It is often due to resemblance of form, position, colour, similarity of function. It is change from concrete to abstract, from specific to general
Types of meaning.
1) Grammatical – is a component of meaning, recurrent in identical sets of individual forms of words (e.g. plural of nouns, Past Indefinite etc.).
2) Lexical meaning has denotational and connotational components.
The denotational component expresses notional content of a word and makes communication possible. Denotation – expression of main meaning, meaning proper of a linguistic unit, in contrast to its connotation.
Connotational component – additional semantic meaning.
Types of connotation: EmotiveEvaluativeConnotation of duration and cause.
Connotation – supplementary meaning and stylistic shade that is added to the word’s main meaning and express all sorts of emotional, expressive overtones.
A word having several meanings is called polysemantic.
The ability of words to have more than one meaning is named polysemy.
The system of meanings of every polysemantic word develops gradually, over the centuries. As more meanings are added, some of old meanings may be lost.
There are 2 levels of analysis of semantic structure of polysemantic words.
1) The semantic structure of a word is treated as the system of meanings.
E.g.: fire – 1) flame (полум’я) 2) an instance of destructive burning (пожежа) 3) burning material in the stove, fireplace (вогонь) 4) the shooting of guns (артилерійський вогонь) 5) strong feeling, passion 6) strong pain.
Meaning 1 is a dominant, describes concept in the most general way, other meanings are associated with special aspects of the same phenomenon. Meaning 1 is a centre of semantic structure and is the main meaning. Meanings 2-6 are secondary meanings and can be associated with one another.
Each meaning can be divided into semantic components.
CHANGING OF MEANING
Word meaning changes in the course of historical development of language under the influence of extralinguistic and linguistic factors.
Extralinguistic factors – changes in the life of speech community, changes in economic and social structure, ideas, way of life as reflected in a word meaning.
E.g.: car – any 4-wheeled wagon; motor-car
Linguistic factors – development of language system itself. E.g.: deer – O.E. any animal; Modern E. “олень”.
Types of changing of meaning.
1) Extension – extension of a word range, when the exact denotation is lost and the word’s meaning extends and is generalized.
It is often due to resemblance of form, position, colour, similarity of function. It is change from concrete to abstract, from specific to general.
E.g.: country – сільська місцевість - країна To fly – махати крилами – літати.
New meaning is wider and more abstract.
2) Narrowing – a word of wide meaning gets narrower, specialized sense. Its usage is restricted to some objects. E.g.: corpse – будь-яке тіло - труп field – поле – галузь.
3) Transference (metaphor and metonymy).
Metaphor – transference of name, based on association of similarity. A new meaning appears as a result of associating 2 objects due to their outer similarity.
Metaphor is based on different types of similarity.
E.g.: a head of a cabbage (shape) Long distance – long speech (duration of time and space) Short line – short time (duration of time and space)
Transition of proper names into common:Don Juan,Adonys,Narcissus,Cl,Hercules,Don Quixote
Metonymy – transference of meaning based upon association of contiguity. The name of one thing is changed for the name of another thing to which it is related by association.
The transference may be influenced by many relations:
Spatial: house – House of Commons, chair – chairman, department, cash – safe.
Causial: youth – young people, old age – old people.
Symbolic:the British Crown–monarchy,White House–US president,Capitol-USCongress,Fort Knox–US go
Instrumental: hand – handwriting.
Common names derived from proper: diesel, mackintosh.
4) Elevation – changes depending on the attitude to the object named, connected with social evaluation. It is change from humble meaning to position of greater importance.
E.g.:fond: foolish – lovingNice: foolish – fineLord: master of the house – title Lady:
5) Degradation – change by which for one reason or another a word falls into a derogatory emotive change.
A change in denotational component brings extension or restriction of meaning.
A change in connotational component results in elevation or degradation of meaning.
E.g.:knave: boy–thiefVillain–peasant–servant–rascal Bubble–булькати–бубоніти нерозбірливо
Morpheme is the minimum meaningful language unit, constituent part of words, not independent, not divided into smaller meaningful units.
Types of morphemes:
Root morpheme – lexical nucleus of the word. It has a very general and abstract lexical meaning, common to a set of semantically related words, constituting one word cluster. Besides lexical meaning, root morphemes possess other types of meaning, proper to morphemes, except the part-of-speech meaning, which is not found in roots.
Affixational morphemes, which are divided into inflexional affixes (inflexions) and derivational affixes (prefixes and suffixes). They are lexically dependent on the root they modify.
Inflexions carry only grammatical meaning and are relevant only for the formation of word forms.
Derivational affixes are relevant for building various types of words.
Lexicology is concerned only with derivational affixes.
Morphemes may be:
Free – coincide with word forms of independently functioning words. Free morphemes can be found only among roots. E.g.: boy, undesirable, screensaver
Bound – do not coincide with independently functioning words. These are prefixes and suffixes.
E.g.: -un, -able, -er, -dis, re-
Positional variant of morpheme occurring in the specific environment and characterized by complementary distribution is called allomorph.
E.g.: allomorphs of prefix in-: il- (illegal, illogical) im- (impossible, impolite) ir- (irregular, irrational)
Between the inflexions allomorphs also occur (variants of pronunciation of plural ending –s, ending –ed).
According to number of morphemes words are classified into monomorphic and polymorphic.
Monomorphic (root) word consists of only one root morpheme (cat, book, knife).
Polymorphic words are divided into:
Derived words, which are composed of one root morpheme and one or several derivational morphemes (disagree, illness, impossibility, unlikely).
Compound wordscontain at least 2 root morphemes and number of derivational morphemes is insignificant. There can be root and derivational morphemes (lampshade, light-mindedness).