General Characteristics of Lexicology
The connection of lexicology with other branches of linguistics. Modern Methods of Vocabulary Investigation. General characteristics of English vocabulary. The basic word-stock. Influence of Russian on the English vocabulary. Etymological doublets.
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1. General Characteristics of Lexicology and English Vocabulary
a) The Value of Lexicology.
Lexicology has a practical and a theoretical value.
The knowledge of lexicology is required by philology researchers who study the structure of the language. They must understand the structure of the lexico-semantic system; they must know the morphological patterns of the language, word-meanings and the tendencies in their development. The knowledge of lexicology is required in training teachers as teachers must understand the laws of the language. In order to teach pupils a teacher should select the most frequent words and phrases. To adapt a text for pupils a teacher needs synonyms, antonyms.
A teacher must answer pupils' numerous questions, e.g. What does the abbreviation CNN mean? (Cable News Network).
The knowledge of lexicology is needed for lexicography (the branch of linguistics that studies dictionary-making).
Lexicology studies vocabulary as a system and shows the structure of this system. Lexicology studies the theory of meaning. Lexicology helps us to see how our cognition is reflected in the vocabulary system.
b) The connection of lexicology with other branches of linguistics.
Connection with Phonetics. A change in the phonetical form reflects a change in meaning, сf. a boy aged [eiGd] ten - «десятилетний мальчик», but: an aged [eiGid] man «пожилой человек», the poor and the aged [eiGid] «бедные и пожилые люди».
Connection with Grammar. A change in the grammatical form sometimes can lead to a change in meaning, cf. arm «рука» - arms «оружие», look «взгляд» - looks «внешний вид», colour «цвет» - colours «знамя», work «работа» - works «фабрика», picture «картина» - pictures «кино», pain «боль» - pains «усилия» (take pains «предпринимать усилия», «стараться»; No pains, no gains «без труда не вынешь и рыбку из пруда»), drop «капля» - drops «лекарство», сheer «бодриться» - Сheers! «Будем здоровы!» (тост).
Connection with the History of the Language. The History of the language accounts for many phenomena in the structure of modern English, e.g. homonymy. Cf. loven - lovev (< lufun, lufianv); answern - answerv (< answarun, answarianv).
c) Synchronic and diachronic lexicology.
Units of modern English vocabulary can be studied synchronically (i.e. in the present-day system of the English language). For instance, if we study the verb to tell synchronically we shall learn that it is linked with other verbs of speaking: say, talk.
If we study the verb to tell diachronically we shall learn that in Old English to tell meant «считать». The old meaning can be found in its derivatives and phrases: teller «кассир»; pay at the tell «платить в кассе»; thirty people all told «в целом 30 человек». When the verb to count was borrowed from French the verb to tell changed its meaning.
d) Modern Methods of Vocabulary Investigation.
1. Contextual analysis. Compare the meanings of the word coat in the following contexts: 1) my new coat («пальто»), 2) dog's coat («шерсть»), 3) coat («слой») of paint. Each of the contexts has certain elements which indicate one meaning of the word coat: my in context 1, dog's in context 2, paint in context 3. Contextual analysis consists in finding elements of the context which indicate one meaning of a polysemantic word. Contextual analysis shows that in the following contexts the words floor, boxing have different meanings, cf. room floor («пол») - ocean floor («дно»); Boxing («дарение подарков в коробочках») Day - boxing («бокс») competition.
2. Method of oppositions, Lexicology uses lexical oppositions, i.e. it contrasts words or phrases to see the difference in their meaning or morphological structure, e.g. coat1 (in: dog's coat) vs. coat2 (in: coat of paint).
3. Componential analysis. Componential analysis aims at dividing the word meaning into some smallest components of meaning (semes).
4. Statistical methods. Statistical methods are based on mathematical methods of computing. Statistical methods are used for research, e.g. for selecting the most frequent words, meanings, word-combinations. Statistical analysis helps detect differences in authors' styles (cf. styles of Shakespeare and Maugham, Pushkin and Sholokhov, etc.). Statistical analysis is also used for teaching aims.
Linguistic statistics revealed some interesting facts: 1. The most frequent words are polysemantic, monosyllabic; 2. When a long word is used frequently it is shortened, e.g.: advertisement ad, refrigerator frig, television TV.
2. General characteristics of English vocabulary
a) Lexico-semantic system.
Lexico-semantic system is a combination of interdependent elements. Elements in a system resemble bricks in a building. A change in one part of the system provokes a change in other parts of the system. E.g. in Old English the verb to read meant «угадать». But in the Middle English period the new verb to guess «угадать» was borrowed from French. As a result two absolute synonyms appeared in the English language. Absolute synonyms cannot coexist. So the verb to read changed its meaning: OE rxdan «угадать» > ME read «читать». The old meaning of the verb to read «угадать» can be found in the phrase to read smb.'s thoughts (I can read your thoughts). As a consequence two homonyms appeared: read «читать» and reed «тростник».
Elements of the lexico-semantic system are not isolated, they exist in groups.
b) The volume of the vocabulary.
The total volume of the English vocabulary is approximately 450.000 words. The passive vocabulary of an educated person is approximately 30.000 words. For everyday communication one needs active vocabulary which makes 4.000 - 5.000 words.
c) The basic word-stock.
The basic word-stock is the most stable part of the vocabulary. It is the basic word-stock of a foreign language that is studied at sсhool. But the basic word-stock changes as a result of extralinguistic and linguistic factors.
1) New ideas in technology, in history give rise to new words which come into the basic word-stock: video, know-how, CD, UFO, etc.
2) Words fall out of the basic word-stock. For instance, knight, bow became archaic.
1) New words come into the basic word-stock after the change in other sections of the vocabulary system. The verb to guess came into the basic word-stock after OE rxdan «угадать» changed into ME read «читать».
2) Absolute synonyms cannot coexist in the language, e.g. friend and foe. In modern English the use of foe is limited to poetry and set expressions, e.g. Friend or foe! Lexical units (words and phrases) of the basic word-stock possess the following features:
the basic word-stock includes units of different parts of speech;
they express the most important ideas: terms of kinship, parts of human body, nature, food, man's activities, main qualities, etc.;
they are stylistically neutral;
they are characterized by stability - most of the words have lived in the language for centuries;
they are characterized by high frequency;
the basic word-stock includes words of three main structural types: root-words, derivatives, compound words. Root-words make up the backbone of the basic word-stock;
the basic word-stock includes native and borrowed words (hand, wolf, face, officer);
words of the basic word-stock make a good building material for phraseologic units. For instance, to go is used in:
to go home «попасть в цель», to go back on one word / promise, to go into details, to go mad, to go one's own way, to go on a strike, to go out of date, to go out of one's mind, to go to bed, to go to school, and many others;
to make is used in: to make a bed, to make a date with a girl «назначить свидание», to make a long story short, to make a scene, to make the best of a bad job «делать хорошую мину при плохой игре», etc.
It is of course difficult to draw a borderline between the basic word-stock and the rest of the vocabulary.
Neologisms are beyond the basic word-stock, e.g. miniloaf of bread, mini-cabbage, teleshopping «заказ покупок по телефону», teledish «тарелка космической связи для приема телевидения», thin cat (a person without wealth, privilege, or influence), hippism, low rise «низкое здание», high rise «высокое здание», to butterfly «слоняться по городу без цели», VCR (Video cassette recorder), deforestation «исчезновение лесов», Russiangate (cf. Irangate),
But if neologisms acquire characteristics of the basic word-stock they migrate into the basic word-stock, e.g. video, to video, chocoholic, bookaholic, workaholic (cf. alcoholic),
Words of native origin.
In the English vocabulary borrowings make up 70%, native words make up 30% of the whole volume of the vocabulary. But native words are most important and most frequent in speech as we cannot build a sentence without native words. Articles, auxiliary verbs, prepositions are native words and we cannot build sentences without them.
Characteristics of native words.
Native words are most frequent. They make a good building material for:
derivatives (handy, handful, to hand, etc.);
compounds (handkerchief, etc.);
set expressions: holidays are at hand, slip of the hand, to write a beautiful hand, to give smb. a hand, to live from hand to mouth, to have a hand in smth., etc.).
Native words are easy to recognize: most of them belong to the structural type of root words, i.e. they are monomorphemic.
Native words are phonetically monosyllabic or disyllabic: work, mother, etc.
Native words have the stress on the first syllable.
Native words are characterized by the opposition between short and long vowels: ship - sheep, rid - reed. In Russian this opposition is not significant.
(6) Voiced consonants are never devoiced in the final position of native words, e.g. bag [g], etc. In Russian words final voiced consonants are devoiced, e.g. флаг [k].
(7) Native words are characterised graphically by typical consonant and vowel combinations: wh-, wr-, sw-, dw-, - oo-, - ee-, - ow-, - ou-, etc.
70% of English vocabulary are borrowings as a result of war, trade, cultural and scientific contacts. Analyse some examples.
The word magazine has the following etymology: Fr. < It. < Arab. Arabian is the origin of this borrowing (The origin of the borrowing is the language in which the word was born.). French is the source of the borrowing (The source of the borrowing is the language from which it came directly into English).
Italian and Spanish words were often borrowed into the English language through French. The origin of alarm is Italian, the source is French. In French such words changed their pronunciation, spelling and grammatical form: It. al arm «к оружию» > Fr. alarm > E. alarm. Similarly comrade was borrowed from Spanish.
Latin borrowings came into English in different periods.
1. The first stratum of Latin borrowings dates back to the period before the 5th century.
The first borrowings resulted from trade contacts with Romans on the continent, e.g. wine.
Besdes, Angles, Saxons and Jutes borrowed Latin words when Romans came from the continent to the British Isles and built settlements: street < L. stratum, wall < L. vallum, etc.
2. The second stratum of Latin borrowings dates back to the period of the 6th-7th centuries remarkable for the introduction of Christianity. In this period ecclesiastical words were borrowed, e.g. bible, candle. Some words of Greek origin were borrowed through Latin (as a source language), e.g. devil, church, school.
Borrowings of the first and second strata came through oral speech, that is why they are well assimilated.
3. The third stratum of Latin borrowings dates back to the period of the 15th-16th centuries - the epoch of Renaissance. In this period Latin scientific, philosophical terms were borrowed from books. That is why they did not assimilate easily - up to now they have preserved their Latin grammatical forms: stratum (pl.-a), phenomenon (pl.-a), basis (pl.-ses).
Latin borrowings brought new features into the structure of English words:
disyllabic and polysyllabic stems;
prefixes ending in consonants; as a consequence, double consonants (-bb-, - rr-, - ll-, - mm-, - ss-, - tt-, - cc-, - ff-, etc.) make a characteristic feature of Latin borrowings, e.g. abbreviate, irregular, illegal.
Words of Greek origin having the Latin source possess the following characteristic features:
y pronounced as [I]: synonym, symphony;
ph pronounced as [f]: physics;
ch pronounced as [k]: chemistry;
th pronounced as [T]: sympathy.
Greek and Latin morphemes gave new terms, e.g. telephone, television (Gk. tele «далеко»).
The new type of words - hybrids - appeared in the English language, i.e. words formed by etymologically different morphemes. For example, subway has two morphemes: L. sub - and E. - way.
b) Scandinavian Borrowings.
Scandinavian invasion lasted from the VIIIth till the XIth centuries. Scandinavian words were easily adopted by English as both English and Scandinavian were Germanic languages and there was some similarity in their vocabulary.
The characteristic feature of Scandinavian borrowings is initial sk- : skin, sky, skate, skirt, etc. (while OE sc - changed into sh- : scip ship).
c) French Borrowings.
There are two main periods of French borrowings.
1. The first period dates back to the Norman Conquest (XII-XIV centuries). In this period French words were borrowed from the Norman (Northern) dialect. The upper classes of English society spoke French while the common people spoke English. At this time words of everyday life were borrowed, e.g. table, chair, face. Words of everyday life were assimilated easily.
As in society two languages were spoken there appeared the so-called «double vocabulary», i.e. stylistic synonyms. Compare the synonyms in the passage from W. Shakespeare's play «As You Like It»: Therefore you, clown, abandon, - which is in the vulgar, leave, - the society, - which in the boorish is, company, - of this female, - which in the common is woman; which together is, abandon the society of this female, or, clown, thou perishest, or to thy better understanding, diest… (Ср. перевод: Поэтому ты, деревенщина, покинь, что, говоря низким слогом, значит - оставь общество, что, говоря мужицким слогом, значит - компанию этой особы женского пола, что, говоря обыкновенным слогом, значит - женщины, а вместе взятое гласит: покинь общество этой особы женского пола, иначе, олух, ты погибнешь, или, чтобы выразиться понятнее для тебя, помрешь. /Пер. Щепкиной - Куперник/
2. The second period dates back to the epoch after the 17th century when words were borrowed from the Central Paris dialect, e.g. justice, officer, soldier, court-martial.
French borrowings characterised by polysyllabic structure introduced new features into the English vocabulary:
1. Phonetic stress on the last syllable: police;
2. French sounds: [Z] (in garage, etc.), [wR] (in bourgeois, etc.);
3. French prefixes and suffixes and the new structural type: polysyllabic derived words (derivatives).
4. Hybrids, i.e. derived words built after the pattern: native stem + French prefix / suffix, e.g. renew, eatable, readable;
5. Double vocabulary, i.e. pairs of stylistic synonyms. In each pair the neutral stylistic synonym is native, the bookish stylistic synonym is a French borrowing:
tell - inform
neutral ask - inquire bookish
wedding - marriage
A student addressing a student would say, «I must tell you we'll have an exam in Lexicology this semester». The Dean would say to students: I'm going to inform you that you will have an examination in Lexicology this semester».
Influence of Russian on the English vocabulary.
The English language borrowed from Russian many words denoting purely Russian realities, e.g. matryoshka (matryoshka doll), vodka, Astrakhan, borsch, etc.
There are other types of borrowings: translation loans («кальки»), semantic loans («семантические заимствования»).
Translation loan is a borrowing in which each morpheme or word is translated - it is a morpheme-for-morpheme (or word-for-word) translation. Many Russian words and phrases were borrowed in the form of translation loans, e.g. self-criticism «самокритика»; collective farm «колхоз»; Park of Culture and Rest «Парк культуры и отдыха». There are many other translation loans from Russian: candidate of science, doctor of science, State examinations, etc.
Semantic loan is a meaning (not a word!) borrowed. The unit white night has two meanings: 1. «бессонная ночь», 2. «белая ночь». The second meaning was borrowed from Russian.
Foreign ideas can be borrowed and expressed by way of description:
щи - cabbage soup
борщ - beet and cabbage soup
матрешка - nesting doll
ушанка - fur hat with earflaps that can be tied under the chin
купейный вагон - carriage divided into compartments having doors
плацкартный вагон - carriage divided into compartments having no doors, etc.
Borrowings from other languages.
Borrowings from other languages also came in various forms. For example waltz, dollar are German borrowings (dollar G. Taler); caftan is a Turkish borrowing; chimpanzee was borrowed from African languages (It was originally a native name in Angola). There are translation loans from other languages: mother tongue L. lingua materna; swan song G. Schwannen Gesang, etc.
4. Assimilation of Borrowings
Borrowings tend to assimilate in order to follow the morphological and phonetical laws of the English language. Three are three main degrees of assimilation.
1. Complete assimilation. The earliest (oral) borrowings are completely assimilated, i.e. they are assimilated phonetically, graphically, grammatically and semantically (face, street, etc.).
The borrowings that came in the later periods through written speech are assimilated partially or are not assimilated at all.
2. Partial assimilation. There are a few types of partly assimilated borrowed words:
borrowed words not assimilated semantically: CIS, KGB, glasnost, etc.;
2) borrowed words not assimilated grammatically: crisis (crises), basis (bases), stratum (strata), etc.;
3) borrowed words not assimilated phonetically have a stress pattern different from that of native English words, e.g. supreme, finance, police have a stress on the last syllable unlike native English words; words not assimilated phonetically have sounds or sound combinations that are not typical of the English phonetical system, e.g. [Z] in bourgeois, spionage, rouge, reportage, etc.
4) borrowed words not assimilated graphically: Fr. repertoire, conservatoire [wR], bourgeois [uq], trait (the final consonant is not pronounced), ballet (-e - pronounced as [ei]), restaurant [oN], R. borsch, Sc. geyser [ai], G. Swastika [O].
3. The third degree of assimilation is represented by barbarisms, i.e. borrowings which are not assimilated at all. Barbarisms of Russian origin can be easily recognized in the following contexts:
He went to banya. I live in obshchezhitiye. I bought it in the univermag.
I opened the fortochka, a small window. Even babushkas watch the programme.
They eat tvorog, okroshka, pelmeni.
5. Etymological doublets
Etymological doublets are two or more words going back to the same word in the origin language. For example wine and vine go back to one original word in their father language: L. vinum, but they differ in form and in meaning as they came into English at different time. Vine is a later borrowing, that is why it is not so well assimilated as wine.
Card and chart «мореходная карта» go back to L. carta. They differ in form and in meaning as they came into the English language in different ways and periods. Card came directly from Latin; chart came through French where it changed its graphical and phonetical form.
Etymological doublets camera and chamber also came into the English language in different ways:
6. International words
Many English words became international: management, dealer, broker, impeachment, football, volleyball, etc. (cf. Russian words of English origin: менеджмент, брокер, дилер, импичмент, футбол, волейбол). Many of the few Celtic words which make the oldest layer of the English vocabulary became world-famous: budget < Celtic buga «сумка», tunnel (in Celtic «труба»), Tory (in Celtic «грабитель»); the international words whiskey, mackintosh, flannel were also borrowed from the Celtic language.
7. The Structure of English Words and Word-building. Affixation
Vocabulary is replenished not only due to borrowing units from other languages, but also due to word-building.
Morphemes. Types of Morphemes.
Morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit. There are two types of morphemes distinguished according to their role in the morphological structure of the word: 1) root morphemes (as work - in worker) and 2) affixational morphemes.
There are two types of affixational morphemes: 1) word-building (derivational) morphemes (as er - in worker) and form-building (grammatical) morphemes (as - s in works). Lexicology takes interest in word-building morphemes.
Morphemes can be free or bound. Morphemes coinciding with words are free morphemes (bad, child - in сhildish). The majority of root morphemes are free. Affixational morphemes are always bound morphemes (childish, readable). An example of a boubd root morpheme is prob - in probable.
Morphemes can exist in different sound forms, which are termed allomorphs. Allomorphs result from processes of phonetical assimilation. Here are some examples. The negative prefix in - has the following allomorphs: im - (impossible), ir - (irregular), il - (illiterate).
Root morphemes can also have allomorphs, cf.: hero ['hiqrou], heroine ['herouin], heroism ['herouizm], heroic [hi'rouik];
please [plJz], pleasure ['pleZq], pleasant ['pleznt].
Some morphemes are on halfway from words to morphemes. Such morphemes are termed semi-affixes: waterproof «водонепроницаемый», soundproof «звуконепроницаемый», kissproof «не оставляющая следов при поцелуе» (о губной помаде), foolproof «очень понятный, простой».
Structural types of words.
According to the number of morphemes in a word we distinguish between monomorphemic words consisting of one root morpheme (root words) and polymorphemic words. Polymorphemic words include derived words (derivatives) and compound words. Derived words (derivatives) consist of a root morpheme and one or more affixational morphemes. Compound words consist of two or more root morphemes, e.g. a do-it-yourself club («кружок «умелые руки»»), a round-world cruise, a black-and-white film. Thus in the English vocabulary there are three main types of words: 1) root words, 2) derivatives, 3) compound words.
Derivatives take the first place in number in the vocabulary, but root words make the backbone of the English vocabulary. In speech root words prevail as they are very important, they have a variety of meanings and a high lexical valency. For instance you could recall a lot of combinations including the root word get: to get a letter, to get ill, to get tired, to get hope, to get to the station, etc.
To understand a word we must see how it is built, i.e. we fulfil its morphological analysis. Morphological analysis can be effected in 2 ways:
1) morphemic analysis. The aim of morphemic analysis is to establish the number and type of morphemes in the word. Child-ish has two morphemes: the free root morpheme child - and the affixational word-building bound morpheme - ish;
2) derivational analysis. The aim of derivational analysis is to learn the derivational (word-building) history of the word, i.e. to know how these morphemes joined each other. Derivational analysis shows that the first «stone» in building
the word childish was its root morpheme child- Then the affixational morpheme ish - joined it.
Derivational history of other words is more complicated. For instance in the derivational analysis of the word disagreeable the problem we face is which of the derivational affixes (prefix or suffix) was the first to join the root morpheme - agree- To answer the question we must study word-building patterns of modern English. Now that in modern English we cannot find words built after the pattern dis + adjective stem (dis + happy? dis + pleasant? dis + nice?, etc.), we must come to the conclusion that the derivational history of disagreeable included the following stages: 1. dis- + verb stem agree; this resulted in the prefixational verb disagree (cf. verbs built after the pattern dis-+V: dislike, disappear, etc.); 2. verb stem disagree + able-; this resulted in the adjective disagreeable
(cf. adjectives built after the pattern V+-able: readable, eatable, drinkable, etc.).
Affixation as a way of word-building.
Affixation is the formation of words by adding derivational morphemes to stems.
Suffixes and prefixes differ in their position in the word and in their role in word-building. Suffixes possess two meanings - lexical and grammatical, i.e. they change both the lexical and the grammatical (part-of-speech) meaning of the new word. For example the lexical meaning of the suffix - less (in helpless, hopeless, etc.) is «absence of quality». Its grammatical meaning is «adjective-building suffix». Prefixes as a rule possess only one meaning - lexical meaning. Foe instance the prefix un - (in unpleasant, unhappy, etc.) builds words opposite in meaning, but it does not change the part-of-speech meaning of new words.
However three prefixes - be-, en-, a - make an exception as they change the part-of-speech meaning of new words.
The pattern be + noun or adjective stem forms verbs: to behead smb. «обезглавить», to befriend smb. «подружиться с кем-л.», to belittle (Don't belittle yourself! «Не прибедняйся!»).
The pattern en + noun or adjective stem forms verbs: to enrich oneself, to enslave smb.
The pattern a + noun or verb stem forms statives: afire, asleep, awake (be afire, be asleep, be awake).
Suffixation. Classification of Suffixes.
Suffixes are classified according to two meanings: according to their part-of-speech (grammatical) meaning and according to their lexical meaning.
According to their part-of-speech meaning suffixes are classified into the following groups:
1) noun-forming suffixes - - er (worker), - ment (achievement), - hood (childhood), - ance (appearance), 2) verb-forming suffixes - - fy / - ify (magnify, beautify, dandify, monkeyfy «сделать похожим на…»), - ise / - ize (characterise), - en (strengthen), etc.;
3) adjective-forming suffixes - - less (helpless), - ful (helpful), - al (historical), etc.;
4) adverb-forming suffixes: - ly (quickly), - ward (southward, westward), - wise (edgewise), - ways (sideways «боком»), etc.;
5) numeral-forming suffixes - - teen (sixteen), - th (sixth), - ty (sixty), etc.
Within each of these groups suffixes are further classified according to their lexical meaning.
1. Noun-forming suffixes are classified into the following groups:
a) suffixes of a doer (agent) of an action: - er (dancer), - or (collector);
b) suffixes of profession: - er (teacher), - or (editor), - eer (engineer), - ist (violinist), etc.;
c) suffix forming nouns, which denote occupation at the moment: - er (sleeper, passer-by, traveller);
d) abstract-noun suffixes denoting state, condition: - dom (boredom), - hood (childhood), - ness (kindness), etc.;
e) diminutive suffixes: - y (daddy), - ie (Charlie, hankie - from handkerchief, goalie - from goalkeeper, Sweetie! «Милочка!»); - let (booklet «брошюра», leaflet «листовка»), etc.;
f) derogatory suffixes: - ster (youngster «молокосос», oldster «старикашка»), - eer (marketeer «торгаш»), etc;
g) suffix forming nouns, which express views: - ism (communism, racism, sexism), etc.;
h) suffix of collectivity: - ry (peasantry), etc.;
i) suffix forming female nouns: - ess (hostess, princess, lioness);
j) suffix forming nouns which denote an object of smb.'s action: - ee (employee, tutee, murderee), etc.
2. Adjective-forming suffixes are classified into the following groups:
suffixes expressing presence of some quality: - ful (hopeful), etc.;
suffixes expressing absence of some quality: - less (hopeless), etc.;
suffixes expressing connection with smth.: - al (political, historical)
suffixes expressing nationality: - ish (English, Spanish), - ian (Russian), etc.
3. Verb-forming suffixes express the change of quality: - ise (privatise), - ify (magnify), - en (shorten), etc.
4. Adverb-forming suffixes are classified into the following groups:
suffixes denoting the manner of action: - ly (nicely), - wise (othewise, clockwise), etc.;
suffix denoting direction: - ward(s) (homeward, backwards), etc.
5. Numeral-forming suffixes are classified into three groups according to the type of numeral they build.
Prefixation. Classification of prefixes.
Now that the majority of prefixes possess only lexical meaning prefixes are classified only according to their lexical meaning. They are classified into the following groups.
1) Prefixes with negative meaning: un - (unjust), in - (and its allomorphs) (injustice, inexperienced), non - (non-productive, non-stop flight), etc.;
2) Prefixes denoting the reversal of an action (обратное действие) form verbs with the meaning «doing things the other way round»: un - (cf. lock - unlock, dress - undress, button - unbutton, load - unload, what is done cannot be undone (proverb), dis - (cf. arm - disarm, appear - disappear, cover - discover), de - (demilitarise, defrost), etc.;
3) Prefixes with an adverbial force suggest the idea of place, time, manner or degree.
Prefixes denoting place:
in - (inside, include, impress);
out - (outcome, outlaw «бандит»);
ex - (exclude, express);
ad - (going back to the Latin preposition ad «to», cf. L. ad patres «к праотцам», per aspera ad astra «через трудности к звездам»): adverb (i.e. added to the verb); add (where - d is the root morpheme). Ad - (like in-) has several allomorphs, which are formed through regressive assimilation: abbreviate, accustom, affirm, approve, appoint, arrange, assimilate, attract;
inter - (international);
sub - (subway, suppress), etc.
Prefixes denoting time: fore - (to foresee, to foretell), pre - (prewar, prerevolutionary, prehistoric), post - (post-war).
Prefixes denoting manner: mis - (misspell, mistake, misunderstand, mispronounce).
Prefixes denoting degree: under - «too little» (to underfeed, to underpay), over - «too much» (to overeat, to overdo (oneself) «перестараться», to oversleep (oneself) «проспать», to overhear; cf. meat underdone - meat overdone.
4) Prefix denoting repetition of an action: re - (rewrite, redevelop a centre «перестраивать центр»);
5) Prefix denoting views: pro - (pro-reform).
Productivity of affixes.
Productive affixes form new words in present-day English: - er, - less, un-, etc.
Non-productive affixes do not form new words, but they are recognized in words, e.g. - t in weight (from to weigh), complaint (from to complain), flight (from to fly), gift (from to give), height (from high); - th in breadth (from broad); fore - in forehead; - al in historical, - ancy / ency in frequency.
Dead affixes do not form new words and cannot be recognized in modern English words: - k in walk, talk.
Productivity is not stable, it changes with times.
Polysemy, homonymy and synonymy in affixes.
Affixes as well as words can be polysemantic. E.g. - er has four meanings: 1) profession: teacher, 2) feature of a character: early-riser, poor eater, 3) occupation at the moment: passer-by, watcher, 4) device: lighter «зажигалка».
Affixes as well as words can be homonymous. E.g. there are a few suffixes - ly: adverb-building - ly (exactly, nicely), adjective-building - ly (friendly, weekly); there are a few suffixes - y: adjective-building - y (pricey «дороговатый», fruity «с фруктовым вкусом»), diminutive noun-forming suffix - y (sonny).
Affixes as well as words can be synonymous, e.g. - ent, - ous build adjectives, which denote presence of a quality: intelligent, famous.
Etymology of affixes.
Affixes as well as words are native or borrowed. E.g. - hood, - dom, - ship, etc. are native affixes; - able, - ee, - ess, - ence / ance, - nik (sputnik), - ik (sundayik), etc. are borrowed affixes.
Words including etymologically different morphemes are called hybridsHy. bridism can be illustrated by words refusenik, renew, etc.
Definition of conversion.
To give the definition of conversion as a way of word-building we must analyse its characteristic features. Cf. the word voice in the following sentences:
1. I hear her voice. - 2. The workers voice their protest.
Linguists pointed out grammatical features distinguishing voice1 and voice2. A.I. Smirnitsky pointed out that voice1 and voice2 have different paradigms (i.e. a set of grammatical forms). Voice1 has only two forms in its paradigm: 1) voice, 2) voices. The paradigm of voice2 includes many forms: 1) voice, 2) voices, 3) voiced, 4) is voicing, 5) has voiced, 6) is voiced, 7) will voice, etc. It shows that voice moved from noun paradigm to verb paradigm. Now that voice1 and voice2 have different paradigms they belong to different parts of speech.
I.V. Arnold pointed out the difference in their syntactical environment and function: voice1 is an object, voice2 is a predicate.
Besides, these words differ in their lexical meaning: voice1 denotes a thing and voice2 denotes an action.
So conversion is the making of a new word in a different part of speech with a different syntactical environment and function, with a different lexical meaning, but without changing the basic form of the original word.
Conversion differs from affixation as in affixation the basic form of the original word is changed, cf. teach - teacher. Conversion contrary to affixation is semantic derivation.
Some linguists (S.D. Katsnelson, M.A. Sternina, etc.) interpret conversion as categorial polysemy.
Semantic relations between the members of a conversion pair.
One of the problems difficult to solve is the question: which member of the conversion pair is the source of conversion and which is the result of conversion?; in other words, which is the «father» of conversion and which is the «child»? - e.g. pale adj. or pale v?
The best criterion suggested by linguists is the criterion based on semantic relationships between the members of the conversion pair. At first we shall consider some semantic relationships between the noun and the denominal verb converted from it after the pattern N V.
1) One member of the conversion pair denotes an instrument; the other member denotes the use of this instrument, i.e. instrumental use. Logically we come to the conclusion that the name of the instrument appeared first, and only after that came the name of the action connected with this instrument: pen to pen, radio to radio, pencil to pencil, head to head, eye to eye (She eyed him from head to foot).
2) One member of the conversion pair denotes a place, the other member denotes the action connected with this place: pocket to pocket, table to table.
Next we shall consider some semantic relationships between the verb and the deverbal noun converted from it after the pattern V N.
1) One member of the conversion pair denotes an action, the other member denotes the result of this action: to cut a cut (He had a big cut), hand out handouts, cast off cast-offs.
2) One member of the conversion pair denotes an action, the other member denotes a specific instance of this action: to laugh a laugh (She gave a laugh), to knock a knock, to smile a smile.
Productivity of conversion.
Conversion is very productive in modern English. It is a peculiarly English type of word-building. Apart from denominal verbs converted from nouns, verbs are easily converted from adjectives, e.g. Adj. V: grey to grey. Apart from deverbal nouns converted from verbs, nouns can be converted from adverbs, e.g. Adv. N: abroad the abroad (the near abroad «ближнее зарубежье»).
To express similar semantic relationships Russian resorts to affixation. Cf. English pocket to pocket, Russian «карман» - «прикарманить»; English pale to pale, Russian «бледный» - «бледнеть», etc.
Formation of denominal verbs by conversion is extremely productive. Formation of deverbal nouns is not so productive, it has some restrictions.
There are three kinds of restrictions in the formation of deverbal nouns.
Morphological restrictions. Formation of deverbal nouns is productive with root monosyllabic words: to cut - a cut, to burn - a burn.
Semantic restrictions. Deverbal nouns are converted from the verbs that represent a number of isolated actions. E.g. to walk denotes the action which can be represented as a succession of a few steps, therefore the deverbal noun a walk is converted from it.
Phraseological restrictions. Some deverbal nouns are used only in certain contexts: He is not in the know («не в курсе дела»). He caught a great take of fish. It is of American make.
Formation of denonimal verbs has practically no restrictions: to star in a film, to beach a boat, to stomach an insult «проглотить обиду», to butterfly «слоняться по городу без дела», to surface «подняться на поверхность», to rendezvous in space «осуществить стыковку в космосе». Denonimal verbs can be converted even from compounds: to water-ski «кататься на водных лыжах», to weekend (somewhere), etc.
Nonce words (окказиональные слова). New words in a different part of speech can be created by way of conversion for one occasion only. They are termed nonce words. Nonce words are not registered in dictionaries, they die as soon as they have been created and used. Here are some nonce words:
- Dear … - Don't dear me! (Adj. V); He dears me! (Adj. V); He sirs me! (N V); - But … - No buts! (conjunction N). Even phrases can become a source of nonce words: They my-loved each other! (phrase V), etc.
Conversion and substantivation.
Substantivation is a type of word-building in English and in Russian, cf. Russian «красный, белый, больной, столовая» - English relatives, sweets, natives, hand-mades, two-year-olds, etc. Substantivation is a type of word-building in which an adjective or participle stem functions as a noun, i.e. acquires features of a noun: an article, plural form and the form of the possessive case, syntactical functions and environment peculiar to a noun. E.g. in the sentence He is a relative. the adjective relative functions as a noun, i.e. it is used with the indefinite article, has the syntactical function of a predicative.
Conversion and substantivation are alike - they are types of word-building in which a new word is built in a different part of speech without changing the basic form of the original word. Therefore some linguists, e.g. I.V. Arnold, claim that substantivation is a kind of conversion.
But there is some difference between conversion and substantivation. In conversion the word acquires a new paradigm, a new syntactical function and environment at once, while in substantivation they are acquired gradually, through a very long use for centuries.
So the way from an adjective or participle to a substantivised noun is very long and some adjectives and participles are at present only on halfway to noun, i.e. they have acquired not all, but only some features of a noun. This phenomenon is termed partial substantivation. For example the young, the rich, the poor can be used to describe many people, but if we want to speak about one person we must add the word man: a rich man, a poor man, a young man. So the adjectives young, rich, poor are partially substantivised as they have acquired only a few features of a noun: they can be used with the definite article and have syntactical functions of a noun. But they cannot be used with the definite article and have neither plural nor possessive forms. The substantivised participle the coloured has acquired, apart from syntactical features of a noun, two morphological features of a noun: it is used with the indefinite article and has the plural form: the coloureds. But this substantivised participle cannot be used with the indefinite article to describe one person. To express this idea we should add the word man: a coloured man.
General characteristics of word-composition.
Word-composition is the formation of words by joining together two or more stems
Word-composition is a productive type of word-building. Compared with other languages English word-composition has some specific features:
1) stems of English compounds are mainly free morphemes (e.g. headmaster, schoolmaster, etc.), while in Russian compounds stems are mainly bound morphemes (cf. railway - железнодорожный);
2) the majority of English compounds have two stems, while German compounds can consist of many more stems.
The problem of distinction between a compound word and a word-group.
The problem arises as compound words and word-groups display similarity: structural, phonetical and graphical similarity.
1. Structural similarity is displayed in the following. 1) Both compound words and word-groups consist of free elements (free morphemes): in compound words they are stems, in word-groups they are words. 2) Many compound words and word-groups are built after the same patterns: Adj. + N (cf. blackbird - black bird); N + N (cf. ice-cream - cream cake); V + N (cf. pickpocket - pick flowers), etc.
To begin with we shall compare two units: the free word-group dirty board «грязная доска» and the compound word blackboard «классная доска». The free word-group admits of some changes which show that components of a free word-group are structurally independent and separable: 1) components of the free word-group dirty board can be separated, we can say a dirty black board; 2) each word can be replaced by some other word, e.g. long board, dirty table; 3) an intensifier can be added to the first word, e.g. very dirty board. All this shows that components of a free word-group are independent, i.e. they possess structural separability.
On the other hand components of the compound word blackboard cannot be separated. We cannot describe the classroom object called blackboard as «
black and large board»,» very blackboard», or « greyboard». Consequently we can conclude that compound words are characterised by structural inseparability, while free word-groups are characterised by structural separability. So the criterion of structural inseparability helps distinguish between a compound word and a word-group.
Phonetically there are three types of compound words.
1) Compound words of the first type («classical compounds») possess the unity stress. They are easily distinguished from word-groups which are as a rule characterised by the level stress; cf. 'blackbird «дрозд» - 'black 'bird «черная птица»; 'blackberry «черная смородина, ежевика» - 'black 'berry «черная ягода».
2) Compound words of the second type possess the double stress: 'blue-jacket (sailor), 'red-?coat (a British soldier of old times), 'baby-sitter. The double stress can serve as a criterion in distinguishing compound words and free word-groups because the latter are characterised by the level stress.
3) Compound words of the third type as well as word-groups possess the level stress, cf. 'black-'eye «синяк» - 'black 'eyes; the level stress characterises compound adjectives: 'easy-'going, 'new-'born, etc.
So not all the types of compound words can be distinguished from word-groups on the basis of the phonetical criterion; this criterion is most suitable for the first type, i.e. classical compounds characterised by the unity stress. The unity stress shows that compound words are characterised by phonetical inseparability.
Graphically three types of compound words are distinguished.
1) Classical compounds are characterised by solid spelling, e.g. blackboard.
2) Compounds of the second group are spelt with a hyphen, e.g. blue-jacket, red-coat, baby-sitter.
3) Compounds of the third group are spelt with a break like phrases: loud speaker, etc.
So the criterion of English spelling is not very much reliable. Some units have two or three graphical variants, cf. headmaster - head-master - head master; Thank you - thank-you - thankyou. Only compounds of the first group (classical compounds) are characterised by graphical inseparability. The analysis of structural, phonetical and graphical inseparability brings us to the conclusion that the most reliable criterion of distinguishing between compound words and word-groups is the criterion of structural inseparability.
The problem of distinguishing between compound words and word-groups is still more complicated due to the productivity of the patterns N + N and V + postposition.
In modern English many new units are built after the pattern N + N; they are spelt differently: moon walk «выход на поверхность луны», spacewoman, catwalk «подиум для моделей», King size, etc. The question arises whether units of the type silk dress, geography teacher are words or phrases. Similar questions boil down to the so-called «stone wall» problem. Linguists came to the conclusion that the borderline between nominal compounds and nominal phrases is not distinct. Diachronically nominal phrases develop unity of meaning and change into compound words. Many compound words came into use as phrases, e.g. God be with you > good-bye.
Units built after the pattern V + postposition (give up, give in, lie back «отклониться в кресле», fall off «сваливаться» [например, о ботинке], act out [the dialogue], try out «испытать» [a new method on smb.], etc.) also present a certain difficulty as they display semantic unity like compound words but possess features of a word-group. To answer the question whether units of this type are compounds or phrases we must see if they are characterised by inseparability. The analysis shows that
1) they are not characterised by graphical inseparability because they are spelt as two words;
2) they are not characterised by phonetical inseparability because each of the two components is stressed: 'put 'on, 'come 'in;
3) they are not characterised by structural inseparability because
- two components can be separated, cf. think over the problem, but think it over; Take off the coat, but Take it off;
grammatical inflexion also separates the two components, cf. He gives up…, He looked up…, but: He whitewashed…
The consequent conclusion is that units of give in, put on type are not compound words but phrases.
Classification of compounds.
Compound words can be classified according to various principles.
Grammatical classification includes the following groups:
compound verbs (to whitewash);
compound nouns (sweet-tooth);
compound adjectives (snow-white);
compound numerals (twenty-two).
Structural classification includes the following groups:
compounds built by means of the juxtaposition of stems.
Juxtaposition of stems is joining two or more stems without any linking element. There are four kinds of juxtaposition of stems in a compound word:
- juxtaposition of non-derived stems (snow-white, heartburn «изжога»);
- juxtaposition of a non-derived and a derived stems (head-teacher);
- juxtaposition of a non-derived and an abbreviated stems (A-level, H-bomb, H-bag (hand bag), A-bomb, TV-show);
- juxtaposition of phonetically similar stems forming reduplicative compounds (bye-bye, ping-pong, tip-top «первоклассный», wishy-washy «жидкий», sing-song «монета», сriss-cross «перекресток»). Juxtaposition of phonetically similar stems or words is often found in Russian too, e.g. «тип-топ», «дурак-дураком», «нос к носу»;
compound derivatives (a.k.a. «derivational compounds») formed by adding a word-building suffix to a compound stem: blue-eyed, light-minded, reform-minded, dog-eared. Compound stem is the stem consisting in its turn of two stems (cf. a simple root stem in worker). These derivational compounds are built after the pattern: Compound stem + - ed, e.g. blue-eye + ed. They are derivational compounds, but not compound words because eyed, minded, eared do not exist as words. Russian words «длинноногий», «голубоглазый» are also derivational compounds but not compound words because «ногий», «глазый» do not exist. On the other hand words of the shoe-maker type are compound words built after the pattern: a non-derived stem + a derived stem.
Many derivational compounds are built in English after the pattern compound stem + - er, e.g. sit-downer (a person taking part in a sit-down demonstration), baby-sitter, hard-liner, do-gooder. There are other suffixes forming derivational compounds, e.g. horsemanship «верховая езда»;
compounds built by means of the linking elements: - o-, - i-, - s - (gasometer, Indo-China, Anglo-Russian; handicraft; sportsman, salesman, saleswoman, statesman);
compounds which are termed «lexicalized phrases»; they consist of more than two stems (up-to-date, out-of-door, man-of-war «военный корабль», good-for-nothing [the elements - to-, - of-, - for - are not independent words, they are stems], forget-me-not).
Structural and semantic correlation between the stems of a compound word.
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