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lexicology (from Gr lexis word and logos learning) is the part of linguistics dealing with the vocabulary of the language and the properties of words as the main units of language.

the word denotes the basic unit of a given language; the word is a unit of speech which, as such, serves the purposes of human communication.

phraseology is a branch of lexicology studying phraseological units (set expressions, praseologisms, or idioms (in foreign linguistics). Phraseological units differ from free word-groups semantically and structurally: 1) they convey a single concept and their meaning is idiomatic, i.e. it is not a mere total of the meanings of their components 2) they are characterized by structural invariability (no word can be substituted for any component of a phraseological unit without destroying its sense (to have a bee in ones bonnet (not cap or hat). 3) they are not created in speech but used as ready-made units

synchronic study of the vocabulary deals with the vocabulary and vocabulary units of a particular language at a certain time.

diachronic study of the vocabulary- evaluation of the vocabulary units of a

language as the time goes by.


Chapters 1 and 2:

functional style-system of expressing means peculiar to as passific sphere of communication.

the sphere of communication-circumstances attending the process of speech an each particular case.

formal style-is used in formal situations

colloquial words Colloquial words are subdivided into a) literary b) familiar and c) low colloquial words.

Literary colloquiallisms are used in everyday conversational speech both by cultivated and uneducated people: kid (for child), pal, chum (for friend), hi, hello, zip (for zip fastener), exam, fridge, flu.

Familiar colloquial words are used mostly by the young and the semi-educated: doc (doctor), ta-ta (good-bye), shut up, beat it (go away).

The low colloquial group is formed by obscene, vulgar, swear words used mostly in the speech of uncultivated people.

Colloquial words should not be used under formal circamstances, in compositions and reports.

slang- Slang is mainly used by the young and uneducated and helps the speakers dissosiate themselves from others. In the course of time slang words either disappear or become neutral lexical units (slang is colourful, humourous and catching and may be accepted by all the groups of speakers).

dialect words are defined variarty of the language which prevails in a district with local peculiarities of vocabulary, pronansiation can be different.

informal style is used in ones immediate circle ( Family, friends, relatives)

learned words include several subdivisions of words: literary, or refined words, poetic words, words used in scientific prose and officialese (, ).

archaic words stand close to learned words, esp. poetic words. They are words which are partially or fully out of circulation and can be found in books

obsolete words- words that dropped from the language, survive only in special contexts.

professional terminology generally remain in circulation within a definite community, as they are linked to a common occupation and common social interests.


Chapter 3 and 4:

etymology that branch of linguistics which deals with the origin and history of words, tracing them to their earliest determinable base.By etymology of words is understood their origin.

by borrowing (loan) words we mean a word which came into the vocabulary from another and was assimilated by the new language. For example: butter, plum, beet have Latin origin, potato, tomato-Spanish, etc

native words are English by origin

etymological doublets are two originating from the same etymological source, but differing in phonemic shape and in meaning are called.

E.g: shirt and skirt. Shirt is a native word, and skirt is a Scandinavian borrowing. Their phonemic shape is different, and there is a certain resemblance which reflects their common origin. Their meanings are also different, but easily associated: they both denote articles of clothing.

translation-loans are borrowings of a special kid. They are not taken into the vocabulary of another language more or less in the same phonemic shape in which they have been functioning in their own language, but undergo the process of translation. Its oly compound words.

E.g: wonderchild (from Germ. Wunderkind), collective farm (from Russian ), ..


Chapter 5:

By word-building are understood processes of producing new words from the resources of this particular language. Together with borrowing, word-building provides for enlarging and enriching the vocabulary of the language.

If viewed structurally, words appear to be divisible into smaller units which are called morphemes. Morphemes do not occur as free forms but only as constituents of words. Yet they possess meanings of their own. The morpheme, and therefore affix, which is a type of morpheme, is generally defined as the smallest indivisible component of the word possessing a meaning of its own.

The affixes fall into prefixes which precede the root in the structure of the word (as in re-read, mispronounce, unwell) and suffixes which follow the root (as in teach-er, cur-able, diet-ate).

Words which consist of a root and an affix (or several affixes) are called derived words or derivatives and are produced by the process of word-building known as affixation (or derivation).

A root word has only a root morpheme in its structure. This type is widely represented by a great number of words belonging to the original English stock or to earlier borrowings (house, room, book, work, port, street, table, etc.), and, in Modern English, has been greatly enlarged by the type of word-building called conversion (e. g. to hand, v. formed from the noun hand; to can, v. from can, n.; to pale, v. from pale, adj.; a find, n. from to find, v.; etc.).


The process of affixation consists in coining a new word by adding an affix or several affixes to some root morpheme. From the etymological point of view affixes are classified into the same two large groups as words: native and borrowed. Affixes can also be classified into productive and non-productive types.

Another wide-spread word-structure is a compound word consisting of two or more stems1 (e. g. dining-room, bluebell, mother-in-law, good-for-nothing). Words of this structural type are produced by the word-building process called composition.

The somewhat odd-looking words like flu, pram, lab, M. P., Vday, H-bomb are called shortenings, contractions or curtailed words and are produced by the way of word-building called shortening (contraction).

Shortening (Contraction) are produced in two different ways. The first is to make a new word from a syllable (rarer, two) of the original word. The latter may lose its beginning (as in phone made from telephone, fence from defence), its ending (as in hols from holidays, vac from vacation, props from properties, ad from advertisement) or both the beginning and ending (as in flu from influenza, fridge from refrigerator). The second way of shortening is to make a new word from the initial letters of a word group: U.N.O. ['ju:neu] from the United Nations Organisation, B.B.C. from the British Broadcasting Corporation, M.P. from Member of Parliament. This type is called initial shortenings. Compounds consist of two or more stems (Stem is part of the word consisting of root and affix. In English words stem and root often coincide). e. g. dining-room, bluebell, mother-in-law, good-for-nothing.

Conversion consists in making a new word from some existing word by changing the category of a part of speech, the morphemic shape of the original word remaining unchanged. The new word has a meaning which differs from that of the original one though it can more or less be easily associated with it. It has also a new paradigm peculiar to its new category as a part of speech (e. g. to hand, v. formed from the noun hand; to can, v. from can, n.; to pale, v. from pale, adj.; a find, n. from to find, v.; etc.).


Chapter 6:

Composition is the type of word-building, in which new words are produced by combining two or more stems, is one of the most productive types in Modern English (e.g. blackbird, shop-window, absent-mindedness, blue-eyed).

In neutral compounds the process of compounding is realized without any linking elements, by a mere juxtaposition of two stems, as in blackbird, shop-window, sunflower, bedroom, tallboy, etc.

Compounds which have affixes in their structure are called derived or derivational compounds. E. g. absent-mindedness, blue-eyed, golden-haired, broad-shouldered, lady-killer, film-goer, music-lover, honey-mooner, first-nighter, late-comer, newcomer, early-riser, evildoer.

The third subtype of neutral compounds is called contracted compounds. These words have a shortened (contracted) stem in their structure: TV-set (-program, -show, -canal, etc.), V-day (Victory day), G-man (Government man "FBI agent"), H-bag (handbag), T-shirt, etc.

In syntactic compounds we once more find a feature of specifically English word-structure. These words are formed from segments of speech, preserving in their structure numerous traces of syntagmatic relations typical of speech: articles, prepositions, adverbs, as in the nouns lily-of-the-valley, Jack-of-all-trades, good-for-nothing, mother-in-law, sit-at-home, dunit (meaning "a detective story").

Words coined by Sound-Imitation are made by imitating different kinds of sounds that may be produced by animals, birds, insects, human beings and inanimate objects. For instance, English dogs bark (cf. the R. ) or howl (cf. the R. ). The English cock cries cock-adoodle-doo (cf. the R. ---). Some names of animals and especially of birds and insects are also produced by sound-imitation: crow, cuckoo, humming-bird, whip-poor-will, cricket.

In reduplication new words are made by doubling a stem, either without any phonetic changes as in bye-bye (coll, for good-bye) or with a variation of the root-vowel or consonant as in ping-pong, chitchat (this second type is called gradational reduplication). Stylistically speaking, most words made by reduplication represent informal groups: colloquialisms and slang. E. g. walkie-talkie ("a portable radio"), riff-raff ("the worthless or disreputable element of society"; "the dregs of society"), chi-chi (sl. for chic as in a chi-chi girl).



Chapter 7:

Semantic is the branch of linguistics which specialises in the study of meaning

Polysemy is the ability of words to have more than one meaning

denotative component The leading semantic component in the semantic structure of a word. The denotative component expresses the conceptual content of a word.

Combinability or collocability The quality or state of being combinable () the word's linear relationships with other words in typical contexts


Chapter 8:

The first group of causes is traditionally termed historical or extra-linguistic. Different kinds of changes in a nation's social life, in its culture, knowledge, technology, arts lead togaps appearing in the vocabulary which beg to be filled. Newly created objects, new concepts and phenomena must be named. We already know of two ways for providing new names for newly created concepts: making new words (word-building) and borrowing foreign ones. One more way of filling such vocabulary gaps is by applying some old word to a new object or notion.

New meanings can also be developed due to linguistic factors. Linguistically speaking, the development of new meanings, and also a complete change of meaning, may be caused through the influence of other words, mostly of synonyms. In Old English (. . deor) it had a general meaning denoting any beast. In that meaning it collided with the borrowed word animal and changed its meaning to the modern one ("a certain kind of beast", R. ).

The process of development of a new meaning (or a change of meaning) is traditionally termed transference.

Linguistic metaphor.A new meaning appears as a result of associating two objects (phenomena,qualities, etc.) due to their outward similarity. The noun eye, for instancehas for one of its meanings "hole in the end of a needle" (cf. with the R. ), which also developed through transference based on resemblance.

Linguistic metonymy. The association is based upon subtle psychological links between different objects and phenomena, sometimes traced and identified with much difficulty. The two objects may be associated together

because they often appear in common situations, and so the image of one is easily accompanied by the image of the other; or they may be associated on the principle of cause and effect, of common function, of some material and an object which is made of it, etc.

E.g. The meaning of the adjective sad in Old English was "satisfied with food" (cf. with the R. () which is a word of the same Indo-European root). Later this meaning developed a connotation of a greater intensity of quality and came to mean "oversatisfied with food; having eaten too much". Thus, the meaning of the adjective sad

developed a negative evaluative connotation and now described not a happy state of satisfaction but, on the contrary, the physical unease and discomfort of a person who has had too much to eat. The next shift of meaning was to transform the description of physical discomfort into one of spiritual discontent because these two states often go


Broadening (or Generalisation) of Meaning is a type of semantic change when a word represents a notion of a broader scope. Sometimes, the process of transference may result in a considerable change in range of meaning. For instance, the verb to arrive (French borrowing) began its life in English in the narrow meaning "to come to shore, to land". In Modern English it has greatly widened its combinability and developed the general meaning "to come" (e. g. to arrive in a village, town, city, country, at a hotel, hostel, college,theatre, place, etc.). The second meaning is broader and more


Narrowing (or Specialisation) of Meaning It is interesting to trace the history of the word girl as an example of the changes in the range of meaning in the course of the semantic development of a word. In Middle English it had the meaning of "a small child of either sex". Then the word underwent the process of transference based on contiguity and developed the meaning of "a small child of the female sex", so that the range of meaning was somewhat narrowed.


DEGRADATION OF MEANING is a type of semantic change when a word reflects a negative attitude to the phenomena named.

ELEVATION OF MEANING is a type of semantic change when a word demonstrates a better social attitude to the phenomena named

Chapter 9:


Homonyms are words which are identical in sound and spelling, or, at least, in one of these aspects, but different in their meaning.

Homonyms which are the same in sound and spelling are traditionally termed homonyms proper.

e.g. "A tailor guarantees to give each of his customers a perfect

fit."(The joke is based on the homonyms: I. fit, n. perfectly fitting clothes; II. fit, n. a nervous spasm.)

Homophones are the same in sound but different in spelling. Here are some more examples of homophones:

night, n. knight, n.; piece, n. peace, n.; scent, n. cent, n. sent, v. (Past Indef., Past Part, of to send); rite, n. to write, v. right, adj.; sea, n. to see, v. [si:] (the name of a letter).

Homographs are words which are the same in spelling but different in sound. to bow [bau], v.

to incline the head or body in salutation; bow [bqu], . a flexible strip of wood for propelling arrows.

Full lexical homonyms are words which represent the same category of parts of speech and have the same paradigm.E. g. / match, n. a game, a contest I match, n. a short piece of wood used for I producing

Fire; wren, n. a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service wren, n. a bird.

Partial homonyms are subdivided into three subgroups:

Simple lexico-grammatical partial homonyms are words which belong to the same category of parts of speech. Their paradigms have one identical form, but it is never the same form, as will be seen from the examples.

E. g. / (to) found, v.\ found, v. (Past Indef., Past Part. of to ( find)/ to lay, v.I lay, v. (Past Indef. of to lie)

B. Complex lexico-grammatical partial homonyms are words of different categories of parts of speech which have one identical form in their paradigms.

E. g. f rose, n. - rose, v. (Past Indef. of to rise)

maid, n. - made, v. (Past Indef., Past Part, of to make)

left, adj. - left, v. (Past Indef., Past Part, of to leave)

bean, n. - been, v. (Past Part, of to be)

one, num. - won, v. (Past Indef., Past Part, of to win)

C. Partial lexical homonyms are words of the same category of parts of speech which are identical only in their corresponding forms.

E. g. \ to lie (lay, lain), v. to lie (lied, lied), v.to hang (hung, hung), v. to hang (hanged, hanged).

Chapter 10:

Synonyms in the traditional meaning of the term are somewhat elusive and, to some extent, fictitious it is certain that there are words in any vocabulary which clearly develop regular and distinct relationships when used in speech.

Traditional linguistics solved this problem with the conceptual criterion and defined synonyms as words of the same category of parts of speech conveying the same concept but differing either in shades of meaning or in stylistic characteristics.

In modern research on synonyms the criterion of interchangeability is sometimes applied. According to this, synonyms are defined as words which are interchangeable at least in some contexts without any considerable alteration in denotational meaning.

Chapter 11:

The Dominant Synonym All (or, at least, most) synonymic groups have a "central" word of this kind whose meaning is equal to the denotation common to all the synonymic group. This word is called the dominant synonym

Euphemisms There are words in every language which people instinctively avoid because they are considered indecent, indelicate, rude, too direct or impolite. As the "offensive" referents, for which these words stand, must still be alluded to, they are often described in a roundabout way, by using substitutes called euphemisms

Antonyms We use the term antonyms to indicate words of the same category of parts of speech which have contrasting meanings, such as hot cold

Chapter 12:

Phraseological units, or idioms, as they are called by most western scholars (but is applied mostly to only a certain type of phraseological unit as it will be clear from further explanations) represent what can probably be described as the most picturesque, colourful and expressive part of the language's vocabulary. It is an expression consisting of a combination of words that have a figurative meaning

Free word-groups are each time built up anew in the speech process where- as idioms are used as ready-made units with fixed and constant structures. May vary according to the needs of communication

The semantic criterion for distinguishing between phraseological units and free word-groups consisting of the same essential constituents but in free word-groups words are used in the direct sense and in phraseological units they have indirect meaning.

The structural criterion for distinguishing between phraseological units and free word-groups no word can be substituted for any meaningful component of a phraseological unit without destroying its sense in free word-groups substitution does not present any dangers and does not lead to any serious consequences

Proverbs are sentences (and so cannot be used in the way in which phraseological units are used) which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity

Chapter 13:


Themantic principle of classification On this principle, idioms are classified according to their sources of origin, "source" referring to the particular sphere of human activity, of life, of nature, of natural phenomena, etc. This principle of classification is sometimes called "etymological".

phraseological combinations are word-groups with a partially changed meaning. They may be said to be clearly motivated, that is, the meaning of the unit can be easily deduced from the meanings of its constituents.

phraseological unities are word-groups with a completely changed meaning, that is, the meaning of the unit does not correspond to the meanings of its constituent parts. They are motivated units or, putting it another way, the meaning of the whole unit can be deduced from the meanings of the constituent parts; the metaphor, on which the shift of meaning is based, is clear and transparent.

Phraseological fusions are word-groups with a completely changed meaning but, in contrast to the unities, they are demotivated, that is, their meaning cannot be deduced from the meanings of the constituent parts; the metaphor, on which the shift of meaning was based, has lost its clarity and is obscure.



Date: 2015-01-29; view: 1301

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