Lexicology as a science

Units of Language and forming of the packed words. Classifications of English mixtures. Basics ways of word-building. Criteria of semantic derivation. Classifications of borrowings to according to degree of assimilation. Local variety of English.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид дипломная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 31.01.2012
Размер файла 74,9 K

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Permutation - the repatterning on condition that the basic subordinative relationships between words & word-stems of the lexical units are not changed .e. g. “His work is excellent “ may be transformed into “ his excellent work , the excellence of his work , he works excellently “.In the example given the relationships between lexical units & the stems of the notional words are essentially the same .

Replacement - the substitution of a component of the distributional structure by a member of a certain strictly defined set of lexical units .e. g. Replacement of a notional verb by an auxiliary or link verb (he will make a bad mistake & he will make a good teacher ). The sentences have identical distributional structure but only in the second one the verb “to make “ can be substituted by “ become “ or “ be “ . The fact of impossibility of identical transformations of distributionally identical structures is a formal proof of the difference in their meaning .

III. Addition ( or expansion ) may be illustrated by the application of the procedure of addition to the classification of adjectives into two groups- adjectives denoting inherent & non-inherent qualities .

e. g. John is happy .

John is tall .

We add a word-group “ in Moscow “. We shall see that “ John is happy in Moscow .” has meaning while the second one is senseless . That is accounted by the difference in the meaning of adjectives denoting inherent (tall) & non-inherent(happy) qualities .

5.9 Componental analysis

In this analysis linguists proceed from the assumption that the smallest units of meaning are sememes or semes . e. g. In the lexical item “woman” several sememes may be singled out , such as human , not an animal , female , adult . The analysis of the word “girl” will show the following sememes : human , female , young . The last component of the two words differentiates them & makes impossible to mix up the words in the process of communication . It is classical form of revealing the work of componental analysis to apply them to the so called closed systems of vocabulary , for example , colour terms . The analysis as a rule was formalized only as far as the symbolic representation of meaning components it is concerned with .Each sememe in the terms of colours acquires or is given a certain letter ( A , B , C , D … ) & the meaning of the terms may be given in a formalized form . e. g. Red & scarlet will differ only in one component & that is intensity of colour & by the letter it may be illustrated as


A B C Under the letter C the intensity is meant .

The formalized representation of meaning helps to find out different semantic components which influence collocability of words (during the day but not during the stairs, down the stairs but not down the day ).

Componental analysis is practically always combined with transformational procedures or statistical analysis .The combination makes it possible to find out which of the meanings should be represented first of all in the dictionaries of different types & how the words should be combined in order to make your speech sensible .

5.10 Method of semantic differential

A word has not only one meaning & even one word usually implies some additional information which differentiates one word from another .

e. g. to like , to love , to adore , to warship . All the words denote positive feelings , characteristic of a human being . But each of them gives additional information on the so-called strength of feeling .This is the connotational aspect which was singled out by the semantic differential - the method which was worked out by a group of American psycholinguists . Their technique requires the subjects to judge - a series of concepts with respect to a set of antonymic adjective scale .

e. g. A horse can be :

good - bad

fast - slow

strong - weak

hard - soft

happy - sad

The meaning of the divisions is that each of the quality may be gradated representing extremely good , very good , neither good nor bad ,slightly bad , extremely bad & these grades can be marked by a plus .And the horse may be very good , not bad , etc .

The revealed gradations showing some portion of quality helps to singled out such words which are usually referred to as neutral, expressive , archaic & new words proper - neologisms . All the methods of analysis are applied in one & the same sphere of investigation . If you are interested in meaning you shouldn't pay much attention to the structure , if you are interested in collocation of words you shouldn't pay much attention what parts of words represent the distributional structure . The combination of different methods of analysis helps to classify the vocabulary as a whole & each lexical unit taken separately . It should be said that practically no procedures function independently & separately from each other . It is only for study aims that we separate one procedure from another . In fact , being a two-faced unit a lexical item provides to be an indivisible unit of form & content . That is why you cannot investigate one side of the item paying no attention to the other one .

5.11 Analytical or referential definition of meaning

They seek to find the essence of meaning establishing the interdependence between words of the objects or phenomena they denote . The best known analytical model of meaning is the so-called “basic triangle”.

Sound-formWord-object (referent)

They are connected directly that means that if we hear a sound-form a certain idea arises in our mind & the idea brings out a certain referent that exists in the reality . But the sound-form & the referent are connected indirectly because there are no objects or phenomena in the reality that predict a certain sound-form , that need to be named by a certain sequence of sounds . The strongest point in the approach is an attempt to link the notion of meaning with the process of naming the objects , processes or phenomena of concrete reality . The analytical definitions of meaning are usually criticized on the grounds that they cannot be applied to sentences .

e. g. The sentence “ I like to read long novels “ does not express single notion , it represents composites of notions specifying the relations between them .

The referential definition of meaning can hardly be applied to semantic additions that come to the surface in the process of communication .

e. g. “That's very clever “ may mean different sorts of things including that it is not clever at all

It has also been stated that the referential approach fails to account for that fact that one word may denote different objects & phenomena . That is the case of polysemy . On the other hand one & the same object may be denoted by different words & that is the case of synonymy .

Definitions of meaning.

Proceeding from the assumptions that the true meaning of a word is to be found by observing what a man does with it not what he says about it , the proponents of functional approach to meaning define it as the use of the word in the language . It has been suggested that the meaning of a word is revealed by substituting different contexts .

e. g. The meaning of the word cat may be singled out of contexts:

____________ catch mice.

I bought fish for my _____. and similar sentences.

To get a better insight in to the semantics of a word it is necessary to analyze as many contexts in which it is realized as possible. The question arises - when to stop collecting different contexts & what amount of material is sufficient to make a reliable conclusion about the meaning of a word ? In practice a scholar is guided by intuition which amount to the previous knowledge of the notions the given word denotes. Besides , there are contexts which are so infrequent that they can hardly be registered & quite obviously they have never been met by the speakers of the given language.


The word is the fundamental unit of language. It is a dialectical unity of form and content. Its content or meaning is not identical to notion, but it may reflect human notions, and in this sense may be considered as the form of their existence. Concepts fixed in the meaning of words are formed as generalised and approximately correct reflections of reality, therefore in signifying them words reflect reality in their content.

When working on the topic we tried to study as much literature sources and of course we worked with the dictionaries we used a method of system analysis, description and a problem solving method. As a result we managed to learn all the lexicology terms that concern our theme, show the most significant characteristics of word with a lot of examples and give meaning classification according to Vinogradov.

In the modification of the triangle given in this work we have to understand that the referent belongs to extra-linguistic reality, it is reflected in our mind in several stages (not shown on the diagram): first it is perceived, then many perceptions are generalised into a concept, which in its turn is reflected in the meaning with certain linguistic constraints conditioned by paradigmatic influence within the vocabulary. When it is the concept that is put into the apex, then the meaning cannot be identified with any of the three points of the triangle.

The relationship between the linguistic lexical meaning and the logical notion deserves special attention not only because they are apt to be confused but also because in comparing and contrasting them it is possible to achieve a better insight into the essence of both.

To draw a conclusion we must say that the aim of our work has been achieved and all the problems that are put in the beginning of the work are solved.


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