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II The problem of the Word
Two approaches to study Lexicology.
I. Lexicology as a branch of linguistics. Branches of lexicology. Two approaches to language studies.
II. Word as a basic unit of language. Problem of the word.
III. The semantic structure of word meaning. Approaches to meaning. Types of meaning.
IV. The connection between meaning and word form (motivation)
I Lexicology (of Greek origin: lexis “word” + logos “learning”) is a part of linguistics dealing with vocabulary of language and properties (свойства) of words as main units of language. Lexicology studies words and various lexical units (morphemes) and phraseological units. It aims to describe and analyze word-stock, words and the usage (употребление) of the words.
The main lexicological problems:
1. Systematic description of the word-stock respect to its origin, development and current (текущий) use. (How the word comes into the language?)
2. The problems of word structure and word formation (образование).
3. Semantics of English words (the meaning of words), semantic structure of the vocabulary.
4. Relationships of lexical units in speech.
5. Original variants and dialects of English.
Branches of Lexicology:
· General Lexicology – which is the general study of words and vocabulary irrespective (независимый) to any particular language.
· Special Lexicology – study and description of the vocabulary of a particular language.
· Contrastive Lexicology – studies the vocabulary of 2-3 languages in comparison.
1) Diachronic approach studies the language from the origin up to the present moment.
· It is applied in etymology (another branch of lexicology, deals with origin of the words and evolution of the vocabulary).
2) Synchronic approach – some particular level of study.
· Word formation/word building – how the word was built. It studies the system of the derivative (производный) types of words, the exterior (внешний) process, means and mechanism of coining (создание неологизмов) new words after certain semantic patterns (принцип, образец).
· Semasiology studies the internal structure of the word and its meaning.
· Phraseology is the study of set or fixed expressions, such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and other types of multi-word lexical units.
· Applied lexicology includes lexicography – the theory and practice of dictionary compiling (составление); linguodidactics; translations, pragmatics (контекстная лингвистика) of speech.
1) Is the word a basic unit of the language?
2) How to distinguish a word from other lexical units? What can be the criteria?
3) Each word has grammatical forms. Either all grammatical forms belong to one word or each form is a word?
4) Problem of homonymy and polysemy.
5) The problem of a word as a unit of language and a unit of speech.
Word is the basic unit of the language and one of the most complex phenomenon as it has different aspects (sounds, morphemes).
The Word is characterized by:
· Morphological indivisibility
· Positional mobility
· Semantic integrity (целостность)
Word is the basic significant (значительный, важный) unit of a given language capable (способный) of functioning alone and characterized by morphological indivisibility, uninterruptability, positional mobility, semantic integrity.
Three main approaches to definition of meaning:
1) Referential (ссылочный)
2) Functional (contextual)
3) Operational (действенный)
Each of them is connected with the Triangle. It was suggested by English scholars C.K.Ogden and I.A.Richards.
1. Word-semantic triangle
2. Triangle is too simple. It doesn’t take into account relation of a sign with other signs.
According to them the meaning of the ling.unit can be studied only through its relation to other ling.units.
Context is a minimum stretch of speech necessary and sufficient (достаточный) to determine (определять) the possible meanings of the word is used.
3. This school considers that definition of meaning can be given according to the role of the word in the process of communication. Meaning is information conveyed (сообщать) from the speaker to the listener in the process of communication. This definition can be applied both to the words and sentences.
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