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The interrelations between archaic word, historic words, stylistic and lexical neologisms.

Stylistic classification of the vocabulary of any language is a very complicated problem. The existing classifications are based on different criteria, which take into account common semantic and stylistic characteristics of words in the given period of time (synchronic approach). The two criteria used for our classification are as follows:

1) paradigmatic criterion, i.e. the absence or presence in the word semantics of the additional information (evaluative, emotive or expressive meaning);

2) syntagmatic criterion, i.e. the character of syntagmatic relations between the lexical or lexical-stylistic meaning of the word and its context.

Both criteria are interconnected. Proceeding from them and using N.D.Arutyunova's ideas of the word semantics, we may divide all words of the English vocabulary into two major groups:

1. words having a lexico-stylistic paradigm which are characterised by:

a) an indirect reference to the object: fat cat (coll.) => a provider of money for political uses (neutral) => denotatum;

b) subjective evaluative connotations;

c) referential borders which are not strict: these words are of a qualifying character so they may be used to characterise different referents; d) synonyms; e) possible antonyms.

To this group we refer poetic diction; archaisms (archaic words); barbarisms and foreign words; stylistic neologisms; slang; colloquialisms; jargonisms (social and professional); dialectal words; vulgarisms.

2 words having no iexico-stylistic paradigm are characterised by:

a) a direct reference to the object;

b) the absence of subjective evaluative connotations;

c) strict referential borders;

d) the lack of synonyms. Synonyms that they may have are purely denotative;

e) the lack of antonyms.

Here we refer stylistically neutral words; terms; nomenclature words; historical words: lexical neologisms; and exotic words.

Words having a lexico-stylistic paradigm are not homogeneous; they may enter the following oppositions:

colloquial vocabulary — bookish vocabulary

non-literary words — literary words

general literary vocabulary — social or dialectal elements special vocabulary-contemporary vocabulary — archaic vocabulary.

However, the mentioned groups of words are not closed; they are intersecting - one and the same word may belong to two or more groups.


? Archaisms

historical archaisms” - archaic words denoting historical phenomena no more in use (yeoman, vassal, falconet) - historical words

poetic words (steed for horse, woe for sorrow)

? “material archaisms” – archaic words proper (ousted by newer synonymic words or forms): to deem - to think; nay - no; brethren - brothers; thou wilt - you will

? Archaic words.

? Archaic words, i.e. out-dated words that denote existing objects, are divided into two groups:

? a) archaic words proper: words which are no longer recognised in modern English. They

? were used in Old English and have either dropped out of language use entirely or completely changed (troth - faith, losel - worthless);

? b) archaic forms of the words: corse instead of corpse, an instead of and, annoy instead

? of annoyance.

? Speaking of archaic words we should distinguish "ageing/newness" of the word form and "ageing/newness" of the denotatum. And then, accordingly, we may correlate archaic words and historic words on the one hand as well as lexical and stylistic neologisms on the other.


Lexical neologisms are new words that denote new objects (laser, shopping, pop promo, killer, satellite). Stylistic neologisms are new names that denote already existing objects and notions (mole - a spy who successfully infiltrates an organisation; ageism - discrimination of a person on the ground of age).

? Historical words are associated with definite stages in the development of a society and cannot be neglected, though the things and phenomena to which they refer no longer exist. Historical words (yeoman, thane, baldric, goblet) have no synonyms as compared to archaic words which may be replaced by their modern synonyms.

? Historical words and lexical neologisms having no stylistic meaning, do not form lexico-stylistic paradigms. But archaic words and stylistic neologisms mark the text stylistically, distinguishing it from neutral speech.

? In fiction, together with historical words, archaisms create the effect of antiquity, providing a true-to-life historical background and reminding the reader of past habits, customs, clothes etc. The usage of archaisms, incompatible with conversational words, might in some cases lead to a humorous or satirical effect.

? Barbarisms and foreign words.

? There are many borrowings in every language, some of them being assimilated. We may distinguish four groups of such words in English: foreign words, barbarisms, exotic words, and borrowings.

? Foreign words are close to barbarisms, but they are characterised by occasional usage only, mainly in literary speech. They do not form a lexico-stylistic paradigm, though they may be used to create some stylistic effect.

? Barbarisms are words of foreign origin which have not been entirely assimilated into the English language preserving their former spelling and pronunciation. Most of them (e.g. chic, chagrin, en passant) have corresponding English synonyms.

? Exotic words are borrowed foreign words denoting objects characteristic of a certain country (canzonet, matador). They have no synonyms in the language-borrower, do not form a lexico-stylistic paradigm and therefore are not considered to be lexical EM, but nevertheless they may be used for stylistic purposes.

? Borrowings, if they are assimilated, do not differ much from native words as far as their stylistic aspect is concerned. They are usually high-flown synonyms of neutral native words (to commence — to begin, labour- work, female - woman).

? The stylistic functions of barbarisms and foreign words are similar, they are used to create a local colouring, to identify a personage as a foreigner, or to show his/her mannerism.

? Bookish (learned) words are mostly used in official or high-flown style (catenate, depicture, disimprove, dalliance). In official usage, they mark the text as belonging to this or that style of written speech, but when used in colloquial speech or in informal situations, they may create a comical effect.

- 20. Conversational words and their classification. Their stylistic functions.

Conversational words of all kinds are widely used for stylistic purposes. There are four speech spheres in which they are mostly largely used: everyday speech, newspaper language, poetry, and fiction.

In newspaper language, colloquial words and word combinations, and sometimes general slang words, are used to give an expressive evaluation of facts and events. In modern poetry, words of all layers are most widely used. Lyrical poetry allows the usage of various non-poetic words to create the atmosphere of sincerity, confidence etc. Slang words in fiction (mostly in dialogues) add to the informality and emotiveness of the character's speech alongside with indicating social and speech peculiarities of the personages.

Date: 2016-03-03; view: 2024

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