Lexicology of the English language

Subject matter of Lexicology. Types of Lexicology and its links with other branches of linguistics. Meaning and context. Causes of semantic change. Definition of polysemy. The difference between homonymy and polycemy. Classification of antonyms.

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A compound word has a single semantic structure. We distinguish the meaning of'the compound words from the combined lexical meanings of its components. For example. pencil- case is a case for pencils. The meaning of the compound words is derived not only from the combined lexical meanings of its components but also from the order and arrangement of the stems. A'change in the order of components of compound words brings a change in their lexical meaning.

For example. life-boat -- a boat of special construction for saving lives, boat-life -- life on board of a ship. a fruit-market -- market where fruit is sold, market-fruit-- fruit for selling.

Compound words differ from free word-groups, they are inseparable vocabulary units. Compound words structurally, phonetically and graphically are inseparable.

Structurally compounds are inseparable because if we change the places of components of compounds we see the change of meaning in compounds or they will not be compounds. For example. boat-life -- life on ship, life-boat--a boat which is used for saving. If we change the places of components of compound word long-legged in this way legged long it will be not a compound word. So the inseparability in structure of compounds can be seen in their specific order and arrangement of stems.

The compounds are phonetically inseparable as the components of them have only one stress. Mostly the first component is stressed. For example. pen-knife, 'book-case, 'doorway, 'bookshelf. There are some compounds which have a double stress. In this case we have the primary stress on the first component and a weaker secondary stress on the second component. For example. 'mad-'doctor, 'washing-'machine, 'money-'order etc.

These stress patterns in many cases may be used as a criteria of distinguishing compound words from free word groups. As we know both components of free word groups are always stressed. For example. a'green-house -- a 'glass-house, a'green 'house (word group)--a house that is painted green, 'dancing-girl--a dancer, 'dancing 'girl--a girl who is dancing.

Graphically compounds have two types of spelling -- they are written either together or with a hyphen.This is also one of the criteria of distinguishing of compounds from wordgroups.

Some linguists 1. 0. Jesperson. A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. L. 1946; E. Kruisinga. A Handbook of Present--day English. Groningen, 1932, part 11. advocate the semantic criterion. They define a compound word as a combination of words expressing a single idea. This point of view causes some doubt. Because it does not give us sufficient ground to distinguish between the cases of compound words and idiomatic set phrases.

Like other linguistic phenomena we may approach to the study of compounds synchronicaliy and diachronically.

Synchronically we study the structural and semantic patterns of compound words, while diachronically we study the various changes compound words undergone in the course of time and the way compound words appear in the language.

Some compounds which were formed in old English can't be considered compound words. The morphological structure of a word loses the meaning and undergoes phonetic changes. This case is called simplification. For example. woman OE--wifmasn (woman -- person), daisy OE--dass ease (day's eye).

Classification of compounds

Compound words are classified into completely motivated, partially motivated and non-motivated compound words. In completely motivated compound words the lexical meaning of compounds is easily deduced from the lexical meanings of the stems. For example. book-case, foot-step, door- handle, bottle- opener. The compound words a flower-bed, walk-up are partially motivated compounds because we can guess their meaning partially. The compounds in which the connection between the meaning and structure and the meanings of components of compounds can not be seen from the meaning of its components are called non-motivated compound words. For example. wall-flower -- a woman who remains at wall and is not invited to a dance.

night-cap -- drink taken before going to bed at night.

Compound words may be classified from the functional point of view or according to their belonging to different parts of speech.

Many of English compounds belong to nouns and adjectives. N -- armchair, sitting-room, looking-glass, blackboard, pickpocket (a thief), bench-mark, homework, grammar-school.

ADJ -- social-economic, hard-working, man-made, well-behaved, well-read, dry-drink, V-whitewash, housekeep, etc.

ADV -- indoors, within, outside.

From the point of view how the components are joined together the compound words may be classified into; compounds whose components are joined with a linking element, (afro-asion, anglo-saxon, sportsman, speedometer, handicraft, statesman, landsman) arid without a linking element (snowball, rain-coat, door-handle, reading-room, paint-box, door-step).

Compound words are also classified according to different ways of compounding. In this case we divide them into two groups:

1) compound words proper. Such kind of compounds are formed by joining together stems of words and these compounds have no derivational affix. The components of such compounds are simple stems.

For example. door-step, looking-glass, table-cloth, whitewash, bookcase, bookshelf.

2) derivational compounds. These compounds have a derivational affix: long-legged, kind-hearted, schoolboyishness, blue-eyed, absentminded.

There are two types of relationship in linguistic literature: that of coordination and subordination and accordingly compound words may be classified into coordinative and su-bordinative. In coordinative compounds the components are structurally and semantically independent (For example. reduplicative: goody-goody, fifty-fifty).

In subordinative compounds the components are based on the domination of one component over the other.

For example. road-building, baby-sitter, woman-doctor.

Subordinative compounds may be syntactic which depends on syntactic rules. For example. mad-doctor, bluebell, a slow-coach (adj-r-n) and asyntactic. For example. red-hot, oil-rich, long-legg'ed (adj-adj) there is no syntactic rule and it does not depend on the syntactic rules.

Many compounds are polysemantic. Etc. the verb to whitewash has the following meanings:

1) make white with whitewash

I) to glass or cover up vices, crimes etc.

But their polysemy is not based on the polysemy of their constituents. They develop a polysemy of their own.

8. Secondary ways of wordformation

Shortened words abbrivations and clippings

The shortening of words means substituting a part for a whole, part of the word is taken away and used for the whole. For example. demo (demonstration), dub (double), vac (vacuum cleaner), doc (doctor), fig (figure), Mrs (missis).

A shortened word is in some way different from its prototype in usage. The shortened word and its full form have the same lexical meaning but differ only in stylistic reference.

For example. exam (colloq) examination (neutral), chapman (neutral), chap (colloq).

Shortened words are structurally simple words rand in most cases have the same lexical meaning as the longer words from which they are derived. Shortening is not a derivational process because there are no structural patterns after which new shortened words could be built therefore we can't say that shortening is a derivational wordformation.

We must distinguish lexical abbreviations and clippings.

Abbreviations consist of the first letters of a word group or a compound word (.., USA, BBC, NATO) or the component of a two member word group H (hydrogin)-- bomb, V. --Day -- Victory Day) is shortened. The last one is not changed.

Clipping consists in the cutting off of one or several syllables of a word. In many cases the stressed syllables are preserved. For example. Sis. (sister), Jap (Japanese), doc (doctor), phone (telephone), lab (laboratory). Clipping is classified into the following types depending on which part of the word is clipped: 1) Words that have been shortened at the end: For example. ad (advertisement), lab (laboratory), Jap (Japanese), doc (doctor), sis (sister), vac (vacuum cleaner) ;2) Words that have been shortened at the beginning: ear, car (motor-car), phone (telephone), van (caravan), cast (broadcast); 3) Words in which syllables have been omitted from the middle the so called syncope, For example. maths (mathematics), specs (spectacles); 4) Words that have been shortened at the beginning and at the end: For example. flu (influenza), tec (detective), frig (refrigerator).

Clippings and abbreviations have some peculiarities as simple words. They take the plural endings and that of the possessive case. They take grammatical inflexions, For example. exams, docs, cars, doc's they are used with articles: the USA, a lab, a vac, a doc, etc.

They may take derivational affixes: M. P-ess hanky (from handkerchief), unkie (from uncle).

Clippings do not always coincide in meaning with the original word. For example.doc and doctor have the meaning one who practises medicine, but doctor is also the highest degree given by a university to a scholar or scientist and a person who has received such a degree whereas doc is not used with these meanings.

Among abbrivations there are homonyms. One and the same sound and graphical complex may be different words. For example. vac-vacation; vac-vacuum cleaner; prep-preparation; prep-preparatory school. In abbriviations we stress each letter. For example. TUC ['ti:'ju:'si:]--Trade Union Congress.

If they are pronounced in accordance with the rules of phonetics we stress the first syllable.

For example. NATO t'neitou], UNO ['ju:nou] BBC -- British Broadcasting Corporation, Cent--Centigrade. AP--Associated Press, GPO--General Post Office, USA--United States of America, UNESCO--United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, USAF--United States Air Force, WFDY--World Federation of Democratic Youth, WFTU--World Federation of Trade Unions, SEATO--South-East Asia Treaty Organization, UK--United Kingdom, NAS--National Academy of Sciences, NY--New York, NZ--New Zealand, MD--Doctor of Medicine, FAP--First Aid Post.

sub (submarine), surg (surgeon), Sept (September), Serg (sergeant), esp (especially), capt (captain), lat (latitude), Wash (Washington), Wed (Wednesday), usu (usually), pref (preface), prof (professor), prox (proximo), mos (months), quot (quotation), revs (revolutions), Russ (Russian), sat (Saturday), vol (volume), rep (representative), suppl (supplement).

In the process of communication words and word-groups can be shortened. The causes of shortening can be linguistic and extra-linguistic. By extra-linguistic causes changes in the life of people are meant. In Modern English many new abbreviations, acronyms , initials, blends are formed because the tempo of life is increasing and it becomes necessary to give more and more information in the shortest possible time.

There are also linguistic causes of abbreviating words and word-groups, such as the demand of rhythm, which is satisfied in English by monosyllabic words. When borrowings from other languages are assimilated in English they are shortened. Here we have modification of form on the basis of analogy, For example the Latin borrowing fanaticus is shortened to fan on the analogy with native words: man, pan, tan etc.

Classification of abbrivations

There are two main types of shortenings : graphical and lexical.

Graphical abbreviations are the result of shortening of words and word-groups only in written speech while orally the corresponding full forms are used. They are used for the economy of space and effort in writing. The oldest group of graphical abbreviations in English is of Latin origin. In Russian and Uzbek this type of abbreviation is not typical. In these abbreviations in the spelling Latin words are shortened, while orally the corresponding English equivalents are pronounced in the full form, For example. (Latin exampli gratia), a.m. - in the morning (ante meridiem), No - number (numero), p.a. - a year (per annum), d - penny (dinarius), pound (libra), i. e. - that is (id est) etc.

Some graphical abbreviations of Latin origin have different English equivalents in different contexts, For example. p.m. can be pronounced in the afternoon (post meridiem) and after death (post mortem).

There are also graphical abbreviations of native origin, where in the spelling we have abbreviations of words and word-groups of the corresponding English equivalents in the full form. We have several semantic groups of them :

a) days of the week, For example. Mon - Monday, Tue - Tuesday etc

b) names of months, For example. Apr - April, Aug - August etc. m,

c) names of counties in UK, For example. Yorks - Yorkshire, Berks -Berkshire etc

d) names of states in USA, For example Ala - Alabama, Alas - Alaska etc.

e) names of address, For example. Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. etc.

f) military ranks, For example. capt. -captain, col. - colonel, sgt - sergeant etc.

g) scientific degrees, For example B.A. - Bachelor of Arts, D.M. - Doctor of Medicine.

Sometimes in scientific degrees we have abbreviations of Latin origin, For example. M.B. - Medicinae Baccalaurus).

h) units of time, length, weight, For example. f. / ft -foot/feet, sec. - second, in. -inch, mg. -milligram etc. The reading of some graphical abbreviations depends on the context, For example. m can be read as: male, married, masculine, metre, mile, million, minute, l.p. can be read as long-playing, low pressure.

Initialisms are the bordering case between graphical and lexical abbreviations. When they appear in the language, as a rule, to denote some new offices they are closer to graphical abbreviations because orally full forms are used, For example. J.V. joint-venture. When they are used for some duration of time they acquire the shortened form of pronouncing and become closer to lexical abbreviations, For example. BBC is as a rule pronounced in the shortened form.

In some cases the translation of initialisms is next to impossible without using special dictionaries. Initialisms are denoted in different ways. Very often they are expressed in the way they are pronounced in the language of their origin, For example. ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, United States) SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks). In Russian as ( ).

There are three types of initialisms in English:

a) initialisms with alphabetical reading, such as UK, BUP, CND etc

b) initialisms which are read as if they are words, For example. UNESCO, UNO, NATO etc.

c) initialisms which coincide with English words in their sound form, such initialisms are called acronyms, For example. CLASS (Computor-based Laboratory for Automated School System).

Some scientists unite groups b) and c) into one group which they call acronyms.

Some initialisms can form new words in which they act as root morphemes by different ways of wordbuilding:

a) affixation, For example. AWALism, ex-rafer, ex- POW, to waafize, AIDSophobia etc.

b) conversion, For example. to raff, to fly IFR (Instrument Flight Rules),

c) composition, For example. STOLport, USAFman etc.

d) there are also compound-shortened words where the first component is an initial abbreviation with the alphabetical reading and the second one is a complete word, For example. A-bomb, U-pronunciation, V -day etc. In some cases the first component is a complete word and the second component is an initial abbreviation with the alphabetical pronunciation, For example. Three -Ds (Three dimensions)

Abbreviation of words consists in clipping a part of a word. As a result we get a new lexical unit where either the lexical meaning or the style is different form the full form of the word. In such cases as fantasy and fancy, fence and defence we have different lexical meanings. In such cases as laboratory and lab, we have different styles.

Abbreviation does not change the part-of-speech meaning, as we have it in the case of conversion or affixation, it produces words belonging to the same part of speech as the primary word, For example. prof is a noun and professor is also a noun. Mostly nouns undergo abbreviation, but we can also meet abbreviation of verbs, such as to rev from to revolve, to tab from to tabulate etc. But mostly abbreviated forms of verbs are formed by means of conversion from abbreviated nouns, For example. to taxi, to vac etc. Adjectives can be abbreviated but they are mostly used in school slang and are combined with suffixation, For example. comfy, dilly, mizzy etc. As a rule pronouns, numerals, interjections, conjunctions are not abbreviated. The exceptions are: fif (fifteen), teen-ager, in one's teens (apheresis from numerals from 13 to 19).

Lexical abbreviations are classified according to the part of the word which is clipped. Mostly the end of the word is clipped, because the beginning of the word in most cases is the root and expresses the lexical meaning of the word. This type of abbreviation is called apocope.

Here we can mention a group of words ending in o, such as disco (dicotheque), expo (exposition), intro (introduction) and many others. On the analogy with these words there developed in Modern English a number of words where o is added as a kind of a suffix to the shortened form of the word, For example.combo (combination) to, - Afro (African). In other cases the beginning of the word is clipped. In such cases we have apheresis , For example.chute (parachute), varsity (university), copter (helicopter) , thuse (enthuse) etc.

Sometimes the middle of the word is clipped, For example.mart (market), fanzine (fan magazine) maths (mathematics). Such abbreviations are called syncope. Sometimes we have a combination of apocope with apheresis,when the beginning and the end of the word are clipped, For example.tec (detective), van (vanguard) etc.

Sometimes shortening influences the spelling of the word, For example.c can be substituted by k before e to preserve pronunciation, For example. mike (microphone), Coke (coca-cola) etc. The same rule is observed in the following cases: fax( facsimile), teck (technical college), trank (tranquilizer) etc. The final consonants in the shortened forms are substituded by letters characteristic of native English words.

Splinters and their properties

In the second half of the twentieth century the English wordbuilding system was enriched by creating so called splinters which scientists include in the affixation stock of the Modern English wordbuilding system. Splinters are the result of clipping the end or the beginning of a word and producing a number of new words on the analogy with the primary word-group. For example. there are many words formed with the help of the splinter mini- (apocopy produced by clipping the word miniature), such as miniplane, minijet, minicycle, minicar, miniradio and many others. All of these words denote obects of smaller than normal dimensions.

On the analogy with mini- there appeared the splinter maxi- (apocopy produced by clipping the word maximum), such words as maxi-series, maxi-sculpture, maxi-taxi and many others appeared in the language.

When European economic community was organized quite a number of neologisms with the splinter Euro- (apocopy produced by clipping the word European) were coined, such as: Euratom Eurocard, Euromarket, Europlug, Eurotunnel and many others. These splinters are treated sometimes as prefixes in Modern English.

There are also splinters which are formed by means of apheresis, that is clipping the beginning of a word. The origin of such splinters can be variable, For example. the splinter burger appeared in English as the result of clipping the German borrowing Hamburger where the morphological structure was the stem Hamburg and the suffix -er. However in English the beginning of the word Hamburger was associated with the English word ham, and the end of the word burger got the meaning a bun cut into two parts. On the analogy with the word hamburger quite a number of new words were coined, such as: baconburger, beefburger, cheeseburger, fishburger etc.

The splinter cade developed by clipping the beginning of the word cavalcade which is of Latin origin. In Latin the verb with the meaning to ride a horse is cabalicare and by means of the inflexion -ata the corresponding Participle is formed.

So the element cade is a combination of the final letter of the stem and the inflexion. The splinter cade serves to form nouns with the meaning connected with the procession of vehicles denoted by the first component)), For example. aircade - a group of airplanes accompanying the plane of a VIP , autocade - a group of automobiles escorting the automobile of a VIP, musicade -an orchestra participating in a procession.

In the seventieths of the twentieth century there was a political scandal in the hotel Watergate where the Democratic Party of the USA had its pre-election headquarters. Republicans managed to install bugs there and when they were discovered there was a scandal and the ruling American government had to resign. The name Watergate acquired the meaning a political scandal, corruptiom. On the analogy with this word quite a number of other words were formed by using the splinter gate (apheresis of the word Watergate), such as: Irangate, Westlandgate, shuttlegate, milliongate etc. The splinter gate is added mainly to Proper names: names of people with whom the scandal is connected or a geographical name denoting the place where the scandal occurred. The splinter mobile was formed by clipping the beginning of the word automobile and is used to denote special types of automobiles, such as: artmobile, bookmobile, snowmobile, tourmobile etc.

The splinter napper was formed by clipping the beginning of the word kidnapper and is used to denote different types of crimesters, such as : busnapper, babynapper, dognapper etc. From such nouns the corresponding verbs are formed by means of backformation, For example. to busnap, to babynap, to dognap.

The splinter omat was formed by clipping the beginning of the word automat (a cafe in which meals are provided in slot-machines). The meaning self-service is used in such words as laundromat, cashomat etc.

Another splinter eteria with the meaning self-service was formed by clipping the beginning of the word cafeteria. By means of the splinter eteria the following words were formed: groceteria, booketeria, booteteria and many others.

The splinter quake is used to form new words with the meaning of shaking, agitation. This splinter was formed by clipping the beginning of the word earthquake. Ther following words were formed with the help of this splinter: Marsquake, Moonquake, youthquake etc.

The splinter rama(ama) is a clipping of the word Kpanorama?) of Greek origin where pan means all and horama means view. In Modern English the meaning view was lost and the splinter rama is used in advertisements to denote objects of supreme quality, For example.autorama means exhibition-sale of expensive cars, trouserama means sale of trousers of supreme quality)) etc.

The splinter scape is a clipping of the word landscape and it is used to form words denoting different types of landscapes, such as: moonscape, streetscape, townscape, seascape etc. .... Another case of splinters is tel which is the result of clipping the beginning of the word hotel. It serves to form words denoting different types of hotels, such as: motel (motor-car hotel), boatel (boat hotel), floatel (a hotel on water, floating), airtel (airport hotel) etc.

The splinter theque is the result of clipping the beginning of the word apotheque of Greek origin which means in Greek a store house. In Russian words: apea, the element ea corresponding to the English theque)> preserves the meaning of storing something which is expressed by the first component of the word. In English the splinter theque is used to denote a place for dancing, such as: discotheque, jazzotheque)).

The splinter thon is the result of clipping the beginning of the word marathon. Marathon primarily was the name of a battle-field in Greece, forty miles from Athens, where there was a battle between the Greek and the Persian. When the Greek won a victory a Greek runner was sent to Athens to tell people about the victory. Later on the word Marathon was used to denote long-distance competitions in running. The splinter thon(athon) denotes something continuing for a long time, competition in endurance)) For example. dancathon, telethon, speakathon, readathon, walkathon, moviethon, swimathon, talkathon, swearthon etc.

Splinters can be the result of clipping adjectives or substantivized adjectives. The splinter aholic (holic) was formed by clipping the beginning of the word alcohoiic of Arabian origin where al denoted the, koh'l - powder for staining lids. The splinter (a)holic means infatuated by the object expressed by the stem of the word , For example.bookaholic, computerholic, coffeeholic, cheesaholic, workaholic and many others.

The splinter genic formed by clipping the beginning of the word photogenic denotes the notion suitable for something denoted by the stem, For example.allergenic, cardiogenic, mediagenic, telegenic etc.

As far as verbs are concerned it is not typical of them to be clipped that is why there is only one splinter to be used for forming new verbs in this way. It is the splinter cast formed by clipping the beginning of the verb broadcast. This splinter was used to form the verbs telecast and abroadcast.

Splinters can be called pseudomorphemes because they are neither roots nor affixes, they are more or less artificial. In English there are words which consist of two splinters, For example telethon, therefore it is more logical to call words with splinters in their structure ((compound-shortened words consisting of two clippings qfwords.

Splinters have only one function in English: they serve to change the lexical meaning of the same part of speech, whereas prefixes and suffixes can also change the part-of-speech meaning , For example the prefix en- and its allomorph em can form verbs from noun and adjective stems (embody, enable, endanger), be- can form verbs from noun and adjective stems (becloud, benumb), post- and pre- can form adjectives from noun stems (pre-election campaign, post-war events). The main function of suffixes is to form one part of speech from another part of speech, For example. -er, -ing, -ment form nouns from verbal stems (teacher, dancing, movement), -ness, -ity are used to form nouns from adjective stems (clannishnes, marginality).


Sound interchange is an alternation in the phonetic composition of the root, For example. food (n)--feed (v), speak (v)--speech (n), strong (adj)--strength (n).

Sound interchange may be considered as a way of forming words only diachronically because in Modern English we can't find a single word which can be formed by changing the root-vowel of a word or by shifting the place of the stress. Sound interchange is non-productive.

Soundinterchange may be divided into vowel interchange and consonant interchange. For example.full--to fill, food--to feed, blood--to bleed, stronger--strengh. Here we have vowel interchange and by means of vowel interchange we can distinguish different parts of speech. There are some examples of consonant interchange: advice--to advice, use fjurs}-- to use [ju:z], speak--speech, break--breach, defence--defend, offence-- offend.

The scientist argue that sound interchange is the way of word-building when some sounds are changed to form a new word. It is non-productive in Modern English, it was productive in Old English and can be met in other Indo-European languages.

The causes of sound interchange can be different. It can be the result of Ancient Ablaut which cannot be explained by the phonetic laws during the period of the language development known to scientists., For example to strike - stroke, to sing - song etc. It can be also the result of Ancient Umlaut or vowel mutation which is the result of palatalizing the root vowel because of the front vowel in the syllable coming after the root ( regressive assimilation), For example hot - to heat (hotian), blood - to bleed (blodian) etc. In many cases we have vowel and consonant interchange. In nouns we have voiceless consonants and in verbs we have corresponding voiced consonants because in Old English these consonants in nouns were at the end of the word and in verbs in the intervocal position, For example bath - to bathe, life - to live, breath - to breathe etc.

Stress interchange

Stress interchange can be mostly met in verbs and nouns of Romanic origin : nouns have the stress on the first syllable and verbs on the last syllable, For example.'accent - to accent. This phenomenon is explained in the following way: French verbs and nouns had different structure when they were borrowed into English, verbs had one syllable more than the corresponding nouns. When these borrowings were assimilated in English the stress in them was shifted to the previous syllable (the second from the end) .

Later on the last unstressed syllable in verbs borrowed from French was dropped (the same as in native verbs) and after that the stress in verbs was on the last syllable while in nouns it was on the first syllable. As a result of it we have such pairs in English as : to con"flict- "conflict, to ex'port -'export, to ex'tract - "extract etc. As a result of stress interchange we have also vowel interchange in such words because vowels are pronounced differently in stressed and unstressed positions.

Sound imitation

It is the way of word-building when a word is formed by imitating different sounds. There are some semantic groups of words formed by means of sound imitation

a) sounds produced by human beings, such as : to whisper, to giggle, to mumble, to sneeze, to whistle etc;

b) sounds produced by animals, birds, insects, such as : to hiss, to buzz, to bark, to moo, to twitter etc;

c) sounds produced by nature and objects, such as : to splash, to rustle, to clatter, to bubble, to ding-dong, to tinkle etc;

The corresponding nouns are formed by means of conversion, For example clang (of a bell), chatter (of children) etc;


It is the way of word-building when a word is formed by dropping the final morpheme to form a new word. It is opposite to suffixation, that is why it is called back formation. At first it appeared in the language as a result of misunderstanding thestructure of a borrowed word. Prof. Yartseva 1. . . . . 1968 explains this mistake by the influence of the whole system of the language on separate words.

For example. it is typical of English to form nouns denoting the agent of the action by adding the suffix -er to a verb stem (speak-speaker). So when the French word beggar was borrowed into English the final syllable ar was pronounced in the same way as the English -er and Englishmen formed the verb to beg by dropping the end of the noun. Other examples of back formation are : to accreditate (from accreditation), to bach (from bachelor), to collocate (from collocation), to enthuse (from enthusiasm), to compute (from computer), to emote (from emotion) to reminisce ( from reminiscence), to televise (from television) etc.

As we can notice in cases of back formation the part-of-speech meaning of the primary word is changed, verbs are formed from nouns. Thus, The term back-formation has a diachronic relevance (historical meaning). For example. The nouns beggar, butler, cobbler, typewriter are very much like the nouns actor, painter, teacher, which have the suffixes-er, -or. On the analogy of the derivatives teacher, speaker, reader the words beggar, butler, cobler, typewriter etc. synchronically are derived from to beg, to butle, to cob, to typewrite, because we do not feel any difference between the relationship speak--speaker and beg--beggar. But if we study their origin we see butle was derived from butler.

So backformation denotes the derivation of new words by subtracting a real or supposed affix from existing words through misinterpretation of their structure. 1. I. V. Arnold. The English Word. M., 1986, p. 150

. . . Backformation is in fact an example of analogy: the speaker knows pairs like rob /robber and drink/ drinker and when he hears the word beggar he makes it conform to the pattern by inventing a form beg. Another well- known historical example of back-formation in English is the verb to sidele, from the adverb sideling.

Backformation is not of the vocabulary, but there ration in our times. One is automatic machinery into from the noun automation inflate--inflation, meditatetion is itself a new word, matic (Charles Barber).

much importance in the growth are a few examples of its the verb automate, introduce (an industry, a factory), formed on the analogy of such pairs a --meditation; the noun automa-presumably formed from auto-


Blending is the formation of a new word by a connection of parts of two words to form one word.

For example. The noun smog is composed of the parts of nouns smoke and fog (sm (oke+f) og. The result of blending is an unanalysable simple word. We do not analyse the blended words (sm-r-og) because their parts can't be called morphemes.For example. clash- clap'crash; fIush-flash H-blush,1 slanguage=slang+language, brunch- breakfast+lunch, smare-smoke+ha-ze, seadrome=-sea+airdrome). There are many blends in the terminological vocabulary. For example. racon-radar+beacon, transceiver-transmitter+receiver.

Blending can be considered ... as the method of merging (connecting) parts of words into one new word as when sm+oke and fog derived from smog.

Thus, blending is compounding by means of curtailed (shortened) words. However, the clusters sm and og were morphemes only for the individual speaker who blended them while in terms of the linguistic system as recognized by the community, there are not signs at all. Blending, therefore, has no grammatical, but a stylistic status. The result of blending is ... an unanalysable, simple word, not a motivated syntagma. (H.Marchand)

Blends are also words formed from a word-group or two synonyms. In blends two ways of word-building are combined : abbreviation and composition. To form a blend we clip the end of the first component (apocope) and the beginning of the second component (apheresis). As a result we have a compound- shortened word. One of the first blends in English was the word smog from two synonyms : smoke and fog which means smoke mixed with fog. From the first component the beginning is taken, from the second one the end, o is common for both of them.

Blends formed from two synonyms are: slanguange, to hustle, gasohol etc. Mostly blends are formed from a word-group, such as : acromania (acronym mania), cinemadict (cinema adict), chunnel (channel, canal), dramedy (drama comedy), detectifiction (detective fiction), faction (fact fiction) (fiction based on real facts), informecial (information commercial) , Medicare ( medical care) , magalog ( magazine catalogue) slimnastics (slimming gymnastics), sociolite (social elite), slanguist ( slang linguist) etc.


I. Wordmeaning

1. Definition of meaning. Different approaches to meaning

Semasiology (or semantics ) is a branch of linguistics which studies meaning . Semasiology is singled out as an independent branch of Lexicology alongside word-formation , etymology , phraseology and lexicography . And at the same time it is often referred to as the central branch of Lexicology . The significance of semasiology may be accounted for by three main considerations : 1. Language is the basic human communication system aimed at ensuring the exchange of information between the communicants which implies that the semantic side forms the backbone of communication. 2. By definition Lexicology deals with words , morpheme and word-groups . All those linguistic units are two-faced entities having both form and meaning.

3. Semasiology underlines all other branches of Lexicology . Meaning is the object of semasiological study .

So, Semasiology is concerned with the " meaning of words, studies the types of meaning, the change of meaning, the semantic structure of words, semantic groupings, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms etc.

Over eighty years ago, a new term was introduced into linguistic studies. In 1883 the French philologist Michel Breal published an article on what he called the intellectual laws of language. In this he argued that, alongside of phonetics and morphology, the .study of the formal elements of human speech, there ought also to be a science of meaning, which he proposed to call la semantique, by a word derived from the Greek sign (cf, semapgore) . . . and in the first place Breal himself, who established semantics as a discipline in its own right. Three years after its publication, Breal's Essay was translated into English under the title Semantics. Studies in the Science of Meanings and although the term had been used in English a few years earlier this translation played a decisive role in the diffusion of the new science and its name. (Ulmann}

There is no generally accepted definition of the term meaning of the word.

F. de Saussure, a well-known Swiss linguist, says that the meaning is the relation between the object or notion named and the name itself, L. Bloomfield, a well-known American linguist, points out that the meaning is the situation in which the word is uttered. The situations prompt people to utter speech.

For exampleif we want to know the meaning of the word apple we must make a situation for it.

Meaning is the reflection in the human consciousness of an object of extralinguistic reality (a phenomenon, a relationship, a quality, a process) which becomes a fact of language because of its constant indissoluble association with a definite linguistic expressions. (E. M. Mednikova)

Meaning is a certain reflection in our mind "of objects, phenomena or relations that makes part of the linguistic sign--its so called inner facet, whereas the sound-form functions, as its outer facet*. (A. U, Smirnitski)

Meaning may be viewed as the function of [distribution* . . . the meaning of linguistic unit may be studied only through its relation to other linguistic units. (P. S. Ginz7burg et, at). The meaning is the realization of the notion by means of a definite language system (by a linguistic sign).

So the term meaning is a subject of discussion among the linguists.

However , at present there is no universally accepted definition of meaning or rather a definition reflecting all the basic characteristic features of meaning and being at the same time operational . Thus , linguists state that meaning is "one of the most ambiguous and most controversial terms in the theory of language "(Steven Ullman).Leech states that the majority of definitions turn out to be a dead end not only on practical but on logical grounds . Numerous statements on the complexity of the phenomenon of meaning are found on the Russian tradition as well by such linguists as .. , .. , , . , . others .

However vague and inadequate , different definitions of meaning help to sum up the general characteristics of the notion comparing various approaches to the description of the content side of the language . There are three main categories of definitions which may be referred to as :

analytical or referential definition of meaning functional or contextual definition of meaning, operational or information-oriented definition of meaning.

Every word has two aspects: the outer aspect (its sound form) and the inner aspect (its meaning) . Sound and meaning do not always constitute a constant unit even in the same language. For example the word temple may denote a part of a human head and a large church In such cases we have homonyms. One and the same word in different syntactical relations can develop different meanings, For example. the verb treat in sentences:

a) He treated my words as a joke. ? ?.

b) The book treats of poetry. ?.

c) They treated me to sweets. ? ?.

d) He treats his son cruelly. ? ? ?.

In all these sentences the verb treat has different meanings and we can speak about polysemy.

On the other hand, one and the same meaning can be expressed by different sound forms, For example pilot , and airman, horror and terror. In such cases we have synonyms.

Both the meaning and the sound can develop in the course of time independently. For example the Old English /luvian/ is pronounced [l v] in Modern English. On the other hand, board primariliy means a piece of wood It has developed the meanings: a table, a board of a ship, a stage, a council etc.

The meaning of a word is the realization of a notion by means of a definite language system. A word is a language unit, while a notion is a unit of thinking. A notion cannot exist without a word expressing it in the language, but there are words which do not express any notion but have a lexical meaning. Interjections express emotions but not notions, but they have lexical meanings, For example Alas! /disappointment/, Oh,my buttons! /surprise/ etc. There are also words which express both, notions and emotions, For example girlie, a pig /when used metaphorically/.

The term notion was introduced into Lexicology from logics. A notion denotes the reflection in the mind of real objects and phenomena in their relations. Notions, as a rule, are international, especially with the nations of the same cultural level. While meanings can be nationally limited. Grouping of meanings in the semantic structure of a word is determined by the whole system of every language. For example. the English verb go and its Uzbek equivalent ? have some meanings which coincide: to move from place to place, to extend /the road goes to London/, to work /Is your watch going?/. On the other hand, they have different meanings: in Uzbek we say : , in English we use the verb come in this case. In English we use the verb go in the combinations: to go by bus, to go by train etc. In Russian in these cases we use the verb exa.

The number of meanings does not correspond to the number of words, neither does the number of notions. Their distribution in relation to words is peculiar in every language. The Uzbek has two words for the English man: and , . In English, however, man cannot be applied to a female person. We say in Uzbek: . In English we use the word person/ She is a good person

Development of meanings in any language is influenced by the whole network of ties and relations between words and other aspects of the language.

The scientists tried 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".

They are connected directly that means that if we hear a sound-form a certain idea arises in our mind and the idea brings out a certain referent that exists in the reality.

But the sound-form and 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 .

For example. 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 .

For example. "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 and phenomena . That is the case of polysemy . On the other hand one and the same object may be denoted by different words and that is the case of synonymy .

Another approach to the Definitions of meaning is functional or contextual. 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 functional approach to meaning defines 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.

For example. The meaning of the word cat may be singled out of contexts:

cats catch mice. I bought fish for my cat.

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 and what amount of material is sufficient to make a reliable conclusion about the meaning of a word ? In practice it 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 and quite obviously they have never been met by the speakers of the given language.

Nevertheless being presented with a context a native speaker proceeds not from a list of possible contexts but from something else. The functional approach to meaning is important because it emphasizes the fact that words are seldom if ever used in isolation and thus the meaning of a word is revealed only when it is realized in a context. But on the whole the functional approach may be described as a complimentary , additional to the referential one.

Operational definition of meaning is the defining meaning through its role in the process of communication. Just like functional approach information-oriented definitions are part of studying words in action. They are more interested in how the words work , how the meaning works than what the meaning is. The operational approach began to take shape with the growing interest of linguists in the communicative aspect of the language when the object of study was shifted to the relations between the language we use and the situations within which it is used. In this frame-work meaning is defined as information conveyed from the speaker to the listener in the process of communication. The definition is applicable both to words and sentences and thus overcomes one of the drawbacks of the referential approach. The problem is that it is more applicable to sentences than to words and even as such fails to draw a clear distinguishing line between the direct sense (that is meaning) and implication (that is additional information).

For example. Thus the sentence "John came at 6 o'clock" besides the direct meaning may imply that John was 2 hours late , that he was punctual as usual, that it was a surprise "or John to come, that he came earlier, that he was not expected at all and many others.

In each case the implication would depend on the concrete situation of communication. And discussing meaning as the information conveyed would amount to the discussion of an almost endless set of possible communication situations which in the end will bring us back to a modified contextual or functional approach to meaning. The distinction between the two layers in the information conveyed is so important that two different terms may be used to denote them: the direct information conveyed by the units which build up a sentence may be referred to as meaning while the information added to the given extralinguistic situation may be called sense.

Treating the meaning of a word by the referential approach is not quite clear. This point of view can hardly be accepted because meaning is not identical with the referent, t there are words which do not denote a referent, For example. angel [eindnl], Besides one and the same referent may be denoted by different words.

For example. synonyms. But the sound form of the word is not identical with its meaning. For example. spring1, spring 2, spring3.

Our concept is abstract and is connected with the referent but they are not identical. The meanings of words are different in different languages.

For example. the concept of a building for human habitations is expressed in English by the words house, in Russian by , in Uzbek by . But the English word house does not possess the meaning of fixed residence of family ( ; ) which is one of the meanings of the Russian word and Uzbek . In this meaning in English the word home is used. For example. ( ?- )--to go home; Me - )--the house where I live.

By the functional approach the meaning can be studied only through context, through its relation to other words. For example. to take the tram (a taxi), to take off, to take care of, to take ill, to take a degree, to take cold, to take it easy, to take on, to take place, to take tea, to take a bath, to take five minutes, to take notice, to take part in, to take a book, to make a table, to make a teacher, to make out, to make somebody do smth, to make up, to make up one`s mind;

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