Lexicology of the English Language

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This course of lexicology which forms a part of the curriculum for the English sections of linguistic departments of teacher-training colleges is intended for students of the third year of the day department. It includes 15 lectures and 12 seminars which cover the main themes of Modern English lexicology: wordbuilding, semantic changes, phraseology, borrowings, semasiology, neology, lexicography. The material for seminars includes topics to be discussed, test questions and lexical units to be analized. Lexical units for the analysis were chosen mainly among neologisms. There is also a brief list of recommended literature.

The aim of the course is to teach students to be word-conscious, to be able to guess the meaning of words they come across from the meanings of morphemes, to be able to recognize the origin of this or that lexical unit.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Language units

Wordbuilding

Affixation

Compound words

Conversion

Substantivization

Stone wall combinations

Abbreviations

Seconadary ways of wordbuilding

Semantic changes

Specialization

Generalization

Metaphor and metonymy

Phraseology

Ways of forming phraseological units

Semantic classification of phraseological units

Structural classification of phraseological units

Syntactical classification of phraseological units

Borrowings

Classification of borrowings according to the borrowed aspect

Classification of borrowings according to the degree of assimilation

Classification of borrowings according to the language from which they were borrowed.

Romanic borrowings/ Latin, French, Italian, Spanish/.

Germanic borrowings /Scandinavian, German, Holland/ .

Russian borrowings.

Etymological doublets.

Semaciology.

Word - meaning.

Lexical meaning - notion.

Polysemy.

Homonyms.

Synonyms .

Antonyms .

Local varieties of English.

British and American English.

Archaisms.

Neologisms.

Lexicography.

LEXICOLOGY

The term lexicology is of Greek origin / from lexis - word and logos - science/ . Lexicology is the part of linguistics which deals with the vocabulary and characteristic features of words and word-groups.

The term vocabulary is used to denote the system of words and word-groups that the language possesses.

The term word denotes the main lexical unit of a language resulting from the association of a group of sounds with a meaning. This unit is used in grammatical functions characteristic of it. It is the smallest unit of a language which can stand alone as a complete utterance.

The term word-group denotes a group of words which exists in the language as a ready-made unit, has the unity of meaning, the unity of syntactical function, e.g. the word-group as loose as a goose means clumsy and is used in a sentence as a predicative / He is as loose as a goose/.

Lexicology can study the development of the vocabulary, the origin of words and word-groups, their semantic relations and the development of their sound form and meaning. In this case it is called historical lexicology.

Another branch of lexicology is called descriptive and studies the vocabulary at a definite stage of its development.

LANGUAGE UNITS

The main unit of the lexical system of a language resulting from the association of a group of sounds with a meaning is a word. This unit is used in grammatical functions characteristic of it. It is the smallest language unit which can stand alone as a complete utterance.

A word, however, can be divided into smaller sense units - morphemes. The morpheme is the smallest meaningful language unit. The morpheme consists of a class of variants, allomorphs, which are either phonologically or morphologically conditioned, e.g. please, pleasant, pleasure.

Morphemes are divided into two large groups: lexical morphemes and grammatical (functional) morphemes. Both lexical and grammatical morphemes can be free and bound. Free lexical morphemes are roots of words which express the lexical meaning of the word, they coincide with the stem of simple words. Free grammatical morphemes are function words: articles, conjunctions and prepositions ( the, with, and).

: 21/06/2009