Реферат: Lexicology

--PAGE_BREAK-- 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
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                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 :
v        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 .
v        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 .

v    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 ).

v    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 –“
“ 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 “

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 for every word in the mother tongue there is an exact equivalent in the foreign language. It is a belief which is reinforced by the small bilingual dictionary where single-word translation is often used .Language learning cannot be just a matter of substitution a new set of labels for the familiar ones of the mother tongue .It should be born in mind that though the objective reality exists outside human beings & irrespective of the language they speak, every language classifies reality in its own way by means of vocabulary units.

e. g. In English, for example, the word “foot” is used to denote the extremity of  the leg. In Russian there is no exact equivalent for “foot”: “
” is a little bit smaller than foot, the word “
” denotes the whole leg including the foot .

Differences in the lexical meaning of correlated words account for the differences of their collocability in different languages .

e. g. Thus, the English adjective “new” & the Russian adjective”
” when taken in isolation are felt as correlated words: a new dress, New Year. In collocation with other nouns however the Russian adjective cannot be used in the same meaning in which the English word “new” is currently used: new potatoes, new bread, etc.

Contrastive analysis on the level of the grammatical meaning reveals that co-related words in different languages may differ in grammatical characteristics .

e. g. Russians are liable to say “news are good, the money are on the table, her hair are black” because the Russian words “
” have the grammatical meaning of plurality .

Contrastive analysis brings to light the essence of what is usually described as idiomatic English, idiomatic Russian, i. e. the peculiar way in which every language combines & structures in lexical units various concepts to denote extra-linguistic reality .

e. g. A typical Russian word-group used to describe the way somebody performs an action or to state how a person finds himself has the structure that may be represented by the formula “adjective + a finite form of a verb”(
он крепко спит
быстро усваивает
). In English we can also use structurally similar word-groups & say “he learns fast/slowly”. The structure of idiomatic word-group in English is different. The structure is “adjective + deverbal noun”. It is really in English to say “he is a heavy smoker, poor learner early riser”.

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