Modern English Lexicology. Post-graduates specialising in English and teachers of English may also find it useful. This book is, as its title implies, concerned. Die Deutsche Bibliothek - CIP-Einheitsaufnahme. Lipka, L e o n h a r d: An outline of English lexicology: lexical structure, word semantics, and word- formation /. taking the course of English lexicology and fully meets the requirements of the Lexicology studies various lexical units: morphemes, words, variable word-.

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    English Lexicology Pdf

    The book is intended for English language students at Pedagogical Universities ( 3d and 4th years of studies) taking the course of English lexicology and fully. MODERN ENGLISH LEXICOLOGY SECOND EDITION. Revised and Enlarged Допущено Министерством высшего и среднего специального образования. PDF | This book offers an inside look at what goes on in the modern world of English lexicology. It is aimed at first-year students of English linguistics taking a .

    Lexicography 1. Lexicography as a branch of linguistics. Types of dictionaries. Some debatable problems of lexicography. A brief history of British and American lexicography. A Course in Modern English Lexicology. The English Word. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language. Lexicography from Gk. Subject meaning, evolution, and function of lexis Aim its compilation in book or electronic form; theories of selecting, structuring and linking the data in dictionaries. An electronic spelling checker. Meaning widened from chess to general sense of "adverse event, sudden stoppage" and by c. As a written order to pay money, it may be transferred from one person to another by endorsement and delivery or, in certain cases, by delivery alone. Negotiability can be qualified by appropriate words, as with restrictive endorsements, or by the check form itself. Most checks are not paid in currency but by the debiting and crediting of bank deposits.

    These changes.. Results of Semantic Chang Results of semantic change can be generally observed in the changes of the denotational meaning of the word restriction and extension of meaning or in the alteration of its connotational component amelioration and deterioration of meaning.

    There are other cases. This is also the case with the word fowl OE. The term c h a n g e of meani n g however is also used to describe a change in the number as a rule In the case of book we observe pejorative development whereas in the case of knight we observe amelioration of the connotational component.

    Nature and Results ous changes of word-meanings they can be of Semantic Change classified according to the social causes that bring about change of meaning socio-linguistic classification. And conversely.

    When we discuss metaphoric or metonymic transfer of meaning we imply t h e n a t u r e of the semantic change whatever its results may be. In the discussion of semantic changes we confined ourselves only to the type of change which results in the disappearance of the old meaning which is replaced by the new one. Essentially the same causes may bring about different results. Restriction of meaning.

    The derived adjective accidental does not possess in its semantic structure this negative connotational meaning cf. Here it is suggested that causes. To avoid terminological confusion it is suggested that the terms r e s t r i c t i o n and e x t e n s i o n or a m e l i o r a t i o n and d e t e r i o r a t i o n of meaning should be used to describe only t h e r e s u l t s of semantic change irrespective of its nature or causes.

    Changes of essentially identical nature. It also follows that a change of meaning should be described so as to satisfy all the three criteria. Interrelation of Causes. We may. Semantic changes in the denotational component may bring about the extension or the restriction of meaning. Summary and Conclusions meaning of the word is changed in the course of the historical development of language.

    When analysing the wordmeaning we observe. The factors causing semantic changes may be roughly subdivided into extra-linguistic and linguistic causes.

    The word table. Change of meaning is effected through association between the existing meaning and the new. The change in the connotational component may result in the pejorative or ameliorative development of meaning.

    Monosemantic words. The actual number of meanings of the commonly used words ranges from five to about a hundred. Each of the individual meanings can be described in terms of the types of meanings discussed above. This association is generally based on the similarity of meaning metaphor or on the contiguity of meaning metonymy. In fact. One is etymologically related to L. Polysemy may also arise from homonymy.

    Polysemy in diachronic terms implies that a word may retain its previous meaning or meanings and at the same time acquire one or several new ones. In the case of the word table. It follows that the main source of polysemy is a change in the semantic structure of the word. In the course of a diachronic semantic analysis of the polysemantic word table we find that of all the meanings it has in Modern English.

    In polysemantic words. When two words become identical in sound-form. The terms s e c o n d a r y and d e r i v e d meaning are to a certain extent synonymous. Diachronic Approach If polysemy is viewed diachronically. The ear of corn is felt to be a metaphor of the usual type cf.

    Then the problem of the interrelation and interdependence of individual meanings of a polysemantic word may be roughly formulated as follows: Some may. In this case the problem of the interrelation and interdependence of individual meanings making up the semantic structure of the word must be investigated along different lines.

    If we analyse the verb to get. In connection with the polysemantic word table discussed above we are mainly concerned with the following problems: Is the order in which the meanings are enumerated or recorded in dictionaries purely arbitrary or does it reflect the comparative value of individual meanings. As synchronically there is no objective criterion to go by. Approach the coexistence of various meanings of the same word at a certain historical period of the development of the English language.

    Semantic changes result as a rule in new meanings being added to the ones already existing in the semantic structure of the word. In a study of five million words made by a group of linguistic scientists it was found that the frequency value of individual meanings is different. As to other meanings of this word we find it hard to grade them in order of their comparative value. This emerges as the basic or the central meaning of the word and all other meanings are minor in comparison.

    Here the terms are used interchangeably.

    Intuitively we feel that the meaning that first occurs to us whenever we hear or see the word table. Some of the old meanings may become obsolete or even disappear. A more objective criterion of the comparative value of individual meanings seems to be the frequency of their occurrence in speech.

    There is a tendency in modern linguistics to interpret the concept of the central meaning in terms of the frequency of occurrence of this meaning.

    Stylistic or regional status of monosemantic words is easily perceived. These two approaches are not mutually exclusive but are viewed here as supplementing each other in the linguistic analysis of a polysemantic word.

    This can be illustrated by analysing the words under discussion. There is nothing colloquial or slangy or American about the words yellow denoting colour.

    The word movie is recognisably American and barnie is Scottish. Polysemantic words as a rule cannot be given any such restrictive labels. This is perhaps best illustrated by 1 All data concerning semantic frequencies are reproduced from M. Historical Changeability synchronic approach to polysemy it follows of Semantic that the interrelation and the interdependence Structure of individual meanings of the word may be described from two different angles.

    Stylistically neutral meanings are naturally more frequent.. This can also be observed by comparing the word hand with its Russian equivalents. General Service List of English Words.

    To do it we must state the meaning in which they are used. It should also be noted that the meaning which has the highest frequency is the one representative of the whole semantic structure of the word.

    For instance the word daddy can be referred to the colloquial stylistic layer. The polysemantic words worker and hand.

    In Modern English. The actual arrangement of meanings in the semantic structure of any word in any historical period is the result of the semantic development of this word within the system of the given language.

    If we compare. Semantic correlation. As a rule it is only the central meaning that is to a great extent identical. It follows that the primary meaning of the word may become synchronically one of its minor meanings and diachronically a secondary meaning may become the central meaning of the word.

    Languages differ not only in the sound-form of words. The wording of the habitual question of English learners. From what was said about the arbitrariness of the sound-form of words and complexity of their semantic structure. The actual meanings of polysemantic words and their arrangement in the semantic structure of correlated words in different languages may be altogether different.

    A careful analysis invariably shows that semantic relationship between correlated words. Polysemy similar or identical in lexical meaning.

    It follows that the semantic structures of correlated words of two different languages cannot be coextensive. This may be seen by comparing the semantic structure of correlated polysemantic words in English and in Russian. The whole of the semantic structure of these words is altogether different. Commonly used. Summary and Conclusions problem of interrelation and interdependence of the various meanings of the same word.

    Polysemy viewed diachronically is a historical change in the semantic structure of the word resulting in disappearance of some meanings or and in new meanings being added to the ones already existing and also in the rearrangement of these meanings in its semantic structure. The concepts of central basic and marginal minor meanings may be interpreted in terms of their relative frequency in speech.

    This meaning is rare in Modern English. Words cut into slabs of stone the ten tables. Polysemy viewed synchronically is understood as coexistence of the various meanings of the same word at a certain historical period and the arrangement of these meanings in the semantic structure of the word.

    The meaning having the highest frequency is usually the one representative of the Usually the word board or cooking is used.

    In other cases. As the semantic structure is never static the relationship between the diachronic and synchronic evaluation of the individual meanings of the same word may be different in different periods of the historical development of language.

    It is easily observed that only some of the word-forms e. Words are felt as correlated if their basic central meanings coincide. Modern English is exceptionally rich in homonymous words and wordforms.

    The semantic structure of polysemantic words is not homogeneous as far as the status of individual meanings is concerned. Homonymy of Words monymy we find that some words are hoand Homonymy of Word-Forms monymous in all their forms. Some meaning or meanings is representative of the word in isolation. In such cases we cannot speak of homonymous words but only of 1 Not only words but other linguistic units may be homonymous. Therefore it is sometimes suggested that abundance of homonyms in Modern English is to be accounted for by the monosyllabic structure of the commonly used English words.

    The whole of the semantic structure of correlated polysemantic words of different languages can never be identical.

    It is held that languages where short words abound have more homonyms than those where longer words are prevalent. Modern English abounds in homonymic word-forms differing in grammatical meaning only. As both grammatical and lexical meanings differ we describe these homonymous wordforms as l e x i c o. Homonyms may be also classified by the type of meaning into lexical. The difference is confined to the lexical meaning only: Identical sound-forms.

    In the paradigms of the majority of verbs the form of the Past Tense is homonymous with the form of Participle II. Lexico-grammatical homonymy generally implies that the homonyms in question belong to different parts of speech as the part-of-speech meaning is a blend of the lexical and grammatical semantic components.

    So we can say that seal2 and seal1 are l e x i c a l h o m o n y m s because they differ in lexical meaning. This is true of a number of other cases. Classification of Homonyms classified into full and partial homonymy — i.

    The bulk of full homonyms are to be found within the same parts of speech e. There may be cases however when lexico-grammatical homonymy is observed within the same part of speech. In seal1 n and seal2 n. Cases of full homonymy may be found in different parts of speech too. This is not to say that partial homonymy is impossible within one part of speech.

    Considering this peculiarity of lexico-grammatical homonyms we may subdivide them into two groups: This can be seen by analysing the relationship between two pairs of lexico-grammatical homonyms.

    Some Peculiarities of Lexico-Grammatical Homonymy tion discussed above one of the groups. All homonyms may be described on the basis of the two criteria — homonymy of all forms of the word or only some of the word-forms and also by the type of meaning in which homonymous words or word-forms differ.

    Thus the definition of homonyms as words possessing identical sound-form but different semantic structure seems to be more exact as it allows of a better understanding of complex cases of homonymy. As a rule however the whole of the semantic structure of such words is not identical. The noun paper. It may be easily observed that g r a m m a t i c a l h o m o n y m y is the homonymy of different word-forms of one and the same word. As a matter of fact all homonyms arising from conversion have related meanings.

    We can see that seal1 n and seal3 v actually differ in both grammatical and lexical meanings. Consequently the pair seal2 n — seal3 v does not answer the description of homonyms as words or wordforms that sound alike but differ in lexical meaning. The two classifications: This is true of a number of other cases of lexico-grammatical homonymy.

    So we speak of the full lexical homonymy of sea1 n and seal2 n. The lexical meanings of seal2 n and seal3 v are apprehended by speakers as closely related. I [ai] and eye [ai]. The process of d i v e r g i n g m e a n i n g d e v e l o p m e n t can be observed when different meanings of the same word move so far away from each other that they come to be regarded as two separate units.

    The great majority of homonyms arise as a result of converging sound development which leads to the coincidence of two or more words which were phonetically distinct at an earlier date. It follows that in their classification of homonyms all the three aspects: Sources of Homonymy The description of various types of homonyms in Modern English would be incomplete if we did not give a brief outline of the diachronic processes that account for their appearance.

    A number of lexico-grammatical homonyms appeared as a result of convergent sound development of the verb and the noun cf. H o m o g r a p h s are words identical in spelling. This happened. The difference in spelling underlines the fact that from the synchronic point of view they are two distinct words even though historically they have a common origin. H o m o p h o n e s are words identical in sound-form but different both in spelling and in meaning.

    The two main sources of homonymy are: P e r f e c t h o m o n y m s are words identical both in spelling and in sound-form but different in meaning. Graphic and Sound-Form of Homonyms we proceeded from the assumption that words are two-facet units possessing both soundform and meaning.

    Consequently they proceed from definition of homonyms as words identical in sound-form or spelling but different in meaning. Accordingly they classify homonyms into h o m o g r a p h s.

    Polysemy and Homonymy: Etymological and Semantic siology is the demarcation line between hoCriteria monymy and polysemy. It is usually held that if a connection between the various meanings is apprehended by the speaker.

    If homonymy is viewed diachronically then all cases of sound convergence of two or more words may be safely regarded as cases of homonymy. The meanings may be apprehended as related and then we can speak of polysemy pointing out that the difference in the morphological structure of the plural form reflects the difference of meaning. Words borrowed from other languages may through phonetic convergence become homonymous. S y n c h r o n i c a l l y the differentiation between homonymy and polysemy is as a rule wholly based on the semantic criterion.

    This traditional semantic criterion does not seem to be reliable. In the case of flower. The cases of semantic divergence. Thus the semantic criterion implies that the difference between polysemy and homonymy is actually reduced to the differentiation between related and unrelated meanings. Otherwise we may regard this as a case of partial lexical homonymy. The transition from polysemy to homonymy is a gradual process. This criterion proves insufficient in the synchronic analysis of a number of other borderline cases.

    Homonyms differing in graphic form. Similar relationships. This however is true of different meanings of the same word as recorded in dictionaries.

    It is also suggested that the semantic connection may be described in terms of such features as. A clearly perceptible connection. Conversely lexical homonyms identical both in pronunciation and spelling are often apprehended as different meanings of one word. Formal Critesome linguists is undoubtedly helpful. It is often argued that in general the context in which the words are used suffices to establish the borderline between homonymous words. Such semantic relationships are commonly found in the meanings of one word and are considered to be indicative of polysemy.

    This formal criterion can be used to discriminate not only lexico-grammatical but also grammatical homonyms. It is sometimes argued that the difference between related and unrelated meanings may be observed in the manner in which the meanings of polysemantic words are as a rule relatable.

    Distribution and mainly in cases of lexico-grammatical and grammatical homonymy. Thus the semantic criterion proves not only untenable in theory but also rather vague and because of this impossible in practice as in many cases it cannot be used to discriminate between several meanings of one word and the meanings of two different words..

    For example.. Moreover in the synchronic analysis of polysemantic words we often find meanings that cannot be related in any way. Homonymous words and word-forms may be classified by the type of meaning that serves to differentiate between identical sound-forms. In the discussion of the problems of polysemy and homonymy we proceeded from the assumption that the word is the basic unit of language. In that case. P a r t i a l h o m o n y m y is usually to be found in word-forms of different parts of speech.

    Homonymy of words and homonymy of individual word-forms may be regarded as full and p a r t i a l homonymy. Summary and Conclusions have different semantic structure. The latter is the most potent factor in the creation of homonyms. Homonyms arising from conversion have some related lexical meanings in their semantic structure.

    Cases of f u l l hom o n y m y are generally observed in words belonging to the same part of speech. If the graphic form of homonyms is taken into account.

    Consequently we have to admit that no formal means have as yet been found to differentiate between several meanings of one word and the meanings of its homonyms. Though some individual meanings may be related the whole of the semantic structure of homonyms is essentially different. The problem of homonymy is mainly the problem of differentiation between two different semantic structures of identically sounding words.

    The criteria used in the synchronic analysis of homonymy are: There are cases of lexical homonymy when none of the criteria enumerated above is of any avail. In such cases the demarcation line between polysemy and homonymy is rather fluid. The problem of discriminating between polysemy and homonymy in theoretical linguistics is closely connected with the problem of the basic unit at the semantic level of analysis.

    It is more or less universally recognised that word-meaning can be perceived through intralinguistic relations that exist between words. This approach does not in any way deny that lexical items relate to concrete features of the real world but it is suggested that word-meaning is not comprehensible solely in terms of the referential approach.

    S y n t a g m a t i c relations define the meaning the word possesses when it is used in combination with other words in the flow of speech. For example, compare the meaning of the verb to get in He got a letter, He got tired, He got to London and He could not get the piano through the door.

    Paradigmatic relations are those that exist between individual lexical items which make up one of the subgroups of vocabulary items, e. P a r a d i g m a t i c relations define the word-meaning through its interrelation with other members of the subgroup in question.

    For example, the meaning of the verb to get can be fully understood only in comparison with other items of the synonymic set: He got a letter, he received a letter, he obtained a letter, etc. Comparing the sentences discussed above we may conclude that an item in a sentence can be usually substituted by one or more than one other items that have identical part-of-speech meaning and similar though not identical lexical meaning.

    The difference in the type of subgroups the members of which are substitutable in the flow of speech is usually described as the difference between closed and open se,ts of lexical items. For example, any one of a number of personal pronouns may occur as the subject of a sentence and the overall sentence structure remains the same. These pronouns are strictly limited in number and therefore form a closed system in which to say he is to say not I, not you, etc.

    To some extent the meaning of he is defined by the other items in the system cf. Thesets of items in which the choice 1. The members of closed systems are strictly limited in number and no addition of new items is possible.

    The sets in which the number of alternatives is practically infinite as they are continually being adapted to new requirements by the addition of new lexical items are described as open systems.

    Closed systems are traditionally considered to be the subject matter of grammar, open systems such as lexico-semantic fields, hyponymic, synonymic sets, etc. The distinction between syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations is conventionally indicated by horizontal and vertical presentation as is shown below. This is of greatest importance in connection with the problem of the synchronic approach to polysemy. It will be recalled that in analysing the semantic structure of the polysemantic word table we observed that some meanings are representative of the word in isolation, i.

    Other meanings come to the fore only when the word is used in certain contexts. This is true of all polysemantic words. The adjective yellow, e. As can be seen from the examples discussed above we understand by the term c o n t e x t the minimal stretch of speech determining each individual meaning of the word. This is not to imply that polysemantic words have meanings only in the context. The semantic structure of the word has an objective existence as a dialectical entity which embodies 1.

    The context individualises the meanings, brings them out. It is in this sense that we say that meaning is determined by context. The meaning or meanings representative of the semantic structure of the word and least dependent on context are usually described as free or denominative meanings. The meaning or meanings of polysemantic words observed only in certain contexts may be viewed as determined either by linguistic or verbal contexts or extra-linguistic non-verbal contexts. The two more or less universally recognised main types of linguistic contexts which serve to determine individual meanings of words are the lexical context and the grammatical context.

    These types are differentiated depending on whether the lexical or the grammatical aspect is predominant in determining the meaning. Lexical Context In lexical contexts of primary importance are the groups of lexical items combined with the polysemantic word under consideration. This can be illustrated by analysing different lexical contexts in which polysemantic words are used. The adjective heavy, e. When combined with the lexical group of words denoting natural phenomena such as wind, storm, snow, etc.

    When combined with the lexical group of words denoting some means of transportation e. It can be easily observed that the main factor in bringing out this or that individual meaning of the words is the lexical meaning of the words with which heavy and take are combined. This can be also proved by the fact that when we want to describe the individual meaning of a polysemantic word, we find it sufficient to use this word in combination with some members of a certain lexical group.

    To describe the meanings of the word handsome, for example, it is sufficient to combine it with the following words — a man, person, b size, reward, sum. The meanings determined by lexical contexts are sometimes referred to as lexically or phraseologically bound meanings which implies that such meanings are to be found only in certain lexical contexts. Some linguists go so far as to assert that word-meaning in general can be analysed through its collocability with other words.

    They hold the view that if we know all the possible collocations or word-groups into Thus, the meanings of the adjective heavy, for instance, may be analysed through its collocability with the words weight, safe, table; snow, wind, rain; industry, artillery, etc.

    The meaning at the level of lexical contexts is sometimes described as meaning by collocation. Grammatical Context In grammatical contexts it is the grammatical mainly the syntactic structure of the context that serves to determine various individual meanings of a polysemantic word.

    One of the meanings of the verb make, e. Such meanings are sometimes described as grammatically or structurally bound meanings. A different syntactic function of the verb, e.

    In a number of contexts, however, we find that both the lexical and the grammatical aspects should be taken into consideration. If we compare the contexts of different grammatical structures, e. Patterns may be represented in conventional symbols, e. Sameness of 1. Conventional symbols habitually used in distributional patterns are as follows: N — stands for nouns or their functional equivalents, e.

    V — stands for verbs except auxiliary and modal verbs be, have, shall, etc. A — stands for adjectives or their functional equivalents, e. D — stands for adverbs or their functional equivalents, e. Extra-Linguistic Context Context of Situation only linguistic factors: There are cases, however, when the meaning of the word is ultimately determined not by these linguistic factors, but by the actual speech situation in which this word is used.

    The meanings of the noun ring, e. It should be pointed out however that such cases, though possible, are not actually very numerous. The linguistic context is by far a more potent factor in determining word-meaning. It is of interest to note that not only the denotational but also the connotational component of meaning may be affected by the context.

    Any word which as a language unit is emotively neutral may in certain contexts acquire emotive implications. Compare, e. A stylistically and emotively neutral noun, e. The word wall does not ordinarily occur in combination with the adjectives sweet and lovely.

    So the peculiar lexical context accounts for the possibility of emotive overtones which are made explicit by the context of situation. Common Contextual Associations. Classification of vocabulary items into thematic groups is based on the co-occurrence of words in certain repeatedly used contexts.

    On the level of word-groups the word question, for instance, is often found in collocation with the verbs raise, put forward, discuss, etc. The verb accept occurs in numerous contexts together with the nouns proposal, invitation, plan and others. Conceptual or Semantic Fields concepts underlying their meaning. A question naturally arises whether this enormous word-stock is composed of separate independent lexical units. Attempts to study the inner structure of the vocabulary revealed that in spite of its heterogeneity the English word-stock may be analysed into numerous sub-systems the members of which have some features in common.

    Classification into monosemantic and polysemantic words is based on the number of meanings the word possesses. This classification is closely connected with the theory of conceptual or semantic fields. As a rule. When watching a play. When we go shopping it is usual to speak of the prices. Words in thematic groups are joined together by common contextual associations within the framework of the sentence and reflect the interlinking of things or events.

    Contextual associations formed by the speaker of a language are usually conditioned by the context of situation which necessitates the use of certain words. Words can be classified in various ways. Words making up a thematic group belong to different parts of speech and do not possess any common denominator of meaning. Common contextual association of the words. More detailed semantic classifications are generally based on the semantic similarity or polarity of words or their component morphemes.

    This problem may be viewed in terms of the possible ways of classifying vocabulary items. The scope and the degree of similarity polarity may be different. The theory of semantic field is severely criticised by Soviet linguists mainly on philosophical grounds since some of the proponents of the semantic-field theory hold the idealistic view that language is a kind of selfcontained entity standing between man and the world of reality Zwischenwelt.

    The meaning of the word captain. The followers of this theory argue that semantic fields reveal the fact that human experience is analysed and elaborated in a unique way. It follows that the meaning of the word captain is determined by the place it occupies among the terms of the relevant rank system. In other words we know what captain means only if we know whether his subordinate is called mate or first officer merchant service. All members of the field are semantically interdependent as each member helps to delimit and determine the meaning of its neighbours and is semantically delimited and determined by them.

    Here we are concerned with this theory only as a means of semantic classification of vocabulary items. The members of the semantic fields are not synonyms but all of them are joined together by some common semantic component — the concept of colours or the concept of kinship.

    This semantic component common to all the members of the field is sometimes described as the common denominator of meaning. Broadly speaking they assert that people speaking different languages actually have different concepts. We know what hot means not only because we know the word hot. In short. It follows that the word-meaning is to a great extent determined by the place it occupies in its semantic field.

    Semantic dependence of the word on the structure of the field may be also illustrated by comparing members of analogous conceptual fields in different languages. The same is true of the members of the semantic field of colours cf. A detailed critical analysis of the theory of semantic fields is the subject-matter of general linguistics. Such smaller lexical groups consisting of words of the same part of speech are usually termed lexicosemantic groups.

    Domestic Animals. When combined with members of another lexical group the same verb is synonymous with to drink to take tea. Analysing lexical contexts 3 we saw that the verb take.

    It should also be pointed out that different meanings of polysemantic words make it possible to refer the same word to different lexico-semantic groups. Hyponymic Hierarchical Structures and Lexico-Semantic cabulary items into lexico-semantic groups is Groups the study of hyponymic relations between words.

    Lexico-semantic groups seem to play a very important role in determining individual meanings of polysemantic words in lexical contexts. Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. In a number of textbooks we find words with some common denominator of meaning listed under the headings Flowers..

    Lexical groups described above may be very extensive and may cover big conceptual areas. By h y p o n y m y is meant a semantic relationship of inclusion. Such word-groups are often used not only in scientific lexicological analysis. The words bread. Any of the semantic components may be chosen to represent the group. Another point should be discussed in this connection. It is observed that the criterion for joining words together into semantic fields and lexico-semantic groups is the identity of one of the components of their meaning found in all the lexical units making up these lexical groups.

    A general problem with this principle of classification just as with lexico-semantic group criterion is that there often exist overlapping classifications. This can be easily observed when we compare analogous groups in different languages. The more specific term is called t h e h y p o n y m of the more general. This may be illustrated by the hyponymic structure represented below. It is of importance to note that in such hierarchical structures certain words may be both classifiers and members of the groups.

    Thus the hyponymic relationship may be viewed as the hierarchical relationship between the meaning of the general and the individual terms. The individual terms can be said to contain or entail the meaning of the general term in addition to their individual meanings which distinguish them from each other cf.

    Hyponymic classification may be viewed as objectively reflecting the structure of vocabulary and is considered by many linguists as one of the most important principles for the description of meaning. The general term vehicle. Another problem of great importance for linguists is the dependence of the hierarchical structures of lexical units not only on the structure of the corresponding group of referents in real world but also on the structure of vocabulary in this or that language.

    Lexico-semantic groups LSG of vehicles. Another way to describe hyponymy is in terms of genus and d i f ferentia. It is noteworthy that the principle of such hierarchical classification is widely used by scientists in various fields of research: It is inconceivable that polysemantic words could be synonymous in all their meanings.

    The number of synonymic sets of a polysemantic word tends as a rule to be equal to the number of individual meanings the word possesses. Semantic equivalence may be observed on the level of word-groups. This definition has been severely criticised on many points. John is taller than Bill is semantically equivalent to Bill is shorter than John. Synonyms are traditionally described as words different in sound-form but identical or similar in meaning. John sold the book to Bill and Bill bought the book from John may be considered semantically equivalent.

    The terms generally used to denote these two types of semantic relatedness are s y n o n y m y and a n tonymy. Semantic Equivalence and Synonymy criterion of semantic similarity and semantic contrasts. Here we proceed from the assumption that the terms synonymy and synonyms should be confined to semantic relation between words only. The verb look. S y n o n y m y is often understood as semantic equivalence.

    Semantic equivalence however can exist between words and word-groups. In the discussion of polysemy and context2 we have seen that one of the ways of discriminating between different meanings of a word is the interpretation of these meanings in terms of their synonyms. Similar relations between word-groups and sentences are described as semantic equivalence.

    The word meal is the classifier whereas in Russian we have no word for meals in general and consequently no classifier though we have several words for different kinds of meals. As can be seen from the above these sentences are paraphrases and denote the same event. Thus we may say that to win a victory is synonymous with to gain a victory. The words. Thus similarity of denotational meaning of all members of the synonymic series is combined with a certain difference in the meaning of each member.

    Words in synonymic sets are in general differentiated because of some element of opposition in each member of the set. The word handsome. It follows that relationship of synonymity implies certain differences in the denotational meaning of synonyms.

    This assumption cannot be accepted as synonymous words always differ in the denotational component In this connection a few words should be said about the traditional classification of vocabulary units into ideographic and stylistic synonyms.. In fact..

    Synonymous relationship is observed o n l y between similar denotational meanings of phonemically different words. Thus it seems necessary to modify the traditional definition and to formulate it as follows: A more detailed analysis shows that there is a certain difference in the meaning of each verb: The verbs look.

    Differentiation of synonyms may be observed in different semantic components — de n o t a t i o n a l or c o n n o t a t i o n a l. But the reverse is certainly not true as semantically different words of the same part of speech are. A wife however would rarely ask her husband to download a pound of butter. Among the best investigated are the so-called double-scale patterns: Thus download and download are similar in meaning but differ in their stylistic reference and therefore are not completely interchangeable.

    Quite a number of words in synonymic sets are usually of Latin or French origin. It follows that practically no words are substitutable for one another in all contexts. That department of an institution which is concerned with acquisition of materials is normally the downloading Department rather than the downloading Department.

    The Use of English. This fact may be explained as follows: Patterns of Synonymic Sets in Modern English rich in synonyms which can be largely accounted for by abundant borrowing. The native word is usually colloquial e.

    We may safely assume that synonyms are words interchangeable in some contexts. Thus a more acceptable definition of synonyms seems to be the following: Thus a characteristic pattern of English synonymic sets is the pattern including the native and the borrowed words. In most cases the synonyms differ in their stylistic reference. As one of the English scholars aptly remarks. The same adjectives in a different context are by no means synonymous.

    Side by side with this pattern there exists in English a subsidiary one based on a triple-scale of synonyms. There are some minor points of interest that should be discussed in connection with the problem of synonymy.

    Like synonyms. Thus it was found that according to Roget 2 44 synonyms of the word whiteness imply something favourable and pleasing to contemplate purity.

    It has also been observed that when a particular word is given a transferred meaning its synonyms tend to develop along parallel lines. Greek e. Antonymy in general shares many features typical of synonymy.

    It is also evident that the term o p p o s i t e m e a n i n g is rather vague and allows of essentially different interpretation. This can be observed by examining the synonyms for the stylistically neutral word money listed above. Another feature of synonymy is that the bulk of synonyms may be referred to stylistically marked words. The definition of antonyms as words characterised by semantic polarity or opposite meaning is open to criticism on the points discussed already in connection with synonymy.

    Another example is the set of synonyms for the word girl young female: In most of these sets the native synonym is felt as more colloquial. The same epic contains 17 expressions for sea to which 13 more may be added from other English poems of that period. Thus thick is only one of the antonyms of thin a thin slice—a thick slice. In Modern American English there are at least twenty words used to denote money: It is usual to find the relations of antonymy restricted to certain contexts.

    Many synonyms seem to possess common emotive charge. See also 'Semasiology'. It has often been found that subjects prominent in the interests of a community tend to attract a large number of synonyms.

    To use one of the terms is to contradict the other and to use not before one of them is to make it semantically equivalent to the other. This may be observed in cold — hot. In fact terms like young and old.

    C o n t r a r i e s differ from contradictories mainly because contradictories admit of no possibility between them. Thus we may regard as antonyms not only cold and hot but also cold and warm. The difference between these and the antonymic pairs described above lies in the fact that to say not young is not necessarily to say old. Con t r a d i c t o r i e s which represent the type of semantic relations that exist between pairs like dead and alive.

    Unkind may be interpreted as not kind which does not necessarily mean cruel. We can say She is young but she is older than her sister. Among contradictories we find a subgroup of words of the type young — old. To use one of the terms is to imply comparison with some norm: It is also usual for one member of each pair to always function as the unmarked or generic term for the common quality involved in both members: Contraries may be opposed to each other by the absence or presence of one of the components of meaning like sex or age.

    This generalised denotational meaning comes to the fore in certain contexts. Comparing the adjective kind and unkind we do not find any polarity of meaning as here semantic opposition is confined to simple negation. Analysis and Definition. When we ask How old is the baby? It is of interest to note that quality nouns such as length.

    It is more or less universally recognised that among the cases that are traditionally described as antonyms there are at least the following four groups. This can be illustrated by such pairs as man — woman. The question How big is it? One is either single or married.

    Introductory Matter. A relation of incompatibility may be observed between colour terms since the choice of red. Such are word-families of the type: Semantic Similarity of Morphemes mantically and phonemically identical rootand Word-Families morphemes are usually defined as wordfamilies or word-clusters. This is naturally not to say that the number of meanings of a polysemantic word is equal to the number of its antonyms.

    It was pointed out above that antonyms that belong to the group of contraries are found in various antonymic pairs. The negation of one member of this set however does not imply semantic equivalence with the other but excludes the possibility of the other words of this set.

    This is not to imply that the same antonyms are interchangeable in all contexts. In a context where one member of the antonymous pair can be used. The term itself implies close links between the members of the group. In contrast to dry air we select damp air and in contrast to dry lips—we would probably use moist lips.

    In the word-families discussed above the root-morphemes are identical not only in The interchangeability of each of them with dry is confined to certain contexts. It should be noted that members of a word-family as a rule belong to different parts of speech and are joined together only by the identity of rootmorphemes.

    We know that polysemy may be analysed through synonymy. It is therefore suggested that the term "antonyms" should be used as a general term to describe words different in sound-form and characterised by different types of semantic contrast of denotational meaning and interchangeability at least in some contexts. In some cases polysemy may be also analysed through antonymy e.

    Naturally not all colour terms are incompatible. To say morning is to say not afternoon. Semantic relations of incompatibility exist among the antonyms with the common component of meaning and may be described as the reverse of hyponymy. In some cases. Interchangeability in certain contexts analysed in connection with synonyms is typical of antonyms as well.

    Semantic relations between scarlet and red are those of hyponymy. Not all words or all meanings have antonyms e. Linguistic verbal contexts comprise lexical and grammatical contexts and are opposed to extra-linguistic non-verbal contexts. In such cases it is usual to speak of lexical suppletion. Classification of vocabulary into thematic groups is based on common contextual associations.

    As a rule in the word-families of this type we are likely to encounter etymologically different words.


    Syntagmatic relations define the word-meaning in the flow of speech in various contexts. A certain meaning or meanings is representative of the word taken in isolation. As derivational affixes impart to the words a certain generalised meaning. Semantic and phonemic identity of affixational morphemes can be observed in the lexical groups of the type darkness. In extralinguistic contexts the meaning of the word is determined not only by linguistic factors but also by the actual speech situation in which the word is used.

    We frequently find synonymic pairs of the type fatherly— paternal. On the syntagmatic axis the word-meaning is dependent on different types of contexts. In such word-groups as. Contextual associations are formed as a result of regular co-occurrence of words in similar. Linguistic context is the minimal stretch of speech necessary to determine individual meanings. The criterion of common concept serves to classify words into semantic fields and lexico-semantic groups.

    The main criterion underlying semantic classification of vocabulary items on the paradigmatic axis is the type of meaning relationship between words. Paradigmatic relations define the word-meaning through its interrelation with other members within one of the subgroups of vocabulary units.

    Summary and Conclusions matic or combinatory axes of linguistic structure represent the way vocabulary is organised. Semantic relationship of inclusion is the main feature of hyponymic hierarchical structure Semantic similarity and semantic contrast is the type of relationship which underlies the classification of lexical items into synonymic and antonymic series.

    Synonymy and antonymy are correlative and sometimes overlapping notions. Synonymous relationship of the denotational meaning is in many cases combined with the difference in the connotational mainly stylistic component. It is suggested that the term s y n o n y m s should be used to describe words different in sound-form but similar in their denotational meaning or meanings and interchangeable at least in some contexts. Words put together to form lexical units make phrases or word-groups.

    It will be recalled that lexicology deals with words, word-forming morphemes and word-groups. We assume that the word is the basic lexical unit.


    The largest two-facet lexical unit comprising more than one word is the word-group observed on the syntagmatic level of analysis of the various ways words are joined together to make up single self-contained lexical units. The degree of structural and semantic cohesion of word-groups may vary. Some word-groups, e. Such wordgroups are usually described as set-phrases, word-equivalents or phraseological units and are traditionally regarded as the subject matter of the branch of lexicological science that studies phraseology.

    The component members in other word-groups, e. Word-groups of this type are defined as free or variable word-groups or phrases and are habitually studied in syntax. Here, however, we proceed from the assumption that before touching on the problem of phraseology it is essential to briefly outline the features common to various types of word-groups viewed as self-contained lexical units irrespective of the degree of structural and semantic cohesion of the component words.

    To get a better insight into the essentials of structure and meaning of word-groups we must begin with a brief survey of the main factors active in uniting words into word-groups.

    The two main linguistic factors to be considered in this connection are the lexical and the grammatical valency of words. Lexical in certain lexical contexts, i. This noun is a component of a number of other wordgroups, e. The aptness of a word to appear in various combinations is described as its lexical valency or collocability.

    The range of the lexical valency of words is linguistically restricted by the inner structure of the English word-stock. This can be easily observed in the selection of synonyms found in different word-groups. Though the verbs lift and raise, e.

    There is a certain norm of lexical valency for each word and any departure from this norm is felt as a literary or rather a stylistic device.

    Such word-groups as for example a cigarette ago, shove a question and the like are illustrative of the point under discussion. It is because we recognise that shove and question are not normally collocable that the junction of them can be effective. We observe, for example, that the verb put forward and the noun question are habitually collocated and whenever we hear the verb put forward or see it written on paper it is natural that we should anticipate the word question.

    This is also true of a number of other word-groups, e.

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    Some linguists hold that most of the English in ordinary use is thoroughly saturated with cliches. The English word, however, cannot enter into combination with the word room to denote flowers growing in the rooms cf.

    One more point of importance should be discussed in connection with the problem of lexical valency — the interrelation of lexical valency and polysemy as found in word-groups. Firstly, the restrictions of lexical valency of words may manifest themselves in the lexical meanings of the polysemantic members of wordgroups. But not all the words with more or less the same component of meaning can be combined with this adjective.

    Lexical Semantics and Lexicography. English Lexicology This bookoffers offers an an inside look atgoes whaton goes on in the modern world of It is aimed English at irst-year lexicology. It isstudents aimed of at English linguistics first-year students taking a one-semester of English course linguistics This book inside look at what in the modern world of English lexicology.

    Selected Chapters in English Lexicology Part I taking a one-semester course in English lexicology, serving in English lexicology, serving as its introduction. The book has been written with as itsthe introduction. The book has been written with the intention of going some intention of going some way towards redressing the balance and illing the gap in the way towards redressing the balance and filling the gap in the need for a need for a modern introduction to English lexicology.

    The structure of the textbook is modern introduction to English lexicology. The structure of the textbook is composed of composed ofseven sevenmain mainchapters, combining chapters, both traditional combining topics as topics both traditional well as as more recent well as scientiic more recenttheories of lexical scientific semantics theories and lexicography. Lexicology as a branch of linguistics, Linguistic sign, The topics include the following: Lexicology as a branch of linguistics, Words and their meaning, Charting variation Linguistic in theand sign, Words English lexicon, their Meaning meaning, relations Charting in the lexicon, variation in theLexical Englishields and last but lexicon, not least, Meaning Dictionaries relations as a lexicon, in the gateway to lexicography.

    Lexical fields and last but not least, Dictionaries as a gateway to lexicography. English Lexicology Her research Doc.


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