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Development of Meaning


1. Comment on the terms:

lexical meaning, grammatical meaning, referential approach, functional approach, “basic triangle”, denotative component, connotative component, seme, types of connotations, causes (historical/ linguistic), metaphor, metonymy, results of development of meaning.


2. Explain the basis for the following jokes:

1. Caller: I wonder if I can see your mother, little boy. Is she engaged?

Willie: Engaged! She’s married.

2. Professor: You missed my class yesterday, didn’t you?

Unsubdued student: Not in the least, sir, not in the least.

3. The weather forecaster hadn’t been right in three months, and his resignation caused little surprise. His alibi, however, pleased the city councel.

“I can’t stand this town any longer,” read his note. “The climate doesn’t agree with me.”

4. “Papa, what kind of robber is a page?”

“A what?”

“It says here that two pages held up the bride’s train.

3. Specify lexical and grammatical meaning of the following words:

water, tables, data, spectacles, promise.


4.Identify the denotative and connotative elements of the meanings in the following pairs of words:

to conceal – to disguise, to choose – to select, to draw – to paint, money – cash, photograph – picture, odd – queer.

5.Define the type of transference which has taken place:

1. The wing of a bird – the wing of a building, the eye of a man – the eye of a needle, the hand of a child – the hand of a clock, the heart of a man – the heart of a matter, the bridge of a river – the bridge of a nose, the tongue of a person – the tongue of a bell, the coat of a girl – the coat of a dog, the tooth of a boy – the tooth of a comb.

2. Green grass – green years, black shoes – black despair, nickel – a nickel (coin), glass – a glass, copper – a copper (coin), Ford – a Ford, Kashmir (town in North India) – cashmere, Damascus (town in Syria) - damask.

6.Trace the process of narrowing of meaning in the words:

starve, undertaker, deer, meat, bread.

Theme 5: Semantic Relations of Words and Structure of the English Lexicon


1. Comment on the terms:

a) polysemy, LSV, subordination, coordination, types of LSVs;

b) synonyms, criteria of synonymy (conceptual, semantic, definitional analysis, interchangeability), ideographic synonyms, stylistic synonyms, absolute synonyms, dominant synonym, euphemisms;

c) antonyms, gradable, complementary, contradictory, contrary, absolute, derivational;

d) homonyms, origin of homonyms, homonyms proper, homophones, homographs, full lexical homonyms, partial homonyms (simple lexico-grammatical, complex lexico-grammatical, partial lexical homonyms).


2.Write out from a dictionary all the meanings of the following words. Comment on the semantic structure of the words:

ball, sheet, scandal, sentence, hand, case, to take, to come, to feel, to let.


3.Single out the denotative and connotative components of meaning of the synonyms in the following examples:

1. At the little lady’s command they all smiled. On hearing the story George grinned. 2. Noticing that they were no longer alone, he turned and again began examining the lustre. June had gone. James had said he would be lonely. 3. The child was shivering with cold. The man shuddered with disgust. 4. I am surprised at you. He was astonished to hear this. 5. It’s impolite to stare at people like that. The little boys stood glaring at each other ready to start a fight. The lovers stood gazing into each other’s eyes. 6. He grew white with anger. “It’s a damned shame,” Andrew burst out, forgetting himself in a sudden rush of indignation. 7. He was an elderly man at the time of his marriage. He was an aged man, but not yet old.

4.Using the semantic criterion prove that the rows of words are synonyms:

angry – furious – enraged, to shout – to yell – to roar, fear – terror – horror, to cry – to weep – to sob, to walk – to trot – to stroll, to desire – to wish – to want, to like – to admire – to worship.

5.Find the dominant synonym in the following groups of synonyms:

1. to glimmer – to glisten – to blaze – to shine – to sparkle – to flash – to gleam. 2. To astound – to surprise – to amaze – to puzzle – to astonish.

3. to saunter – to stroll – to wander – to walk – to roam.

4. scent - perfume – smell –odour – aroma.

5. to brood – to reflect – to meditate – to think.


6.Comment on the stylistic usage of the synonyms. Point out euphemistic, archaic, poetical and dialectal synonyms:

Girl – lass, pretty – bonny, shut up! – hush!, stomach – belly, foolish – unwise, also – eke, lake – mere, trousers – unmentionables, possible – feasible, gay – blithe, evening - eventide, yes – aye, musician – minstrel, bomb – device.


7.Find antonyms for the words given below:

good, deep, narrow, clever, young, to love, to reject, to give, strong, to laugh, joy, evil, up, slowly, black, sad, to die, to open, clean, darkness, big.

8.Change the sentences so that they express the contrary meaning by using antonyms. State whether they are absolute or derivational:

1. All the seats were occupied. 2. The room was lighted by the strong rays of the sun. 3. He added three hundred to the sum. 4. I came in while you were asleep. 5. The door was closed and locked. 6. Light curtains hung on the windows. 7. The little boy was outside the car. 8. He drew two crooked lines.


9.Find antonyms in the proverbs. Translate them into Russian:

1. After a storm comes a calm. 2. A god beginning makes a good ending. 3. Be swift to hear, slow to speak. 4. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. 5. Drunkenness reveals what soberness conceals. 6. Faults are thick when love is thin. 7. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.


10.Make up a complete analysis of the homonyms in italics. Translate the sentences into Russian:

1. He couldn’t bear to speak. First catch your bear and then divide the skin. They both, bare-armed, descended the hill. 2. All of them bowed low. It is the hour when from the boughs the nightingale’s high note is heard. Before them stood an Indian with an arrow and a bow. 3. She rose too. The white lane wound down the hill between tall rows of elms. When she left the room, an odour of rose lingered about the nursery.


11.Give as many examples of euphemisms as possible for the words:

to die, devil, God, be pregnant, a lavatory, poor, mad, stupid, drunk, prison.

Theme 6: English Phraseology


1.Comment on the terms:

phraseological unit, semantic criterion, structural criterion, thematic/ etymological classification, phraseological combinations, unities, fusions, Smirnitsky’s classification, contextual analysis, Koonin’s classification.


2.Translate the following false idioms:

To see eye to eye with, to lead by the nose, wind in the head, to stretch one’s legs, to throw dust in smb’s eyes, to stew in one’s own juice, to put/ throw salt on smb’s tail, more dead than alive, to pin back smb’s ears, to pull the devil by the tail, a heart of oak, to pass the time of the day, to make good time, backward(s) and forward(s), to be in the dark, to be in the black.

3.Consult the dictionary and state the meaning and origin of the following phraseological units. Translate them into Russian.

Cut the Gordian knot, shed crocodile tears, Hercules' labour, Solomon's judgement, the sword of Damocles, cross the Rubicon, Juda's kiss, the massacre of the innocents, thirty pieces of silver, Achilles’ heel.

Date: 2015-12-24; view: 2334

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VI. Express the idea of the following by using suitable proverbs and sayings with the Present Indefinite Tense form of the verb predicate. Consult the reference list below. | At beyond by for (2) from in (2) on (2) over to (2) under up
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