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Etymological survey of the English word-stock. 1 page

Word-formation in Modern English.




1. Etymological survey of the English word-stock:

а) definition of native terms, borrowing, translation loan, semantic loan. Words of native origin and their characteristics;

b) foreign elements in Modern English. Scandinavian borrowings, classical elements - Latin and Greek, French borrowings, Ukrainian-English lexical correlations;

c) assimilation of borrowings. Types and degrees of assimilation;

d) international words.

2. Word-formation in Modern English:

a) the morphological structure of a word. The morpheme. The principles of morphemic analysis. Types of morphemes. Structural types of words: simple, derived, compound words.

b) productivity. Productive and non-productive ways of word-formation.

c) affixation. General characteristics of suffixes and prefixes. Classification of prefixes. Classification of suffixes. Productive and non-productive affixes, dead and living affixes.

d) word - composition. Classification of compound words. Coordinative and subordinate compound words and their types.

e) conversion, its definition.

f) shortening. Lexical abbreviations. Acronyms. Clipping.

g) non-productive means of word formation. Blending. Back-formation. Onomatopoeia. Sentence-condensation. Sound and stress interchange.


1 вопрос 1. Etymological survey of the English word-stock Working Definitions of Principal Concepts.

Etymologically the vocabulary of the English language is far from being homogeneous(однорідний). It consists of two layers - the native stock of words and the borrowed stock of words. Numerically the borrowed stock of words is considerably larger than the native stock of words. In fact native words comprise only 30% of the total number of words in the English vocabulary but the native words form the bulk of the most frequent words actually used in speech and writing. Native words are highly polysemantic and productive in forming word clusters and set expressions.

Borrowed words (or loan words or borrowings) are words taken over from another language and modified according to the patterns(модель) of the receiving language.

The most effective way of borrowing is direct borrowing from another language as the result of contacts with the people of another country or with their literature. But a word may also be borrowed from source language but through another language.

When analyzing borrowed words one must distinguish between the two terms - "source of borrowing" and "origin of borrowing". The first term is applied to the language from which the word was immediately borrowed, the second - to the language to which the word may be ultimately traced e.g.

table - source of borrowing - French, origin of borrowing - Latin

elephant - source of borrowing - French, origin - Egypt

convene - source of borrowing - French, origin – Latin

There are different ways of classifying the borrowed stock of words. First of all the borrowed stock of words may be classified according to the nature of the borrowing itself as borrowings proper, translation loans and semantic loans.

Translation loans are words or expressions formed from the elements existing in the English language according to the patterns of the source language(мова оригіналу) (the moment of truth - sp. el momento de la verdad).

A semantic loan is the borrowing of a meaning for a word already existing in the English language (e.g. the compound word shock brigade which existed in the English language with the meaning "аварійна бригада" acquired a new meaning "ударна бригада" which it borrowed from the Russian language. Latin Loans are classified into the subgroups.

2 вопрос

1. Early Latin Loans. Those are the words which came into English through the language of Anglo-Saxon tribes. The tribes had been in contact with Roman civilization and had adopted several Latin words denoting objects belonging to that civilization long before the invasion of Angles, Saxons and Jutes into Britain (cup, kitchen, mill, port, wine).

2. Later Latin Borrowings. To this group belong the words which penetrated the English vocabulary in the sixth and seventh centuries when the people of England were converted to Christianity (priest bishop, nun, candle).

3. The third period of Latin includes words which came into English due to two historical events: the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the Renaissance or the Revival of Learning. Some words came into English through French but some were taken directly from Latin (major, minor intelligent, permanent).

4. The Latest Stratum of Latin Words. The words of this period are mainly abstract and scientific words (nylon, molecular, vaccine, phenomenon vacuum).

Norman-French Borrowings may be subdivided into subgroups:

1. Early loans - 12th - 15th century

2. Later loans - beginning from the 16th century.

The Early French borrowings are simple short words, naturalized in accordance with the English language system (state, power, war, pen, river). Later French borrowings can be identified by their peculiarities of form and pronunciation (regime, police, ballet, scene, bourgeois).

The Etymological Structure of English Vocabulary

The native elements The borrowed elements


I. Indo-European element I. Celtic (5th - 6th c.A.D.)

II. Germanic element II. Latin

III. English proper element (brought by 1st group: 1st c.B.C.

Angles, Saxons and Jutes not earlier 2nd group: 7th C.A.D.

than 5th c. A.D) 3d group: the Renaissance period

III. Scandinavian (8th-11th c.A.D.)

IV. French

1. Norman borrowings: 11th -13th c.A.D.

2. Parisian borrowings: (Renaissance)

V. Greek (Renaissance)

VI. Italian (Renaissance and later)

VII. Spanish (Renaissance and later)

VIII. German

IX. Indian and others

Ukrainian-English lexical correlations

Lexical correlations are defined as lexical units from different languages which are phonetically and semantically related. The number of Ukrainian-English lexical correlations is about 6870.The history of the Slavonic-German ties resulted in the following correlations: beat - бити, call - голос, day - день, widow - вдова, young - юний. Beside Ukrainian-English lexical correlations the Ukrainian language contains borrowings from modern English period e.g. брифінг, короткий інструктаж - briefing', диск-жокей, ведучий програм - disk-jockey; естеблішмент, організація суспільно-державних установ країни -establishment; хіт парад, конкурс популярних пісень - hit parade та інші.

Assimilation (уподібнення) is the process of changing the adopted word. The process of assimilation of borrowings includes changes in soundform, morphological structure, grammar characteristics, meaning and usage.

Phonetic assimilation comprises changes form and stress(наголос). Sounds that were alien to the English language were fitted into its scheme of sounds, e.g. In the recent French borrowings cafe the long [e] is rendered with the help of [ei]. The accent is usually transferred to the first syllable in the words from foreign sources.

Grammatical adaptation is usually a less lasting(довготривалий) process, because in oder to function adequately in the recipient language a borrowing must completely change its paradigm(сук-ність всіх форм слова). Though there are some well-known exceptions as plural forms of the English Renaissance borrowings - datum pi. data, criterion - pi. criteria and others.

The process of semantic assimilation has many forms: narrowing of meanings (usually polysemantic words are borrowed in one of the meanings); specialization(конкретизація) or generalization of meanings, acquiring new meaningsintherecipient language, shifting a primary meaning to the position of a secondary meaning.

Completely assimilated borrowings are the words which assimilated completely in other language. They take an active part in word-formation.

Partially assimilated borrowings are the words which lack one of the types of assimilation. They are subdivided into the groups:

1) Borrowings not assimilated semantically (e.g. shah, rajah). Such words usually denote objects and notions peculiar to the country from which they came.

2) Loan words not assimilated grammatically, e.g. nouns borrowed from Latin or Greek which keep their original forms (datum - data, phenomenon -phenomena).

3) Loan words not completely assimilated phonetically. These words contain peculiarities in stress, combinations of sounds that are not standard for English (machine, tobacco).

4) Loan words not completely assimilated graphically (e.g. ballet, cliche).

Barbarisms are words from other languages used by the English people in conversation or in writing but not assimilated in any way, and for which there are corresponding English equivalents, e.g. ciao Italian — good-bye English.

The borrowed stock of the English vocabulary contains not only words but a great number of suffixes and prefixes (-age, -ance, -ess, -ment).

In many cases one and the same word was borrowed twice either from the same language or from different languages. This accounts for the existence of the so called etymological doublets like canal - channel (Latin - French), balsam -balm (Greek - French).

International words. There exist many words that were borrowed by several languages. Such words are mostly of Latin and Greek origin and convey notions which are significant in the field of communication in different countries. Here belong names of sciences {philosophy, physics, linguistics), terms of art {music, theatre, drama, artist, comedy), political terms {politics, policy, progress). The English language became a source for international sports terms {football, hockey, cricket, rugby, tennis).

3 питання 2. Word-formation in Modern English Working Definitions of Principal Concepts

The word is not the smallest unit of the language. It consists of morphemes. The morpheme may be defined as the smallest meaningful(значимий) unit which has a sound form and meaning and which occurs in speech only as a part of a word.

Word formation(створення) is the creation of new words from elements already existing in the language. Every language has its own structural patterns(модель) of word formation. Morphemes are subdivided into root-morphemes and affixational morphemes.

The root morpheme is the lexical center of the word. It is the semantic nucleus(ядро) of a word with which no grammatical properties (властивості) of the word are connected.

Affixational morphemes include inflections(закінчення) and derivational(словотворчі) affixes.

Inflection is an affixal morpheme which carries only grammatical meaning thus relevant(важливий) only for the formation of word-forms {books, open-ed, strong-er).

Derivational morpheme is an affixal morpheme which modifies the lexical meaning of the root and forms a new word. In many cases it adds the part-of-speech meaning to the root (manage-ment, fruit-ful).

Morphemes which may occur in isolation and function as independent words are called free morpheme {pay, sum, form).

Morphemes which are not found in isolation are called bound morphemes (-er, un-, -less).

Morphemic analysis.

The segmentation of words is generally carried out according to the method of Immediate and Ultimate Constituents(безпосередня та заключна складова). This method is based upon the binary principle, e.g. each stage of procedure involves two components the word immediately breaks into. At each stage these two components are referred to as the Immediate Constituents (IC). Each IC at the next stage of analysis is in turn broken into smaller meaningful elements. The analysis is completed when we arrive at constituents incapable of further division, i.e. morphemes. These are referred to as Ultimate Constituents (UC). The analysis of word-structure on the morphemic level must naturally proceed(продовжувати) to the stage of UC-s.

Allomorphs are the phonemic variants of the given morpheme e.g. il-, im-, ir-, are the allomorphs of the prefix in- (illiterate, important, irregular, inconstant).

Monomorphic are root-words consisting of only one root-morpheme i.e. simple words (dry, grow, boss, sell).

Polymorphic are words consisting of at least one root-morpheme and a number of derivational affixes, i.e. derivatives, compounds {customer, payee, body-building, shipping).

Derived words are those composed of one root-morpheme and one more derivational morpheme (consignment, outgoing, publicity).

Compound words contain at least two root-morphemes (warehouse, camera­man).

4 питання Productivity is the ability to form new words after existing patterns which are readily(швидко) understood by the speakers of a language. Synchronilly the most important and the most productive ways of word-formation are affixation, conversion(перетворення), word-composition and abbreviation(скорочення) (contraction). In the course of time the productivity of this or that way of word-formation may change. Sound interchange or gradation (blood - to bleed, to abide - abode, to strike - stroke) was a productive way of word building in old English and is important for a diachronic study of the English language. It has lost its productivity in Modern English and no new word can be coined by means of sound gradation. Affixation on the contrary was productive in Old English and is still one of the most productive ways of word building in Modern English.

Affixation is the formation of new words with the help of derivational affixes. Suffixation is more productive than prefixation. In Modern English sufflxation is typical of verb formation (incoming, principal, promotion).

Affixes are usually divided into living and dead affixes. Living affixes are easily separated from the stem {care-ful). Dead affixes have become fully merged(зливатися) with the stem and can be singled out by a diachronic analysis of the development of the word {admit — Latin - ad+mittere). Living affixes are in their turn divided into productive and non-productive affixes. In many cases the choice of the affixes is a means of differentiating meaning:

uninterested - disinterested

distrust - mistrust

5 питання Word-composition is another type of word-building which is highly productive. That is when new words are produced by combining two or more stems.

Stem is that part of a word which remains unchanged throughout its paradigm and to which grammatical inflexions(закінчення) and affixes are added. The bulk of compound words is motivated and the semantic relations between the two components are transparent.

Compound words proper are formed by joining together stems of words already available in the language. Compound proper is a word, the two Immediate Constituents(безпосередня складова) of which are stems of notional(змістовий) words, e.g. ice-cold (N+A), ill-luck (A+N).

Derivational compound is a word formed by a simultaneous process of composition and derivation. Derivational compound is formed by composing a new stem that does not exist outside this pattern and to which suffix is added. Derivational compound is a word consisting of two Immediate Constituents, only one of which is a compound stem of notional words, the other being a derivational affix, e.g. blue-eyed - (A+N)+ed. In coordinative compounds neither of the components dominates the other; both are structurally and semantically independent and constitute(складати) two structural and semantic centers, e.g. breath-taking, self-discipline, word-formation.

Conversion is a highly productive way of coining new words in Modern English. Conversion is sometimes referred to as an affixless way of word-building, a process of making a new word from some existing root word by changing the category of a part of speech without changing the morphemic shape of the original root-word. The transposition of word from one part of speech into another brings about changes of the paradigm.

Conversion is not only highly productive but also a particularly English way of word-building. It is explained by the analytical structure of Modern English and by the simplicity of paradigms of English parts of speech. A great number of one-syllable words is another factor that facilitates conversion.

Typical semantic relations within a converted pair

I.Verbs converted from noun (denominal verbs) denote:

1. action characteristic of the object ape (n) — to ape (v)

butcher (n) — to butcher (v)

2. instrumental use of the object screw (n) — to screw (v) whip (n) — to whip (v)

3. acquisition or addition of the object fish (n) — to fish (v)

II. Nouns converted from verbs (deverbal nouns) denote:

1. instance of the action to jump (v) -jump (n) to move (v) — move (n)

2. agent of the action to help (v) - help (n)

to switch (v) - switch (n)

3. place of action

to drive (v) — drive (n) to walk (v) - walk (n)

4. object or result of the action to peel (v) -peel (n)

to find (v) —find (n)

The shortening of words involves the shortening of both words and word-groups. Distinction(розмежування) should be made between shortening of a word in written speech (graphical abbreviation) and in the sphere of oral intercourse (lexical abbreviation). Lexical abbreviations may be used both in written and in oral speech. Lexical abbreviation is the process of forming a word out of the initial(початковий) elements (letters, morphemes) of a word combination by a simultaneous operation of shortening and compounding.

Acronym -a pronounceable name made up of a series of initial letters or parts of words; for example, UNESCO for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Clipping consists in cutting off two or more syllables of a word. Words that have been shortened at the end are called apocope (doc - doctor, vet - veterinary). Words that have been shortened at the beginning are called aphaeresis (phone-telephone). Words in which some syllables or sounds have been omitted(пропускати) from the middle are called syncope (ma 'm - madam, specs - spectacles). Sometimes a combination of these types is observed (tec - detective, frig - refrigerator).

6 питання Blendings (blends, fusions or portmanteau words) may be defined as formation that combine two words that include the letters or sounds they have in common as a connecting element (slimnastics = slim+gymnastics; mimsy= miserable+flimsy). The process of formation is also called telescoping. The analysis into immediate constituents(компонент) is helpful in so far as it permits the definition of a blend as a word with the first constituent represented by a stem whose final part may be missing, and the second constituent by a stem of which the initial part is missing. The second constituent when used in a series of similar blends may turn into a suffix. A new suffix -on; is, for instance, well under way in such terms as nylon, rayon, silon, formed from the final element of cotton. This process seems to be very active in present-day English word-formation numerous new words have been coined recently(нещодавно): Reaganomics, Irangate, blackploitation, workaholic.

Back formation is a semi-productive type of word-building. It is mostly active in compound verbs, and is combined with word-composition. The basis of this type of word-building is compound words and word-combinations having verbal nouns, gerunds, participles or other derivative nouns as their second component {rush-development, finger-printing, well-wisher). These compounds and word-combinations are wrongly considered to be formed from compound verbs which are nonexistent in reality. This gives a rise to such verbs as: to rush-develop, to finger-print, to well-wish.

Onomatopoeia (sound-imitation, echoism) is the naming of an action or thing by a more or less exact reproduction of a natural sound associated with it {babble, crow, twitter). Semantically, according to the source of sound, onomatopoeic words fall into a few very definite groups. Many verbs denote sounds produced by human being in the process of communication or in expressing their feelings {babble, chatter, giggle, murmur). There are sounds produced by animals, birds and insects {cackle, croak, crow, hiss). Besides the verbs imitating the sound of water {bubble, splash), there are others imitating the noise of metallic things {clink, tinkle) or forceful motion {clash, crash, whisk).

Sentence-condensation is the formation of new words by substantivizing the whole locutions(вираз,зворот) (forget-me-not, merry-go-round).

Sound and stress interchange (distinctive stress, the shift of stress). The essence of it is that to form a new word the stress of the word is shifted to a new syllable. It mostly occurs in nouns and verbs. Some phonetic changes may accompany the shift of the stress {export-to export, increase - to increase, break — breach).

Lecture 2

Theme: English vocabulary as a System.


1. Definition of the term "synonym". A synonymic group and its dominant member.

2. Problem of classification of synonyms:


a) different principles of classification: according to difference in denotational component of meaning or in connotational component (ideographic or stylistic synonyms);

b) according to the criterion of interchangeability in linguistic context (relative, total and contextual synonyms).


3. Characteristic pattern of English synonyms.

4. The sources of synonymy.

5. Homonyms. Classification. Origin of homonyms.

6. The English vocabulary as an adaptive system. Neologisms.

7. Traditional lexicological grouping. Lexico-grammatical groups. Word-families. 8* The concept of polarity of meaning. Antonyms. Morphological classification of

antonyms: absolute or root antonyms and derivational antonyms. Semantic classification of antonyms: antonyms proper, complementaries, conversives.

9. The theory of the semantic field. Common semantic denominator.

lO.Thematic or ideographic groups. Common contextual associations.

ll.Hyponymy, paradigmatic relation of inclusion. Hyponyms, hyperonyms, equonyms.


Питання 7 Working Definitions of Principal Concepts

Synonymy is the coincidence (співпадіння) in the essential(основний) meaning of words which usually preserve(зберігати) their differences in connotations and stylistic characteristics.

Synonyms are two or more words belonging to the same part of speech and possessing (мати) one or more identical or nearly identical denotational meanings, interchangeable in some contexts. These words are distinguished by different shades of meaning, connotations(додаткове значення) and stylistic features.

The synonymic dominant is the most general term potentially containing the specific features rendered by all the other members of the group. The words face, visage, countenance have a common denotational meaning "the front of the head" which makes them close synonyms. Face is the dominant, the most general word; countenance(вираз обличчя) is the same part of the head with the reference to the expression it bears; visage is a formal word, chiefly literary, for face or countenance.

In the series leave, depart, quit, retire, clear out the verb leave, being general and most neutral term can stand for each of the other four terms.

One must bear in mind that the majority of frequent(що часто повторюються) words are polysemantic and it is precisely the frequent words that have many synonyms. The result is that a polysemantic word may belong in its various meanings to several different synonymic groups. For example there are 9 synonymic groups of the word part (as the result of a very wide polysemy:

1) piece, parcel, section, segment, fragment, etc;

2) member, organ, constituent, element, component, etc;

3) share, portion, lot;

4) concern, interest, participation;

5) allotment, lot, dividend, apportionment;

6) business, charge, duty, office, function, work;

7) side, party, interest, concern, faction;

8) character, role, cue, lines;

9) portion, passage, clause, paragraph.

The semantic structure of two polysemantic words sometimes coincide(співпадати) in more than one meaning, but never completely.

In a great number of cases the semantic difference between two or more synonyms is supported by the difference in valency. An example of this is offered by the verbs win and gain. Both may be used in combination with the noun victory: to win a victory, to gain a victory. But with the word war only win is possible: to win a war.

Recently there has been introduced into the definition of synonymity the criterion of interchangeability in linguistic contexts that is synonyms are supposed to be words which can replace each other in a given context without the slightest alteration(зміна) either in the denotational or connotational meaning.But this is possible only in some contexts, in others their meanings may not coincide, e.g. the comparison of the sentences "the rainfall in April was abnormal" and “the rain in April was exceptional" may give us grounds for assuming that exceptional and abnormal are synonyms. The same adjectives in a different context are by no means(ні в якому разі) synonymous, as we may see by comparing "my son is exceptional" and "my son is abnormal".

Classification of Synonyms

a) According to whether the difference is in denotational or connotational component synonyms are classified into ideographic into stylistic.

Ideographic synonyms denote different shades of meaning or different degrees of a given quality. They are nearly identical in one or more denotational meanings and interchangeable at least in some contexts, e.g. beautiful - fine -handsome -pretty. Beautiful conveys(передавати), for instance, the strongest meaning; it marks the possession of that quality in its fullest extent, while the other terms denote the possession of it in part only. Fineness, handsomeness and prettiness are to beauty as parts to a whole.

Stylistic synonyms differ not so much in denotational as in emotive value or stylistic sphere of application.

Pictorial language often uses poetic words, archaisms as stylistic alternatives of neutral words, e.g. maid for girl, bliss for happiness, steed for horse, quit for leave.

In many cases a stylistic synonym has an element of elevation in its meaning, e.g. face - visage, girl - maiden.

Along with elevation of meaning there is the reverse process of degradation: to begin - to fire away, to eat - to devour, to steal ~ to pinch, face - muzzle.

b) According to the criterion of interchangeability in context synonyms are

classified into total, relative and contextual.

Total synonyms are those members of a synonymic group which can replace each other in any given context, without the slightest alteration (зміна) in denotative meaning or emotional meaning and connotations. They are very rare. Examples can be found mostly in special literature among technical terms and others, e.g. fatherland - motherland, suslik - gopher, noun - substantive, functional affix -flection, inflection.

Relative Synonyms.

Some authors class groups like ask - beg - implore, or like - love - adore, famous celebrated eminent as relative synonyms, as they denote different degree of the same notion(поняття,значення) or different shades of meaning and can be substituted(замінений) only in some contexts.

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 7015

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