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Лексикология как наука о словарном составе языка. Цели и задачи курса. Слово как основная единица лексической системы. Основные способы номинации в языке.

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Лексикология как наука о словарном составе языка. Цели и задачи курса. Слово как основная единица лексической системы. Основные способы номинации в языке.

  • Комплексная цель: охарактеризовать предмет изучения лексикологии, ее теоретическое и практическое значение, взаимосвязь с другими дисциплинами, ознакомить с такими понятиями, как синхрония и диахрония в лексикологии, парадигматический и синтагматический подходы, представить теоретические основы изучения словарного состава языка, изложить основные проблемы курса лексикологии современного английского языка. Рассмотреть основные проблемы теории слова: 1) определение слова; 2) мотивированность слова; 3) отличия слова от морфемы и от словосочетания; 4) связь между словами и объектами реальной действительности.
lexicology as a science a general characteristic of the english vocabulary
Lexicology as a Science. A General Characteristic of the English Vocabulary.
  • What is lexicology? What is language?
  • Describe some general problems of the theory of the word:
  • definition of a word;
  • identity and isolation of words;
  • connections between objects of reality and words;
  • motivation of words.
  • Describe the problem of the diachronic and synchronic approaches in vocabulary system.
  • Describe the notion of lexical system. Describe the theory of opposition.
  • Describe the paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships of words in Modern English.
word learning lexicology general special contrastive historical descriptive

Word learningLEXICOLOGYgeneral special contrastive historical descriptive


  • Nominative
  • Communicative
  • cognitive
  • Objective
  • Social
  • Historical
  • As old as our consciousness
theoretical basis

Theoretical basis

Dialectical materialism

Lenin’s theory of reflection

Reflection is the general property of matter

Reflection is selective

  • The highest form of reflection of objective reality
  • Related to objective reality consciousness represents an ideal image of objects constituting this reality
two approaches to language study
Two Approaches to Language Study

the synchronic (or descriptive) and the diachronic (or historical) approach

the Swiss philologist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857 — 1913)

The term “diachronic” is composed of the Greek morphemes diameaning “through” and chronosmeaning “time”.

the diachronic approach in terms of special lexicology deals with the changes and the development of vocabulary in the course of time.

  • The term “synchronic” is composed of two Greek morphemes synmeaning “together, with” and chronoswhich denotes “time”.
  • The synchronic approach is concerned with the vocabulary of a language as it exists at a given period of time, e.g. at the present time.
some general problems of the theory of the word
Some General Problems of the Theory of the Word
  • The term worddenotes the basic unit of a given language. It is simultaneously a semantic, grammatical and phonological unit. In linguistic literature we find many different definitions of a word.
  • 1) the problem of defining the word;
  • 2) the connection between words and objects of reality;
  • 3) the motivation of a word since every object of reality possesses a lot of features, but only the most important and characteristic of them may become the representative of the object;
  • 4) the problem of isolation of a word, for the borderline between various linguistic units is not always clear; words of different structural types are characte­rized by inseparability which finds its expression in graphic, morphological and semantic integrity;
  • 5) the problem of identity of word as the word exists in the language in a system of its grammatical forms (morphological and syntactical).

The word is a sort of focus for the problems of phonology, lexicology, morphology, syntax and also for some other sciences that have to deal with language and speech, such as philosophy and psychology.

  • There were many attempts to define the word, but all of them are criticized for being incomplete.

Any definition of the word is conditioned by the aims and interests of its author.

  • Linguists have tried to define the word syntactiсally, semantically, phonologically and by combining various approaches.
  • H. Sweet defined the word as "the minimum sentence" (syntactic approach).
  • E. Sapir takes into consideration the syntactic and semantic aspects. He defines the word as "one of the smallest completely satisfying bits of isolated \'meaning\' into which the sentence resolves itself”.
  • French linguist A. Meillet combines the semantic, phonological and grammatical criteria and gives a definition which underlies many definitions suggested both abroad and in our country.
  • "A word is defined by association of a given meaning with a given group of sounds susceptible of a given grammatical employment".
  • a lion and alive
  • A lion is a word group and we can insert other words between the article a and the word
  • lion: a dead lion, a beautiful lion.
  • Alive is a word, it is indivisible.
the word is a dialectical unity of form and content

The word is a dialectical unity of form and content

The system showing a word in all its word-forms is called its paradigm.

intralinguistic relations of words
  • Syntagmatic
  • He got a letter (\'to receive\');
  • He got tired (\'to become\');
  • syntagmatic relations are linear (simultaneous) relationships between words.
  • Paradigmatic
  • the synonymic set: to obtain, to receive, to gain, to acquire,
  • Paradigmatic relations are the relationships that a linguistic unit has with units by which it may be replaced
  • paradigmatic relations are associative (non-simultaneous) relationships between words.
There are three main types of motivation:

phonetical motivation;

morphological motivation;

semantic motivation.

  • The term motivationis used to denote the relationship existing between the morphemic or phonemic and structural pattern of the word on the one hand, and its meaning on the other
  • The phonetical motivation implies a direct connection between the phonetic structure of the word and its meaning.
  • cuckoo (cf. in Russian кукушка)
  • There is a certain similarity between the sound-form of the word and the sounds the bird produces.
  • The morphological motivation implies a direct connection between the lexical meaning of the component morphemes, the pattern of their arrangement and the meaning of the word.
  • to rethink - the idea of “thinking again”

The semantic motivation implies a direct connection between the central and marginal meanings of the word.

  • eyewash has two meanings:
  • 1) a lotion for the eyes (примочка для глаз);
  • 2) something said or done to deceive a person so that he thinks what he sees is good though in fact it is not (cf. in Russian очковтирательство)
  • Semantic motivation is based on the coexistence of direct and figurative meanings within the semantic structure of the word.
Лексическое значение и семантическая структура английских слов.
  • Комплексная цель: дать общее представление о природе значения слов, определение семасиологии, раскрыть основные типы лексических значений слова и принципы их классификации, взаимосвязь между значением слова и его сочетаемостью, значением и употреблением. Охарактеризовать понятие полисемия, ее роль в языке и причины этого явления, смысловая структура многозначного слова, историческая изменчивость смысловой структуры слова и ее причины, основные типы семантических изменений слов.
  • The branch of lexicology which deals not with every kind of linguistic meaning but with lexical meaning only.
  • Word-meaning is not homogeneous. It is made up of various components. These components are described as types of meaning.
  • The two main types of meaning are the grammatical meaning and the lexical meaning.
the grammatical meaning
The grammatical meaning
  • It is an expression in speech of relationship between words
  • the tense meaning in the word-forms of the verbs: asked, thought, walked;
  • the case meaning in the word-forms of various nouns: girl\'s, boy\'s, night\'s;
  • the meaning of plurality which is found in the word-forms of nouns: joys, tables, places.
lexical meaning
  • the realization of the notion by means of definite language system.
  • The word-forms go, goes, went, going, gone possess different grammatical meanings of tense, person, number, but in each form they have one and the same semantic component denoting \'the process of movement\'.

The denotational aspect of lexical meaning is the part of lexical meaning which establishes correlation between the name and the object, phenomenon, process or characteristic feature of concrete reality (or thought as such), which is denoted by the given word.

  • The term “denotational” is derived from the English word to denote which means \'be a sign of, indicate, stand as a name or symbol for\'.
  • booklet is \'a small thin book that gives information about something\'.
the connotational aspect
  • the part of meaning which reflects the attitude of the speaker towards what he speaks about.
  • Connotation includes:
  • the emotive charge, e.g. daddy as compared to father,
  • evaluation, which may be positive or negative, e. g. clique (a small group of people who seem unfriendly to other people) as compared to group (a set of people);
  • intensity (or expressiveness), e.g. adore as compared to love;
  • imagery, e.g. to wade — to walk with an effort (through mud, water or anything that makes progress difficult). The figurative use of the word gives rise to another meaning which is based on the same image as the first — to wade through a book.
The pragmatic aspect of lexical meaning is the part of meaning, that conveys information on the situation of communication
  • 1) information on the “time and space” relationship of the participants.
  • 2) information on the participants and the given languagecommunity.
  • information on the tenor of discourse.
  • information on the register of communication
  • Three main types of the situations of communication are usually singled out: formal, neutral and informal
  • the pragmatic aspect of meaning refers words like cordial, fraternal, anticipate, aid, sanguinary, celestial to the formal register while units like cut it out, to be kidding, hi, stuff \'are to be used in the informal register.
  • .
causes of semantic change
  • extra-linguistic
  • by extra-linguistic causes various changes in the life of the speech community are meant, i. e. changes in economic and social structure, changes in scientific concepts.
  • hlaford. Originally the word meant \'bread-keeper\' («хранитель хлеба»), and later on \'master, ruler\' («повелитель, лорд»).
  • linguistic.
  • factors acting within the language system
nature of semantic change
  • There are two kinds of association involved in various semantic changes:
  • similarity of meanings;
  • contiguity of meanings.
  • Similarity of meanings or metaphor may be described as the semantic process of associating two referents, one of which in some way resembles the other.
  • hands of the clock {watch
  • Contiguity of meanings or metonymy may be described as the semantic process of associating two referents one of which makes part of the other or is closely connected with it.
  • mother tongue
restriction or extension of meaning
  • Restriction of meaning can be illustrated by the semantic development of the word hound which used to denote “dog of any breed” but now denotes only “a dog used in the chase”.
  • If the word with the extended meaning passes from the specialized vocabulary into common use, the result of the semantic change is described as the generalization of meaning.
amelioration of meaning deterioration or the pejorative development of meaning
Amelioration of meaning Deterioration (or the pejorative development) of meaning
  • the improvement of the connotational component of meaning.
  • the acquisition by the word of some derogatory emotive charge

Polysemy is a phenomenon which has an exceptional importance for the description of a language system and for the solution of practical tasks connected with an adequate understanding of the meaning of a word and its use.

A word may have several meanings. Then it is called a polysemantic word.

Words having only one meaning are called monosemantic.

Of special importance is the fact that polysemy exists only in language, not in speech.

The meaning of a word in speech is contextual.