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INTRODUCTION TO MORPHOLOGY AND LEXICOLOGY UNIT 1: WHAT IS LEXICOLOGY? 2 nd March 2016
Chapter 1: What is lexicology? Howard Jackson and Etienne Zé Amvela (2007) Words, Meaning and Vocabulary: An Introduction to Modern English Lexicology. 2 nded. NY: Continuum. 1. 1 LEXICOLOGY DEFINED 1. 2 LEXICOLOGY AS A LEVEL OF LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS 1. 3 THE STRUCTURE OF ENGLISH VOCABULARY
Chapter 1: What is lexicology? 1. 1 LEXICOLOGY DEFINED morphology semantics etymology lexicography 1. 2 LEXICOLOGY AS A LEVEL OF ANALYSIS lex. & phonology lex. & syntax 1. 3 THE STRUCTURE OF ENG. VOCABULARY word & its associative fields lexical fields word families word classes
1. 1 LEXICOLOGY = the study of lexis, understood as the stock of words in a given language, i. e. its vocabulary or lexicon (Greek: lexis = word) ‘word‘ is difficult to define (cf. Ch 3) ‘word‘ = a sequence of letters bounded by spaces
Talking about the ‘stock of words‘ VOCABULARY – colloquial LEXIS – ‘middle way‘ LEXICON – learned, technical X DICTIONARY = selective recording of word stock at a given point in time
Lexicology Object of study: WORDS (simple, compound, complex) Related fields: Morphology (form) Semantics (meaning) Etymology (origin) Lexicography = compilation of dictionaries (technique)
1. 1. 1 Morphology = the study of morphemes and their arrangements in forming words What are MORPHEMES?
1. 1. 1 Morphology MORPHEMES = the smallest meaninful units which may constitute words or parts of words - cannot be broken down further on the basis of meaning - have a relationship with the non-linguistic world
Sample analysis: identify mophemes Dog Cleaning Bodyguard Painter Crocodile With Systems Replay Unhappiness
Sample analysis: identify mophemes Dog – 1 morpheme, simple word Cleaning – 2 morphemes, clean + -ing Bodyguard – 2 morphemes, body + guard Painter – 2 morphemes, paint + -er Crocodile – 1 morpheme, simple word With – 1 morpheme, meaning, e. g. , ‘in company of‘ Systems – 2 morphemes, system + -s Replay – 2 morphemes, re- + play Unhappiness – 3 morphemes, un- + happy + -ness
Free & Bound morphemes FREE MORPHEMES = ? ? ? BOUND MORPHEMES = ? ? ?
Free & Bound morphemes FREE MORPHEMES = can occur alone as individual words BOUND MORPHEMES = can occur only with another morpheme
Identify free and bound mophemes Cleaning – 2 morphemes Bodyguard – 2 morphemes Painter – 2 morphemes Systems – 2 morphemes Replay – 2 morphemes Unhappiness – 3 morphemes Re vs. Re-. . . Any differences?
Re X re Re (preposition, FORMAL) – (esp. in business letters) about; on the subject of Re your communication of 15 February. . . Re (noun) – the second note of the sol-fa musical scale X Re- (prefix) – used to add the meaning ‘do again‘, esp. to verbs (rebuild); return sth to its original state (regreen the country = make it green again)
morph = concrete realization of a morpheme in a given utterance MORPH ≠ SYLLABLE Morph = represents a specific meaning Syllable = isolated on the basis of pronunciation Complete: The word BODYGUARD consists of ___? ? ? ___morphs and _____? ? ? ____syllables.
allomorphs = different representations of the same morphemes (Greek: allo ‘other‘) - Phonological variations Example: indefinite article - a/ an (a pear X an orange; a unicorn)
allomorphs Example: the negative prefix in– (e. g. , insecure), the consonants following the prefix trigger assimilation im- impatient il- illegal ir- irresponsible
allomorphs Do you know any other examples of allomorphs?
Allomorphs - examples -s/ -es (ducks X horses) Consider also: ducks, dogs, horses /s, z, iz/ lived, clapped, greeted /d, t, id/ Where one allomorph occurs, its counterpart(s) cannot occur. They are mutually exclusive.
Simple, compound and complex words SIMPLE words = free morphemes, morphologically unanalysable (wild, animal) COMPLEX words = formed from simpler words by the addition of affixes or some other kind of morphological modification (spoonful, childish, mentally) Limiting case: zero modification or conversion: Ex. answer (noun/ verb), dirty (adjective/ verb)
Simple, compound and complex words COMPOUND words/ COMPOUNDS = formed by combining two or more words (free morphemes) with or without morphological modification Ex. door-knob, cheeseburger, floppy disc No clear distinction between a word compound (solid and hyphenated) and phrasal compound (open)
The Importance of morphology in lexicology The construction of words and parts of words, and the distinction between the different types of words are all based on morphological analysis.
1. 1. 2 Semantics What is semantics? Do you know any kinds of semantics?
1. 1. 2 Semantics is the study of meaning. Kinds of semantics: Pragmatic s. (meaning of utterances in context) Sentence s. (meaning of sentences, meaning of relations between sentences) Lexical s. (meaning of words, meaning relations that are internal to the vocabulary of a language) Lexical semantics is relevant to lexicology.
2 perspectives on semantics: 1 PHILOSOPHICAL semantics 2 LINGUISTIC semantics Complete: _______ semantics studies the logical properties of language. _______ semantics involves all aspects of meaning in natural languages. _______ semantics deals with the nature of formal theories. _______ semantics studies meaning ranging from the meaning of complex utterances in specific contexts to the meaning of individual sounds in syllables.
Acceptability and meaningfulness Important concepts, both for sentence semantics and lexicology. Some utterances can be meaningless but acceptable. Others may be meaningful but unacceptable.
Acceptable? Meaningful? That cat is a hungry animal. That woman is a man. That log is a doll. -sarcasms, slips of tongue, figures of speech, . . . CONTEXT helps interpretation.
1. 1. 3 Etymology = study of the history of words, not just their origin Term coined by Stoics (Greek philosophers) who believed that language should be regularly related to its content (and they noticed a lack of regularity in the correspondence between form and content) wanted to discover the original forms (‘etyma‘) to establish the regular correspondence between language and reality. = beginning of etymology
Etymology – major issue There can be no ‘true‘ or ‘original‘ meaning since human language stretches too far back in the history. Ex. a nice distinction – the adjective ‘nice‘ really means ‘precise‘ (? ). . . but it once meant ‘silly‘ (Lat. nescitus, ignorant), and earlier, it must have been related to ne, ‘not‘, and se, ‘cut‘. . . Unknown origins of ne and se. . . regular correspondence between language and reality? ? ? Stoics‘ quest has proved fruitless.
Etymological information is useful Makes reference to cognates (words related in form) in other languages. Ex. The Italian word "mangiare" (= to eat) is cognate with the French "manger". Gives the source language of a borrowed word and the date when the borrowing took place. Supplies information on the previous history of the word.
Etymological information is useful Knowledge of etymology may help some learners to understand retain new vocabulary items. Consider the following French words and think of their English equivalents. Can you guess which letter used to follow the letter with “accent circonflexe“ in the past? Forêt, hôpital, hâte, intérêt.
Folk etymology = a historical proces whereby speakers who cannot analyse an obscure form replace it with a morphologically transparent form. Ex. bridegroom Middle English – the original spelling: bridegome (bride ‘bride‘ + gome ‘man‘) gome ceased to be understood replaced by groom (groom = a person whose job is to take care of and clean horses)
1. 1. 4 Lexicography = a special technique, the writing and compiling dictionaries = principles that underlie the process of compiling and editing dictionaries. can be regarded as derived from lexicological theory ‘applied lexicology‘ E. g. , descriptive apprach (as opposed to prescriptive) in lexicography represents direct application of linguistic principles.
1. 2 LEXICOLOGY AS LEVEL OF LANGUAGE ANALYSIS Levels of language analysis: Phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, lexicology The levels interact with one another
1. 2. 1 Lexicology and phonology Difference between two otherwise identical lexical units at the level of phonology: Pill – bill, sheep – ship, . . . only 1 sound unit is different Difference at the level of phonology has a serious effect at the level of lexicology. Sometimes phonological difference involves ‘suprasegmental‘ features such as stress (ex‘port vs. ‘export)
Stress pattern in compounds COMPOUND --------- NOUN PHRASE ‘blackboard ---------- ‚black ‘board ‘blackbird ----------- ‚black ‘bird ‘greyhound ---------- ‚grey ‘hound ‘White House --------- ‚white ‘house
1. 2. 2 Lexicology and syntax Syntax is concerned with the relationships between words in constructions and the way these words are put together to form sentences. Rules of syntax enable English speakers to produce and understand English sentences as needed.
1. 2. 2 Lexicology and syntax Syntax deals with general facts of language. Lexicology deals with particular aspects of language. Syntax deals with rules and regularities that apply to classes of words as a whole. Lexicology is concerned with the way individual words operate and affect other words in the same context.
1. 2. 2 Lexicology and syntax Sentences A: syntactic but unacceptable from the lexical point of view. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. (Chomsky) Sophisticated mice prefer to eat red elephants. The flower gracefully walked away. Acceptability – yes/no; more/less. Context. Sentence B: deviant on syntactic grounds: Did it he and I. OK: He and I did it. Sentence C: deviant on both syntactic and lexical grounds: Did it John and the table.
Time to practise and discuss ELF