Лекции Л. И. Городнего по лексикологии английского языка

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-1- Semasiology Learning objectives: After you have studied the lecture you should able to: 1)define the term semasiology; 2) speak about the problem of defining the term 3) explain the essence of a) the referential approach to the problem of defining the meaning b) the functional approach; 4)express your own appreciation of the problem under analysis. 5) give (draw) a basic triangle (E.g.: The shop houses 15-ton crane; A naked conductor ran along the car). The brunch of lexicology, that is devoted to the study of meaning is known as Semasiology. Semasiology (from Gr . semasia - "signification") deals not with every kind of linguistic meaning only. This does not mean that we need not pay attention to the grammatical meaning. On the contrary, grammatical meaning must

be taken into consideration in so far as it bears a specific influence upon lexical meaning. The main objects of semasiological study are as follows: semantic development of words, its causes and classification, relevant distinctive features and types of lexical meaning, polysemy and semantic structure of word, semantic groupings and connections in the vocabulary system, i.e. synonyms, antonyms, etc. Meaning is one of the most controversial terms in the theory of language. An exact definition of lexical meaning becomes especially difficult due to complexity of the process, by which language and human consequence serve to reflect outward reality. Since there is no universally accepted definition meaning we shall give a brief survey of the problem as it is viewed in modern

linguistics. There are 2 approaches to the problem: 1) the referential approach, which formulates the essence of meaning as the interdependence between words and things or concepts they denote; 2) the functional approach, which studies the functions of a word in speech. This approach is (sometimes described as contextual) based on the analysis of various contexts. The essential feature of the first approach is that in distinguishes between the three components, connected with meaning: 1) the sound form of the linguistic sign (sign or symbol); 2) the concept underlying this sound form (meaning; thought or reference). 3 ) the actual referent, i.e. the part or the aspect of reality to which the linguistic sign refers (thing meant). The best known referential model of meaning is

so-called "basic triangle", which may be represent in a simplified form: < < Sound form referent (thing meant) (sign, symbol) As we can see from the diagram, the sound form of the linguistic sign, for instance [kot] is connected with our concept of a small which it denotes, and though it with the referent, i.e. the actual thing. The common feature of the referential approach is the implacation that meaning in some form or other connected with referent. Let us examine the interrelation between: 1-Meaning and sound form The sound-form of the word is not identical with, its meaning namely [kot] is the sound form, used to denote a bed for a child There are inherent connections between this sound form, used to denote a bed for a child. There are inherent connections between

this sound form and the meaning of the word "cot", but they are conventional and arbitrary. We may prove it by comparing the sound-forms of different languages, conveying one and the same meaning, cf. English [kot] and Russian [krovatka]. On the contrary, the sound-cluster [kot] in the English language is almost identical to the sound form in Russian language possessing the meaning "male-cat". 2-Meaning and concept When we examine a word, we see that its meaning, though connected with the underlying concept is not identical with it. To begin with, concept is a category of human cognition. Concept is the thought of the object that singles out its essential features. Our concepts abstracts and reflect the most common and typical features of the different objects