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методология / haritonchik / лексикология !!!!!!!!11111111 / 4 / 4. The function of lexical units. Naming process causes, way

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4. The function of lexical units. Naming process: causes, ways, types and results

To solve the problem of the constituents of the lexicon we have to view it from the functional or dynamic point of view, i.e. from the angle of what lexical units are functionally destined for and of how they arise in the language system. The theory that discusses these problems - the theory of naming, or nomination, or verbalization (giving a name to a class of objects, properties, processes). The roots of the naming theory go back to ancient times. One can easily quote Plato’s Cratylus as a very clear expression of ideas of those times on the processes of naming and correlation of names, or signs and things named, or signified.

To keep in mind one’s experience of the environment and to communicate one’s ideas to other human beings one has to give expression to those psychic constructs that appear in our mind. The ever changing world, whose economic, social, political, scientific, etc. aspects are in the state of permanent change makes it an ever present necessity, a permanent cause for processes of naming to take place.

It is not only the world that changes, our knowledge of the world, of nature of things, of their interrelations and changes too, and this change in our cognitive, conceptual, world predetermines another, also permanent, need of names to register our new ideas of our environment and its properties. Together with our understanding of the surrounding world our emotional attitudes towards things, events, or their properties may change thus creating a need for verbalization to express our changed emotions. All in all we have at least four types of causes that predermine the fact that naming is an ever present and regular enough process in the life of a language. These causes are: 1) social, or objective; 2) cognitive, or epistemological and 3) psychological, or emotional; 4) linguistic causes.

There exist universal ways to satisfy the community hunger for names:

1) Imitation (Onomatopoeia), when in order to give a name to an object or event, or property or a class of them the speaker imitates some property, usually, the one which is connected with sound, thus creating units like: to whisper, roar in English or шуршать, шептать in Russian, свiсцець, звiнець in Byelorussian. The results of imitation naming processes pose a very serious linguistic problem- arbitrariness, conventionality of a name, or the form of a lexical unit: the animal world gives us numerous examples:

Cats miaou - мяукают Cows mooh - му-му (мычат)

People sneeze in English and чихают in Russian producing sounds different enough: atishoo and апчхи .

2) Semantic derivation (Transfer of Things) which seem to have no likeness are given the same name. E.g. eye is a name for an organ of sight, and eyes of a potato, eye of a needle, the eye of the tornado, etc. Though first it appeared as the name of a human organ later on the name was transferred to other objects.

3) Word derivation- creation of novel names on the basis of names already existent in the word stock, a vivid example being word composition. E.g. a room– a living room, a bedroom= various function of rooms.

Milk-milkman, milkmaid, milk-shake, to milk and many more.

Here we face the same problem of arbitrariness: a living-room-гостиная, a bed-room-спальня.

Creation of various types of derived names and even terminological expressions is the result of combining names in order to give rent to a new name, complex in nature.

4) Borrowing. No lang. is free of borrowings. They come in different ways– directly or indirectly and in different shapes: in the form of lexical items, shaped according to the phonetic, grammatical norms of the language (assimilation of borrowings), record or in the form of translation (vodka in E. Vodkas).

Of all the four techniques of verbalization semantic derivation and word composition are by far the most productive in the life of established languages.

Analyzing units used for naming, scholars distinguish at least 3 types of verbalization:

  1. Lexical - naming is fulfilled with the help of lexical items, w.w in particular.

  1. Propositional - speakers name a situation they might use a word-combination or a sentence to name it.

«Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you. »

  1. Discourse - when a text serves as a name for some usual complex situation, or a series of situations.

Lexical verbalization is the major source for the lexicon thought to discard names created in the form of propositions or discourse units would be snobbish and wrong for though to a lesser degree their outcome might become established ways of expression, especially in the form of questions.

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