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Phraseology Topics for Discussion

Part 1. Morphemes are recyclable. Word analysis is such a powerful skill because the same morphemes show up over and over in many different words. Once you've learned the meaning of a morpheme and learned to spot it in its different forms, you'll know something about the hundreds of words that use it. For example know the Latin morpheme duc 'lead,draw,pull'. Here are a few of the words which use it:

reduce 'to pull back'

deduce 'to draw away from'

seduce 'to lead apart'

produce 'to pull forward'

induce 'to lead into'

conduct 'to lead together'


Another example is ped 'foot' (also from Latin).

pedal 'pertaining to the foot'

pedestrian 'one who use his/her feet for transportation'

biped[1] 'a creature with two feet '

pedometer 'an instrument for measuring distance traveled by foot '

pedigree 'foot of a crane'[2]

expedite 'to free the feet ' i.e. speed up progress

impede 'to have something in the way of one's foot ' i.e. to be slowed down


Task 1. Check the meaning of the following words. Identify the meaning of the common element.

a) receive, deceive, conceive

b) accept, incept,

c) consume, assume, presume


Part 2. Problems with morphemes

It would be nice if there were always a neat one-to-one correspondence between form and meaning, i.e. if each meaning always had its own individual form. Unfortunately, natural human language isn't like that. Now we'll take a look at some potentially tricky situations that can arise. As we consider these problems, the important thing to keep in mind is that a morpheme is a FORM + MEANING unit; both parts of the unit must be considered when we are trying to decide if we are dealing with one morpheme or two.

1. One form, two (or more) meanings.

Two different meanings can be expressed using the same arrangement of sounds. Since there are clearly two different and unrelated meanings, we would want to say that there are two different morphemes. For example we will learn the two morphemes,

in- 'not' in words like incapable and insufficient, and

in- 'into, within' , as in invade and include.

2. Two (or more) forms, one meaning.

When two different forms have the same meaning, they could be different morphemes -- or they might be a single morpheme. We'll take a look at both situations.

a. Two forms, one meaning = two morphemes

There are two situations in which two forms have the same meaning, but they are different morphemes.

(1) In the first case, the forms are usually rather different from one another. For example, consider

andr 'man,male' as in android, and

vir 'man,male' as in virile.

Both morphemes mean the same thing, but they are very different in form. They have completely different origins, and we want to think of them as different morphemes.

(2) In the second case, the forms may be the same or very similar, but they came into English from different sources. For example,

in- 'into, within' is a prefix English borrowed from Latin. We also have

in 'into, within', a native English preposition.

If we traced the histories of these two morphemes, we would find that they go back to a single morpheme which existed in the parent language of both Latin and English. Since they come ultimately from the same source, they are very similar in form. However, they came into English through very different historical pathways; one is part of the native vocabulary, the other is borrowed. For this reason, it is reasonable to think of them as separate morphemes. This situation is relatively rare.

b. Two (or more) forms, one meaning = one morpheme

Sometimes two forms with the same meaning may be alternate forms of the same morpheme. For example

a- and an- , different forms of a Greek morpheme meaning 'not, without'.

Another case is

pan- and pant- , which are different forms of a Greek morpheme meaning 'all,overall'.

Here the two forms are very similar, often differing in only one consonant or vowel. They typically result from a situation in which an original single form adapted its beginning or ending sounds to the sounds found in other morphemes it combined with. For example, the Greek 'not' morpheme is found in the form a- before roots beginning with consonants, and an- before roots beginning with vowels, just like the English words "a" and "an."

Task 2. Which of the following words have a negative prefix?

Inability, inborn, inbuilt, incantation, inaccessible, incentive, insane, incinerate, inoculate, incident, incline, incompatibility, inconceivable, incorporate, increase, incriminate, indebted, indecent, indeed, indefinite, indigenous, indigestion, indoor

Task 3. Give English words with morphemes a – / an – (“without”) and pan- /pant- (“all, overall”)


http://highered.mcgraw hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073513474/511786/Exercise_Ch2.pdf

Controversial cases of word analysis

Take the word: unionized. The more familiar meaning is "formed into a union". The other, less commonly known meaning comes from chemistry: "not converted into ions"; it's actually the word ionized with the un- prefix. This is an example of a homograph, as the words can have two pronunciations and different meanings altogether but are spelled the same.

The root words are different: in the first case, it's union, and in the second case it's ion. Here's the morpheme breakdown of both meanings of unionized:


union : root word

-ize : changes a noun into a verb (union -> unionize)

-ed : past tense (unionize -> unionized)


ion : root word

-ize : changes a noun into a verb (ion -> ionize)

un- : "not" (ionize -> unionize)

-ed : past tense (unionize -> unionized)

In the second case, notice that the order matters: the un- prefix is applied after -ize, as there isn't a word such as "un-ion".


Can you give your own examples of controversial word analysis?


Task 1. Match the terms and their definitions (see Photocopiable activities)

Exercise 1. Derivational Prefixes and Suffixes


1. Sort the prefixes in the words below into the following seven categories according to meaning:

a. Time

b. Number

c. Place

d. Degree

e. Privative

f. Negative

g. Size

Each category has two prefixes. After you have classified the prefixes, use a dictionary to identify whether the prefix is native English, Latin, or Greek in origin.






























Exercise 2: Minor Processes of Word Formation

1. Identify the process of word formation responsible for each of the following words. Try to determine the process before you consult a dictionary, though it may be necessary for you to do so.

a) curio

b) to laze

c) to network

d) to cohere

e) a sitcom

f) the muppets

g) a what-not

h) margarine

i) dystopia

j) serendipity

k) diesel

l) a ha-ha

m) to make up

n) to total

o) the hereafter

p) amphetamine

q) a construct

r) the chunnel

s) guestimate

t) canary

u) brain-gain

v) boojum

w) gaffe-slack

x) psycho

y) walkie-talkie

z) bonfire

Exercise 3. Stress shift. Mind the stress when reading these words.

1. A convict's life was neither easy nor pleasant.

2. A rebel is a participant in a rebellion; or more generally, an individual who resists authority or control.

3. Can an Islamic state permit foreign hotel resorts?

4. Create, record and share the sounds you create anywhere to friends, family and the world with SoundCloud, the world's largest community of sound creators.

5. Five days had gone by since the events in Las Cruces, during which she had made her way slowly back to New York, taking advantage of all the means of transport available – plane, train, bus and automobile.

6. In order to work and live in the Netherlands, you will require appropriate work and residence permits.

7. Record Collector is the world's leading authority on rare and collectable records.

8. Refreshments will be served after the talk followed by observing if weather permits.

9. Reservations are recommended since there are a limited number of quota permits available for each entry point.

10. Tariq Lutfi admits, “I don't know about the future of women football in Pakistan , but I can see some progress which I hadn't seen before.”

11. The British Convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database has been compiled from the British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm.

12. This comprehensive index of all convicts transported to Tasmania and those who were convicted (through the convict system) in the colony was created by indexing all original records we hold from the beginning of transportation in 1804 until 1853 when transportation ceased.

13. What were the reasons why the colonists rebelled against England?

14. Women's Football in Pakistan has progressed but there is still a long way to go.



Exercise 4. Use derivatives of the words in brackets to fill in the gaps.

1. The results were very strange! In fact, they were __________________ ! (BELIEVE)

2. He has an unfortunate _________________ to understand people’s feelings (ABLE)

3. Due to the clerk’s ______________________ we missed the train (STUBBORN)

4. What is the ______________________ of the Danube River (LONG)

5. The ___ of our agriculture is important if we want to produce more food (MECHANIC)

6. Drug ______________________ is a problem causing great concern (ADDICT)

7. I have been sworn to ______________________ so I can’t say a word (SECRET)

8. Pushing into a queue is considered to be extremely _________________ (POLITE)

9. The audience gave the violinist a round of ______________________ (APPLAUD)

10. He isn’t happy with his job because he feels he is _____________________ (PAY)

11. We have just been shown another example of _________________ killing (SENSE)

12. My ______________________ is the history of Elizabethan England (SPECIAL)

13. The police were told by their _____________ where to find the criminal (INFORM)

14. He received many medals for his acts of _______________ during the war (HERO)

15. For all of us, Marilyn Monroe was the ____________________of beauty (PERSON)

16. I can guarantee the ______________________ of our new product (RELY)

17. Everybody is worried about the _________________ of the rain forest (DESTROY)

18. Some MPs are calling for ______________________ without trial (DETAIN)

19. My grandfather was given a medal for ______________________ (BRAVE)

20. My father takes great ______________________ in his work (PROUD)

21. ______________________ is probably the most useful form of energy (ELECTRIC)

22. John turned up on the wrong day because of a _______________(UNDERSTAND)

23. The bank robbers were sentenced to twelve years of ________________ (PRISON)

24. Failure to apply in time may result in a ___________________ of benefits (LOSE)

25. Pat was accused of stealing some _________________ documents (CONFIDENT)





[1] According to legend, Plato defined man as 'a featherless biped.' Diogenes plucked a chicken and brought it to the academy saying, "Here is Plato's man."

[2] This came from Old French pied de grue. It was thought that the diagrams of one's lineage (family tree charts) looked like a crane's foot.

Phraseology Topics for Discussion

1. Free word combination and phraseological word combination. The problem of definition of phraseological word combination. The essential features of phraseological units: lack of semantic motivation (idiomaticity) and lexical and grammatical stability. The concept of reproducibility.

2. Different approaches to the classification of phraseological units: semantic, functional (according to their grammatical structure), contextual.

3. Academician V.V.Vinogradov's classification of phraseological units. The degree of idiomaticity as an essential requirement for the classification:

a)phraseological combinations;

b)phraseological unities;

c)phraseological fusions.

4. Stylistic aspect of phraseology. Polysemy and Synonymy of Phraseological Units.

Definitions of Principal Concepts.

Phraseological unit is a non-motivated word-group that cannot be freely made up in speech but is reproduced as a ready made unit.

Reproducibility is regular use of phraseological units in speech as single unchangeable collocations.

Idiomaticity is the quality of phraseological unit, when the meaning of the whole is not deducible from the sum of the meanings of the parts.

Stability of a phraseological unit implies that it exists as a ready- made linguistic unit which does not allow of any variability of its lexical components of grammatical structure.

1. In lexicology there is great ambiguity of the terms phraseology and idioms . Opinions differ as to how phraseology should be defined, classified, described and analysed. The word "phraseology has very different meanings in this country and in Great Britain or the United States, In linguistic literature the term is used for the expressions where the meaning of one element is dependent on the other, irrespective of the structure and properties of the unit (V.V. Vinogradov); with other authors it denotes only such set expressions which do not possess expressiveness or emotional colouring (A.I. Smirnitsky), and also vice versa: only those that are imaginative, expressive and emotional (I.V.Arnold). N.N. Amosova calls such expressions fixed context units, i.e. units in which it is impossible to substitute any of the components without changing the meaning not only of the whole unit but also of the elements that remain intact. O.S. Ahmanova insists on the semantic integrity of such phrases prevailing over the structural separateness of their elements. A.V. Koonin lays stress on the structural separateness of the elements in a phraseological unit, on the change of meaning in the whole as compared with its elements taken separately and on a certain minimum stability.

In English and American linguistics no special branch of study exists, and the term "phraseology" has a stylistic meaning, according to Webster's dictionary 'mode of expression, peculiarities of diction, i.e. choice and arrangement of words and phrases characteristic of some author or some literary work'.

Difference in terminology ("set-phrases", "idioms", "word-equivalents") reflects certain differences in the main criteria used to distinguish types of phraseological units and free word-groups. The term "set phrase" implies that the basic criterion of differentiation is stability of the lexical components and grammatical structure of word-groups.

The term "idiom" generally implies that the essential feature of the linguistic units is idiomaticity or lack of motivation.

The term "word-equivalent" stresses not only semantic but also functional inseparability of certain word groups, their aptness to function in speech as single words.

The essential features of phraseological units are: a) lack of semantic motivation; b) lexical and grammatical stability.

As far as semantic motivation is concerned phraseological units are extremely varied from motivated (by simple addition of denotational meaning) like a sight for sore eyes and to know the ropes, to partially motivated (when one of the words is used in a not direct meaning) or to demotivated (completely non-motivated) like tit for tat, red-tape.

Lexical and grammatical stability of phraseological units is displayed in the fact that no substitution of any elements whatever is possible in the following stereotyped (unchangeable) set expressions, which differ in many other respects; all the world and his wife, red tape, calf love, heads or tails, first night, to gild the pill, to hope for the best, busy as a bee, fair and square, stuff and nonsense time and again, to and fro.

In a free phrase the semantic correlative ties are fundamentally different. The information is additive and each element has a much greater semantic independence Each component may be substituted without affecting the meaning of the other: cut bread, cut cheese, eat bread. Information is additive in the sense that the amount of information we had on receiving the first signal, i.e. having heard or read the word cut, is increased, the listener obtains further details and learns what is cut. The reference of cut is unchanged Every notional word can form additional syntactic ties with other words outside the expression. In a set expression information furnished by each element is not additive: actually it does not exist before we get the whole. No substitution for either cut or figure can be made without completely ruining the following:

I had an uneasy fear that he might cut a poor figure beside all these clever Russian officers (Shaw). He was not managing to cut much of a figure (Murdoch)

The only substitution admissible for the expression cut a poor figure concerns the adjective.

2. Semantic approach stresses the importance of idiomaticity, functional - syntactic inseparability, contextual - stability of context combined with idiomaticity.

3. In his classification of V.V. Vinogradov developed some points first advanced by the Swiss linguist Charles Bally The classification is based upon the motivation of the unit, i.e. the relationship existing between the meaning of the whole and the meaning of its component parts. The degree of motivation is correlated with the rigidity, indivisibility and semantic unity of the expression, i.e with the possibility of changing the form or the order of components, and of substituting the whole by a single word. According to the type of motivation three types of phraseological units are suggested, phraseological combinations, phraseological unities, and phraseological fusions.

The Phraseological Collocations (Combinations), are partially motivated, they contain one component used in its direct meaning while the other is used figuratively: meet the demand, meet the necessity, meet the requirements.

Phraseological unities are much more numerous. They are clearly motivated. The emotional quality is based upon the image created by the whole as in to stick (to stand) to one's guns, i.e. refuse to change one's statements or opinions in the face of opposition', implying courage and integrity. The example reveals another characteristic of the type, the possibility of synonymic substitution, which can be only very limited, e. g. to know the way the wind is blowing.

Phraseological fusions, completely non-motivated word-groups, (e.g. tit for tat), represent as their name suggests the highest stage of blending together. The meaning of components is completely absorbed by the meaning of the whole, by its expressiveness and emotional properties. Phraseological fusions are specific for every language and do not lend themselves to literal translation into other languages.

5. Semantic stylistic features contracting set expressions into units of fixed context are simile, contrast, metaphor and synonymy. For example: as like as two peas, as îld as the hills and older than the hills (simile); from beginning to end, for love or money, more or less, sooner or later (contrast); a lame duck, a pack of lies, arms race, to swallow the pill, in a nutshell (metaphor); by leaps and bounds, proud and haughty (synonymy). A few more combinations of different features in the same phrase are: as good as gold, as pleased as Punch, as fit as a fiddle (alliteration, simile); now or never, to kill or cure (alliteration and contrast). More rarely there is an intentional pun: as cross as two sticks means 'very angry'. This play upon words makes the phrase jocular. The comic effect is created by the absurdity of the combination making use of two different meanings of the word cross a and n.

There are, of course, other cases when set expressions lose their metaphorical picturesqueness, having preserved some fossilised words and phrases, the meaning of which is no longer correctly understood. For instance, the expression buy a pig in a poke may be still used, although poke 'bag' (cf. pouch, pocket) does not occur in other contexts.


Date: 2014-12-22; view: 1134

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