1 Lexicology as a science. Branches of lexicology.

2 Two approaches to language study, varieties of words.

3 Methods of investigation.

4 Contrastive analysis.

5 Statistical analysis.

6 Immediate constituents analysis.

7 Distributional analysis.

8 Transformational analysis.

9 Componental analysis.

10 Method of semantic differential.

11 Analytical (referential) definition of meaning.

12 Functional (contextual) definition of meaning.

13 Operational (information-oriented) definition of meaning.

14 Naming. The nominative approach to meaning.

15 The formation of concepts. Meaning and concept.

16 The ways of forming sound forms of words.

17 Aspects of lexical meaning.

18 Sources and types of meaning variability.

19 The semantic structure of a word.

20 Semantic relations of words.

21 Word-structure. Types of morphemes.

22 The method of immediate and ultimate constituents.

23 The derivational structure. Derivational bases. Types of stems .

24 Derivational patterns.

25 Word-formation. Basic ways of coining words.

26 Minor types of coining words.

27 Affixes. Polysemy. Homonymy. Synonymy.

28 Conversion.

Lexicology as a science.

Its basic units and methods.

Lexicology is a branch of linguistics – the science of language. The term “lexicology” is composed of two Greek morphemes “lexic” – word, phrase & “logos” which denotes learning a department of knowledge. Thus the literal meaning of the term “lexicology” is “the science of the word”. Lexicology as a branch of linguistics has its own aims & methods of scientific research. Its basic task – being a study & systematic description of vocabulary in respect to its origin, development & its current use. Lexicology is concerned with words, variable word-groups, phraseological units & morphemes which make up words.

Distinction is made between GENERAL LEXICOLOGY & SPECIAL LEXICOLOGY. General lexicology is a part of General linguistics . It is concerned with the study of vocabulary irrespective of the specific features of any particular language . Special lexicology is the lexicology of a particular language ( Russian , German , French , etc. ).

Lexicology is closely connected with other branches of linguistics : phonetics , for example , investigates the phonetic structure of language & is concerned with the study of the outer sound-form of the word . Grammar is the study of the grammatical structure of language . It is concerned with the various means of expressing grammatical relations between words as well as with patterns after which words are combined into word-groups & sentences . There is also a close relationship between lexicology & stylistics which is concerned with a study of a nature , functions & styles of languages .

Two approaches to language study.

Varieties of words.

There are two principle approaches in linguistic science to the study of language material : synchronic & diachronic . With regard to Special lexicology the synchronic approach is concerned with the vocabulary of a language as it exists at a given time . It’s Special Descriptive lexicology that deals with the vocabulary & vocabulary units of a particular language at a certain time .

The diachronic approach in terms of Special lexicology deals with the changes & the development of vocabulary in the coarse of time . It is Special Historical lexicology that deals with the evaluation of the vocabulary units of a language as the time goes by .

The two approaches shouldn’t be set one against the other . In fact , they are interconnected & interrelated because every linguistic structure & system exists in a state of constant development so that the synchronic state of a language system is a result of a long process of linguistic evaluation , of its historical development . Closely connected with the Historical lexicology is Contrastive & Comparative lexicology whose aims are to study the correlation between the vocabularies of two or more languages & find out the correspondences between the vocabulary units of the languages under comparison .

Lexicology studies various lexical units . They are : morphemes , words , variable word-groups & phraseological units . We proceed from the assumption that the word is the basic unit of the language system , the largest on morphological & the smallest on syntactic plane of linguistic analyses . The word is a structural & semantic entity within the language system . The word as well as any linguistic sign is a two-faced unit possessing both form & content or , to be more exact , sound-form & meaning .

e. g. boy – бой

When used in actual speech the word undergoes certain modification & functions in one of its forms . The system showing a word in all its word-forms is called a paradigm . The lexical meaning of a word is the same throughout the paradigm . The grammatical meaning varies from one form to another . Therefore when we speak on any word as used in actual speech we use the term “word” conventionally because what is manifested in the utterances is not a word as a whole but one of its forms which is identified as belonging to the definite paradigm . Words as a whole are to be found in the dictionary (showing the paradigm n – noun , v – verb , etc).

There are two approaches to the paradigm : as a system of forms of one word revealing the differences & the relationships between them .

e. g. to see – saw - seen – seeing

( different forms have different relations )

In abstraction from concrete words the paradigm is treated as a pattern on which every word of one part of speech models its forms , thus serving to distinguish one part of speech from another .

-s -‘s -s’ -ed -ing

nouns, of-phrases verbs

Besides the grammatical forms of words there are lexical varieties which are called “variants” of words .Words seldom possess only one meaning , but used in speech each word reveals only that meaning which is required .

e. g. to learn at school to make a dress

to learn about smth. ⁄smbd. to make smbd. do smth.

These are lexico-semantic variants .

There are also phonetic & morphological variants .

e. g. “often” can be pronounced in two ways, though the sound-form is slightly changed , the meaning remains unchangeable . We can build the forms of the word “to dream” in different ways :

to dream – dreamt – dreamt

dreamed–dreamed These are morphological variants . The meaning is the same but the model is different .

Like words-forms variants of words are identified in the process of communication as making up one & the same word . Thus , within the language system the word exists as a system & unity of all its forms & variants .

Methods of investigation .

The science is said to be formed when it has at its disposal certain methods of investigation . The process of scientific investigation may be subdivided into several stages :

  • Observation is an early & basic phase of all modern scientific investigations including linguistics & is the center of what is called “ the inductive method of inquiry “ . The cardinal role of all inductive procedures is that the statements of fact must be based on observation not on unsupported authority , logical conclusions or personal preferences .

  • Another stage of scientific investigation after observation is classification of those facts which were obtained through observation .

e. g. It is observed that in English nouns the suffixal morpheme “-er” is added to verbal stems ( to cook – cooker , to write – writer ) & noun stems ( village – villager , London – Londoner ). The same suffix also occurs in the words such as mother , father . The question is whether the words “ mother , father “ have suffix . They haven’t , thus we can come to the conclusion that “-er” can be found in derived & non-derived words .

  • The following stage is usually that of generalization , that is , the collection of data & their classification must eventually lead to the formulation of a hypotheses , rule , or law .

e. g. In the case with “-er” we can formulate the rule that derived words in “-er” may have either verbal or noun stems .The suffix “-er” in combination with adjectival or adverbial stems can’t produce nouns ( bigger , longer , shorter are not nouns ).

  • Any linguistic generalization is to be followed by the very fine process – the linguist is required to seek verification of the generalizations that are the result of his inquires . For these aims different methods & procedures are used . They are : contrastive analyses , statistical methods of analyses , immediate constituents analyses , distributional analyses , transformational analyses , componental analyses & method of semantic differentiation .

Contrastive analysis .

Contrastive linguists attempt to find out similarities & differences in both related & non-related languages . Contrastive analysis grew as the result of the practical demands of a language-teaching methodology , where it was empirically shown that the errors which are made by foreign language students can be often traced back to the differences in structure between the target language & the language of the learner . This naturally implies the necessity of a detailed comparison of the structure of a native & a target language . This procedure has been named contrastive analysis . People proceed from the assumption that the categories , elements on the semantic as well as on the syntactic & other levels are valid for both languages .

e. g. Linking verbs can be found in English , French , German , Russian , etc. Linking verbs having the meaning of “change & become” are differently represented in each of the languages . In English , for instance , “ become , come , grow , fall , run , turn “ ; in Russian –“ становиться “ are used . The task is to find out which semantic & syntactic features characterize the English set of linking verbs , the Russian linking verb & how they can be compared , how the English word-groups “ grow thin , get angry , fall ill “ correspond to Russian “похудеть , рассердиться , заболеть “.

Contrastive analysis can be carried out at three linguistic levels : phonology , grammar ( morphology & syntax ) & lexis . Contrastive analysis is applied to reveal the features of sameness & difference in the lexical meaning & the semantic structure of correlated words in different languages . It is commonly assumed by non-linguists that all languages have vocabulary systems in which the words themselves differ in sound-form , but refer to reality in the same way . From this assumption it follows that

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