Шпоры по лексикологии английского языка - файл 1-2-3-4-5.doc

Шпоры по лексикологии английского языка
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1-2-3-4-5.doc

1. Lexicology (from Gr lexis ‘word’ and logos ‘learning’) is the part of linguistics dealing with the vocabulary of the language and the properties of words as the main units of language. The term v o c a b u l ar y is used to denote the system formed by the sum total of all the words and word equivalents that the language possesses. The term word denotes the basic unit of a given language resulting from the association of a particular meaning with a particular group of sounds capable of a particular grammatical employment. A word therefore is simultaneously a semantic, grammatical and phonological unit.

The general study of words and vocabulary, irrespective of the specific features of any particular language, is known as general lexicology. Linguistic phenomena and properties common to all languages are generally referred to as language universals.

Special lexicology devotes its attention to the description of the characteristic peculiarities in the vocabulary of a given language. It goes without saying that every special lexicology is based on the principles of general lexicology, and the latter forms a part of general linguistics.

2. The fifth century A. D. Several of the Germanic tribes (the most numerous amongst them being the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes) migrated across the sea now known as the English Channel to the British Isles. There they were confronted by the Celts, the original inhabitants of the Isles. The Celts desperately defended their lands against the invaders, but they were no match for the military-minded Teutons and gradually yielded most of their territory. They retreated to the North and South-West (modern Scotland, Wales and Cornwall). Through their numerous contacts with the defeated Celts, the conquerors got to know and assimilated a number of Celtic words (Mod. E. bald, down, glen, druid, bard, cradle). Especially numerous among the Celtic borrowings were place names, names of rivers, bills, etc. The Germanic tribes occupied the land, but the names of many parts and features of their territory remained Celtic. For instance, the names of the rivers Avon, Exe, Esk, Usk, Ux originate from Celtic words meaning "river" and "water".

Ironically, even the name of the English capital originates from Celtic Llyn + dun in which llyn is another Celtic word for "river" and dun stands for "a fortified hill", the meaning of the whole being "fortress on the hill over the river".

Some Latin words entered the Anglo-Saxon languages through Celtic, among them such widely-used words as street (Lat. strata via) and wall (Lat. vallum).

3. The seventh century A. D. This century was significant for the christianisation of England. Latin was the official language of the Christian church, and consequently the spread of Christianity was accompanied by a new period of Latin borrowings. These no longer came from spoken Latin as they did eight centuries earlier, but from church Latin. Also, these new Latin borrowings were very different in meaning from the earlier ones. They mostly indicated persons, objects and ideas associated with church and religious rituals. E. g. priest (Lai. presbyter), bishop (Lai. episcopus), monk (Lat. monachus), nun (Lai. nonna), candle (Lai. candela).

Additionally, in a class of their own were educational terms. It was quite natural that these were also Latin borrowings, for the first schools in England were church schools, and the first teachers priests and monks. So, the very word school is a Latin borrowing (Lat. schola, of Greek origin) and so are such words as scholar (Lai. scholar(-is) and magister (Lat. ma-gister).

4. The internal structure of the word, or its meaning, is nowadays commonly referred to as the word's semantic structure. This is certainly the word's main aspect. Words can serve the purposes of human communication solely due to their meanings, and it is most unfortunate when this fact is ignored by some contemporary scholars who, in their obsession with the fetish of structure tend to condemn as irrelevant anything that eludes mathematical analysis. And this is exactly what meaning, with its subtle variations and shifts, is apt to do.

The area of lexicology specialising in the semantic studies of the word is called semantics.

Generally speaking, meaning can be more or less described as a component of the word through which a concept is communicated, in this way endowing the word with the ability of denoting real objects, qualities, actions and abstract notions.

It is generally known that most words convey several concepts and thus possess the corresponding number of meanings. A word having several meanings is called polysemantic, and the ability of words to have more than one meaning is described by the term polysemy.

Polysemy is certainly not an anomaly. Most English words are polysemantic. It should be noted that the wealth of expressive

resources of a language largely depends on the degree to which polysemy has developed in the language. Sometimes people who are not very well informed in linguistic matters claim that a language is lacking in words if the need arises for the same word to be applied to several different phenomena. In actual fact, it is exactly the opposite: if each word is found to be capable of conveying, let us say, at least two concepts instead of one, the expressive potential of the whole vocabulary increases twofold. Hence, a well-developed polysemy is not a drawback but a great advantage in a language.

Dull, adj.

I. Uninteresting, monotonous, boring; e. g. a dull book, a dull film.

II. Slow in understanding, stupid; e. g. a dull student.

III.Not clear or bright; e. g. dull weather, a dull day, a dull colour.

IV.Not loud or distinct; e. g. a dull sound. V. Not sharp; e. g. a dull knife.

VI. Not active; e. g. Trade is dull.

VII. Seeing badly; e. g. dull eyes (arch.).

VIII, Hearing badly; e. g. dull ears (arch.),

5.Classification of suffixes

Suffixation is the formation of words with the help of suffixes;

1) The first principle of classification that, one might say, suggests itself is the part of speech formed. Within the scope of the part-of-speech classification suffixes naturally fall into several groups such as:

a) noun-suffixes, i.e. those forming or occurring in nouns, e.g. -er, -dom, -ness, -ation, etc. (teacher, Londoner, freedom, brightness, justification, etc.);

b) adjective-suffixes, i.e. those forming or occurring in adjectives, e.g. -able, -less, -ful, -ic, -ous, etc. (agreeable, careless, doubtful, poetic, courageous, etc.);

c) verb-suffixesTi.e. those forming or occurring in verbs, e.g. -en, -fy, -ize (darken, satisfy, harmonize, etc.);

d) adverb-suffixes, i.e. those forming or occurring in adverbs, e.g.-ly, -ward (quickly, eastward, etc.).

2) Suffixes may also be classified into various groups according to the lexico-grammatical character of the base the affix is usually added to. Proceeding from this principle one may divide suffixes into:

a) deverbal suffixes (those added to the verbal base), e.g. -er, -ing,

-ment, -able, etc. (speaker, reading, agreement, suitable, etc.);

b) denominal suffixes (those added to the noun base), e.g. -less, -ish,

-ful, -ist, -some, etc. (handless, childish, mouthful, violinist, trouble

some, etc.);

c) de-adjectival suffixes (those affixed to the adjective base), e.g.1

-en, -ly, -ish, -ness, etc. (blacken, slowly, reddish, brightness, etc.).

3) A classification of suffixes may also be based on the criterion of sense expressed by a set of suffixes. Proceeding from this principle suffixes are classified into various groups within the bounds of a certain part of speech. For instance, noun-suffixes fall into those denoting:

a) the agent of an action, e.g. -er, -ant (baker, dancer, defendant,

etc.);

c) appurtenance, e.g. -an, -ian, -ese, etc. (Arabian, Elizabethan, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.); collectivity, e.g. -age, -dom, -ery (-ry), etc. (freightage, officialdom, peasantry, etc.);

d) diminutiveness, e.g. -ie, -let, -ling, etc. (birdie, girlie, cloudlet, squireling, wolfling, etc.).

4) Still another classification of suffixes may be worked out if one examines them from the angle of stylistic reference. Just like prefixes, suffixes are also characterized by quite a definite stylistic reference falling into two basic classes:

a) those characterized by neutral stylistic reference such as -able, -er, -ing, etc.;

b) those having a certain stylistic value such as -oid, -i/form, -aceous, -tron, etc.
5)Suffixes are also classified as to the degree of their productivity.
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