Archaisms in literature — страница 3

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-(e)s (he maketh) and the pronoun ye. To the category of obsolescent words belong many French borrowings which have been kept in the literary language as a means of preserving the spirit of earlier periods, e. g. a pallet (a straw mattress); a palfrey (a small horse); garniture (furniture); to peplume (to adorn with feathers or plumes). The second group of archaic words are those that have already gone completely out of use but are still recognised by the English-speaking community: e. g. methinks (it seems to me); nay (=no). These words are called obsolete. The third group, which may be called archaic proper, are words which are no longer recognizable in modern English, words that were in use in Old English and which have either dropped out of the language entirely or have

changed in their appearance so much that they have become unrecognizable, e. g. troth (=faith); a losel (=a worthless, lazy fellow).It will be noted that on the diagram (p. 71) the small circles denoting archaic and poetic words overlap and both extend beyond the large circle "special literary vocabulary". This indicates that some of the words in these layers do not belong to the present-day English vocabulary. The borderlines between the groups are not distinct. - In fact they interpenetrate. It is especially difficult to distinguish between obsolete and obsolescent words. But the difference is important when we come to deal with the stylistic aspect of an utterance in which the given word serves a certain stylistic purpose. Obsolete and obsolescent words have separate

functions, as we shall point oirt later. There is still another class of words, which is erroneously classed as archaic, viz. historical words. By-gone periods in the life of any society are marked by historical events, and by institutions, customs, material objects, etc. which are no longer in use, for example: -Thane, yeoman, goblet, baldric, mace. Words of this typeriever disappear from the language. They are historical terms and remain as terms referring to definite stages in the development of society and cannot therefore be dispensed with,, though the things and phenomena to which they refer have long passed into oblivion. This, the main function of archaisms, finds different interpretation in- different novels .by different writers. Some writers overdo things in this

respect, the result being that the reader finds all kinds of obstacles in his way. Others under-estimate the necessity of introducing obsolete or obsolescent elements into their narration and thus fail to convey what is called "local colour". Alternative meanings In anthropological studies of culture, archaism is defined as the absence of writing and subsistence economy. In history, archaism is used to connote a superior, albeit mythical, "golden age." Neologisms New words and expressions or neologisms are created for new things irrespective of their scale of importance. They may be all-important and concern some social relationships, such as a new form of state, e. g. People's Republic, or something threaten­ing the very existence of humanity, like

nuclear war. Or again they may be quite insignificant and short-lived, like fashions in dancing, clothing, hair-do or footwear, as the already outdated jitterbug and pony-tail. In every case either the old words are appro­priately changed in meaning or new words are borrowed, or more often coined out of the existing language material according to the pat­terns and ways productive in the language at a given stage of its development. Retronym A retronym is a type of neologism coined for an old object or concept whose original name has come to be used for something else, is no longer unique, or is otherwise inappropriate or misleading. The term was coined by Frank Mankiewicz and popularized by William Safire in 1980 in the New York Times. Many of these are created by

advances in technology. However, a retronym itself is a neological word coinage consisting of the original noun with a different adjective added, which emphasises the distinction to be made from the original form. In 2000, the American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition was the first major dictionary to include the word retronym. [3] Examples of retronyms are acoustic guitar (coined when electric guitars appeared), or Parallel ATA (necessitated by the introduction of Serial ATA) as a term for the original Advanced Technology Attachment. World War I was called only the Great War until World War II. The advent of satellite radio has prompted the term terrestrial radio. Posthumous names awarded in East Asian cultures to royalty after their death can be considered retronyms too,