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Lecture 2. English vocabulary as a system

1. Ways of enriching vocabulary

2.The classification of the English vocabulary

2.1 Morphological grouping

2.2. Thematic and ideographic groups

2.3 Terminological systems

2.4 Different types of non-semantic groupings.

By the vocabulary of a language is understood the total sum of its words. Another term for vocabulary is the stock of words.

The vocabulary of the language is not homogeneous (однородный). It is and adaptive system constantly adjusting itself to the changing conditions of human communication and cultural surroundings.

The number of words in a language is not constant and the increase is usually greater than the leak out (утечка). This process may be obtained (получен) by it results that is neologisms (1rd).

Productive word formation patterns are the most effective means of enreaching vocabulary:

1) Affixation (electronics, psycho-linguistics)

2) Conversion (a sputnik – to sputnik). It is a process of forming new words by the changing the part of speech without any morphemic changes.

3) Back-derivation (to laze from lazy). With morphemic changes.

4) Shortening (laboratory - lab). By reducing (cutting) part of a word.

Third. Semantic extension of words (приобретение словом ещё одного значения) is a powerful source of enreaching a vocabulary. It consists in splitting (расщепление) of polysemy (многозначность) that results in appearance of new vocabulary units (homonyms). “Heel – the traitor (хитрец) has lost all connections with the heel – the back part of human feel.”

Fourth. Borrowing – is active only in the field of scientific terminology. “Blitzkrieg, protein). In the course of time it is accepted into the words stock of the language and being often used it stops to be considered new or else it may not be accepted and vanish from the vocabulary.

When we consider the lexical system of a language as an adaptive system developing for many centuries. We have to contrast the innovations with words that dropped from the language (Obsolete words – устаревшие) or survive only in special contexts (archaisms and historisms). Archaisms are words that were once common but now are replaced by synonyms (betwixt is replaced between). When the thing named is no longer used its name become a historism (Phaeton – фаэтон-автомобиль)

II. The classification of the English vocabulary.

1. Morphological and lexico-grammatical grouping:

On the morphological level the words are subdivided into 4 groups according to their morphological structure (the number and type of morphemes which compose (составлять, образовывать) them):

a) Root words (ex. Dog, hand) состоящая из 1 корня

b) Derivatives (производные(Handy, handful)

c) Compound words (ex. Handball, handbag)

d) Compound dericatives (Left-handed) (помимо 2 корней ещё и суффиксы)

Another type of traditional lexical grouping is word families (этимологически родственные слова). The words are grouped here according to the root-morpheme (Handy, handsome, handicraft) , according to the common suffix or prefix (troublesome, gladsome, gruesome).

Thematic and ideographic groups. The basis of thematic grouping is not only linguistic (that is words belong to the same part of speech) but also extra linguistic (that means that the words are associated because the things they name occur together and are closely connected in reality, (Ex. Thematic – color terms, military terms and medical terms)

All the elements of thematic groups remain within the limits of the same part of speech. When grammatical meaning is not taken into consideration we obtain the so-called ideographic groups. Words are classed here according to their signification that is the system of logical notions (ex. Light (noun), bright (adj), shine (verb) are united into one ideographic group as they are all connected with a notion of light. (Слова в идеографической не принадлежат к одной част речи, но связаны с каким-то одним феноменом).

Third classification, Terminological systems. Terminology constitutes the greatest part of every language vocabulary. Terms are words or word groups used to name a notion, characteristic of some special field of knowledge, industry or culture. These words (terms) are monosemantic, have no contextual meaning and are free from emotional coloring, Terms are not separates from the rest of vocabulary. With the development of civilization many special notions become known to the layman (обыватель) and form part and parcel (неотъемлемая часть) of everyday speech. (vitamin, computer).

Fourth classification. Different types of non-semantic groupings. The simplest non-semantic grouping is the alphabetical organization of written words. It is of great practical value as it is the most universal way of searching for the necessary word, but its theoretical value is almost null because no property of the word can be predicted from the letter the word begins with.

The rhyming group contain the words arranged according to the similarity of their ends. Such dictionaries are intended mostly for poets.

It’s based on the length of words. There’s a number of words they contain, It may be useful for communication, engineering, automatic reading of messages and correction of mistakes.

Next group is based on a statistical analysis of frequency of words. These figures show important correlations (взаимосвязь) between quantitative and qualitative characteristic of lexical units.

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