of iconicity means that there is a certain similarity between a language form and the thing it stands for.

The subprincipal of sequential order. The arrangement of elements in a linguistic construction usually coincides with the order of events. F.e. Veni, vidi, vici – Пришёл, увидел, победил; Eye it, try it, buy it – Увить, примерь, купи (реклама); day and night; now or never.

In language a more important thing comes first. F.e. ladies and gentlements.

^ The subprincipal of distance. Things which belong together conceptually are put together linguistically.

F.e.: John sent his girlfriend a valentine card. AND John sent a valentine card to his girlfriend.

F.e.: I made her leave – direct impact. I wanted her to leave – indirect impact. I hoped that she would leave – no impact. – сравнивают расстояние между двумя глаголами.

^ The subprincipal of quantity. More form – more meaning, less form – less meaning. Sometimes reduplication is used for forming the plural forms of words.

To be polite is to say more.

The principle of symbolicity.

The principle of simplicity refers to cases of conventional pairing of formal meaning that can be found in the language. F.e. using mobile phones.

^ The principle of indexicality.

The subprincipal of deictic orientation. The speaker sees the arrangement of objects of extralinguistic reality from his own perspective. WE describe objects as we would describe ourselves. F.e. the left and the right of the car.

^ The subprincipal anthropocentricity. The anththropocentric perspective of the world follows from the fact that we are interested first of all in ourselves and we, humans, occupy a privileged position in the description of events.

If the sentence describes a human, “he” or “she” is usually a subject , f.e. : She knows the poem by heart.

If we take the English language, it has special personal pronounce for males and females, “he” or “she”, and only one “it” for things.

There are three relative pronounce which refer to human (“who”, “whose”, “whom”) and only one “which”.

There is a special possessive form for humans ” ’(e)s”.

^ Features of linguistic signs.

They were formulated by Saussure:

1) The link between signifier and signified is arbitrary (условная).

2) The nature of signifier is linear (линейная). It means that its elements are presented in the form of a chain.

3) Immutability (неизменяемость) and mutability (изменяемость) at the same time.

Immutability – the signifier is fixed, not free with respect to the linguistic community that uses it.

Mutability – in the cause of time there can take place a shift in the relationship between the signifier and the signified. Language never exists apart from society and it changes together with it.

4) Linguistic signs are natural because languages are the only natural systems of communication.

^ Laws of linguistic signs.

1) The signifier and the signified are closely related (Saussure).

2) The law of double division (A. Martinet, Hjelmslev).

The first division of the sign (A. Martinet): signs can be simple and complex. Complex signs can be subdivided into simples, each of which has its own signifier and signified. F.e. writing table.

The second division of the sign (Hjelmslev): both signifier and signified can be subdivided into the smallest elementary units. The signifier can be subdivided into phonemes. The signified can be subdivided into semes. F.e. mother – female, parent, adult. This elementary units Hjelmslev called figures. Phonemes are figures of the plain of expression, and semes are figures of the plain of content.

3) The main law of the sign / the law of sign conversion (С.О. Карцевский): There is no one to one correspondents between the signifier and the signified. – Нет одно-однозначного соответствия между означающим и означаемым. This law can be illustrated by cases of homonymy, synonymy and polysemy.

Cases of homonymy: топить лёд – топить печку – топить котят. The plain of expression is the same, the plain of the content is different.

Cases of synonymy: бегемот – гиппопотам. The plain of expression is different, the plain of the content is the same.

Cases of polysemy: выйти из леса – выйти из народа – выйти из затруднительного положения. The plain of expression is the same, the plain of the content is different, but united by a common idea.

Asymmetric dualism of the linguistic sign is an advantage of a natural language, because it allows the language to develop and each time get adjusted to the situation of communication.

The meaning of the word.

Lexicology has a special branch which studies the meaning of the word. It is called semasiology.

It is very difficult to define meaning. There are three main approaches to meaning:

1) functional approach

1.1 The meaning if the word is its use in the language (Wittgenstein).

1.2 In absolute isolation no sign has any meaning. It is only with the communicative function of the language that assign system begins to operate (Hjelmslev).

1.3 The meaning of the utterance is the whole situation in which the speaker pronounces it and receives a response from the hearer (Bloomfield).

2) psycholinguistic approach. It was developed by Sapir, Выготский and Saussure.

2.1 Sapir: He spoke about the link between thinking and speaking. The meaning of the word presents such a close amalgam of thought and language, that it is hard to say whether it is a phenomenon of speech or a phenomenon of thought. Thought is not just expressed in words, it comes into existence through them.

2.2 Saussure used the analogy of a sheet of paper whose two sides are parts of one whole. One side is thought and the other side is sound. In a language we can neither divide sound from thought, not thought from sound. Linguistics operates on the border line where the elements of thoughts and sounds combine.

^ 3) referential approach. The characteristic of this approach is that It distinguishes between the three components closely connected with meaning: the sound form of the linguistic sign, the concept and the referent. The referent is the object of reality to which the linguistic sign refers.

Semiotic triangle:

We are able to use words in speech only when this triangle is formed in our mind.

One of the lines is dotted because there is no direct link between the word and its referent.

This links is only establish meaning.

According to this point of view, the meaning is a correlation between a sound form of a word, the underlying concept and the object it denotes. Meaning is not identical with any of the points of the triangle, but is closely connected with them.

^ The structure of lexical meaning.

Denotational component. The word “denotational” is formed from the word denote – to state as a name for smth. Denotational meaning is a kind of meaning when a word serves as a name for an object of extralinguistic reality. The word is used in its significative meaning when it serves a name for a class of objects and denotes a general idea of an object. F.e.: East or West home is best; A good laugh is sunshine in the house. The word is used in its demonstrative meaning when it serves to name individual elements of reality. F.e.: She studied to make their home a nice place.

^ Connotational component is the part of lexical meaning which reflects the attitude of the speaker to what he speaks about.

Emotive charge. F.e.: “father” is neutral and “daddy” is emotionally colored.

Expressiveness sometimes is called intensity. F.e.: “love” and “door”, the first word is more intense.

Imagery presupposes the image which we have in our mind when we use the word in its figurative meaning.

Evaluation. It can be positive and negative. F.e.: “лошадь” – “кляча”, “помощник” – “пособник”, “to clique” – “group”.

^ Pragmatic component conveys the information on the situation of communication.

Information on the participants and the given language community. This component reflects the social system the given language community. F.e.: “policeman” – “cop”; “invalid” – “physically / mentally challenged”.

Information on the time and space relationship. F.e. – obsolete / archaic words: “to see” – “to behold”, “enemy” – “foe”.

Information on the conditions of communication. It can range from extremely formal to extremely informal. F.e.: formal – “anticipate”, “aid”; informal – “stuff”, “to butt in”.

^ Types of lexical meaning according to Виноградов:

1) nominative meaning is the basic meaning of a word which refers to objects of extralinguistic reality in a direst way. F.e. “a chair”

2) nominative-derivative meaning comes into existence when the word is stretched out semantically to cover new facts and phenomena of extralinguistic reality. F.e.: Petrov is the chair of our meeting; the English chair – кафедра английского языка.

These two meanings are based on contiguity.

3) colligationally conditioned (морфо-синтаксически обусловленное). Colligational is a given morpho-syntactic pattern. Verb + Object + Infinitive. F.e.: “to make” – “to make smb to do smth”: “to carry” – “the bill was carried by the Parliament”.

4) collocationally conditioned. Collocation is a marriage contract between words. Collocationally conditioned is determined by the combine ability of words. F.e.: “walk”. When this word is used in combination with adjectives describing some territory the meaning is “route, path”. If this word is used in combination with such adjectives as “lazy”, “quick”, “morning” it means “a journey on foot”.

5) phraseologically bound. Phraseologically bound meaning appears in the idioms and phraseologically units. F.e.: “blank”. Blank wall” – a wall without a window; “Blank despair” – the highest degree of despair; “Blank verse” – белый стих. “To kick the bucket” – умереть.

^ Semantic changes.

Causes of semantic changes:

Extra-linguistic causes:

1) historical – changes in the way of life

2) psychological – taboos of different kind. F.e. “bathroom” is a euphemism for “toilet”.

Linguistic causes:

1) ellipsis – takes place when in a phrase made up of two words one of them is emitted and its meaning is transferred to its partner. F.e.: “to starve”. In OE it meant “to die”. In the 16th century the verb developed a new meaning – “to die of hunger”.

2) differentiation of synonyms. F.e. “land”. In OE the word “land” had two meanings: “solid part of the surface of earth” and “the territory of the nation“. Later the word “country” was borrowed and the word “land” lost the second meaning due to the competition of synonyms.

3) fixed context is cause closely connected with the competition of synonyms. F.e. “heaven”. In OE it meant “sky”. Then the word “sky” was borrowed and “heaven” became restricted in use (religion, poetic spheres).

^ Semantic changes:

Metaphor is a semantic process which amply comparison between two unlike entities. It is based on the similarity of features of two object. Sometimes it is called hidden comparison.

F.e.: This man is a pig.

Metaphor has a structure. It consists of tenor and vehicle. “This man” is a tenor (the object), “pig” is a vehicle (the image introduced). Sometimes we see only vehicle.

Conceptual domains. “This man” belongs to a conceptual domain “human” and “a pig” belongs to a conceptual domain “animal”. And these domains overlapped.

Kinds of metaphors:

1) metaphors based on the similarity of shape. F.e.: the head of cabbage – кочан капусты.

2) metaphors based on the similarity of function. F.e.: umbrellas of trees.

3) metaphors based on the similarity of position. F.e.: the foot of the mountain.


In most cases we deal with several types of similarity. F.e.: the leg of the table.

There are metaphors in a language that are called dead metaphors. We use them too often. They no longer call up the image of the object in our mind. F.e.: “the back of the chair”

Cognitive metaphor is a mechanism which is part of our conceptualization of the world. F.e.: its typical for us to think of feelings as liquids. We conceptualize life as a road or a way.

Metonymy is the semantic process the essence of which is the substitution of the name of one object by the other which occures in near proximity with the first one. F.e.: He drinks two cups every morning.

Types of metonymy:

1) container for contained. F.e.: cups, plates.

2) producer for produced. F.e.: Ford (car).

3) a person for his or her name. F.e: I am not in the telephone book.

4) synecdoche – a part is used instead of a whole or v.v. F.e.: New faces at the meeting.

5) bahuvrihi (санскрит) is the type of metonymy when a person or an object are named after a striking feature which they posses. The formula of bahuvrihi is adjective +noun. F.e.: синяя борода, красная шапочка, Белоснежка, sweet heart, sweet tooth, lazy bones.

^ Other semantic changes:

Broadening of meaning is extension of semantic capacity of a word, the range of its applicability. F.e.: bureau. The first meaning was :thick green cloth for covering tables”. Then “a table covered with this cloth”. Then “any writing table with or without this cloth”. Then “an office with writing tables”. Then “any office”.

^ Narrowing of meaning is the opposite process. F.e.: “girl”. In OE – “a child of either sex”. Now – “a female child” or “a young woman”.

Elevation of meaning is the improvement of the connotational component, the meaning becomes better. F.e.: “minister”, “lady”, “lord”.

^ Degradation of meaning – the meaning becomes worse. F.e.: “вонь”.

Systemic relations in the language.

There are four types:

1) synonymy

2) homonymy

3) semantic contrastives

4) polysemy


Synonyms are words different in the outer form (aspect) but identical or similar in the inner aspect. There are other definition for this term: synonyms are words which can replace each other in any or some context.


1) absolute synonyms – have the same meaning belong to the same styling. F.e.: moan = groan; homeland = motherland.

2) contextual synonyms – they are similar in meaning but in particular context. F.e.: to buy – to get (I’ll go to the shop and get some bread).

3) phraseological synonyms – they are identical in meaning but different conticability in the other word. F.e.: to be late for a lecture – to miss a bus.

4) dialectical synonyms – they have identical meaning but can be found different variant of the language. F.e.: sweet - candy (AmE and BrE); autumn – fall; lift - elevator.

5) stylistic synonyms – they belong to different styles. F.e.: examination – exam; late – dead.

6) ideogrphic synonyms – they are different in shares of meaning. They bear the same idea but not identical in their referential content. F.e.: look – appearance – complexion – countenance; to happen – to occur – to befall – to chance.

7) functional synonyms – they have identical meaning but different formation. F.e.: to look – to have a look; to work – to take a work.

8) slang synonyms. F.e.: head – attic – upper store.

Sources of synonymy:

1) dialects and different variants of the language. F.e.: lift – elevator.

2) borrowing. F.e. to begin – to commence; to sweat – to perspire.

3) word-forming processes

3.1 abbreviation

3.2 suffixation. F.e.: effectiveness – effectivity.

3.3 conversion. F.e.: laugh – laughter; commandment – command.

4) hyper-hyponymic relations. F.e.: father – parent; flower – rose.

5) semantic shifts due to various taboos. F.e.: victim – survivor; bathroom – toilet.


Homonyms are words different in meaning but identical in sound or spelling or both in sound and spelling.

There are three types of homonyms:

1) homonyms which are identical in sound but different in spelling – homophones. F.e.: bear – bare; night – knight.

2) identical spelling but different sound form – homographs.

3) identical in sound and in spelling – perfect homonyms. F.e.: spring (весна) – spring (пружина) – spring (родник).

There are other classifications. One of them was developed by Смирницкий. He added one more criteria to sound form and spelling – grammatical meaning. He subdivided perfect homonyms into two types:

1) perfect homonyms identical in spelling, sound and grammatical form. F.e.: spring (весна) – spring (пружина) – spring (родник).

2) homoforms – they coincide in spelling and sound but different in grammatical meaning. F.e.: empty – to empty; work – to work.

Sources of homonymy:

1) split of polysemy (распад полисемии). F.e.: pupil.

2) levelling of the grammar inflexions

3) word-forming processes

3.1 suffixation. F.e: reader.

3.2 shortening. F.e.: biology and biography – bio.

3.3 conversion. F.e.: empty – to empty; water – to water.

4) homonyms can appear in the language accidentally when two words coincide in their development. F.e.: race (гонка, from French) – race (раса, from Norwegian).

5) borrowings

^ Semantic contrastives.

There are three types of semantic contrastives:

1) antonymy (антонимия)

2) converseness (конверсивность)

3) complimentarity (комплементарность)

Antonyms are words which belong to the same part of speech and are identical in style but express contrary or contradictory notions.

Classification of antonyms by Никитин:

1) absolute and derivational

Absolute antonyms have different roots. Derivational antonyms have the same root but different affixes.

F.e.: absolute: good – bad; derivational: to understand – to misunderstand.

2) qualitative and quantitative

In case of quantitative antonymy two words are characterized by one feature but different quantity of it. F.e.: light – heavy (the feature is weight); tall – short (the feature is height).

In case of qualitative antonymy we have different features, different qualities. F.e.: good – bad; to love – to hate.

3) contrary and contradictory

Contrary antonyms always have a middle terms. F.e.: cold – hot (middle – warm, etc.).

Contradictory antonyms don’t have a middle term between them. F.e.: dead – alive; single – married.

4) intensional and extensional / incompatibles

Extensional / incompatibles antonyms. They don’t have lexical meaning proper and require further specification. They exist in the language only together with their antonyms. F.e. afternoon – not afternoon; red – not red; round – not round.

Classification by Кубрякова, Коцнельсон:

1) qualitative they call privative and quantitative they call equipollent

2) contrary they call binary and contradictory they call gradual


Converseness is a type of semantic opposition which is based on describing one and the same situation from different angles, from the point of view of different participants of the situation and their roles.

F.e.: to buy – to sell; to give – to take; left - right.

Sometimes conversives are called mirror-image relationship.

Classification of conversives:

1) lexical conversives – they are formed from different roots. F.e.: to buy – to sell.

2) morphological conversives – formed from the same root. F.e.: interesting – interested; worrying – worried.

3) grammatical conversives – based on the opposition between active and passive forms. F.e. to write – to be written.

4) conversives in which the oppositeness of meaning is realized within the semantics of one and the same word. F.e.: to burn – поджигать и гореть; to smell; to taste.


Complimentarity is the type of semantic opposition in which the denial of one means the assertion of the other and v.v. It is the type of oppositeness which is based on “yes/no”-decision.

F.e.: male – female; boy – girl; married – single.

Complimentaries are not gradeable.

Antonyms do not contradict each other, but Complimentaries always do.

F.e.: A small elephant is a large animal. – it is possible. / A male elephant is a female animal. – it is not possible.


Polysemy is the plurality of meanings. Polysemy exists in the language but not in speech. The meaning of a word in speech is always predetermined by the context, all unnecessary meanings are cancelled and the meaning of the word is clear.

Three types of polysemy:

1) radiation (радиальная). In case of radiation the first meaning is in the center and all other meanings are formed from it.

F.e.: face. In the center – “the front part of human head”. Meanings formed from the center: “face of the clock”; “face of the card”; “face of the company”.

2) concatenation / chain polysemy (цепочечная). Secondary meanings develop like a chain. Sometimes it is very difficult to trace the last meaning to the first one.

F.e.: crust. Heart, outer part of bread → Heart, outer part of anything → Hard layer of a soft snow → A gloomy person → Impudence.

3) mixed type (смешанная). This type is the most common.

F.e.: to dress.

The first center – “to cover the body”. Meanings formed from this center: “We don’t dress for dinner nowadays”; “The princess is dressed by the best designers”; “to dress the ballet”; “to dress the wound”.

The second center - “to get smb ready for smth”. Meanings formed from this center: “to dress smb’s hair” (уложить); “to dress a chicken” (выпотрошить); “to dress a horse” (почистить); “to dress a salad” (добавить специй); “to dress soldiers” (проводить смотр войск); “to dress leather” (обрабатывать кожу); “to dress stone” (делать огранку).

Word formation.

Word formation is the system of derivative types of words and the process of creating new words from the material, available in the language, according to structural and semantic patterns.

There are two types of word formation: major and minor.

Major types are the most productive (principle types). There are three major types of word formation:

1) compounding / composition (словосложение)

2) affixation

3) conversion

Minor types are less productive then the first three types:

1) shortening / clipping

2) blending

3) sound imitation

4) back formation

5) sound interchange

5) distinctive stress


Compounding is joining two or more stems together to form a new word.

Classification of compounds:

1) according to the type of composition

1.1 without any connecting element. F.e.: heartbreak, somebody, bookcase.

1.2 with a vowel or a consonant as a connecting element. F.e.: speedometer, handicraft, sportsman.

1.3 with a preposition or a conjunction as a connecting element. F.e.: brother-in-law, matter-of-fact, mother-of-pearl, up-to-date, day-and-night.

2) according to the structure

2.1 consisting of simple stems. F.e.: ladybird, heartbeat.

2.2 one stem is simple, the other is a derived one. F.e.: hairdoer, chain-smoker.

2.3 one of the stems is clipped / shortened. F.e.: pop-music, Xmas.

2.4 one of the elements is a compound word itself. F.e.: wastepaper basket.

3) according to the relations between the elements

3.1 coordinative compounds – the two elements are semantically equally important. F.e.: secretary-stenographer

3.2 subordinative compounds – the components are not equal, but are based on the domination of the head member, which is usually the second element. F.e.: heartbeat (beat is the head element).

4) part-of-speech classification

4.1 compound nouns.

4.2 compound adjectives. F.e.: blue-eyed, left-handed.

4.3 compound verbs. F.e.: to bypass, to hitchhike.

5) according to structural peculiarities

5.1 endocentric compounds are compound word in which the referent is named by one of the elements, the second element gives further characteristics. F.e.: sunbeam, maidservant, looking glass, sunflower, searchlight, bathrobe.

5.2 exocentric compounds – both elements taken together name the referent. F.e.: ladybird, pickpocket, cutthroat, lazybones.

6) according to the stability

6.1 loose. F.e.: blackboard, stonewall.

6.2 stable. F.e.: heartbeat, heartbreak.

7) according to the type of syntactic phrase with which the compound is correlated.

7.1 string compounds (см. identity of unit problem)

7.2 reduplicative compounds are words which are formed by doubling stems with or without sound interchange

7.2.1 reduplicative compounds proper. F.e.: pretty-pretty, fifty-fifty, very-very.

7.2.2 consisting of pseudo morphemes. F.e.: blah-blah, zig-zag.

7.2.3 sound imitating words. F.e.: hush-hush, knock-knock.

7.2.4 ablaut combinations – doubling stems with sound interchange. F.e.: chitchat, knick-knack.

7.2.5 rhyme compounds. F.e.: walkie-talkie, willy-nilly, boogie-woogie.

7.3 pseudo compounds are words which look like compounds, but were formed by backformation or conversion. F.e.: babysit, spotlight.


Affixation is forming new words by adding a derivational affix to a stem.

1) it is subdivided into

1.1 prefixation

2.2 suffixation

There are also infixes. F.e.: sportsman.

2) according to productivity

2.1 productive

2.2 non-productive

The most productive prefixes: non (nonsmoker), un (unpleasant), etc.

The most productive suffixes: er, ing, ness, ism, ist.

Non-productive suffixes: th (true – truth), hood (childhood), ship (friendship), dom (freedom).

3) according to their etymology

3.1 native. F.e.: suffixes: er, ful, less, like; prefixes: be, mis, over.

3.2 borrowed

3.2.1 Latin. F.e.: suffixes: able, ant / ent; prefixes: extra, pre, ultra.

3.2.2 Greek. F.e.: suffixes: ist; prefixes: nt, sym / syn.

3.2.3 French. F.e.: suffixes: age, ance / ence, ard, ee; prefixes: en /em.

4) according to their fuction

4.1 affixes proper

4.2 semi affixes (полуаффиксы). F.e.: some (handsome).

5) part-of-speech classification

5.1 noun-forming

5.2 adjective-forming

5.3 verb-forming

5.4 adverb-forming

The system of affixation in English was entirely upset by the Norman conquest. Some native affixes disappeared altogether.


Conversion is making a new word from an existing word by changing the category of a part of speech.

F.e.: work – to work; water – to water.

Conversion is highly productive in English.

There are several types of conversion in English:

1) verbalization. F.e.: water → to water; empty → to empty

2) substantivation.

3) adjectivation. F.e.: down (v.) → down (adj.).

4) adverbalisation. F.e.: home (n.) → home (adv.).

In English the most popular lines of conversion are forming nouns from verbs and verbs from nouns.

Conversion can be total and partial. Total conversion is registered in the dictionaries. F.e.: work as a noun and work as a verb. Partial conversion has occasional character and sometimes is used for the sake of irony, as a stylistic devise, etc. It is not registered in the dictionaries. F.e.: he uped and awayed in London; the girl has never been outed before.

^ Shortening / clipping.

Shortening is the formation of a new word by cutting off part of the parent word.

F.e.: examination – exam; laboratory – lab.

There are four types of shortening:

1) initial shortening / apheresis – the beginning of the word is cut off. F.e.: telephone – phone.

2) medial shortening / syncope – the middle of the word is taken away. F.e.: fantasy – fancy; spectacles – specs.

5) final shortening / apocope – the end od the word is cut off. F.e.: advertisement – ad.

6) mixed type (initial + final). F.e.: refrigerator – frige.


Blending is the formation of a new word by combining parts of two or more words. It is not highly productive.

F.e.: Benelux = Belgium + Netherlands + Luxemburg; Oxbridge = Oxford + Cambridge.

The results of blending are called blends.

Types of blends:

1) additive. Blends of additive type can be transformed into a phrase with a conjunction “and”. F.e.: Oxbridge is Oxford and Cambridge.

2) restrictive. Blends of restrictive types can be transformed into a phrase “adjective = noun”. F.e.: medicare = medical care.

^ Sound imitation / onomatopoeia.

Sound imitation is based on phonetic motivation.

These words can be subdivided into several groups:

1) sounds produced by humans

2) sounds produced by animals


There is a wider interpretation of sound imitation. F.e.: fluffy.

Sound imitating words are iconic.

^ Back formation.

Back formation is the formation of a new word by cutting off a supposed suffix from a word that is wrongly regarded as a derivative. The new word is morphologically simpler then the parent word.

F.e.: baby-sitter; to typewrite; to vacuum-clean; to proof-reed.

Back formation first was used with French borrowings which are now regarded as cases of historical back formation. F.e.: burglar → to burgle; peddler → to peddle; cobbler → to cobble.

^ Sound interchange.

Sound interchange is the formation of a word by means of vowel interchange (ablaut) or consonant interchange or both vowel + consonant interchange.

Vowel interchange: food – to feed.

Consonant interchange: advice – advise.

Vowel + consonant interchange: life – to live.

^ Distinctive stress.

The formation of a word by means of the shift of stress in the parent word.

F.e.: ‘increase – in’crease; ‘import – im’port; ‘export – ex’port.

Word manufacturing.

Word manufacturing is the creation of new words which are not permanent members of the English word-stock. Usually they are not found in the dictionaries, but they are understood by the speakers of the language because they are created according to productive patterns.

F.e.: молоткастый (Маяковский); fingersmith (like goldsmith, silversmith).

Word overlapping (междусловное наложение). F.e.: slanguage (slang + language); alcoholiday (alcohol + holiday).


Semantic classification:

1) comparative phraseology. F.e.: as busy as a bee.

2) phraseology about human relations. F.e.: a friend in need is a friend indeed.

3) education. F.e.: live and learn.

4) family relations

5) certain groups reflect the life of the country. F.e.: to be at sea = to be at difficult situation.

^ Classifications of phraseological units.

1) classification by Виноградов

1.1 phraseological combinations – are word groups with partially changed meaning. One of the components is used in its meaning. F.e.: to have a bath; to be a good hand of smth.

1.2 phraseological unities (единства) – completely changed meaning, but it is based on a metaphor which is clear. F.e.: to lose one’s heart; to break the ice.

1.3 phraseological fusions (сращения) – completely changed meaning and a metaphor is not clear. F.e.: to kick the pocket.

2) classification by professor Смирницкий

2.1 one-summit – one notional word. F.e.: for good; by heart.

2.2 two-summit – two notional words. F.e.: aas busy as a bee.

2.3 multi-summit. F.e.: a friend in need is s friend indeed.

This classification was criticized because it is based on a purely structural principle and it is not clear what the difference is between a phraseological unit and a word combination or a sentence.

3) one moreclassification by professor Смирницкий

3.1 phraseological units proper – they are not metaphorical and are stylistically neutral. F.e.: to get up; to have a look; to have a rest; to fall down.

3.2 idioms are always based on a metaphor and are stylistically colored. F.e.: as busy as a bee; to take a bull by the horns.

This classification develops a wider approach to a phraseological unit. And sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between a phraseological unit proper and an idiom.

4) classifications by professor Кун

According to function

4.1 nominative phraseological units – they perform nominative function. F.e.: a hard nut to crack – крепкий орешек.

4.1.1 substantive – with a noun as the head member. F.e.: the last drop.

4.1.2 adjectival – with an adjective as a head element. F.e.: as busy as a bee.

4.1.3 adverbial. F.e.: back and forth.

4.1.4 verbal. F.e.: to live like a lord; to pay through the nose.

4.2 nominative-communicative – also perform nominative function but can be transformed into sentences with a verb in a passive voice. F.e.: to break the ice – the ice is broken; to cross the Rubicon – the Rubicon is crossed.

4.3 communicative phraseological units – they have the form of a sentence. F.e.: a friend in need is a friend indeed.

4.4 interjectional – they show emotions, feelings. F.e: good heavens! – О, боже!

This classification is based on several principles: function, structure, part of speech. And it is considered to be the most detailed in Russian phraseology.

^ Sources of phraseology.

1) everyday life. F.e.: to wash the dirty linen in public.

2) history. F.e.: to cross the Rubicon; Rome was not built in a day; Greek gift.

3) world literature. F.e.: to rub the lamp (“Arabian nights”).

4) the Bible. F.e.: the slaughter of the innocent; a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

5) other languages. F.e.: blue blood (from Spanish); to lose face (from Chinese).

6) mass media and quotations

7) films, plays


A borrowing (a borrowed word) is a word taken from another language and modified in phonemic shape, spelling, paradigm or meaning according to the standards of the English language.

^ Reasons for borrowing:

1) to name new objects

2) to differentiate the existing concepts. F.e.: “to love” and “to adore”.

3) to express new concepts

4) words can be borrowed blindly for no reason at all. There is no gap in the vocabulary which needs to be filled in.

^ Ways of borrowing new words:

1) cultural and language contacts

2) the spread of religion

3) wars, conquests and invasions

4) globalization

5) global systems of communication (Internet)

6) occasional borrowings

English language is a unique mixture of Germanic, Romanic elements, which has resulted in the international character of the vocabulary.

About 70-80% of words in English are borrowed.

^ Classification of borrowings:

1) according to what is borrowed

1.1 borrowings proper – these are words borrowed from another language and assimilated to this or that extend.

1.2 translation loans / calques – the new word is created from the native material according to a foreign pattern which is borrowed; the word is usually created by means of word-for-word or morpheme-for-morpheme translation. F.e.: небоскрёб; master piece (from German Meisterstück).

1.3 semantic borrowings / semantic loans – the meaning is borrowed from another language; a new appears due to the influence of a related word in another language. F.e.: pioneer. Now this word in English has two meaning: an explorer and a member of Pioneer organization.

1.4 morphemic borrowing – a morpheme is borrowed. F.e.: “экс” from English “ex”.

2) according to the degree of assimilation

Assimilation is a partial or total conformation of a borrowed word to the phonetic, graphical or morphological standards of the receiving language and its semantics.

2.1 completely assimilated – we cannot guess the origin from the form of the word. F.e.: street, cheese.

2.2 partially assimilated

2.2.1 words which are not assimilated semantically (blind borrowings) – they do not form derivatives, they do not develop new meaning, they do not form collocation and rarely enter phraseological units. F.e.: mantilla (from Spanish).

2.2.2 borrowings not assimilated grammatically – they don’t have the system of grammatical forms peculiar to the part of speech to which they belong. F.e.: criterion – criteria; crisis – crises. BUT: index – indices / indexes.

2.2.3 borrowings not assimilated phonetically. Usually it is French borrowings, which still has the stress on the last syllable. F.e.: machine, garage.

2.2.4 borrowing not assimilated graphically – their spelling includes foreign letter symbols. F.e.: Tromsø, café.

2.3 not assimilated at all /barbarism - words which are not assimilated in any way, for which there are corresponding English equivalents. F.e.: ciao (Italian) – bye (English); hors d'oeuvre (French).

The fate of borrowed words in English:

1) they can become completely assimilated

2) they can change their meaning in competition with the native words. F.e.: In French “large” meant “wide”, but it was not needed, now “large” mean “big in size”.

3) a native word can change its meaning under the influence of the borrowed one. F.e.: heofon (OE), steorfan (OE).

4) sometimes native words can disappeared under the influence of borrowed ones. F.e.: “niman” (OE) disappeared under the influence of “take”

5) word can become frequent. F.e.: they, them, their (Scandinavian borrowings).

6) borrowed word can disappear after a period of time

7) a native word and a borrowed can exist as an absolute synonyms, as free variant. F.e.: бегемот – гиппопотам.


1) совместить термины с их определениями.

2) семантические изменения, семантический процесс – минимальное объяснение.

3) определить тип словообразования (15 слов).

4) задания по знаку (индекс, икона, символ) – определить тип знака + минимальное объяснение.

5) несколько предложений – какой знак и объяснить почему (law).

6) дать примеры (напр., hyper-hyponymy).

Скачать файл (63.7 kb.)

Поиск по сайту:  

© gendocs.ru
При копировании укажите ссылку.
обратиться к администрации