Home Random Page



Etymological survey of the English word-stock. 2 page

Contextual or context-dependent synonyms are similar in meaning only under some specific distributional conditions. It may happen that the difference between the meanings of two words is contextually neutralized, e.g. buy and get would not generally be taken as synonymous, but they are synonyms in the following examples: ГII go to the shop and buy some bread. I'll go to the shop and get some bread.

The verbs bear, suffer, stand are semantically different and not interchangeable except when used in the negative form: I can't stand it, I can't bear it.

One of the sources of synonymy is borrowing. Synonymy has its characteristic patterns in each language. Its peculiar feature in English is the contrast between simple native words stylistically neutral, literary words borrowed from French and learned words of Greco-Latin origin.

Native English French Borrowings Latin borrowings

to ask to question to interrogate

to end to finish to complete

to rise to mount to ascend

teaching guidance instruction

belly stomach abdomen

There are also words that came from dialects, in the last hundred years, from American English, in particular, e.g. long distance call AE - trunk call BE, radio AE — wireless BE.

Synonymic differntiation. Synonymic assimilation. It must be noted that synonyms may influence each other semantically in two diametrically opposite ways: one of them is dissimilation or differentiation, the other - the reverse process, i.e. assimilation.

Many words now marked in the dictionaries as "archaic" or "obsolete" have dropped out of the language in the competition of synonyms, others survived with a meaning more or less different from the original one. This process is called synonumic differentiation and is so current that is regarded as (розцінюватись) an inherent law of language development.

The assimilation of synonyms consists in parallel development.

Питання 8Homonymy

The problem of polysemy is closely connected with the problem of homonymy. Homonyms are words which have the same form but are different in meaning. "The same form" implies identity in sound form or spelling, i.e. all the three aspects are taken into account: sound-form, graphic form and meaning.

Both meanings of the form "liver" are, intentionally present in the following play upon words: "Is life worth living? -It depends upon the liver".

The most widely accepted classification of homonyms is that recognizing homonyms proper, homophones and homographs.

Homonyms proper (or perfect, absolute) are words identical in pronunciation and spelling but different in meaning, like back n. "part of the body" - back adv. "away from the front" - back v. "go back".

Homophons are words of the same sound but of different spelling and meaning: buy— by, him hymn, steel — steal, storey — story.

Homographs are words different in sound and in meaning but accidentally identical in spelling: lead [li:d] - lead [led], bow [bouj - bow [bauj.

Homoforms - words identical in some of their grammatical forms. To bound (jump, spring) - bound (past participle of the verb bind)

Paronyms are words that are alike in form, but different in meaning and usage. They are liable to be mixed and sometimes mistakenly interchanged.

The term parynym comes from the Greek para "beside" and onoma "name". Examples are: preposition —proposition, popular —populous.

Homonyms in English are very numerous. Oxford English Dictionary registers 2540 homonyms, of which 89% are monosyllabic words and 9,1% are two-syllable words. So, most homonyms are monosyllabic words.

Among the other ways of creating homonyms the following processes must be mentioned:

conversion which serves the creating of grammatical homonyms, e.g. iron -to iron, work —to work, etc.;

polysemy - as soon as a derived meaning is no longer felt to be connected with the primary meaning at all (as in bar - балка; bar - бар; bar - адвокатура) polysemy breaks up and separate words come into existence, quite different in meaning from the basic word but identical in spelling.

From the viewpoint of their origin homonyms are sometimes divided into historical and etymological.

Histirical homonyms are those which result from the breaking up of polysemy; then one polysemantic word will split up into two or more separate words, e.g.

to bear (терпіти) - to bear (народити)

pupil (учень) - pupil (зіниця)

plant (рослина) - plant (завод)

Etymological homonyms are words of different origin which come to be alike in sound or in spelling (and may be both written and pronounced alike).

Borrowed and native words can coincide in form, thus producing homonyms.

It should be noted that the most debatable problem in homonymy is the demarcation(розмежування) line between homonymy and polysemy, i.e. between different meaning of one word and the meanings of two or more homonymous words.

The English vocabulary as an adaptive system. Neologisms.Being an adaptive system the vocabulary is constantly adjusting (регулювати) itself to the changing requirements and conditions of human communication and cultural and other needs. This process of self-regulation of the lexical system is a result of overcoming contradictions between the state of the system and the demands it has to meet. The speaker chooses from the existing stock of words such words that in his option can adequately express his thought and feeling. Failing to find the expression he needs, he coins a new one. It is important to stress that the development is not confined to coining new words on the existing patterns but in adapting the very structure of the system to its changing functions.

The concept of adaptive system permits us to study language as a constantly developing but systematic whole. The adaptive system approach gives a more adequate account of the systematic phenomena of a vocabulary by explaining more facts about the functioning of words and providing more relevant generalizations, because we can take into account the influence of extra-linguistic reality. The study of the vocabulary as an adaptive system reveals the pragmatic essence of the communication process, i.e. the way language is used to influence the addressee(адресат).

The adaptive system approach to vocabulary is still in its infancy (початкова стадія), but it is already possible to give an interim(тимчасовий) estimate(оцінка) of its significance. The process may be observed by its results, that is by studying new words or neologisms. New notions(поняття) constantly come into being, requiring new words to name them. New words and expressions or neologisms are created for new things irrespective of their scale of importance. They may be all important and concern some social relationships such as a new form of state (People's Republic), or the thing may be quite insignificant and short-lived, like fashions in dancing, clothing, hairdo or footwear (rollneck). In every case either the old words are appropriately(належним чином) changed in meaning or new words are borrowed, or more often coined out of the existing language material either according to the patterns and ways already productive in the language at a given stage of its development or creating new ones.

Thus, a neologism is a newly coined word or phrase or a new meaning for an existing word, or a word borrowed from another language.

The intense development of science and industry has called forth the invention and introduction of an immense number of new words and changed the meaning of old ones, e.g. aerobics, black hole, computer, super-market and so on.

For a reliable mass of evidence on the new English vocabulary the reader is referred to lexicographic sources. New additions to the English vocabulary are collected in addenda (доповнення) to explanatory dictionaries and in special dictionaries of new words.

The majority of linguists nowadays agree that the vocabulary should be studied as a system. Our present state of knowledge is however, insufficient to present the whole of the vocabulary as one articulated system, so we deal with it as if it were a set of interrelated systems.

Питання 9 By a lexico-grammatical group we understand a class of words which have a common lexico-grammatical meaning, common paradigm, the same substituting(замінний) elements and possible characteristic set of suffixes rendering the lexico-grammatical meaning. These groups are subsets(сук-ність) of the parts of speech, several lexico-grammatical groups constitute (складати) one part of speech. Thus English nouns are subdivided approximately into the following lexico-grammatical groups: personal names, animal names, collective names (for people), collective names (for animals), abstract nouns, material nouns, object nouns, proper names for people, toponymic names.

Another traditional lexicological grouping is known as word-families in which the words are grouped according to the root-morpheme, for example: dog, doggish, doglike, dogg, to dog, dogged, doggedly, doggedness, dog-days, dog-biscuit, dog­cart, etc.

Питання10Antonyms are words belonging to the same part of speech different in sound, and characterized by semantic polarity of their denotational meaning. According to the character of semantic opposition antonyms are subdivided into antonyms proper, complete and conversitives. The semantic polarity in antonyms proper is relative, the opposition is gradual, it may embrace several elements characterized by different degrees of the same property. They always imply comparison. Large and little or small denote polar degrees of the same notion, i.e. size.

Complementaries are words characterized only by a binary opposition which may have only two members; the denial of one member of the opposition implies the assertion(ствердження) of the other, e.g. not male means female.

Conversives are words which denote one and the same referent as viewed from different points of view, that of the subject and that of the object, e.g. buy-sell, give - receive.

Morphologically antonyms are subdivided into root (absolute) antonyms (good - bad) and derivational antonyms (apper - disapper).


semantic morphological

classification classification

properconversivesabsolute or root

young - old buy-sell good - bad

large-little give —receive old —new

husband - wife


complementaries appear - disappear

male - female logical-illogical

single - married

Питання 11 Semantic field is a closely knit sector of vocabulary characterized by a common concept (e.g. in the semantic field of space we find nouns - expanse, extent, surface; verbs - to extend, to spread, to span; adjectives - spacious, roomy, vast, broad). The member of the semantic fields are not synonymous but all of them are joined together by some common semantic component. This component common to all the members of the field is sometimes described as the common denominator of meaning, like the concept of kinship, concept of colour, parts of the human body and so on. The basis of grouping in this case is not only linguistic but also extra-linguistic: the words are associated, because the things they name together and are closely connected in reality.

Thematic (or ideographic) groups of words joined together by common contextual associations within the framework (структура) of the sentence and reflect the interlinking (зв'язок )of things and events in objective reality. Contextual association are formed as a result of regular co-occurrence (суміжність) of words in similar repeatedly used contexts.

Thematic or ideographic groups are independent(незалежний) of classification into parts of speech. Words and expression are here classed not according to their lexico-grammatical meaning but strictly according to their signification (значення), i.e. to the system of logical notions (e.g. tree - grow - green; sunshine - brightly - blue – sky.)

Питання 12 Hyponymy is the semantic relationship of inclusion existing between elements of various levels. Thus, e.g. vehicle includes car, bus, taxi. The hyponymic relationship is the relationship between the meaning of the general and the individual terms.

A hyperonym is a generic term which serves as the name of the general as distinguished from the names of the species-hyponyms. In other words the more specific term is called the hvponym. For instance, animal is a generic term as compared to the specific names wolf, dog, mouse (these are called equonyms). Dog, in its turn, may serve as a generic term for different breeds such as bull-dog, collie, poodle, etc.

Lecture 3 (individual studying) Theme: Phraseology


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.

5. N.N.Amosova's concept of contextual analysis. Definition of fixed context. Two types of units of fixed context: a) phrasemes, b) idioms. Two types of idioms.

6. S.V.Koonin's concept of phraseological units. Functional and semantic classification of phraseological units.

7. Formal and functional classification.

8. Phraseological stability.

9. Proverbs, saying, familiar quotations and cliches.

Питання 13 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(поєднання слів).

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

Stability of 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(неясність) of the terms phraseology and idioms. Opinions differ as to how phraseology should be defined, classified, described and analyzed. 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 (незалежно) 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(навпаки): 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(замінити) any of the components without changing the meaning not only of the whole unit but also of the elements that remain intact(незайманий,цілий). 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 only semantic but also functional inseparability of certain word groups, their aptness(здатність) 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 variated 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 word and his wife, red tape, calflove, 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 for.

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:

/ 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.

Питання 14 Semantic approach stresses the importance of idiomaticity, functional approach - syntactic inseparability, contextual approach - stability of context combined with idiomaticity.


Питання 15 In his classification 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(взаємопов’язаний)withtherigidity(стійкість), indivisibility(неподільність) 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)(словосполучення), 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. 4refuse 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(фразеологічне зрощення), 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.

Питання 16 4.Semantic stylistic features contracting set expressions into units of fixed context are simile(порівняння), contrast(протилежність), metaphor and synonymy. For example: as like as two pears, as old 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 a 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(гра слів): as cross as two sticks means 'very angry'. This play upon words makes the phrase jocular(смішний). The comic effect is created by the absurdity of the combination making use of two different meanings of the word cross (adj.) and cross (п.).

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» does not occur in other contexts. Expressions taken from obsolete sports and occupations may survive in their new figurative meaning. In these cases the euphonic(милозвучний) qualities of the expression are even more important. A muscular and irreducible(неперетворюваний) phrase is also memorable. The muscular feeling is of special importance in slogans and battle cries. Saint George and the Dragon for Merrie England, the medieval battle cry, was a rhythmic unit to which a man on a horse could swing his sword. The modern Scholarships not battleships! can be conveniently scanned by a marching crowd.

Питання 17 5. N.N. Amosova's approach is contextological. She defines phraseological units as units of fixed context. Fixed context is defined as a context characterised by a specific and unchanging sequence(послідовність) of definite lexical components, and a peculiar(своєрідний) semantic relationship between them. Units of fixed context are subdivided into phrasemes and idioms. Phrasemes are always binary: one component has a phraseologically bound meaning, the other serves as the determining context (small talk, small hours, small change). In idioms the new meaning is created by the whole, though every element may have its original meaning weakened or even completely lost: in the nick of time 'at the exact moment'. Idioms may be motivated or demotivated. A motivated idiom is homonymous(двозначний) to a free phrase, but this phrase is used figuratively: take the bull by the horns 'to face dangers without fear'. In the nick of time is demotivated, because the word nick is obsolete. Both phrasemes and idioms may be movable (changeable) or immovable.

6. A.V.Koonin's classification is based on the functions the units fulfil(виконувати) in speech. They may be nominating {a bull in a china shop), interectional (a pretty kettle of fish), communicative {familiarity breeds contempt), or nominating- communicative (pull somebody's leg). Further classification into subclasses depends on whether the units are changeable or unchangeable, whether the meaning of the one element remains free, and, more generally, on the interdependence between the meaning of the elements and the meaning of the set expression.

7. Formal classification distinguishes set expressions that are nominal phrases: the root of the trouble; verbal(дієслівний) phrases: put one's best foot forward; adjectival phrases: as good as gold; red as a cherry; adverbial(прислівниковий) phrases: from head to foot; prepositional(прийменниковий) phrases: in the course of; conjunctional(сполучниковий) phrases: as long as, on the other hand; interjectional(вигук) phrases: Well, I never! A stereotyped sentence also introduced into speech as a ready-made formula may be illustrated by Never say die! 'never give up hope', take your time 'do not hurry'.

This classification takes into consideration not only the type of component parts but also the functioning of the whole, thus, tooth and nail is not a nominal but an adverbial unit, because it serves to modify a verb (e.g. fight tooth and nail).

Within each of these classes a further subdivision is as follows:

a) Set expressions functioning like nouns:

N+N: maiden name 'the surname of a woman before she was married'; brains trust 'a committee of experts'

N's+N: cat's paw 'one who is used for the convenience of a cleverer and stronger person' (the expression comes from a fable in which a monkey wanting to eat some chestnuts that were on a hot stove, but not wishing to burn himself while getting them, seized a cat and holding its paw in his own used it to knock the chestnuts to the ground)

Ns'+N: ladies' man 'one who makes special effort to charm or please women". N+prp+N: the arm of the law; skeleton in the cupboard.

N+A: knight errant (the phrase is today applied to any chivalrous man ready to help and protect oppressed and helpless people). N+and+N: lord and master 'husband'; all the world and his wife. A+N: high tea 'an evening meal which combines meat or some similar extra dish with the usual tea'. N+subordinate clause: ships that pass in the night 'chance acquaintances'.

c) Set expressions functioning like verbs:

V+N: take advantage

V+and+V: pick and choose

V+(one's)+N+(prp): snap one's fingers at

V+one+N: give one the bird fcto fire sb'

V+subordinate clause: see how the land lies 'to discover the state of affairs'.

c) Set expressions functioning like adjectives: A+and+A: high and mighty

(as)+A+as+N: as old as the hills, as mad as a hatter

d) Set expressions functioning like adverbs: N+N: tooth and nail

prp+N: by heart, of course adv+prp+N: once in a blue moon prp+N+or+N: by hook or by crook cj+clause: before one can say Jack Robinson

e) Set expressions functioning like prepositions:

prp+N+prp: in consequence of

f) Set expressions functioning like interjections:

These are often structured as imperative sentences: Bless (one's) soul! God bless me! Hang it (all)!

Питання 18 8. Phraseological stability(стійкість) is based upon:

a) the stability of use;

b) the stability of meaning;

c) lexical stability;

d) syntactic stability;

e) rhythmic characteristics, rhyme and imagery(сук-ність худ.прийомів).

9Proverbs(прислів’я),sayings(приказка),familiar quotations(цитата) and cliches.

The place of proverbs, sayings and familiar quotations with respect to set expressions is a controversial(спірний) issue. A proverb is a short familiar epigrammatic saying expressing popular wisdom(мудрість), a truth or a moral lesson in a concise(короткий) and imaginative(творчий) way. Proverbs have much in common with set expressions, because their lexical components are also constant, their meaning is traditional and mostly figurative, and they are introduced into speech ready-made. Another reason why proverbs must be taken into consideration together with set expressions is that they often form the basis of set expressions. E.g. the last straw breaks the camel fs back: .the last straw; a drowning man will clutch at a straw: :clutch at a straw; it is useless to lock the stable door when the steed is stolen: .lock the stable door.

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 3048

<== previous page | next page ==>
Etymological survey of the English word-stock. 1 page | Etymological survey of the English word-stock. 3 page
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2024 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.015 sec.)