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Гос филология / Гос филология / 11. Lexicology as a branch of lingistics

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Lexicology as a branch of lingistics, its connection with other branches of linguistics.

Lexicology is a branch of Linguistics studying the vocabulary of the language.

The word is the subject-matter of Lexicology. All the words in a language make up (составляют) the vocabulary of the language.

A word is the smallest significant unit of a given language, capable of functioning alone and characterized by positional mobility within a sentence, morphological uninterruptability (целостность, цельнооформленность, непрерывность), semantic integrity (цельность).

The basic task of Lexicology is the study and systematic description of vocabulary in respect to (что касается) its origin, development and current use.

General Lexicology is the general study of words and the vocabulary irrespective of the specific features of any particular language.

Special Lexicology is the Lexicology of a particular language.

Historical Lexicology studies the vocabulary as a system in its evolution. It describes the origin of words, their change and development in the course of time.

Descriptive Lexicology studies the vocabulary at a given stage of its development.

Theoretical value. One of the key questions in Linquistics and Philosophy – the relationship between the name and the thing named – is studied within Semasiology and Onomasiology – parts of Lexicology dealing with the meaning of the word.

Pracrical value. Lexicology meets the needs (удовл потребности) of many branches of Linguistics, namely of lexicography, machine translation, the study of professional jargons, speech therapy and especially of foreign language teaching.

Lexicography deals with compiling and describing dictionaries.

Lexicology is connected with other branches of Linguistics:

Phonetics. Phonetic means are employed in word building (sound interchange (e.g. blood – to bleed, speech – to speak), shift of stress (e.g. the noun ‘conduct – ‘поведение’, the verb to con’duct – ‘вести, направлять’)), the formation of new words studied in Lexicology.

Grammar. Some nouns have two plural forms: the older form and the regular –s form. As a result, different plural form have acquired (приобретают) different lexical meanings: e.g. brother – 1. brothers (expressing family relationship), 2. brethren (members of some club or a society).

The ties (связь) between Lexicology and Grammar are strong in the sphere of word-building. The suffix of plurality ‘s’ may be used to form not only the plural form, but also a new word with a new meaning. The plural form is isolated from the paradigm and a new word comes into being (lexicalization of a grammatical form): e.g. custom – customs 1. plural of ‘привычка’; 2. таможня.

Stylistics studies different functional styles of human speech. Lexicology studies lexical means, that is words, characteristic of different functional style.

History of the Language. Lexicology explains a lot of peculiarities in the vocabulary of present-day English.

  1. Lexicology as a branch of linguistics, its connection with other branches of linguistics.

Lexicology is a branch of Linguistics studying words or the vocabulary of the language. According to I.V. Arnold, "Lexicology is the part of linguistics dealing with the vocabulary of the language and the properties of words as the main units of language".

The term Lexicology was introduced in the French encyclopedia by D. Didro and J.L. d'Alamber in 1765. The term Lexicology is composed of two Greek morphemes: "lexis" meaning "word, phrase" and "logos" -"learning, a department of knowledge". Thus, the term Lexicology literally means "a department of knowledge studying words", "the science of words".

The word is the subject-matter of Lexicology. All the words in a language make up what is generally called the vocabulary of the language. The English vocabulary is the sum total of all the words in the English language.

The basic task of Lexicology is the study and systematic description of vocabulary in respect to its origin, development and current use.

Distinction (различение) is naturally made between General Lexicology and Special Lexicology. General Lexicology is a part of General Linguistics. General Lexicology is the general study of words and the vocabulary irrespective (независимый) of the specific features of any particular language. Special Lexicology is the Lexicology of a particular language. It is the study and description of the vocabulary of a given language. English Lexicology is Special Lexicology, dealing with the English vocabulary.

There are 2 principal approaches to the study of any language, namely the diachronic approach (from Greek "dia" {through) + "chronos" (time)), or historical approach, and the synchronic approach (from Greek "syn" ("together, with") + "chronos" (time)), or descriptive approach. The distinction between the synchronic and diachronic approaches is due to the Swiss philologist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913). Thus, the distinction is made between Historical Lexicology, or Etymology, and Descriptive Lexicology. Historical Lexicology studies the vocabulary as a .system in its evolution. It describes the origin of words, their change and development in the course of time. Descriptive Lexicology studies the vocabulary in its synchronic aspect that is at a given stage of its development. The diachronic and synchronic approaches should not be contrasted, as in fact they are interconnected, viewing one and the same phenomenon from different angles. E.g. treated diachronically the word "friendship" is a compound, but synchronically it is a derivative, as the element "ship" has lost its status of a root-morpheme and is considered to be a suffix now.

The word is the subject-matter of Lexicology. The word may be described as the basic unit of language. The definition of a word is one of the most difficult problems in Linguistics because any word has many different aspects.

a word is the smallest significant unit of a given language, capable of functioning alone and characterized by positional mobility within a sentence, morphological uninterruptabilitv (целостность, цельнооформленность, непрерывность) and semantic integrity (цельность).

The theoretical and practical value of Lexicology

The theoretical value of Lexicology is determined by its subject matter - the vocabulary of language, which forms one of the 3 main aspects of language, the other two aspects of language are its grammar and sound system. One of the key questions in Linguistics and Philosophy (the theory of cognition) - the relationship between the name and* the thing named - is studied within Semasiology and Onomasiology, - parts of Lexicology dealing with the meaning of the word.

Lexicology came into being to meet the needs of many different branches of applied Linguistics, namely of lexicography, standardization of terminology, information retrieval, machine translation, literary criticism, the study of professional jargons, speech therapy and especially of foreign language teaching.

Lexicography, or applied Lexicology deals with compiling and describing dictionaries. The practical value of Lexicology for Lexicography is obvious.

The practical valve of Lexicology in teaching foreign languages lies in the fact that it helps stimulate a systematic approach to the facts of the vocabulary and expose the peculiarities of the words of a foreign language in comparison (сопоставление, сравнение) with the words of the native tongue. The choice of methods of teaching is largely dependent upon the typological features of the native and foreign languages and their vocabulary systems.

As a branch of Linguistics Lexicology is closely connected with other branches of Linguistics: Grammar, Stylistics, Phonetics and History of the Language.

Phonetics studies the sound form of the word, its outer form. It also studies the intonation patterns of utterances (произношение). Since phonemes serve to distinguish between meanings, we may say that phonemes participate in signification The importance of the phonemic make up of the word may be illustrated by the so-called spoonerisms (случайная перестановка звуков, частей слов или слов)- words which appear as a result of an accidental or jocular transposition of the initial sounds of two or more words, e.g. our dear old Queen for our queer old dean; half warmed fish for half formed wish.

Phonetic means are employed in word building, the formation of new words studied in Lexicology. Phonetic word-building means are sound interchange and distinctive stress (shift of stress). Sound interchange is the alternation in the phonemic composition of the root, which serves to differentiate between different words:

e.g. blood - to bleed, speech - to speak, life - to live. Sound interchange is often combined with affixation:

e.g. to heal - health, long - length; or with affixation and the shift of stress:

e.g. 'democrat-de'mocrасу.

Shift of stress, or distinctive stress sometimes is the only means of discrimination between words,

1. 'export — to ex'port 'import — to import 'object — to ob'ject 'insult-to in'suit 'frequent - tofre'quent 'perfect — to per'feet Though sound interchange and shift of stress are not productive as word building means at present, they serve as a basis for contrasting different words.

The interrelation between Lexicology and Grammar is conditioned by the close ties between the objects of their study. Every word belongs to a certain part of speech and has certain lexico-grammatical characteristics of the word-class to which it belongs. Words possess both lexical and grammatical meanings. Sometimes no rigid line of demarcation can be drawn between them.

Е.g. the noun "fruit" is an uncountable noun. It becomes countable and forms the -» plural "/raift"only when meaning "different kinds of fruit\ The plural form "fruits" may also be used figuratively, as in "fruits of labor", "fruits of enlightenment'.( просвещение)

The ties between Lexicology and Grammar are particularly strong in the sphere of word-building. The peculiarities of English word-building are largely dependent upon the English grammatical system.

There is also a close connection between Lexicology and Stylistics. Stylistics studies different functional styles of human speech. Functional styles are defined as systems of linguistic expressive means: phonetic, grammatical and lexical, peculiar to certain spheres of communication. Lexicology, dealing with the vocabulary, studies lexical means, that is vocabulary (words), characteristic of different functional styles. Some words are more general and neutral in tone, or stylistically unmarked Others are stylistically marked, having a distinctly literary or poetic flavour (or learned, technical, colloquial, vulgar, childish, etc.).

E.g. the sentence "I'm in excellent shape " - sounds quite neutral, but "I'm in tip-top shape " expresses the same idea, but informally, in the colloquial style, as the word "tip-top " is colloquial.

Lexicology is also connected with the History of the Language, as the latter serves to explain a lot of peculiarities in the vocabulary of present-day English It reveals the origin of synonyms and homonyms and traces the routes of etymological doublets. Etymological doublets are words different in form and meaning in present-day English, but originating from one and the same word.

E.g. the Latin word "'securus " has given two etymological doublets: "secure " - хранить "sure " - быть уверенным The Latin word "discus " has given such etymologically related words as:

"dais " {помост, возвышение для трона, кафедры) [ ] "dish" {блюдо)

"disc " {круглый диск, пластина) "discus " (in sport) (диск для метания)

Thus, Lexicology is one of the most important branches of Linguistics, dealing with the vocabulary of language and closely connected through its subject with other branches of Linguistics.

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