Lecture 2. Language system: paradigms and syntagmas
1. What are the two main planes of a language? What is the relationship between them?
The system of language is some order organizing hundreds of thousands of words making it easier to memorize and properly use them in speech. In any language system two general planes are usually distinguished: the formal plane, comprising spoken or written language sign and the semantic, comprising mental concepts the language signs stand for (words from a dictionary- formal plane, its definitions- semantic plane).
2. What levels are traditionally distinguished in a language? Give examples of the objects of each level.
A language system is traditionally divided into three basic levels.
The morphological level of a language (including morphs and morphemes objects) is the level at which meaning can be assigned to parts of words and the level that describes how morphemes (the smallest meaning elements of words) are combined to make a word. For example, -ate (congratulate, create), -ute (attribute, contribute), -able (detestable, curable) are word-building morphemes and belong to objects of this level.
The lexical level of a language includes words and objects. For example,
The syntactic level (including such elements as Subject, Predicate) concerns the structure of the sentence, i.e., the categories of words and the order in which they are assembled to form a grammatical sentence. For example,
3. What is a language paradigm? Give examples of lexico-semantic and grammatical paradigms.
A language system is traditionally divided into 3 basic levels: morphological (including morph and morphemes as objects), lexical (including words as objects) and syntactic (comprising such objects as elements of the sentence syntax). At each language level its objects may be grouped according to their meaning or function. Such groups are called paradigms
For example, the English morphemes S and ES enter the paradigm of Number. Words spring, summer, autumn and winter enter the lexico-semantic paradigm of seasons. Words the Sun, the Moon, meteorite, planet, train of a comet, stars etc. enter into lexico-semantic paradigm of heavenly bodies. All verbs may be grouped into the syntactic (functional) paradigm of Predicates.
One and the same word may belong to different levels and different paradigms i.e. the language paradigms are sets with common elements. As an example, consider the lexico-semantic paradigm of colors the elements of which also belong to the syntactic paradigms of Attributes.
The elements of language paradigms are united and organized according to their potential roles in speech formation. These roles are called valences.
4. What is a syntagma? Give a definition.
The paradigms of the language brought together form the system of the language which may be regarded as a kind of construction material to build sentences and texts. Language paradigms are virtual elements of the language which are activated in syntactically interdependent groups of sentence elements called syntagma.
In simple language a syntagma is a pair of words connected by the master-servant relationship.
A Syntagma is one syntactic or syntagmatic element. For example, repetition is a syntagma of epic structures.
5. What is the language system? Give a definition.
One may conclude that language system is some order organizing hundreds of thousands of words making it easier to memorize and use them in speech. Any system is organized set of objects and relation between them. In any language system there are 2 general planes: the formal plane, comprising spoken or written language signs, and the semantic, comprising mental concepts (meanings) the language signs stand for. (words from dictionary – formal plane; their definitions – semantic plane).
A language system is traditionally divided into 3 basic levels: morphological (including morph and morphemes as objects), lexical (including words as objects) and syntactic (comprising such objects as elements of the sentence syntax).
The paradigms of the language brought together form the system of the language which may be regarded as a kind of construction material to build sentences and texts.
Any language has a particular multi-level organization: its elements are organized in sets (paradigms) at various levels and a language speaker is using the elements of these sets to generate a message intended for communication with other speakers of this language and entirely incomprehensible for those who have no command of this language.