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Seminar 1. Theme: Etymological survey of the English word-stock. Word-formation in Modern English


1. Etymological survey of the English word-stock:

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

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

g) assimilation of borrowings. Types and degrees of assimilation;
h) international words.

2. Word-formation in Modern English:

h) the morphological structure of a word. The morpheme. The principles of

morphemic analysis. Types of morphemes. Structural types of words:

simple, derived, compound words.

i) productivity. Productive and non-productive ways of word-formation. j) affixation. General characteristics of suffixes and prefixes. Classification of

prefixes. Classification of suffixes. Productive and non-productive affixes,

dead and living affixes. k) word - composition. Classification of compound words. Coordinative and

subordinate compound words and their types. 1) conversion, its definition.

m) shortening. Lexical abbreviations. Acronyms. Clipping. n) non-productive means of word formation. Blending. Back-formation.

Onomatopoeia. Sentence-condensation. Sound and stress interchange.

Recommended Literature

1. Kveselevich D.I., Sasina V JP. Modern English Lexicology in Practice. -
, 2000., 118 c.

2. Reading in Modern Lexicology: 㳿. -
, 2002-160 .

3. Arnold I.V. The English Word. - L., 1986. - p. 252-262.

4. M.I. . - , 1993. - . 151-174.



Exercise 1. Analyse the following words from the point of view of the type and degree of assimilation. State which words are: a) completely assimilated; b) partially assimilated; c) non-assimilated:

Prima-doona, ox, caftan, city, school, mazurka, table, street, they, century, sky, wall, stimulus, reduce, cup, present.


Exercise 2. The following are loan translations (calques). What do they actually mean in English? How and when they are used?

The moment of truth (Sp. El momento de la verdad); with a grain of salt (L. cum grano salis); underground movement (Fr. L. movement souterrain); that goes without saying (Fr. Cela va sans dire).


Exercise 3. Read the following text. Find the international words. State to what sphere of human activity they belong.


British dramatists.

In the past 20 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of new playwrights in Britain and has been encouraged by the growth of new theatre companies. In 1956 the English Stage Company began productions with the object of bringing new writers into the theatre and providing training facilities for young actors, directors and designers; a large number of new dramatists emerged as a result of the company productions. Television has been an important factor in the emergence of other dramatists who write primarily for it; both the BBC and IBA transmit a large number of single plays each year as well as drama series and serials.


Exercise 4. Analyse the following words morphologically and classify them according to what part of speech they belong to:

Post-election, appoint, historic, mainland, classical, letterbox, outcome, displease, step, incapable, supersubtle, illegible, incurable, adjustment, ladyhood, elastic, perceptible, inaccessible, partial, ownership, idealist, hero, long-term, corporate.



Exercise 5. Classify the compound words in the following sentences into compounds proper and derivational compounds:

1) She is not a mind-reader. 2) He was wearing a brand-new overcoat and hat. 3) She never said she was homesick. 4) He took the hours-old dish away. 5) She was a frank-mannered, talkative young lady. 6) The five years of her husbands newspaper-ownership had familiarized her almost unconsciously with many of the mechanical aspects of a newspaper printing-shop. 7) The parlour, brick-floored, with bare table and shiny chairs and sofa stuffed with horsehair seemed never to have been used. 8) He was heart-lidded eyes and the disorder of his scanty hair made him look sleepy.


Exercise 6. Give English equivalents of the following German words. Translate the following words into Ukrainian.

Hand, Arm, Finger, Bär, Fuchs, Kalb, Eiche, Gras, Regen, Frost, Winter, Sommer, See, Land, Haus, Raum, Bank, Boot, Schiff, grün, blau, grau, weiß, schmal, dick, heiß, alt, gut, sehen, hören, sprechen, machen, geben, trinken, antworten, sagen.


Exercise 7. a) Pick out the Ukrainian borrowings from the following sentences. b) Translate the sentences into Ukrainian.

1. They tried to reveal the mystery of the legendary Hetman Pavlo Polubotoks treasures. 2. The first donation of 1.000000 Karbovanets was made by the Lviv Regional State Administration. 3. Ulraine is the biggest supplier of horilka. 4. The Association Svit Kultury has done a lot: it organized the international festivals of Ukrainian songs Zoloti Trembity, competitions spring songs: gaivki, vernianki; Christmas songs shchedrivki, koliadki. 6. The tune to the concert was set by kobzar Pavlo Suprun . 7. Regional ethnographers of Zaporizhya have found evidence of scholars suppositions that Zaporizhyan Cossachs had an undersea fleet.


Exercise 8. Define the particular type of word-building process by which the following words were made and say as much as you can about them.

a mike; to babysit; to buzz; a torchlight; homelike; theatrical; old-fashioned; to book; unreasonable; SALT (Strategic Armament Limitation Talks); Anglo-American; to murmur; okay; a make; merry-go-round; H-bag; BBC; MP; to thunder; earthquake; fatalism.


Exercise 9. Translate the following sentences into Ukrainian. Discuss the words in bold type.

1. The faculty for myth is innate in the human race (W.S.Maugham). 2. She had long white legs and blue eyes and a complexion like strawberry ice cream. 3. That door leads to the long passage and then into the front hall, she said. The doctor chuckled Wrong, my dear. That door leads to the conservatory. 4. For a half-century Toscanini reigned supreme in the popular estimation as the worlds greatest conductor.


Seminar 2

Theme: English vocabulary as a System.


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

2. Problem of classification of synonyms:


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

d) according to the criterion of interchangeability in linguistic contaxt (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. Lexicogrammatical 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.

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


1. I.V. Arnold. English Word. M. 1986, pp. 194-206, 216-229.

2. .., .. . 㳿
. - , 2000. - .54-88.

3. ... . , 1992. .89-

4. Rayevska N.N. English Lexicology. - ., 1979. - p.200-203.


Exercise 1

Define the stylistic colouring of the underlined words, substitute them with a

neutral synonym from the list given below.

1. Their discourse was interrupted. 2. He was dressed like a toff. 3. She passed away. 4. The old man kicked the bucket. 5. Where is Daddy? 6. Come on, let's put on steam. 7. Meet my better half. 8. He must have gone off his rocker. 11. Come down to brass tacks. 12. Jack took his departure. 13. Well, let's drift. 14. Somebody has nailed my bag. 15. This is a case for a vet. 16. He is a joiner.

A doctor, to steal, to go, to leave, to go on, please, to put out, come to the point, to go out of one's mind, a wife, a father, to die, to talk, a gentleman, good company.

Exercise 2.

Fill in the blanks with a suitable paronym.

Campaign, company.

1. The election ... in England lasts about a month. 2. It was Napoleon's last .... 3. When ... stays too long, treat them like members of the family and they'll soon leave. 4. Misery loves ... . 5. Come along for ... .6. Two are ..., three are none. 7. The film ... merged. 8. Don't talk about your diseases in ....

Exercise 3.

Translate the following sentences. Find homonymes and define their types.

1. Excuse my going first, I'll lead the way. 2. Lead is heavier than iron. 3. He tears up all letters. 4. Her eyes filled with tears. 5. In England the heir to the throne is referred to as the Prince of Wales. 6. Let's go out and have some fresh air. 7. It is not customary to shake hands in England. If the hostess or the host offers a hand, take it; a bow is sufficient for the rest. 8. The girl had a bow of red ribbon in her hair. 9. Mr. Newlywed: Did you see the button on my coat, darling? Mrs. Newlywed: No, love. I couldn't find the button, so I just sewed up the button hole. 10. Do not sow panic.

Exercise 4.

Classify the following pairs of antonyms given below:

slow - fast, post-war - pre-war, happiness - unhappiness, above - below, asleep -awake, appear - disappear, late - early, ugly - beautiful, spend - save.

Exercise 5.

Find absolute synonyms:

a) appear - emerge;

b) look-seem;

c) compounding - composition;

d) border - frontier.

Exercise 6.

Find ideographic synonyms:

a) interpreter - translator;

b) luce-pike;

c) commence - begin;

d) deceased - dead.

Exercise 7.

Find stylistic synonyms:

a) speak-say;

b) happy-lucky;

c) screech - shriek;

d) doctor-doc.

Exercise 8.

Find absolute antonyms:

a) soft-harsh;

b) long-short;

c) fruitful - fruitless;

d) forget - remember.

Exercise 9.

Find antonyms for the words given below.

good - to give -

deep strong -

narrow - to laugh -

clever - joy -

young ~ evil -

to love - up -

to reject - slowly -

black - sad -

to die - to open -

clean - darkness -



Lecture 2

Theme: English vocabulary as a System.


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

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.


1. I.V. Arnold. English Word. M. 1986, pp. 194-206, 216-229.

2. .., .. . 㳿
. - , 2000. - .54-88.

3. ... . - , 1992. - .89-

4. Rayevska N.N. English Lexicology. - ., 1979. - p.200-203.

Working Definitions of Principal Concepts

Synonymy is the coincidence in the essential meaning of words which usually preserve their differences in connotations and stylistic characteristics.

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

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 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 or different shades of meaning and can be substituted only in some contexts.

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: II 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 an inherent law of language development.

The assimilation of synonyms consists in parallel development.


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 - ; bar - ; bar - ) 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 () - to bear ()

pupil () - pupil ()

plant () - plant ()

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 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 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.

The adaptive system approach to vocabulary is still in its infancy, but it is already possible to give an interim estimate of its significance. The process may be observed by its results, that is by studying new words or neologisms. New notions 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 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 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.

By a lexico-grammatical group we understand a class of words which have a common lexico-grammatical meaning, common paradigm, the same substituting elements and possible characteristic set of suffixes rendering the lexico-grammatical meaning. These groups are subsets of the parts of speech, several lexico-grammatical groups constitute 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.

Antonyms 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 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

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 of the sentence and reflect the interlinking of things and events in objective reality. Contextual association are formed as a result of regular co-occurrence of words in similar repeatedly used contexts.

Thematic or ideographic groups are independent 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, i.e. to the system of logical notions (e.g. tree - grow - green; sunshine - brightly - blue - skyj,

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

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

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.


1. Arnold I.V. The English Word. -M., 1986. -P. 165-174, 174-181.

2. Rayevska N.N. English Lexicology. - K., 1979. - P. 265-283.

3. Ginzburg R.S. A Course in Modern English Lexicology. - M., 1966. - P. 87-

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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

3. 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 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. 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, 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.

4. Semantic stylistic features contracting set expressions into units of fixed
context are simile, contrast, 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
(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 (adj.) and cross (.).

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 qualities of the expression are even more important. A muscular and irreducible 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.

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 of definite lexical components, and a
peculiar 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 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 in
speech. They may be nominating {a bull in a china shop), inter)ectional (a pretty
kettle of fish),
communicative {familiarity breeds contempt), or nominating-
(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

7. Formal classification distinguishes set expressions that are nominal
phrases: the root of the trouble; verbal phrases: put one's best foot forward;
adjectival phrases: as good as gold; red as a cherry; adverbial phrases: from head
to foot;
prepositional phrases: in the course of; conjunctional phrases: as long as,
on the other hand;
interjectional 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'.

b) 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)!

8. Phraseological stability 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.

9. Proverbs, sayings, familiar quotations and cliches.

The place of proverbs, sayings and familiar quotations with respect to set expressions is a controversial issue. A proverb is a short familiar epigrammatic saying expressing popular wisdom, a truth or a moral lesson in a concise and imaginative 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.

As to familiar quotations, they are different from proverbs in their origin. They come from literature but by and by they become part of the language, so that many people using them do not even know that they are quoting, and very few


could accurately name the play or passage on which they are drawing even when they are aware of using a quotation from W.Shakespeare.

The Shakesperian quotations have become and remain extremely numerous - they have contributed enormously to the store of the language. Very many come from "Hamlet", for example: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark; Brevity is the soul of wit; The rest is silence; Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; There are more things in heaven and earth, Haratio.

Some quotations are so often used that they come to be considered cliches. The term is used to denote such phrases as have become hackneyed and stale. Being constantly and mechanically repeated they have lost their original expressiveness. The following are perhaps the most generally recognised: the acid test, ample opportunities, astronomical figures, the arms of Morpheus, to break the ice, the irony of fate, etc.

Tasks and Exercises (do them in written form)

Exercise 1.

Find phraseological units in the sentences given below. Translate phraseological units. Compare them with the relevant word-groups. Comment upon difference between free word group and phraseological unit. Answer the questions following.

1. I've let the cat out of the bag already, Mr. Corthall, and I might as well tell the whole thing now. 2. Suddenly Sugar screwed up his face in pain and grabbing one foot in his hands hopped around like a cat on hot bricks. :Can't we get a tram, Jack? My feet is giving me hell in these nov (new) shoes." 3. No doubt a life devoted to pleasure must sometimes show the reverse side of the medal. 4. The day's news has knocked the bottom out of my life. 5. Cowperwood had decided that he didn't care to sail under any false colours so far as Addison was concerned. 6. Falstaff... I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow. 7. About three weeks after the elephant's disappearance I was about to say, one morning, that I should have to strike my colours and retire, when the great detective arrested the thought by proposing one more superb and masterly move. 8. We lived among bankers and city big wigs.


1. What do we mean by the term 'fixed context'?

Do phraseological units given above belong to 'phrasemes' or 'idioms'?

2. To which group do these phraseological units belong if we follow
V.V.Vinogradov's classification?



Exercise 2.


In the following sentences, there is an idiom in bold. Decide on the key word, then look in your dictionary to see if you are right. Suggest a non-idiomatic variant.

1. Don't believe what he said about Trish. He was talking through his hat.
He doesn't even know her.

2. Come here! I've got a bone to pick with you! Why did you tell Anne
about Ken and me splitting up? I told you not to tell anyone.

3. I don't think correct spelling is terribly important, but my teacher has a
bee in his bonnet about it. If I ever make a spelling mistake, he makes us
write it out twenty times.

. 4. Ford Motors have a new saloon car in the pipeline, and it will be

revealed for the first time at next year's Motor Show. 5. You have to be carefull with sales people. They have the gift of the gab. Suddenly you can find you've bought something that you really didn't want.

Exercise 3.

Determine which of the underlined word-combinations are phraseological units.

1. Where do you think you lost your purse? 2. When losing the game one shouldn't lose one's temper. 3. Have a look at the reverse side of the coat. 4. The reverse side of the medal is that we'll have to do it ourselves. 5. Keep the butter in the refrigerator. 6. Keep an eye on the child. 7. He throw some cold water upon her. Wake up. 8.1 didn't expect that he would throw cold water upon our project.



Lecture 4.

Theme: Grammar in the system of language. Morphology. Parts of speech.


1. Language and Speech.

2. Linguistic levels.

3. Practical and theoretical grammar.

4. The main features of an analytical language.

5. Morphology and Syntax.

6. Word.

7. Morpheme.

8. Different approaches to the classification of words.

9. Scerba's classification of words.
lO.Notional and functional parts of speech.

Recommended Literature:

1. M.Y.Blokh. A Course in the Theoretical English Grammar. - M., 1983, pp.6-

2. B.Ilyish. The Structure of Modern English. -L., 1971, pp. 5-10, 12-13, 22-26,

3. N.M.Rayevska. Modern English Grammar. - K., 1976, pp. 11-36, 60-66, 67-71.

4. .., . . , ...
. ., 1981, . 4-6, 11-14, 14-20.

1. Language and Speech

Language is a means of forming and storing ideas as reflections of reality and exchanging them in the process of human intercourse. It is social by nature.

Language is a system of signs - meaningful units. The sign in language has only potential meaning. It is a system of means of expression:

a) material units (sounds, morphemes, words, word-groups);

b) regularities (rules) of the use of these units.

Language gives expression to human thoughts. Speech is the manifestation of the system of language in the process of communication, the use of signs, the act of producing utterances and the utterances themselves. In Speech the potential meaning is made situationally significant as part of the grammatically organized text. Grammar connects Language and Speech as it categorially determines the process of utterance production.

2. Linguistic levels

1. Phonological (determines the material appearance of its significative units);

2. Lexical (the whole set of naming means of language: words, word-groups);

3. Grammatical (the whole set of regularities, determining the combination of
naming means in the formation of utterances).

Only the unity of the 3 levels forms a language.

Lingual hierarchy of levels:

I. Morphological

1. phonemic

2. morphemic

3. lexemic

II. Syntactic

4. phrasemic

5. proposemic

6. supra-proposemic

The basic units of the lingual levels:

1. Phoneme - the smallest distinctive unit, has no meaning, is not a sign (big -


2. Morpheme - a minimal meaningful unit (fault-s);

3. Word - the smallest naming unit, a sign;

4. Phrase - a combination of 2 or more syntactically connected words;

5. Sentence - a predicative unit, a sign of a situational event;

6. Textual unity - a combination of separate sentences.

3. Practical and theoretical grammar

Practical grammar provides with a manual of practical mastery of the grammatical rules.

Theoretical grammar - description of the grammatical system, it scientifically analyses and defines the grammatical categories, the ways the words are combined.

The "strict" rule: to see isn't used in the Continuous form, but: "For the first time Bobby felt, he was really seeing the man" (A.Christie).

In theoretical grammar we state some facts, analyze them from different angles, and try to explain them. We deal with many theories, many approaches to one and the same phenomenon.

The are 2 plans of language: context (comprises the purely semantic elements);

expression (comprises the material, formed units). Each formal unit has a meaning. No meaning can be realized without some material means of expression. Each grammatical element presents a unity of content and expression, but the correspondence is very complex:


habitual action

Present Indefinite form action at the present moment

action taken as a general truth

3rd person, singular

morphemes s/ es the plural of the noun

the possessive form


Grammatical meaning is an abstract meaning of large meanings of words expressed by the formal grammatical market: "-s" marks plurality (lawyers). Grammatical meaning is typical of grammatical form. Grammatical form is typical of grammatical meaning. One and the same form may express different grammatical meaning: "The Negroes were getting to their feet" The Negroes evokes the idea of black human beings, the doers of the action, the conception of plurality.

Grammatical category - common feature of a linguistic phenomenon of a certain class, having their grammatical form and grammatical meaning, a complicated unity of grammatical form and grammatical content (the category of number, mood, ect).

Grammatical category is a system of expressing a generalized meaning by means of paradigmatic correlation of grammatical forms (marked: .unmarked). Every grammatical category is characterized by the opposition, the categorial meaning and the function. For example, the category of number:

plurality : : singularity

faults: : fault

plurality: : non-plurality

ashes :: foliage

Grammatical forms may be synthetical and analytical. Synthetical:

1. inflection (morphemic changes without changing their lexical meaning:
sentence, sentences, sentenced);

2. suppletivity (combining different roots: be, am, is/are, was/were).

English inflection has been gradually simplified. It has developed analytical tendencies.

4. The features of an analytical language:

1. few grammatical inflections (case, degrees of comparison, 3rd person, singular,
Present Tense, ect);

2. a sparing use of sound alternations (foot-feet, get-got);

3. a wide use of prepositions to connect words, to denote relations between object
(a man of wealth);

4. a prominent use of word order (rather fixed: S+Pr+DO+IO+Adv.Mod. "The
woman accused the boy of stealing books from the library ").

An analytical form consists of two (or more) words but constitutes one sense unit. One element has lexical meaning, the other - grammatical meaning (/ shall exchange it: shall 1st person, futurity, exchange ).

5. Morphology and Syntax.

Morphology studies grammatical classes and groups of words, grammatical categories and the system of forms in which these categories actually exist.

Syntax studies phrases and sentences, the ways in which words may be combined and the relations between the words in combination.

6. Word.

The central element of morphology is word.

Word is a grammatical unit that has its form and meaning. Word is a minimal unit of language, that has its positional independence (Maslov); a minimum free form (Bloomfield); a minimal unit that is characterized by its ability to functioning, the largest unit of morpholody (Ivanova).

Word is a sign, a naming unit, a unit of information in the communication process, the articulate sound-symbol, the grammatically arranged combination of sound with meaning; is formed by morphemes, the uninterrupted string of morphemes, an indivisible elementary component of the lexicon of language, the

elementary component of the sentence. Word is an autonomous unit of language, in which a particular meaning is associated with a particular sound complex and which is capable of a particular grammar employment and able to form a sentence by itself (Arnold).

7. Morpheme.

The constituent parts of the word are morphemes. Morpheme is a minimal meaningful unit of language without positional independence: un-law-ful (un - the negative prefix, law - the lexical meaning, ful - the adjectival suffix). Morpheme is a minimal lineal meaningful unit with its sound pattern (Smirnitzky). Morpheme is an association of a given meaning with a given sound pattern, a constituent part of a word (Arnold).

Morphemes are classified into roots and affixes. According to their porition affixes are divided into prefixes (im-polite) and suffixes (teach-er-s). According to their functional meaning the suffixes may be subdivided into derivational (acquit+tal) and functional or grammatical (judge+s). The lexical meaning is expressed by the stem (the part of the word without derivational and functional affixes). The stem also expresses the part of speech meaning (Soboleva): Friend friends, friendly, friendship have the stem friend-.

Functional affixes convey grammatical meaning (build different forms of one and the same word, i.e. a paradigm of the word). Paradigm is the system of all grammatical forms characteristic of the word:

testify - ies - ied - ing;

lawyer - lawyers; nice - nicer - nicest.

"Zero" morpheme (Smirnitzky) or "zero exponent" (Maslov): -, -, -, -; teach-er, teach-er-s.

As the word teacher may have the suffix -s in the plural form, Smirnitzky finds 3 morphemes in it (teach+er+zero morpheme). But there is no sound image, no graphical representation of the zero morpheme, it can't be separated from the word, the "meaningful absence of the morpheme" is derived from the context but the latter can't express the meaning of the "zero exponent". As there is no graphical representation, no sound image, no meaning of its own, we can't distinguish any "zero morpheme or exponent".

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1937

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