History of Foreign Words in English

The treatment of words in lexicology. The importance of the connection between lexicology and phonetics. Definition of the word. Segmentation into denotative and connotative meaning. Method of revealing connotations the analysis of synonymic groups.

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Lexicology plays a prominent part in the general linguistic training of every philologist by summing up the knowledge acquired during all his years at the foreign language faculty. It also imparts the necessary skills of using different kinds of dictionaries and reference books, and prepares for future independent work on increasing and improving one's vocabulary.

The treatment of words in lexicology cannot be divorced from the study of all the other elements in the language system to which words belong. It should be always borne in mind that in reality, in the actual process of communication, all these elements are interdependent and stand in definite relations to one another. We separate them for convenience of study, and yet to separate them for analysis is pointless, unless we are afterwards able to put them back together to achieve a synthesis and see their interdependence and development in the language system as a whole.

The word, as it has already been stated, is studied in several branches of linguistics and not in lexicology only, and the latter, in its turn, is closely connected with general linguistics, the history of the language, phonetics, stylistics, grammar and such new branches of our science as sociolinguistics, paralinguistics, pragmalinguistics and some others.

The importance of the connection between lexicology and phonetics stands explained if we remember that a word is an association of a given group of sounds with a given meaning, so that top is one word, and tip is another. Phonemes have no meaning of their own but they serve to distinguish between meanings. Their function is building up morphemes, and it is on the level of morphemes that the form-meaning unity is introduced into language. We may say therefore that phonemes participate in signification.

Word-unity is conditioned by a number of phonological features. Phonemes follow each other in a fixed sequence so that [pit] is different from [tip]. The importance of the phonemic make-up may be revealed by the substitution test which isolates the central phoneme of hope by setting it against hop, hoop, heap or hip.

An accidental or jocular transposition of the initial sounds of two or more words, the so-called spoonerisms illustrate the same point. С f. our queer old dean for our dear old queen, sin twister for twin sister, May I sew you to a sheet? for May I show you to a seat?, a half-warmed fish for a half-formed wish, etc.

Discrimination between the words may be based upon stress: the word 'import is recognized as a noun and distinguished from the verb im'port due to the position of stress. Stress also distinguishes compounds from otherwise homonymous word-groups: 'blackbird ::, 'black 'bird. Each language also possesses certain phonological features marking word-limits.

Historical phonetics and historical phonology can be of great use in the diachronic study of synonyms, homonyms and polysemy. When sound changes loosen the ties between members of the same word-family, this is an important factor in facilitating semantic changes.

The words whole, heal, hail, for instance, are etymologically related. The word whole originally meant 'unharmed', 'imwounded'. The early verb whole meant 'to make whole', hence 'heal'. Its sense of 'healthy' led to its use as a salutation, as in hail! Having in the course of historical development lost their phonetical similarity, these words cannot now exercise any restrictive influence upon one another's semantic development. Thus, hail occurs now in the meaning of 'call', even with the purpose to stop and arrest (used by sentinels).

Meaning in its turn is indispensable to phonemic analysis because to establish the phonemic difference between [ou] and [?] it is sufficient to know that [houp] means something different from [h?p].

All these considerations are not meant to be in any way exhaustive, they can only give a general idea of the possible interdependence of the two branches of linguistics.

Stylistics, although from a different angle, studies many problems treated in lexicology. These are the problems of meaning, connotations, synonymy, functional differentiation of vocabulary according to the sphere of communication and some other issues. For a reader without some awareness of the connotations and history of words, the images hidden in their root and their stylistic properties, a substantial part of the meaning of a literary text, whether prosaic or poetic, may be lost.

Thus, for instance, the mood of despair in O. Wilde's poem "Taedium Vitae" (Weariness of Life) is felt due to an accumulation of epithets expressed by words with negative, derogatory connotations, such as: desperate, paltry, gaudy, base, lackeyed, slanderous, lowliest, meanest.

An awareness of all the characteristic features of words is not only rewarded because one can feel the effect of hidden connotations and imagery, but because without it one cannot grasp the whole essence of the message the poem has to convey.

The difference and interconnection between grammar and lexicology is one of the important controversial issues in linguistics and as it is basic to the problems under discussion in this book, it is necessary to dwell upon it a little more than has been done for phonetics and stylistics.

A close connection between lexicology and grammar is conditioned by the manifold and inseverable ties between the objects of their study. Even isolated words as presented in a dictionary bear a definite relation to the grammatical system of the language because they belong to some part of speech and conform to some lexico-grammatical characteristics of the word class to which they belong. Words seldom occur in isolation. They are arranged in certain patterns conveying the relations between the things for which they stand, therefore alongside with their lexical meaning they possess some grammatical meaning. С f. head of the committee and to head a committee.

The two kinds of meaning are often interdependent. That is to say, certain grammatical functions and meanings are possible only for the words whose lexical meaning makes them fit for these functions, and, on the other hand, some lexical meanings in some words occur only in definite grammatical functions and forms and in definite grammatical patterns.

For example, the functions of a link verb with a predicative expressed by an adjective cannot be fulfilled by every intransitive verb but are often taken up by verbs of motion: come true, fall ill, go wrong, turn red, run dry and other similar combinations all render the meaning of 'become sth'. The function is of long standing in English and can be illustrated by a line from A. Pope who, protesting against blank verse, wrote: It is not poetry, but prose run mad.

On the other hand the grammatical form and function of the word affect its lexical meaning, A well-known example is the same verb go when in the continuous tenses, followed by to and an infinitive (except go and come), it serves to express an action in the near and immediate future, or an intention of future action: You're not going to sit there saying nothing all the evening, both of you, are you? (Simpson)

Participle II of the same verb following the link verb be denotes absence: The house is gone.

In subordinate clauses after as the verb go implies comparison with the average: ... how a novel that has now had a fairly long life, as novels go, has come to be written (Maugham). The subject of the verb go in this construction is as a rule an inanimate noun.

The adjective hard followed by the infinitive of any verb means 'difficult': One of the hardest things to remember is that a man's merit in one sphere is no guarantee of his merit in another.

Lexical meanings in the above cases are said to be grammatically conditioned, and their indicating context is called syntactic or mixed. The point has attracted the attention of many authors.

The number of words in each language being very great, any lexical meaning has a much lower probability of occurrence than grammatical meanings and therefore carries the greatest amount of information in any discourse determining what the sentence is about.

W. Chafe, whose influence in the present-day semantic syntax is quite considerable, points out the many constraints which limit the co-occurrence of words. He considers the verb as of paramount importance in sentence semantic structure, and argues that it is the verb that dictates the presence and character of the noun as its subject or object. Thus, the verbs frighten, amuse and awaken can have only animate nouns as their objects.

The constraint is even narrower if we take the verbs say, talk or think for which only animate human subjects are possible. It is obvious that not all animate nouns are human.

This view is, however, if not mistaken, at least one-sided, because the opposite is also true: it may happen that the same verb changes its meaning, when used with personal (human) names and with names of objects. Compare: The new girl gave him a strange smile {she smiled at him) and The new teeth gave him a strange smile.

These are by no means the only relations of vocabulary and grammar. We shall not attempt to enumerate all the possible problems. Let us turn now to another point of interest, namely the survival of two grammatically equivalent forms of the same word when they help to distinguish between its lexical meanings. Some nouns, for instance, have two separate plurals, one keeping the etymological plural form, and the other with the usual English ending -s. For example, the form brothers is used to express the family relationship, whereas the old form brethren survives in ecclesiastical usage or serves to indicate the members of some club or society; the scientific plural of index is usually indices, in more general senses the plural is indexes. The plural of genius meaning a person of exceptional intellect is geniuses, genius in the sense of evil or good spirit has the plural form genii.

It may also happen that a form that originally expressed grammatical meaning, for example, the plural of nouns, becomes a basis for a new grammatically conditioned lexical meaning. In this new meaning it is isolated from the paradigm, so that a new word comes into being. Arms, the plural of the noun arm, for instance, has come to mean 'weapon'. E. g. to take arms against a sea of troubles (Shakespeare). The grammatical form is lexicalized; the new word shows itself capable of further development, a new grammatically conditioned meaning appears, namely, with the verb in the singular arms metonymically denotes the military profession. The abstract noun authority becomes a collective in the form authorities and denotes 'a group of persons having the right to control and govern'. Compare also colours, customs, looks, manners, pic-mures, works which are the best known examples of this isolation, or, as it is also called, lexicalization of a grammatical form. In all these words the suffix -s signals a new word with a new meaning.

It is also worthy of note that grammar and vocabulary make use of the same technique, i.e. the formal distinctive features of some derivational oppositions between different words are the same as those of oppositions contrasting different grammatical forms (in affixation, juxtaposition of stems and sound interchange). Compare, for example, the oppositions occurring in the lexical system, such as work :: worker, power :: will-power, food :: feed with grammatical oppositions: work (Inf.) :: worked (Past Ind.), pour (Inf.) :: will pour (Put. Ind.), feed (Inf.) :: fed (Past Ind.). Not only are the methods and patterns similar, but the very morphemes are often homonymous. For example, alongside the derivational suffixes -en, one of which occurs in adjectives (wooden), and the other in verbs (strengthen), there are two functional suffixes, one for Participle II (written), the other for the archaic plural form (oxen),

Furthermore, one and the same word may in some of its meanings function as a notional word, while in others it may be a form word, i.e. it may serve to indicate the relationships and functions of other words. Compare, for instance, the notional and the auxiliary do in the following: What you do's nothing to do with me, it doesn't interest me.

Last but not least all grammatical meanings have a lexical counterpart that expresses the same concept. The concept of futurity may be lexically expressed in the words future, tomorrow, by and by, time to come, hereafter or grammatically in the verbal forms shall come and will come. Also plurality may be described by plural forms of various words: houses, boys, books от: lexically by the words: crowd, party, company, group, set, etc.

The ties between lexicology and grammar are particularly strong in the sphere of word-formation which before lexicology became a separate branch of linguistics had even been considered as part of grammar. The characteristic features of English word-building, the morphological structure of the English word are dependent upon the peculiarity of the English grammatical system. The analytical character of the language is largely responsible for the wide spread of conversion1 and for the remarkable flexibility of the vocabulary manifest in the ease with which many nonce-words2 are formed on the spur of the moment.

This brief account of the interdependence between the two important parts of linguistics must suffice for the present. In future we shall have to return to the problem and treat some parts of it more extensively.

I. Lexical System of the English language

1.1 The Definition of the Word

Although the borderline between various linguistic units is not always sharp and clear, we shall try to define every new term on its first Ippearance at once simply and unambiguously, if not always very rigorously. The approximate definition of the term word has already been given in the opening page of the book.

The important point to remember about definitions is that should indicate the most essential characteristic features of the notion expressed by the term under discussion, the features by which I In notion is distinguished from other similar notions. For instance, in defining the word one must distinguish it from other linguistic units, such as the phoneme, the morpheme, or the word-group. In contrast with a definition, a description aims at enumerating all the es-'iiiuil features of a notion.

To make things easier we shall begin by a preliminary description, illustrating it with some examples.

The word may be described as the basic unit of language. Uniting nr and form, it is composed of one or more morphemes, each consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation. Morphemes as we have already said are also meaningful units but they cannot be used independently, they are always parts of words whereas и nl as a complete utterance (e. g. Listen!). The combinations of morphemes within words are subject to certain linking conditions. When a derivational affix is added a new word is formed, thus, listen and listener are different words. In fulfilling different grammaticalfunctions words may take functional affixes: listen and listened are different forms of the same word. Different forms of the same word can be also built analytically with the help of auxiliaries. E. g.: The world should listen then as I am listening now (Shelley).

When used in sentences together with other words they are syntactically organized. Their freedom of entering into syntactic constructions is limited by many factors, rules and constraints (e. g.: They told me this story but not * They spoke me this story).

The definition of every basic notion is a very hard task: the definition of a word is one of the most difficult in linguistics because the simplest word has many different aspects. It has a sound form because it is a certain arrangement of phonemes;it has its morphological structure, being also a certain arrangement of morphemes; when used in actual speech, it may occur in different word forms, different syntactic functions and signal various meanings. Being the central element of any language system, the word is a sort of focus for the problems of phonology, lexicology, syntax, morphology and also for some other sciences that have to deal with language and speech, such as philosophy and psychology, and probably quite a few other branches of knowledge. All attempts to characterize the world are necessarily specific for each domain of science and are therefore considered one-sided by the representatives of all the other domains and criticized for incompleteness. The variants of definitions were so numerous that some authors (A. Rossetti, D.N. Shmelev) collecting them produced works of impressive scope and bulk.

A few examples will suffice to show that any definition is conditioned by the aims and interests of its author.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), one of the hreat English philosophers, revealed a materialistic approach to the peoblem of nomination when he wrote that words are not mere sounds but names of matter. Three centuries later the great Russian physiologist I.P. Pavlov (1849-1936) examined the word in connection with his studies of the second signal system, and defined it as a universal signal that can substitute any other signal from the environment in evoking a response in a human organism. One of the latest developments of science and engineering is machine translation. It also deals with words and requires a rigorous definition for them. It runs as follows: a word is a sequence of graphemes which can occur between spaces, or the representation of such a sequence on morphemic level.

Within the scope of linguistics the word has been defined syntactically, semantically, phonologically and by combining various approaches.

It has been syntactically defined for instance as “the minimum sentence” by H. Sweet and much later by L. Bloomfield as “a minimum free form”. This last definition, although structural in orientation, may be said to be, to a certain degree, equivalent to Sweet's, as practically it amounts to the same thing: free forms are later defined as “forms which occur as sentences”.

E. Sapir takes into account consideration the syntactic aspects when he calls the word “one of the smallst completely satisfying bits of isolated `meaning', into which the sentence resolves itself”. Sapir also points out one more, very important characteristic of the word, its indivisibility: “It cannot be cut into without a disturbance of meaning, one or two other both of the several parts remaining as a helpless waif on our hands”. The essence of indivisibility will be clear from a comparison of the article a and the prefix a- in a lion and alive. A lion is a word-group because we can separate its elements and insert other words between them: a living lion, a dead lion. Alive is a word: it is indivisible, i.e. structurally impermeable: nothing can be inserted between its elements. The morpheme a- is not free, is not a word. The situation becomes more complicated if we cannot be guided by solid spelling. “The Oxford English Dictionary”, for instance, does not include the reciprocal pronouns each other and one another under separate headings, although they should certainly be analysed as word-units, not as word-groups since they have become indivisible: we now say with each other and with one another instead of the older forms one with another or each with the other. Sapir E. Language. An Introduction to the Study of speech. London, 1921, P. 35

A purely semantic treatment will be found in Stephen Ullmann's explanation: with him connected discourse, if analysed from the semantic point of view, “will fall into a certain number of meaningful segments which are ultimately composed of meaningful units. These meaningful units are called words”. Ullmann St. The principles of Semantics. Glasgow, 1957. P. 30.

Summing up our review of different definitions, we come to the conclusion that they are bound to be strongly dependent upon the line of approach, the aim the scholar has in view. For a comprehensive word theory, therefore, a description seems more appropriate than a definition.

The problem of creating a word theory based upon the materialistic understanding of the relationship between word and thought on the one hand, and languahe and society, on the other, has been one of the most discussed for many years. The efforts of many eminent scholars such as V.V. Vinogradov, A.I. Smirnitsky, O.S. Akhmanova, M.D. Stepanova - to name but a few, resulted in throwing light on this problem and achieved a clear presentation of the word as a basic unit of the language. The main points may now be summarized.

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 generalized and approximately correct reflections of reality; therefore in signifying them words reflect reality in their content.

The acoustic aspect of the word serves to name objects of reality, not to reflect them. In this sense the word may be regarded as a sign. This sign, however, is not arbitrary but motivated by the whole process of its development. That is to say, when a word first comes into existence it is built out of the elements already available in the language and according to the existing patterns.

1.2 Denotative and Connotative Meaning

In the previous paragraphs we emphasized the complexity of word meaning and mentioned its possible segmentation into denotative and connotative meaning. In this paragraph we shall analyse these in greater detail. In most cases the denotative meaning is essentially cognitive: it conceptualizes and classifies our experience and names for the listener some objects spoken about. Fulfilling the significative and the communicative functions of the word it is present in every word and may be regarded as the central factor in the functioning of language.

The expressive function of the language with its orientation towards the speaker's feelings, and the pragmatic function dealing with the effect of words upon listeners are rendered in connotations. Unlike the denotative meaning, connotations are optional.

The description of the denotative meaning or meanings is the duty of lexicographers in unilingual explanatory dictionaries. The task is a difficult one because there is no clear-cut demarcation line between the semantic features, strictly necessary for each definition, and those that are optional. A glance at the definitions given in several dictionaries will suffice to show how much they differ in solving the problem. A cat, for example, is defined by Hornby as "a small fur-covered animal often kept as a pet in the house". Longman in his dictionary goes into greater detail: a cat is "a small animal with soft fur and sharp teeth and claws, often kept as a pet, or in buildings to catch mice". The Chambers Dictionary gives a scientific definition -- "a cat is a carnivore of the genus Felix, esp. the domesticated kind".

The examples given above bring us to one more difficult problem. Namely, whether in analysing a meaning we should be guided by all that science knows about the referent, or whether a linguist has to formulate the simplest possible concept as used by every speaker. If so, what are the features necessary and sufficient to characterize the referent? The question was raised by many prominent scientists, the great Russian philologist A. A. Potebnya maintained that linguistics is concerned only with the first type.The problem is by no means simple, especially for lexicographers, as is readily seen from the above lexicographic treatment of the word cat.

The demarcation line between the two types is becoming more fluid; with the development of culture the gap between the elementary notions of a layman and the more and more exact concepts of a specialist narrows in some spheres and widens in others. The concepts themselves are constantly changing. The speakers' ideolects vary due to different life experience, education and other extra-linguistic factors.

The bias of studies depends upon their ultimate goals.

If lexicology is needed as the basis for language teaching in engineering colleges, we have to concentrate on terminological semantics, if on the other hand it is the theory necessary for teaching English at school, the meaning with the minimum semantic components is of primary importance. So we shall have to concentrate on this in spite of all its fuzziness.

Now, if the denotative meaning exists by virtue of what the word refers to, connotation is the pragmatic communicative value the word receives by virtue of where, when, how, by whom, for what purpose and in what contexts it is or may be used. Four main types of connotations are described below. They are stylistic, emotional, evaluative and expressive or intensifying.

The orientation toward the subject-matter, characteristic, as we have seen, of the denotative meaning, is substituted here by pragmatic orientation toward speaker and listener; it is not so much what is spoken about as the attitude to it that matters.

When associations at work concern the situation in which the word is uttered, the social circumstances (formal, familiar, etc.), the social relationships between the interlocutors (polite, rough), the type and purpose of communication (learned, poetic, official, etc.), the connotation is stylistic.

An effective method of revealing connotations is the analysis of synonymic groups, where the identity of denotational meanings makes it possible to separate the connotational overtones. A classical example for showing stylistic connotations is the noun horse and its synonyms. The word horse is stylistically neutral, its synonym steed is poetic, nag is a word of slang and gee-gee is baby language.

An emotional or affective connotation is acquired by the word as a result of its frequent use in contexts corresponding to emotional situations or because the referent conceptualized and named in the denotative meaning is associated with emotions. For example, the verb beseech means 'to ask eagerly and also anxiously'. E. g.: He besought a favour of the judge (Longman).

Evaluative connotation expresses approval or disapproval.

Making use of the same procedure of comparing elements of a synonymic group, one compares the words magic, witchcraft and sorcery, all originally denoting art and power of controlling events by occul supernatural means, we see that all three words are now used mostly figuratively, and also that magic as compared to its synonyms will hav glamorous attractive connotations, while the other two, on the contrary, have rather sinister associations.

It is not claimed that these four types of connotations: stylistic, emotional, evaluative and intensifying form an ideal and complet classification. Many other variants have been proposed, but the on suggested here is convenient for practical analysis and well supported by facts. It certainly is not ideal. There is some difficulty for instance in separating the binary good/bad evaluation from connotations of the so-called bias words involving ideological viewpoints. Bias words are especially characteristic of the newspaper vocabulary reflecting different ideologies and political trends in describing political life. Some authors think these connotations should be taken separately.

The term bias words is based on the meaning of the noun bias 'an inclination for or against someone or something, a prejudice', e. g. a newspaper with a strong conservative bias.

The following rather lengthy example is justified, because it gives a more or less complete picture of the phenomenon. E. Waugh in his novel "Scoop" satirizes the unfairness of the Press. A special correspondent is sent by a London newspaper to report on a war in a fictitious African country Ishmalia. He asks his editor for briefing:

"Can you tell me who is fighting whom in Ishmalia?"

"I think it is the Patriots and the Traitors."

"Yes, but which is which?"

"Oh, I don't know that. That's Policy, you see [...] You should have asked Lord Copper."

"I gather it's between the Reds and the Blacks."

"Yes, but it's not quite so easy as that. You see they are all Negroes. And tlie Fascists won't be called black because of their racial pride. So they are called White after the White Russians. And the Bolshevists want to be called black because of their racial pride." (Waugh)

The example shows that connotations are not stable and vary considerably according to the ideology, culture and experience of the individual. Even apart of this satirical presentation we learn from Barn-hart's dictionary that the word black meaning 'a negro', which used to lie Impolite and derogatory, is now upgraded by civil rights movement through the use of such slogans as "Black is Beautiful" or "Black Power".

A linguistic proof of an existing unpleasant connotation is the appearance of euphemisms. Thus backward students are now called underachievers. Countries with a low standard of living were first called undeveloped, but euphemisms quickly lose their polite character and the unpleasant connotations are revived, and then they are replaced by new euphemisms such as less developed and then as developing countries.

A fourth type of connotation that should be mentioned is the intensifying connotation (also expressive, emphatic). Thus magnificent, gorgeous, splendid, superb are all used colloquially ae terms of exaggeration.

We often come across words that have two or three types of connotations at once, for example the word beastly as in beastly wzather or beastly cold is emotional, colloquial, expresses censure and intensity.

Sometimes emotion or evaluation is expressed in the style of the utterance. The speaker may adopt an impolite tone conveying displeasure (e. g. Shut up\). A casual tone may express friendliness о r affection: Sit down, kid […] There, there -- just you sit tight (Chris tie).

This phenomenon of co-occurrence has often led scholars not to differentiate connotations but taking them together call all of them stylistic or emotional, or some other term. If we take into consideration that all semantic analysis presupposes segmenting meanings that come together (grammatical and lexical meaning, for instance), and also that each of the types may occur separately and in various combinations with two or three others producing different effects, it becomes clear that they should be differentiated.

The interdependence of connotations with denotative meaning is also different for different types of connotations. Thus, for instance, emotional connotation comes into being on the basis of denotative meaning but in the course of time may tend to supersede it and even substitute it by other types of connotation with general emphasis, evaluation and colloquial stylistic overtone. E. g. terrific which originally meant 'frightening' is now a colloquialism meaning 'very, very good* or 'very great': terrific beauty, terrific pleasure.

The evaluative connotation, when based on the denotative meaning, does not always supersede it but functions together with it, though changing it as we have seen in the above example. This type of connotation is strongly dependent upon the functional style. It is almost absent in learned literature and very frequent in colloquial speech and newspapers. Intensification may become the denotative meaning of a word and occur without other types of meaning (ever, quite, absolutely).

A connotation may form the usual feature of a word as it exists in the vocabulary or appears occasionally in some context and be absent in the same word in other contexts. In every case it is actualized and takes part in the sense of the utterance. It differs in this from the impli-cational meaning of the word. Implicational meaning (see p. 41) is the implied information associated with the word by virtue of what it refers to and what the speakers know about the referent. It remains a potential, a possibility until it is realized in secondary nomination -- in some figurative meaning or in a derivative. A wolf is known to be greedy and cruel but the denotative meaning of this word does not necessarily include these features. We shall understand the inten-sional if we are told that it is a wild animal resembling a dog that kills sheep and sometimes even attacks men. Its figurative meaning is derived from what we know about wolves -- 'a cruel greedy person', also the adjective wolfisli means 'greedy'.

The semantic structure of polysemantic words

Polysemy is characteristic of most words in many languages, however different they may be. But it is more characteristic of the English vocabulary as compared with Russian, due to the monosyllabic character of English and the predominance of root words. The greater the relative frequency of the word, the greater the number of variants that constitute its semantic structure, i.e. the more polysemantic it is. This regularity is of course a statistical, not a rigid one.

Word counts show that the total number of meanings separately registered in NED for the first thousand of the most frequent English words is almost 25,000, i.e. the average number of meanings for each of these most frequent words is 25.

Consider some of the variants of a very frequent, and consequently polysemantic word run. We define the main variant as 'to go by moving the legs quickly' as in: Tired as I was, I began to run frantically home. The lexical meaning does not change in the forms ran or running. The basic meaning may be extended to inanimate things: / caught the bus that runs between С and B; or the word run may be used figuratively: // makes the blood run cold. Both the components 'on foot' and 'quickly' are suppressed in these two last examples, as well as in The car runs on petrol. The idea of motion remains but it is reduced to 'operate or function'. The difference of meaning is reflected in the difference of syntactic valency. It is impossible to use this variant about humans and say: *We humans run on food. The active-passive transformation is possible when the meaning implies 'management': The Co-op runs this self-service shop -- This self-service shop is run by the Co-op, but *I was run by home is obviously nonsense.

The component 'speed' is important in the following:

Then though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run (MarvelI).

There are other variants of run where there is no implication of speed or `on foot' or motion of any kind but the seme of direction is retained: On the other side of the stream the bank ran up steeply. *The bank ran without the implication of direction is meaningless. There are also other variants of the verb run, they all have something in common with some of the others. To sum up: though there is no single semantic component common to all the lexico-srmantic variants of the verb run, every variant has something in common with at least one of the others.

Every meaning in language and every difference in meaning is signaled either by the form of the word itself or by context, i.s. its syntagmatic relations depending on the position in the spoken chain. The unity of the two facets of a linguistic sign - its form and its content in the case of a polysemantic word - is kept in its lexico-grammatical variant.

No universally accepted criteria for differentiating these variants within one polysemantic word can so far be offered, although the problem has lately attracted a great deal of attention. The main points can be summed up as follows: lexico-grammatical variants of a word are its variants characterized by paradigmatic or morphological peculiarities, different valency, different syntactic functions; very often they belong to different lexico-grammatical groups of the same part of speech. Thus run is intransitive in / ran home, but transitive in / run this office. Some of the variants demand an object naming some vehicle, or some adverbials of direction, and so on.

All the lexical and lexico-grammatical variants of a word taken together form its semantic structure or semantic paradigm. Thus, in the semantic structure of the word youth three lexico-grammatical variants may be distinguished: the first is an abstract uncountable noun, as in the friends of one's youth, the second is a countable personal noun 'a young man' (plural youths) that can be substituted by the pronoun he in the singular and they in the plural; the third is a collective noun 'young men and women' having only one form, that of the singular, substituted by the pronoun they. Within the first lexico-grammatical variant two shades of meaning can be distinguished with two different referents, one denoting the state of being young, and the other the time of being young. These shades of meaning are recognized due to the lexical peculiarities of distribution and sometimes are blended together as in to feel that one's youth has gone, where both the time and the state can be meant. These variants form a structured set because they are expressed by the same sound complex and are interrelated in meaning as they all contain the semantic component 'young' and can be explained by means of one another.

No general or complete scheme of types of lexical meaning as elements of a word's semantic structure has so far been accepted by linguists. Linguistic literature abounds in various terms reflecting various points of view. The following terms may be found with different authors: the meaning is direct when it nominates the referent without the help of a context, in isolation, i.e. in one word sentences. The meaning is figurative when the object is named and at the same time characterized through its similarity with another object. Note the word characterized: it is meant to point out that when used figuratively a word, while naming an object simultaneously describes it.

Other oppositions are concrete:: abstract; main/ primary :: secondary; central:: peripheric; narrow::extended; genera1 : : specia1/ partiсu1ar, and so on. One readily sees that in each of these the basis of classification is different, although there is one point they have in common. In each case the comparison takes place within the semantic structure of one word. They are characterized one against the other.

Take, for example, the noun screen. We find it in its direct meaning when it names a movable piece of furniture used to hide something or protect somebody, as in the case of fire-screen placed in front of a fireplace. The meaning is figurative when the word is applied to anything which protects by hiding, as in smoke screen. We define this meaning as figurative comparing it to the first that we called direct. Again, when by a screen the speaker means 'a silver-coloured sheet on which pictures are shown', this meaning in comparison with the main/primary will be secondary. When the same word is used attributively in such combinations as screen actor, screen star, screen version, etc., it comes to mean 'pertaining to the cinema' and is abstract in comparison with the first meaning which is concrete. The main meaning is that which possesses the highest frequency at the present stage of vocabulary development. All these terms reflect relationships existing between different meanings of a word at the same period, so the classification may be called synchronic and paradigmatic, although the terms used are borrowed from historical lexicology and stylistics.1

If the variants are classified not only by comparing them inside the semantic structure of the word but according to the style and sphere of language in which they may occur, if they have stylistic connotations, the classification is stylistical. All the words are classified into stylistically neutral and stylistically coloured. The latter may be classified into bookish and colloquial, bookish styles in their turn may be (a) general, (b) poetical, (c) scientific or learned, while colloquial styles are subdivided into (a) literary colloquial, (b) familiar colloquia1, (c) slang.

If we are primarily interested in the historical perspective, the meanings will be classified according to their genetic characteristic and their growing or diminishing role in the language. In this way the following terms are used: etymological, i.e. the earliest known meaning; archaic, i.e. the meaning superseded at present by a newer one but still remaining in certain collocations; obsolete, gone out of use; present-day meaning, which is the one most frequent in the present-day language and the original meaning serving as basis for the derived ones. It is very important to pay attention to the fact that one and the same meaning can at once belong, in accordance with different points, to different groups. These features of meaning may therefore serve as distinctive features describing each meaning in its relationship to the others.

Diachronic and synchronic ties are thus closely interconnected as the new meanings are understood thanks to their motivation by the older meanings.

Hornby's dictionary, for instance, distinguishes in the word witness bill different variants, which may be described as follows.

witness Some authors call relations within one word - epidigmatic. See p. 41 'evidence, testimony' -- a direct, abstract, primary meaning

witness 'a person who has first-hand knowledge of an event and is able to describe it' -- a metonymical, concrete, secondary meaning

witness ` a person who gives evidence under oath in a law court' - a metonymical, concrete, secondary meaning specialized from witness (in the first case)

witness 'a person who puts his signature to a document by the side of that of the chief person who signs it' a inelonyniical, concrete, secondary meaning specialized from witness (in the second case)

Polysemy is a phenomenon of language not of speech. The sum total of many contexts in which the word is observed to occur permits the lexicographers to record cases of identical meaning and cases that differ in meaning. They are registered by lexicographers and found in dictionaries.

A distinction has to be drawn between the lexical meaning of a word in speech, we shall call it contextual meaning, and the semantic structure of a word in language. Thus the semantic structure of the verb act comprises several variants: 'do something', 'behave', ' take a part in a play', 'pretend'. If one examines this word in the following aphorism: Some men have acted courage who had it not; but no man can act wit (Halifax), one sees it in a definite context that particularizes it and makes possible only one meaning 'pretend'. This contextual meaning has a connotation of irony. The unusual grammatical meaning of transitivity (act is as a rule

intransitive) and the lexical meaning of objects to this verb make a slight difference in the lexical meaning.

As a rule the contextual meaning represents only one of the possible variants of the word but this one variant may render a complicated notion or emotion analyzable into several semes. In this case we deal not with the semantic structure of the word but with the semantic structure of one of its meanings. Polysemy does not interfere with the communicative function of the language because the situation and context cancel all the unwanted meanings.

Sometimes, as, for instance in puns, the ambiguity is intended; the words are purposefully used so as to emphasize their different meanings. Consider the replica of lady Constance, whose son, Arthur Plan-tagenet is betrayed by treacherous allies:

LYMOGES (Duke of Austria): Lady Constance, peace!

CONSTANCE: War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war (Shakespeare).

In the time of Shakespeare peace as an interjection meant `Silence!' But Lady Constance takes up the main meaning -- the antonym of war.

Geoffrey Leech uses the term reflected meaning for what is communicated through associations with another sense of the same word, that is all cases when one meaning of the word forms part of the listener's response to another meaning. G. Leech illustrates his point by the following example. Hearing in the Church Service the expression The Holy Ghost, he found his reaction conditioned by the everyday unreligious and awesome meaning 'the shade of a dead person supposed to visit the living". The case where reflected meaning intrudes due to suggestivity of the expression may be also illustrated by taboo words and euphemisms connected with the physiology of sex.

Consider also the following joke, based on the clash of different meanings of the word expose ('leave unprotected', 'put up for show', 'reveal the guilt of). E. g.: Painting is the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.

Or, a similar case: "Why did they hang this picture?" "Perhaps, they could not find the artist."

Contextual meanings include nonce usage. Nonce words are words invented and used for a particular occasion.

The study of means and ways of naming the elements of reality is called о n о m a s i о 1 о g у. As worked out in some recent publications it received the name of Theory of Nomination. The problem was studied by W. Humboldt (1767-1835) who called the feature chosen as the basis of nomination - the inner form of the word. So if semasiology studies what it is the name points out, onomasiology and the theory of nomination have to show how the objects receive their names and what features are chosen to represent them.

Originally the nucleus of the theory concerned names for objects, and first of all concrete nouns. Later on a discussion began, whether actions, properties, emotions and so on should be included as well. The question was answered affirmatively as there is no substantial difference in the reflection in our mind of things and their properties or different events. Everything that can be named or expressed verbally is considered in the theory of nomination. Vocabulary constitutes the central problem but syntax, morphology and phonology also have their share. The theory of nomination takes into account that the same referent may receive various names according to the information required at the moment by the process of communication, e. g. Walter Scott and the author of Waver ley (to use an example known to many generations of linguists). According to the theory of nomination every name has its primary function for which it was created (primary or direct nomination), and an indirect or secondary function corresponding to all types of figurative, extended or special meanings.

The aspect of theory of nomination that has no counterpart in semasiology is the study of repeated nomination in the same text, as, for instance, when Ophelia is called by various characters of the tragedy: fair Ophelia, sweet maid, dear maid, nymph, kind sister, rose of May, poor Ophelia, lady, sweet lady, pretty lady, and so on.

To sum up this discussion of the semantic structure of a word, we return to its definition as a structured set of interrelated lexical variants with different denotational and sometimes also connotational meanings. These variants belong to the same set because they are expressed by the same combination of morphemes, although in different contextual conditions.

The elements are interrelated due to the existence of some common semantic component. In other words, the word's semantic structure Il an organized whole comprised by recurrent meanings and shades of meaning that a particular sound complex can assume in different con-lexis, together with emotional, stylistic and other connotations, if any.

Every meaning is thus characterized according to the function, significative or pragmatic effect that it has to fulfil as denotative and eonnolalive meaning referring the word to the extra-linguistic reality and to the speaker, and also with respect to other meanings with which It is contrasted.

The hierarchy of lexico-grammatical variants and shades of meaning within the semantic structure of a word is studied with the help of formulas establishing semantic distance between them developed by N. A. Shehtman and other authors.

1.3 Types of semantic change

lexicology phonetic synonymic word

In what follows we shall deal in detail with various types of semantic change. This is necessary not only because of the interest the various cases present in themselves but also because a thorough knowledge of these possibilities helps one to understand the semantic structure of English words at the present stage of their development. The development and change of the semantic structure of a word is always a source of qualitative and quantitative development of the vocabulary.

All the types discussed depend upon some comparison of the earlier (whether extinct or still in use) and the new meaning of the given word. This comparison may be based on the difference between the concepts expressed or referents in the real world that are pointed out, on the t\pe of psychological association at work, on evaluation of the latter by the speaker, on lexico-grammatical categories or, possibly, on some other feature.

The order in which various types are described will follow more or less closely the diachronic classification of M. Breal and H. Paul. No attempt at a new classification is considered necessary. There seems to be no point in augmenting the number of unsatisfactory schemes already offered in literature. The treatment is therefore traditional.

M. Breal was probably the first to emphasize the fact that in passing from general usage into some special sphere of communication a word as a rule undergoes some sort of specialization of its meaning. The word case, for instance, alongside its general meaning of 'circumstances in which a person or a thing is' possesses special meanings: in law ('a law suit'), in grammar (e. g. the Possessive case), in medicine ('a patient', 'an illness'). Compare the following: One of Charles's cases had been a child ill with a form of diphtheria (Snow). (case= 'a patient') The Solicitor whom I met at the Rolfords' sent me a case which any young man at my stage would have thought himself lucky to get (Idem), (case = 'a question decided in a court of law, a law suit')

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