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speech to which the compound belongs; and within each part of speech according to the structural pattern (see the next paragraph). It is also possible to subdivide compounds according to other characteristics, i.e. semantically, into motivated and idiomatic compounds (in the motivated ones the meaning of the constituents can be either direct or figurative). Structurally, compounds are distinguished as endocentric and exocentric, with the subgroup of bahuvrihi (see p. 125ff) and syntactic and asyntactic combinations. A classification according to the type of the syntactic phrase with which the compound is correlated has also been suggested. Even so there remain some miscellaneous types that defy classification, such as phrase compounds, reduplicative compounds, pseudo-compounds and quotation compounds.
The classification according to the type of composition permits us to establish the following groups:
1) The predominant type is a mere juxtaposition without connecting elements: heartache n, heart-beat n, heart-break n, heart-breaking a, heart-broken a, heart-felt a.
2) Composition with a vowel or a consonant as a linking element. The examples are very few: electromotive a, speedometer n, Afro-Asian a, handicraft n, statesman n.
3) Compounds with linking elements represented by preposition or conjunction stems: down-and-out n, matter-of-fact a, son-in-law n, pepper-and-salt a, wall-to-wall a, up-to-date a, on the up-and-up adv (continually improving), up-and-coming, as in the following example: No doubt he'd had the pick of some up-and-coming jazzmen in Paris (Wain). There are also a few other lexicalised phrases like devil-may-care a, forget-me-not n, pick-me-up n, stick-in-the-mud n, what's-her name n.
The classification of compounds according to the structure of immediate constituents distinguishes:
1) compounds consisting of simple stems: film-star;
2) compounds where at least one of the constituents is a derived stem: chain-smoker;
3) compounds where at least one of the constituents is a clipped stem: maths-mistress (in British English) and math-mistress (in American English). The subgroup will contain abbreviations like H-bag (handbag) or Xmas (Christmas), whodunit n (for mystery novels) considered substandard;
4) compounds where at least one of the constituents is a compound stem: wastepaper-basket.
In what follows the main structural types of English compounds are described in greater detail. The list is by no means exhaustive but it may serve as a general guide.
§ 6.4.2 COMPOUND NOUNS
Within the class of compound nouns we distinguish endentri and exocentric compounds. In endocentric nouns the referent is named by one of the elements and given a
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further characteristic by the other. In exocentric nouns only the combination of both elements names the referent. A further subdivision takes into account the character of stems.
The sunbeam type. A noun stem is determined by another noun stem. This is a most productive type, the number of examples being practically unlimited.
The maidservant type also consists of noun stems but the relationship between the elements is different. Maidservant is an appositional compound. The second element is notionally dominant.
The looking-glass type shows a combination of a derived verbal stem with a noun stem.
The searchlight type consisting of a verbal stem and a noun stem is of a comparatively recent origin.
The blackboard type has already been discussed. The first stem here very often is not an adjective but a Participle II: cutwork. Sometimes the semantic relationship of the first element to the second is different. For instance, a green-grocer is not a grocer who happens to be green but one who sells vegetables.
There are several groups with a noun stem for the first element and various deverbal noun stems for the second: housekeeping, sunrise, time-server.
In exocentric compounds the referent is not named. The type scarecrow denotes the agent (a person or a thing) who or which performs the action named by the combination of the stems. In the case of scarecrow, it is a person or a thing employed in scaring birds. The type consists of a verbal stem followed by a noun stem. The personal nouns of this type are as a rule imaginative and often contemptuous: cut-throat, daredevil 'a reckless person', 'a murderer', lickspittle 'a toady', 'a flatterer', pickpocket 'a thief, turncoat 'a renegade'.
A very productive and numerous group are nouns derived from verbs with postpositives, or more rarely with adverbs. This type consists chiefly of impersonal deverbal nouns denoting some action or specific instance. Examples: blackout 'a period of complete darkness' (for example, when all the electric lights go out on the stage of the theatre, or when all lights in a city are covered as a precaution against air raids); also 'a temporary loss of consciousness'; breakdown 'a stoppage through accident', 'a nervous collapse'; hangover 'an unpleasant after-effect' (especially after drink); make-up, a polysemantic compound which may mean, for example, 'the way anything is arranged', 'one's mental qualities', 'cosmetics'; take-off, also polysemantic: 'caricature', 'the beginning of a flight', etc. Compare also: I could just imagine the brush-off he'd had (Wain). Some more examples: comedown, drawback, drop-out, feedback, frame-up, knockout, set-back, shake-up, splash-down, take-in, teach-in, etc.
A special subgroup is formed by personal nouns with a somewhat derogatory connotation, as in go-between 'an intermediary', start-back 'a deserter'. Sometimes these compounds are keenly ironical: die-hard 'an irreconcilable conservative', pin-up (such a girl as might have her
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photograph pinned up on the wall for admiration, also the photograph itself), pick-up 'a chance acquaintance', 'a prostitute'. More seldom the pattern is used for names of objects, mostly disparaging. For instance: "Are these your books?" "Yes". They were a very odd collection of throw-outs from my flat (Cooper).
The group of bahuvrihi compound nouns is not very numerous. The term bahuvrihi is borrowed from the grammarians of ancient India. Its literal meaning is 'much-riced'. It is used to designate possessive exocentric formations in which a person, animal or thing are metonymically named after some striking feature they possess, chiefly a striking feature in their appearance. This feature is in its turn expressed by the sum of the meanings of the compound's immediate constituents. The formula of the bahuvrihi compound nouns is adjective stem +noun stem. The following extract will illustrate the way bahuvrihi compounds may be coined: I got discouraged with sitting all day in the
backroom of a police station with six assorted women and a man with
a wooden leg. At the end of a week, we all knew each other's life histories, including that of the woodenleg's uncle, who lived at Selsey and had to be careful of his diet (M. Dickens).
Semantically the bahuvrihi are almost invariably characterised by a deprecative ironical emotional tone. Cf. bigwig 'a person of importance', black-shirt 'an Italian fascist' (also, by analogy, any fascist), fathead 'a dull, stupid person', greenhorn 'an ignoramus', highbrow 'a person who claims to be superior in intellect and culture', lazy-bones 'a lazy person'.
§ 6.4.3 COMPOUND ADJECTIVES
Compound adjectives regularly correspond to free phrases. Thus, for example, the type threadbare consists of a noun stem and an adjective stem. The relation underlying this combination corresponds to the phrase 'bare to the thread'. Examples are: airtight, bloodthirsty, carefree, heartfree, media-shy, noteworthy, pennywise, poundfoolish, seasick, etc.
The type has a variant with a different semantic formula: snow-white means 'as white as snow', so the underlying sense relation in that case is emphatic comparison, e. g. dog-tired, dirt-cheap, stone-deaf. Examples are mostly connected with colours: blood-red, sky-blue, pitch-black; with dimensions and scale: knee-deep, breast-high, nationwide, life-long, world-wide.
The red-hot type consists of two adjective stems, the first expressing the degree or the nuance of the second: white-hot, light-blue, reddish-brown.
The same formula occurs in additive compounds of the bitter-sweet type correlated with free phrases of the type adjective1 and adjective2 {bitter and sweet) that are rather numerous in technical and scholarly vocabulary: social-economic, etc. The subgroup of Anglo-Saxon has been already discussed.
The peace-loving type consisting of a noun stem and a participle stem, is very productive at present. Examples are: breath-taking,
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freedom-loving, soul-stirring. Temporal and local relations underlie such cases as sea-going, picture-going, summer-flowering.
The type is now literary and sometimes lofty, whereas in the 20s it was very common in upper-class slang, e. g. sick-making 'sickening'.
A similar type with the pronoun stem self- as the first component (self-adjusting, self-propelling) is used in cultivated and technical speech only.
The hard-working type structurally consists of an adjective stem and a participle stem. Other examples of the same type are: good-looking, sweet-smelling, far-reaching. It is not difficult to notice, however, that looking, smelling, reaching do not exist as separate adjectives. Neither is it quite clear whether the first element corresponds to an adjective or an adverb. They receive some definite character only in compounds.
There is a considerable group of compounds characterised by the type word man-made, i.e. consisting of Participle II with a noun stem for a determinant.
The semantic relations underlying this type are remarkable for their great variety: man-made 'made by man' (the relationship expressed is that of the agent and the action); home-made 'made at home' (the notion of place); safety-tested 'tested for safety' (purpose); moss-grown 'covered with moss' (instrumental notion); compare also the figurative compound heart-broken 'having a broken heart'. Most of the compounds containing a Participle II stem for their second element have a passive meaning. The few exceptions are: well-read, well-spoken, well-behaved and the like.
§ 6.4.4 COMPOUND VERBS
Scholars are not agreed on the question of compound verbs. This problem indeed can be argued in several different ways. It is not even clear whether verbal compositions exist in present-day English, though such verbs as outgrow, overflow, stand up, black-list, stage-manage and whitewash are often called compound verbs. There are even more complications to the problem than meet the eye.
H. Marchand, whose work has been quoted so extensively in the present chapter, treats outgrow and overflow as unquestionable compounds, although he admits that the type is not productive and that locative particles are near to prefixes. "The Concise Oxford Dictionary", on the other hand, defines out- and over- as prefixes used both for verbs and nouns; this approach classes outgrow and overflow as derivatives, which seems convincing.
The stand-up type was in turns regarded as a phrase, a compound and a derivative; its nature has been the subject of much discussion (see § 6.2.4).
The verbs blackmail and stage-manage belong to two different groups because they show different correlations with the rest of the vocabulary.
blackmail v = honeymoon v = nickname v
blackmail n honeymoon n nickname n

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The verbs blackmail, honeymoon and nickname are, therefore, cases of conversion from endocentric nominal compounds. The type stage-manage may be referred to back-formation. The correlation is as follows:
stage-manage v = proof-read v = housekeep v
stage-manager n proof-reader n housekeeper n
The second element in the first group is a noun stem; in the second group it is always verbal.
Some examples of the first group are the verbs safeguard, nickname, shipwreck, whitewash, tiptoe, outline, honeymoon, blackmail, hero-worship. All these exist in English for a long time. The 20th century created week-end, double-cross 'betray', stream-line, softpedal, spotlight.
The type is especially productive in colloquial speech and slang, particularly in American English.
The second group is less numerous than the first but highly productive in the 20th century. Among the earliest coinages are backbite (1300) and browbeat (1603), then later ill-treat, house-keep. The 20th century has coined hitch-hike (cf. hitch-hiker) 'to travel from place to place by asking motorists for free rides'; proof-read (cf. proof-reader) 'to read and correct printer's proofs'; compare also mass-produce, taperecord and vacuum-clean. The most recent is hijack 'make pilots change the course of aeroplanes by using violence' which comes from the slang word hijacker explained in the Chambers's Dictionary as 'a highwayman or a robber and blackmailer of bootleggers' (smugglers of liquor).
The structural integrity of these combinations is supported by the order of constituents which is a contrast to the usual syntactic pattern where the verb stem would come first. Cf. to read proofs and to proofread.
H. Marchand calls them pseudo-compounds, because they are created as verbs not by the process of composition but by conversion and back-formation. His classification may seem convincing, if the vocabulary is treated diachronically from the viewpoint of those processes that are at the back of its formation. It is quite true that the verb vacuum-clean was not coined by compounding and so is not a compound genetically (on the word-formation level). But if we are concerned with the present-day structure and follow consistently the definition of a compound given in the opening lines of this chapter, we see that it is a word containing two free stems. It functions in the sentence as a separate lexical unit. It seems logical to consider such words as compounds by right of their structural pattern.
§ 6.5 DERIVATIONAL COMPOUNDS
Derivational compounds or compound-derivatives like long-legged do not fit the definition of compounds as words consisting of more than one free stem, because their second element (-legged) is not a free stem. Derivational compounds are included in this
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chapter for two reasons: because the number of root morphemes is more than one, and because they are nearest to compounds in patterns.
Derivational compounds or compound-derivatives are words in which the structural integrity of the two free stems is ensured by a suffix referring to the combination as a whole, not to one of its elements: kind-hearted, old-timer, schoolboyishness, teenager. In the coining of the derivational compounds two types of word-formation are at work. The essence of the derivational compounds will be clear if we compare them with derivatives and compounds proper that possess a similar structure. Take, for example, brainstraster, honeymooner and mill-owner. The ultimate constituents of all three are: noun stem + noun stem+-er. Analysing into immediate constituents, we see that the immediate constituents (IC's) of the compound mill-owner are two noun stems, the first simple, the second derived: mill+owner, of which the last, the determinatum, as well as the whole compound, names a person. For the word honeymooner no such division is possible, since *mooner does not exist as a free stem. The IC's are honeymoon+-er, and the suffix -er signals that the whole denotes a person: the structure is (honey+moon)+-er.
The process of word-building in these seemingly similar words is different: mill-owner is coined by composition, honeymooner - by derivation from the compound honeymoon. Honeymoon being a compound, honeymooner is a derivative. Now brains trust 'a group of experts' is a phrase, so brainstruster is formed by two simultaneous processes - by composition and by derivation and may be called a derivational compound. Its IC's are (brains+ trust)+-r1.
The suffix -er is one of the productive suffixes in forming derivational compounds. Other examples of the same pattern are: backbencher 'an M.P. occupying the back bench', do-gooder (ironically used in AmE), eye-opener 'enlightening circumstance', first-nighter 'habitual frequenter of the first performance of plays', go-getter (colloq.) 'a pushing person', late-comer, left-hander 'left-handed person or blow'.
Nonce-words show some variations on this type. The process of their formation is clearly seen in the following examples: "Have you ever thought of bringing them together?" "Oh, God forbid. As you may have noticed, I'm not much of a bringer-together at the best of times." (Plomer) "The shops are very modern here," he went on, speaking with all the rather touchy insistence on up-to-dateness which characterises the inhabitants of an under-bathroomed and over-monumented country (Huxley).
Another frequent type of derivational compounds are the possessive compounds of the type kind-hearted: adjective stem+noun stem+ -ed. Its IC's are a noun phrase kind heart and the suffix -ed that unites the elements of the phrase and turns them into the elements of a compound adjective. Similar examples are extremely numerous. Compounds of this type can be coined very freely to meet the requirements of different situations.
1 See on this point the article on compounds in "The Second Barnhart Dictionary of New English" (p. 115).
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Very few go back to Old English, such as one-eyed and three-headed, most of the cases are coined in Modern English. Examples are practically unlimited, especially in words describing personal appearance or character: absent-minded, bare-legged, black-haired, blue-eyed, cruel-hearted, light-minded, ill-mannered, many-sided, narrow-minded, shortsighted, etc.
The first element may also be a noun stem: bow-legged, heart-shaped and very often a numeral: three-coloured.
The derivational compounds often become the basis of further derivation. Cf. war-minded : : war-mindedness; whole-hearted : : whole-heartedness : : whole-heartedly, schoolboyish : : schoolboyishness; do-it-yourselfer : : do-it-yourselfism.
The process is also called phrasal derivation: mini-skirt>mini-skirted, nothing but>nothingbutism, dress up>dressuppable, Romeo-and-Julietishness, or quotation derivation as when an unwillingness to do anything is characterised as let-George-do-it-ity. All these are nonce-words, with some ironic or jocular connotation.
§ 6.6 REDUPLICATION AND MISCELLANEA OF COMPOSITION
§ 6.6.1 REDUPLICATIVE COMPOUNDS
In what follows we shall describe some combinations that may be called compounds by right of pattern, as they very markedly consist of two parts, but otherwise in most cases fail to satisfy our definition of a compound word. Some of them contain only one free form, the other constituents being a variation of this, while there are also cases where both constituents are jocular pseudo-morphemes, meaningless and fanciful sound clusters which never occur elsewhere. Their motivation is mostly based upon sound-symbolism and it is their phonetic make-up that plays the most important role in their functioning They are all stylistically coloured (either colloquial, slang or nursery words) and markedly expressive and emotional: the emotion is not expressed in the constituents but suggested by the whole pattern (reduplication rhyme).
The group consists of reduplicative compounds that fall into three main subgroups: reduplicative compounds proper, ablaut combinations and rhyme combinations.
Reduplicative compounds proper are not restricted to the repetition of onomatopoeic stems with intensifying effect, as it is sometimes suggested. Actually it is a very mixed group containing usual free forms, onomatopoeic stems and pseudo-morphemes. Onomatopoeic repetition exists but it is not very extensive: hush-hush 'secret', murmur (a borrowing from French) pooh-pooh (to express contempt). In blah-blah 'nonsense', 'idle talk' the constituents are pseudo-morphemes which do not occur elsewhere. The usage may be illustrated by the following example: Should he give them half a minute of blah-blah or tell them what had been passing through his mind? (Priestley) Nursery words such as quack-quack 'duck', Pops-Pops 'father' and many other words belong to the same type.
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Non-imitative words may be also used in reduplication and possess then an ironical ring: pretty-pretty 'affectedly pretty', goody-goody 'sentimentally and affectedly good'. The instances are not numerous and occur only in colloquial speech. An interesting example is the expressive and ironical never-never, an ellipsis of the phrase never-never system 'a hire-purchase system in which the consumer may never be able to become the owner of the thing purchased'. The situation may be clear from the following: "They've got a smashing telly, a fridge and another set of bedroom furniture in silver-grey." "All on the never-never, what'll happen if he loses his job?" (Lindsay)
§ 6.6.2 ABLAUT COMBINATIONS
The reduplicative compounds resemble in sound form the rhyme combinations like razzle-dazzle and ablaut combinations like sing-song. These two types, therefore, are treated by many1 as repetition with change of initial consonant or with vowel interchange. H. Marchand treats these as pseudo-compounds, which occur as twin forms with phonic variation and as twin forms with a rhyme for characteristic feature.
Ablaut combinations are twin forms consisting of one basic morpheme (usually the second), sometimes a pseudo-morpheme which is repeated in the other constituent with a different vowel. The typical changes are [?]- [?]: chit-chat 'gossip' (from chat 'easy familiar talk'), dilly-dally 'loiter', knick-knack 'small articles of ornament', riff-raff 'the mob', shilly-shally 'hesitate', zigzag (borrowed from French), and [?] - [o]: ding-dong (said of the sound of a bell), ping-pong 'table-tennis', singsong 'monotonous voice', tiptop 'first-rate'. The free forms corresponding to the basic morphemes are as a rule expressive words denoting sound or movement.
Both groups are based on sound symbolism expressing polarity. With words denoting movement these words symbolise to and fro rhythm: criss-cross; the to and fro movement also suggests hesitation: shilly-shally (probably based on the question "Shall I?"); alternating noises: pitter-patter. The semantically predominant group are the words meaning idle talk: bibble-babble, chit-chat, clitter-clatter, etc.
§ 6.6.3 RHYME COMBINATIONS
Rhyme combinations are twin forms consisting of two elements (most often two pseudo-morphemes) which are joined to rhyme: boogie-woogie, flibberty-gibberty 'frivolous', harum-scarum 'disorganised', helter-skelter 'in disordered haste', hoity-toity 'snobbish', humdrum 'bore', hurry-scurry 'great hurry', hurdy-gurdy 'a small organ', lovey-dovey 'darling', mumbo-jumbo 'deliberate mystification, fetish',
1 O. Jespersen, H. Koziol and the author of this book in a previous work.
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namby-pamby 'weakly sentimental', titbit 'a choice morsel', willy-nilly 'compulsorily' (cf. Lat volens-nolens).
The choice of the basic sound cluster in some way or other is often not arbitrary but motivated, for instance, lovey-dovey is motivated in both parts, as well as willy-nilly. Hurry-scurry and a few other combinations are motivated in the first part, while the second is probably a blend if we take into consideration that in helter-skelter the second element is from obsolete skelt 'hasten'.
About 40% of these rhyme combinations (a much higher percentage than with the ablaut combinations) are not motivated: namby-pamby, razzle-dazzle. A few are borrowed: pow-wow 'a noisy assembly' (an Algonquin1 word), mumbo-jumbo (from West African), but the type is purely English, and mostly modern.
The pattern is emotionally charged and chiefly colloquial, jocular, often sentimental in a babyish sort of way. The expressive character is mainly due to the effect of rhythm, rhyme and sound suggestiveness. It is intensified by endearing suffixes -y, -sie and the jocular -ty, -dy. Semantically predominant in this group are words denoting disorder, trickery, teasing names for persons, and lastly some playful nursery words. Baby-talk words are highly connotative because of their background.
§ 6.7 PSEUDO-COMPOUNDS
The words like gillyflower or sparrow-grass are not actually compounds at all, they are cases of false-etymology, an attempt to find motivation for a borrowed word: gillyflower from OFr girofle, crayfish (small lobster-like fresh-water crustacean, a spiny lobster) from OFr crevice, and sparrow-grass from Latin asparagus.
May-day (sometimes capitalised May Day) is an international radio signal used as a call for help from a ship or plane, and it has nothing to do with the name of the month, but is a distortion of the French m'aidez 'help me' and so is not a compound at all.
§ 6.8 THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ENGLISH COMPOUNDS
Compounding, one of the oldest methods of word-formation occurring in all Indo-European languages, is especially developed in Germanic languages. English has made use of compounding in all periods of its existence. Headache, heartache, rainbow, raindrop and many other compounds of the type noun stem+noun stem and its variant, such as manslaughter <OE mannsl?ht with the deverbal noun stem for a second element, go back to Old English. To the oldest layer belong also the adjective stem+noun stem compounds: holiday, sweetmeat, and so on.
Some compounds (among them all those listed above) preserve their type in present-day English, others have undergone phonetic changes due to which their stems ceased to be homonymous to the corresponding free forms, so that the compounds themselves were turned into root words.
1 Algonquin is the name of an American Indian tribe.
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The phenomenon was investigated by Russian and Soviet philologists V.A. Bogoroditsky, L.A. Bulakhovsky and N.N. Amosova, who used the Russian term which may be translated into English as "simplification of stem" (but this translation can be only tentative). Simplification is defined as "a morphological process by which a word of a complex morphological structure loses the meaning of its separate morphological parts and becomes a mere symbol of the notion given."1
The English grammarians, such as J.C. Nesfield, for instance, used the term disguised compounds, which is inconvenient because it is misleading. In English, when a morpheme becomes the constituent of a compound, this does not affect its sound pattern. Exceptions to this rule signify therefore that the formation cannot be regarded as a compound at the present stage of the language development, although it might have been the result of compounding at some earlier stage.
The degree of change can be very different. Sometimes the compound is altered out of all recognition. Thus, in the name of the flower daisy, or in the word woman composition as the basis of the word's origin can be discovered by etymological analysis only: daisy<OE daees eae 'day's eye'; woman<OE wifmann, i.e. 'woman person'. Other examples are: aught<OE awiht 'anything whatever'; barn<OE bere-?rn 'a place for keeping barley'; elbow<OE elnboa, i.e. 'the bending of the arm'; gossip<OE odsibbe 'godparent' (originally 'fellow sponsor at baptism' (sibb/sib means 'akin')); husband<OE husbonda 'master of the house' (from bua 'dwell').
Demotivation (the Russian term is ) is closely connected with simplification, but not identical with it: rather they are different aspects of changes that may occur simultaneously. De-motivation is in fact etymological isolation when the word loses its ties with other word or words with which it was formerly connected and associated, ceases to be understood as belonging to its original word-family. For instance, kidnap 'steal (a child) or carry off a person by illegal practice' literally means 'to seize a young goat'. The second syllable is from an obsolete word nap, probably closely related to nab (a slang word for 'arrest'). In present-day English all associations with goats or nabbing are forgotten, the word is isolated from its etymological relatives and functions as a simple sign.
The process of demotivation begins with semantic change. The change of sound form comes later. There is for some time a contradiction between meaning and form, but in the long run this contradiction is overcome, as the word functions not on the strength of the meaning of the components but as a whole indivisible structure.
In many cases the two processes, the morphological and the semantic one, go hand in hand: lady<OE hl?sfdie (hlaf 'loaf, die 'knead'), i.e. 'the person who kneads bread'; lord<OE hlaford, originally 'breadkeeper'. Both words have become morphologically indivisible and have changed their meaning, so that neither of them is connected with the word loaf.
1 See: .. . 2- . , 1907. . 13.
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There are cases where one of the processes, namely demotivation, is complete, while simplification is still under way. We are inclined to rate such words as boatswain, breakfast, cupboard as compounds, because they look like compounds thanks to their conservative spelling that shows their origin, whereas in meaning and pronunciation they have changed completely and turned into simple signs for new notions. For example, breakfast originates from the verb break 'interrupt' and the noun fast 'going without food'. Phonetically, had it been a compound, it should sound ['breikfa:st ], whereas in reality it is ['brekfastl. The compound is disguised as the vowels have changed; this change corresponds to a change in meaning (the present meaning is 'the first meal of the day').
To take another example, the word boatswain ['bousn] 'ship's officer in charge of sails, rigging, etc. and summoning men to duty with whistle' originates from Late OE batsween. The first element is of course the modern boat, whereas the second swain is archaic: its original meaning was 'lad'. This meaning is lost. The noun swain came to mean 'a young rustic', 'a bucolic lover'.
All these examples might be regarded as borderline cases, as simplification is not yet completed graphically.
§ 6.9 NEW WORD-FORMING PATTERNS IN COMPOSITION
An interesting pattern revealing the influence of extra-linguisticfactors on word-formation and vocabulary development are such compounds as camp-in, ride-in, teach-in, work-in and the like. "The Barn-hart Dictionary of New English" treats the second element as a combining form of the adverb in and connects the original appearance of this morpho-semantic pattern with the civil-rights movement of the 60s. It was used to nominate such public demonstrations of protest as riding in segregated buses (ride-in), praying in segregated churches (kneel-in), bathing in segregated swimming pools (swim-in).
The pattern is structurally similar to an older type of compounds, such as breakdown, feedback or lockout but differs from them semantically including as its semantic invariant the meaning of public protest.
Somewhat later the word teach-in appeared. The name was used for long meetings, seminars or sessions held at universities for the purpose of expressing criticism on important political issues and discussing them. Then any form of seminar patterned on the university teach-ins was also called by this term. And similar terms were coined for other cases of staging public protest. E. g. lie-in and die-in when blocking traffic.
The third stage in the development of this pattern proved to be an extension to any kind of gathering of hippies, flower children and other groups of young people: laugh-ins, love-ins, sing-ins. A still further generalisation of meaning may be observed in the compound call-in and its American version phone-in 'period of time on radio or television programme during which questions, statements, etc. from the public are broadcast', big sitdown planned for September 17 ("Daily Worker"), where sitdown stands for sitdown demonstration.

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St. Ullmann follows M. Breal in emphasising the social causes for these. Professional and other communities with a specialised 'sphere of common interests are the ideal setting for ellipsis. Open on for open fire on, and put to sea for put ship to sea are of wartime and navy origin, and bill for bill of exchange comes from business circles; in a newspaper office daily paper and weekly paper were quite naturally shortened to daily and weekly.1 It is clear from the above examples that unlike other types of shortening, ellipsis always results in a change of lexico-grammatical meaning, and therefore the new word belongs to a different part of speech. Various other processes are often interwoven with ellipsis. For instance: finals for final examinations is a case of ellipsis combined with substantivation of the first element, whereas prelims for preliminary examinations results from ellipsis, substantivation and clipping. Other examples of the same complex type are perm : : permanent wave; pop : : popular music;2 prom : : promenade concert, i.e. 'a concert at which at least part of the audience is not seated and can walk about'; pub : : public house 'an inn or tavern'; taxi : : taxicab, itself formed from taximeter-cab. Inside this group a subgroup with prefixed derivatives as first elements of prototype phrases can be distinguished, e. g. coed 'a girl student at a coeducational institution', prefab 'a prefabricated house or structure' (to prefabricate means 'to manufacture component parts of buildings prior to their assembly on a site').
Curtailed words arise in various types of colloquial speech and have for the most part a pronounced stylistic colouring as long as their connection with the prototype is alive, so that they remain synonyms. E. g.: They present the tops in pops. When the connection with the prototype is lost, the curtailed word may become stylistically neutral, e. g. brig, cab, cello, pram. Stylistically coloured shortened words may belong to any variety of colloquial style. They are especially numerous in various branches of slang: school slang, service slang, sport slang, newspaper slang, etc. Familiar colloquial style gives such examples as bobby, cabbie, mac, maxi, mini, movies. Nursery words are often clipped: gran, granny; hanky from handkerchief; ma from mama; nightie from nightdress; pinnie from pinafore. Stylistic peculiarity often goes hand in hand with emotional colouring as is revealed in the above diminutives. School and college slang, on the other hand, reveal some sort of reckless if not ironical attitude to the things named: caf from cafeteria 'self-service restaurant', digs from diggings 'lodgings', ec, eco from economics, home ecs, lab, maths, prelims, prep, prof, trig, undergrad, vac, varsity. Service slang is very rich in clipped words, some of them penetrate the familiar colloquial style. A few examples are: demob v from demobilise; civvy n from civilian, op n from operator; non-com n from non-combatant; corp n from corporal; sarge n from sergeant.
1 See: Ullmann St. The Principles of Semantics, p.p. 116, 239.
2 Often used in such combinations as pop art, pop singer, pop song.
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The only type of clippings that belong to bookish style are the poetical contractions such as e'en, e'er, ne'er, o'er.
7.2 BLENDING
It has already been mentioned that curtailed words from compounds are few; cases of curtailment combined with composition set off against phrasal prototypes are slightly more numerous, e. g. ad-lib v 'to speak without notes or preparation' from the Latin phrase ad libitum meaning 'at pleasure'; subchaser n from submarine chaser. A curious derivational compound with a clipping for one of its stems is the word teen-ager (see p. 35). The jocular and ironical name Lib-Labs (Liberal Labour MP's, i.e. a particular group) illustrates clipping, composition and ellipsis and imitation of reduplication all in one word.
Among these formations there is a specific group that has attracted special attention of several authors and was even given several different names: blends, blendings, fusions or portmanteau words. The last term is due to Lewis Carroll, the author of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass". One of the most linguistically conscious writers, he made a special technique of using blends coined by himself, such as chortle v <chuckle+snort; mimsy a<miserable+flimsy; galumph v<gallop+triumph; slithy a< slimy+lithe.1 Humpty Dumpty explaining these words to Alice says "You see it's like a portmanteau - there are two meanings packed up into one word." The process of formation is also called telescoping, because the words seem to slide into one another like sections of a telescope. Blends may be defined as formations that combine two words and include the letters or sounds they have in common as a connecting element.
Compare also snob which may have been originally an abbreviation for sine nobilitate, written after a name in the registry of fashionable English schools to indicate that the bearer of the name did not belong to nobility. One of the most recent examples is bit, the fundamental unit of information, which is short for binary digit. Other examples are: the already mentioned paratroops and the words bloodalyser and breathalyser for apparatuses making blood and breath tests, slimnastics (blend of slim and gymnastics).
The analysis into immediate constituents is helpful in so far as it permits the definition of a blend as a word with the first constituent represented by a stem whose final part may be missing, and the second constituent by a stem of which the initial part is missing. The second constituent when used in a series of similar blends may turn into a suffix. A new suffix -on is, for instance, well under way in such terms as nylon, rayon,-silon, formed from the final element of cotton.
Depending upon the prototype phrases with which they can be
1 Most of the coinages referred to occur in the poem called "Jabberwocky": "O frabjous day! Calloch! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.
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correlated two types of blends can be distinguished. One may be termed additive, the second restrictive. Both involve the sliding together not only of sound but of meaning as well. Yet the semantic relations which are at work are different. The first, i.e. additive type, is transformable into a phrase consisting of the respective complete stems combined by the conjunction and, e. g. smog<smoke and fog 'a mixture of smoke and fog'. The elements may be synonymous, belong to the same semantic field or at least be members of the same lexico-grammatical class of words: French+English> Frenglish; compare also the coinage smaze <smoke+haze. The word Pakistan was made up of elements taken from the names of the five western provinces: the initials of the words Panjab, Afghania, Kashmir and Singh, and the final part of Baluchistan. Other examples are: brunch<breakfast and lunch', transceiver< transmitter and receiver; Niffles<Niagara Falls.
The restrictive type is transformable into an attributive phrase where the first element serves as modifier of the second: cine(matographic pano) rama>cinerama. Other examples are: medicare<medical care; positron<positive electron; telecast<television broadcast. An interesting variation of the same type is presented by cases of superposition, formed by pairs of words having similar clusters of sounds which seem to provoke blending, e. g. motel<motorists' hotel: the element -ot- is present in both parts of the prototype. Further examples are: shamboo<sham bamboo (imitation bamboo); atomaniac<atom maniac; slanguage<slang +language; spam<spiced ham. Blends, although not very numerous altogether, seem to be on the rise, especially in terminology and also in trade advertisements.
§ 7.3 GRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS. ACRONYMS
Because of the ever closer connection between the oral and the written forms of the language it is sometimes difficult to differentiate clippings formed in oral speech from graphical abbreviations. The more so as the latter often pass into oral speech and become widely used in conversation.
During World War I and after it the custom became very popular not only in English-speaking countries, but in other parts of the world as well, to call countries, governmental, social, military, industrial and trade organisations and officials not only by their full titles but by initial abbreviations derived from writing. Later the trend became even more pronounced, e. g. the USSR, the U.N., the U.N.O., MP. The tendency today is to omit fullstops between the letters: GPO (General Post Office). Some abbreviations nevertheless appear in both forms: EPA and E.P.A. (Environment Protection Agency). Such words formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts of a phrasal term have two possible types of orthoepic correlation between written and spoken forms.
1. If the abbreviated written form lends itself to be read as though it were an ordinary English word and sounds like an English word, it will be read like one. The words thus formed are called acronyms
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(from Gr acros- 'end'+onym 'name'). This way of forming new words is becoming more and more popular in almost all fields of human activity, and especially in political and technical vocabulary: U.N.O., also UNO ['ju:nou] - United Nations Organisation, NATO - the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, SALT-Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. The last example shows that acronyms are often homonymous to ordinary words; sometimes intentionally chosen so as to create certain associations. Thus, for example, the National Organisation for Women is called NOW. Typical of acronymic coinages in technical terminology are JATO, laser, maser and radar. JATO or jato means jet-assisted take-off; laser stands for light amplification by stimulated emission radiation; maser - for micro-wave amplification and stimulated emission radiation; radar - for radio detection and ranging, it denotes a system for ascertaining direction and ranging of aircraft, ships, coasts and other objects by means of electro-magnetic waves which they reflect. Acronyms became so popular that their number justified the publication of special dictionaries, such as D.D. Spencer's "Computer Acronym Handbook" (1974). We shall mention only one example from computer terminology - the rather ironic GIGO for garbage in, garbage out in reference to unreliable data fed into the computer that produces worthless output.
Acronyms present a special interest because they exemplify the working of the lexical adaptive system. In meeting the needs of communication and fulfilling the laws of information theory requiring a maximum signal in the minimum time the lexical system undergoes modification in its basic structure: namely it forms new elements not by combining existing morphemes and proceeding from sound forms to their graphic representation but the other way round - coining new words from the initial letters of phrasal terms originating in texts.
2. The other subgroup consists of initial abbreviation with the alphabetical reading retained, i.e. pronounced as a series of letters. They also retain correlation with prototypes. The examples are well-known: B.B.C. ['bi:'bi:'si:] - the British Broadcasting Corporation; G.I. ['di: 'ai] - for Government Issue, a widely spread metonymical name for American soldiers on the items of whose uniforms these letters are stamped. The last abbreviation was originally an Americanism but has been firmly established in British English as well. M.P. ['em'pi:] is mostly used as an initial abbreviation for Member of Parliament, also military police, whereas P.M. stands for Prime Minister.
Abbreviations are freely used in colloquial speech as seen from the following extract, in which . Snow describes the House of Commons gossip: They were swapping promises to speak for one another: one was bragging how two senior Ministers were "in the bag" to speak for him. Roger was safe, someone said, he'd give a hand. "What has the P.M. got in mind for Roger when we come back?" The familiar colloquial quality of the context is very definitely marked by the set expressions: in the bag, give a hand, get in mind, etc.
Other examples of initial abbreviations with the alphabetical reading retained are: S.O.S. ['es'ou'es]-Save Our Souls, a wireless code-signal of extreme distress, also figuratively, any despairing cry for help; T.V. or TV I'tir'vi:] - television; Y.C.L. ['wai'sir'el] - the Young Communist League.
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3. The term abbreviation may be also used for a shortened form of a written word or phrase used in a text in place of the whole for economy of space and effort. Abbreviation is achieved by omission of letters from one or more parts of the whole, as for instance abbr for abbreviation, bldg for building, govt for government, wd for word, doz or dz for dozen, ltd for limited, B.A. for Bachelor of Arts, N.Y. for New York State. Sometimes the part or parts retained show some alteration, thus, oz denotes ounce and Xmas denotes Christmas. Doubling of initial letters shows plural forms as for instance pplp.p. for pages, ll for lines or cc for chapters. These are in fact not separate words but only graphic signs or symbols representing them. Consequently no orthoepic correlation exists in such cases and the unabbreviated word is pronounced: ll [lainz], pp ['peI8Iz].
A specific type of abbreviations having no parallel in Russian is represented by Latin abbreviations which sometimes are not read as Latin words but substituted by their English equivalents. A few of the most important cases are listed below: ad lib (Lat ad libitum) - at pleasure', a.m. (Lat ante meridiem) - in the morning', cf. (Lat conferre)
- compare; cp. (Lat comparare) - compare', e.g. (Lat exempli gratia)
- for example; ib(id) (Lat ibidem) - in the same place; i.e. (Lat id est)
- that is; loc.cit. (Lat locus citato) - in the passage cited; ob. (Lat obiit) -he (she) died; q.v. (Lat quod vide) - which see; p.m. (Lat post meridiem) - in the afternoon; viz (Lat videlicet) - namely, sometimes read viz. Actual letters are also read in the following cases: a.m. ['ei'em], e.g., i.e., q.v., p.m.
An interesting feature of present-day English is the use of initial abbreviations for famous persons' names and surnames. Thus, George Bernard Shaw is often alluded to as G.B.S. ['di:'bi:'es], Herbert George Wells as H.G. The usage is clear from the following example: "Oh, yes ... where was I?" "With H.G.'s Martians," I told him (Wyndham).
Journalistic abbreviations are often occasioned by a desire to economise head-line space, as seen from the following example "CND Calls Lobby to Stop MLF" ("Daily Worker"). This means that a mass lobby of Parliament against the NATO multilateral nuclear force (MLF) is being called by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
These regular developments are in some cases combined with occasional jocular or accidental distortions. The National Economic Development Council is facetiously termed Neddy. Elementary education is colloquially referred to as the three R's - reading, (w)riting and 'rithmetic. Some kind of witty folk etymology is at play when the abbreviation C.B. for construction battalions in the navy is respelt into sea bees. The two well-known Americanisms jeep and okay may be mentioned in this connection. Jeep meaning 'a small military motor vehicle' comes from g.p. ['di:'pi:] (the initials of general purpose). Okay, OK may be an illiterate misinterpretation of the initials in all correct. Various other historic anecdotes have been also offered by way of explanation of the latter.
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It must be emphasised that initial abbreviation, no less than other types of shortening, retains the valency, i.e. the combining possibilities of the prototypes. The difference in distribution is conditioned only by a change of meaning (lexical or more rarely lexico-grammatical). Abbreviations receive the plural and Possessive case inflections: G.I.'s, M.P.'s, P.O.W.'s (from prisoner of war), also the verb paradigm: okays, okayed, okaying. E. g. A hotel's no life for you... Why don't you come and P.G. with me? (A. Wilson) Here P.G. is an abbreviation for paying guest. Like all nouns they can be used attributively: BBC television, TV program, UN vote.
A specifically English word pattern almost absent in the Russian language must be described in connection with initial abbreviations in which the first element is a letter and the second a complete word. The examples are: A-bomb for atomic bomb, V-sign - a sign made by holding the hand up with the first two fingers spread with the palm facing forward in the shape of a V used for expressing victory or the hope for it. A like sign made with the back of the hand facing forward expressed dislike and is considered very rude. The example is interesting, because it shows the connection between the lexical system and paralinguistic means of communication, that is gestures, mimics and prosodic means (from para 'beyond').
There is no uniformity in semantic relationships between the elements: Z-bar is a metallic bar with a cross section shaped like the letter Z, while Z-hour is an abbreviation of zero-hour meaning 'the time set for the beginning of the attack', U is standing for upper classes in such combinations as U-pronunciation, U-language. Cf.: U-boat 'a submarine'. Non-U is its opposite. So Non-U speakers are those whose speech habits show that they do not belong to the upper classes.
It will have been noted that all kinds of shortening are very productive in present-day English. They are especially numerous in colloquial speech, both familiar colloquial and professional slang. They display great combining activity and form bases for further word-formation and inflection.
§ 7.4 MINOR TYPES OF LEXICAL OPPOSITIONS. SOUND INTERCHANGE
Sound interchange may be defined as an opposition in which words or word forms are differentiated due to an alternation in the phonemic composition of the root. The change may affect the root vowel, as in food n : : feed v; or root consonant as in speak v : : speech n; or both, as for instance in life n : : live v. It may also be combined with affixation: strong a : : strength n; or with affixation and shift of stress as in 'democrat : : de'mocracy.
The process is not active in the language at present, and oppositions like those listed above survive in the vocabulary only as remnants of previous stages. Synchronically sound interchange should not be considered as a method of word-building at all, but rather as a basis for contrasting words belonging to the same word-family and different parts of speech or different lexico-grammatical groups.
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The causes of sound interchange are twofold and one should learn to differentiate them from the historical point of view. Some of them are due to ablaut or vowel gradation characteristic of Indo-European languages and consisting in a change from one to another vowel accompanying a change of stress. The phenomenon is best known as a series of relations between vowels by which the stems of strong verbs are differentiated in grammar (drink - drank - drunk and the like). However, it is also of great importance in lexicology, because ablaut furnishes distinctive features for differentiating words. The examples are: abide v : : abode n; bear v : : burden n; bite v : : bit n; ride v : : road n; strike v : : stroke n.
The other group of cases is due to an assimilation process conditioned by the phonemic environment. One of these is vowel mutation, otherwise called umlaut, a feature characteristic of Germanic languages, and consisting in a partial assimilation to a succeeding sound, as for example the fronting or raising of a back vowel or a low vowel caused by an [i] or [j] originally standing in the following syllable but now either altered or lost. This accounts for such oppositions as full a : : fill v; whole a : : heal v; knot n : : knit v; tale n : : tell v. The process will be clear if we follow the development of the second element in each pair. ModE fill<OE fyllan; heal < h?lan <*hailjan cognate to the OE hal; tell<OE tellan<*tallian; knit<OE cnyttan is especially interesting, as OE cnotta is akin to ON knutr, knot, knotr 'ball' and to the Russian which is 'a lash of knotted things'.
The consonant interchange was also caused by phonetic surroundings. Thus, the oppositions speak v : : speech n; bake v : : batch n; or wake v : : watch n are due to the fact that the palatal OE [k] very early became [tS] but was retained in verbs because of the position before the consonants [s] and [?] in the second and third persons singular.
A voiced consonant in verbs contrasting with an unvoiced one in nouns results from the fact that in ME verbs this final of the stem occurred in intervocalic positions which made it voiced, whereas in nouns it ended the word or was followed by a consonant ending. After the loss of endings the voicedness was retained and grew into a distinctive feature. There is a long series of cognate verbs and nouns and also some adjectives differing in this way. Observe, for example, the opposition of voiced and unvoiced consonants in the following: advise v : : advice n; bathe v : : bath n; believe v : : belief n; clothe v : : cloth n; glaze v : : glass n; halve v : : half n; live v : : life n; loathe v : : loath n and a; lose v : : loss n, loose a; prove v : : proof n and a; serve v : : serf n; shelve v : : shelf n; wreathe v : : wreath n.
As to the difference in the root vowels of these verbs and nouns, it is caused by the fact that the root syllable in verbs was open, whereas in nouns it was closed. Observe the analogy between plurals in [-vz] correlated with singulars in [-f] and verbs in [-v] correlated with nouns in [-f ]: shelf n sing. - shelves n pl. - shelve v.1
1 O. Jespersen in "A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles" (pt. VI, p. 200) points out that if the plural of a noun ends in -fs, a derived verb never has a voiced final consonant: dwarf n - dwarf v; roof n -roof v.
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It will be recalled in this connection that the systematic character of the language may manifest itself in the analogy between word-building processes and word inflection. It is worthy of note that not only are these processes similar, but they also develop simultaneously. Thus, if some method is no longer productive in expressing grammatical categories, we shall also observe a parallel loss of productivity in expressing lexical meaning. This is precisely the case with root inflection. Instances of root inflection in the formation of the plural of nouns (goose - geese, foot - feet, tooth-teeth) or the Past Indefinite and Participle II of verbs (sing - sang - sung, drive - drove - driven, tear - tore - torn) exist in the language as the relics of past stages; and although in the case of verbs the number of ablaut forms is still very great, no new verbs are inflected on this pattern.
The same may be said about word-building by sound interchange. The type is not productive. No new words are formed in this way, yet sound interchange still stays in the language serving to distinguish one long-established word from another.
Synchronically, it differentiated parts of speech, i.e. it may signal the non-identity of words belonging to different parts of speech: full a : : fill v; food n : : feed v; or to different lexico-grammatical sets within the same part of speech: fall intransitive v : : fell causative v; compare also lie : : lay, sit : : set, rise : : raise.
Derivation often involves phonological changes of vowel or consonant: strong SL : : strength n; heal v : : health n; steal v : : stealth n; long a : : length n; deep a : : depth n.
Major derivative alternations involving changes of vowel and /or consonant and sometimes stress shift in borrowed words are as follows: delicacy n : : delicate a; piracy n : : pirate n; democracy n : : democrat n; decency n : : decent a; vacancy n : : vacant a; creation n : : create v; edify v : : edification n; organise v : : organisation n; agnostic a : : agnosticism n.
Some long vowels are retained in quality and quantity; others are shortened, and there seems to be no fixed rule, e.g. [a:] tends to be retained: artist n : : artistic ; [:] is regularly shortened: 'permit n : : per'mit v.
§ 7.5 DISTINCTIVE STRESS
Some otherwise homographic, mostly disyllabic nouns and verbs of Romanic origin have a distinctive stress pattern. Thus, 'conduct n 'behaviour' is forestressed, whereas con'duct v 'to lead or guide (in a formal way)' has a stress on the second syllable. Other examples are: accent, affix, asphalt, compact (impact),1 compound, compress (impress), conflict, contest, contract (extract), contrast, convict, digest, essay, export (import, transport), increase, insult, object (subject, project), perfume, permit, present, produce, progress, protest, rebel, record, survey, torment, transfer.2 Examples of words of more than two syllables are very few:
1 Words of the same root are given in brackets.
2 There are some meanings in which the verb is also forestressed.
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'attribute n : : a'ttribute v. Historically this is probably explained by the fact that these words were borrowed from French where the original stress was on the last syllable. Thus, ac'cent comes through French from Latin ac'centus. Verbs retained this stress all the more easily as many native disyllabic verbs were also stressed in this way: be come, be'lieve, for'bid, for'get, for'give. The native nouns, however, were forestressed, and in the process of assimilation many loan nouns came to be stressed on the first syllable.
A similar phenomenon is observed in some homographic pairs of adjectives and verbs, e.g. 'absent a : : ab'sent v; 'frequent a : : fre'quent v; 'perfect a : : per'fect v; 'abstract a : : ab'stract v. Other patterns with difference in stress are also possible, such as arithmetic ['ri?-mtik] n : : arithmetical) [?'metik(l)] a. The fact that in the verb the second syllable is stressed involves a phonemic change of the vowels as well: [/] and [/i].
This stress distinction is, however, neither productive nor regular. There are many denominal verbs that are forestressed and thus homonymous with the corresponding nouns. For example, both the noun and the verb comment are forestressed, and so are the following words: exile, figure, preface, quarrel, focus, process, program, triumph, rivet and others.
There is a large group of disyllabic loan words that retain the stress on the second syllable both in verbs and nouns: accord, account, advance, amount, approach, attack, attempt, concern, defeat, distress, escape, exclaim, research, etc.
A separate group is formed by compounds where the corresponding combination of words has double stress and the compound noun is forestressed so that the stress acquires a word-building force: 'black 'board : : 'blackboard and 'draw'back : : 'drawback.
It is worth noting that stress alone, unaccompanied by any other differentiating factor, does not seem to provide a very effective means of distinguishing words. And this is, probably, the reason why oppositions of this kind are neither regular nor productive.
§ 7.6 SOUND IMITATION
The great majority of motivated words in present-day language are motivated by reference to other words in the language, to the morphemes that go to compose them and to their arrangement. Therefore, even if one hears the noun wage-earner for the first time, one understands it, knowing the meaning of the words wage and earn and the structural pattern noun stem + verbal stem+ -er as in bread-winner, skyscraper, strike-breaker. Sound imitating or onomatopoeic words are on the contrary motivated with reference to extra-linguistic reality, they are echoes of natural sounds (e. g. lullaby, twang, whiz.) Sound imitation (onomatopoeia or echoism) is consequently the naming of an action or thing by a more or less exact reproduction of a sound
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associated with it. For instance words naming sounds and movement of water: babble, blob, bubble, flush, gurgle, gush, splash, etc.
The term onomatopoeia is from Greek onoma 'name, word' and poiein 'to make1 > 'the making of words (in imitation of sounds)'.
It would, however, be wrong to think that onomatopoeic words reflect the real sounds directly, irrespective of the laws of the language, because the same sounds are represented differently in different languages. Onomatopoeic words adopt the phonetic features of English and fall into the combinations peculiar to it. This becomes obvious when one compares onomatopoeic words crow and twitter and the words flow and glitter with which they are rhymed in the following poem:
The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing.
The small birds twitter,
The lake does glitter,
The green fields sleep in the sun (Wordsworth).
The majority of onomatopoeic words serve to name sounds or movements. Most of them are verbs easily turned into nouns: bang, boom, bump, hum, rustle, smack, thud, etc.
They are very expressive and sometimes it is difficult to tell a noun from an interjection. Consider the following: Thum - crash! "Six o'clock, Nurse," - crash] as the door shut again. Whoever it was had given me the shock of my life (M. Dickens).
Sound-imitative words form a considerable part of interjections. f . bang! hush! pooh!
Semantically, according to the source of sound, onomatopoeic words fall into a few very definite groups. Many verbs denote sounds produced by human beings in the process of communication or in expressing their feelings: babble, chatter, giggle, grunt, grumble, murmur, mutter, titter, whine, whisper and many more. Then there are sounds produced by animals, birds and insects, e.g. buzz, cackle, croak, crow, hiss, honk, howl, moo, mew, neigh, purr, roar and others. Some birds are named after the sound they make, these are the crow, the cuckoo, the whippoor-will and a few others. Besides the verbs imitating the sound of water such as bubble or splash, there are others imitating the noise of metallic things: clink, tinkle, or forceful motion: clash, crash, whack, whip, whisk, etc.
The combining possibilities of onomatopoeic words are limited by usage. Thus, a contented cat purrs, while a similarly sounding verb whirr is used about wings. A gun bangs and a bow twangs.
R. Southey's poem "How Does the Water Come Down at Lodore" is a classical example of the stylistic possibilities offered by onomatopoeia: the words in it sound an echo of what the poet sees and describes.
Here it comes sparkling, And there it flies darkling ... Eddying and whisking,
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Spouting and frisking, ...
And whizzing and hissing, ...
And rattling and battling, ...
And guggling and struggling, ...
And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping ...
And thumping and pumping and bumping and jumping,
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing ...
And at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar,
And this way the water comes down at Lodore.
Once being coined, onomatopoeic words lend themselves easily to further word-building and to semantic development. They readily develop figurative meanings. Croak, for instance, means 'to make a deep harsh sound'. In its direct meaning the verb is used about frogs or ravens. Metaphorically it may be used about a hoarse human voice. A further transfer makes the verb synonymous to such expressions as 'to protest dismally', 'to grumble dourly', 'to predict evil'.
§ 7.7 BACK-FORMATION
Back-formation (also called reversion) is a term borrowed from diachronic linguistics. It denotes the derivation of new words by subtracting a real or supposed affix from existing words through misinterpretation of their structure. The phenomenon was already introduced in § 6.4.3 when discussing compound verbs.
The process is based on analogy. The words beggar, butler, cobbler, or typewriter look very much like agent nouns with the suffix -er/-or, such as actor or painter. Their last syllable is therefore taken for a suffix and subtracted from the word leaving what is understood as a verbal stem. In this way the verb butle 'to act or serve as a butler' is derived by subtraction of -er from a supposedly verbal stem in the noun butler. Butler (ME buteler, boteler from OFr bouteillier 'bottle bearer') has widened its meaning. Originally it meant 'the man-servant having charge of the wine'. It means at present 'the chief servant of a rich household who is in charge of other servants, receives guests and directs the serving of meals'.
These examples are sufficient to show how structural changes taking place in back-formation became possible because of semantic changes that preceded them. In the above cases these changes were favoured by contextual environment. The change of meaning resulted in demotivation, and this paved the way for phonic changes, i.e. assimilation, loss of sound and the like, which in their turn led to morphemic alternations that became meaningful. Semantic changes often influence the morphological structure by
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modifying the relations between stems and derivational affixes. Structural changes, in their turn, depend on the combined effect of demotivation and analogy conditioned by a higher frequency of occurrence of the pattern that serves as model. Provided all other conditions are equal, words following less frequent structural patterns are readily subjected to changes on the analogy of more frequent patterns.
The very high frequency of the pattern verb stem+-er (or its equivalents) is a matter of common knowledge. Nothing more natural therefore than the prominent part this pattern plays in back-formation. Alongside the examples already cited above are burgle v<burglar n; cobble v<cobbler n; sculpt v<sculptor n. This phenomenon is conveniently explained on the basis of proportional lexical oppositions. If
teacher = painter = butler teach paint x
then x = butle, and to butle must mean 'to act as butler'.
The process of back-formation has only diachronic relevance. For synchronic approach butler : : butle is equivalent to painter : : paint, so that the present-day speaker may not feel any difference between these relationships. The fact that butle is derived from butler through misinterpretation is synchronically of no importance. Some modern examples of back-formation are lase v - a verb used about the functioning of the apparatus called laser (see p. 143), escalate from escalator on the analogy of elevate - elevator. Cf. also the verbs aggress, automate, enthuse, obsolesce and reminisce.
Back-formation may be also based on the analogy of inflectional forms as testified by the singular nouns pea and cherry. Pea (the plural of which is peas and also pease) is from ME pese<OE pise, peose<Lat pisa, pl. of pesum. The ending -s being the most frequent mark of the plural in English, English speakers thought that sweet peas(e) was a plural and turned the combination peas(e) soup into pea soup. Cherry is from OFr cerise, and the -se was dropped for exactly the same reason.
The most productive type of back-formation in present-day English is derivation of verbs (see p. 126) from compounds that have either -er or -ing as their last element. The type will be clear from the following examples: thought-read v<thought-reader n<thought-reading n; air-condition v<air-conditioner n < air-conditioning n; turbo-supercharge v < turbo-supercharger n. Other examples of back-formations from compounds are the verbs baby-sit, beachcomb, house-break, house-clean, house-keep, red-bait, tape-record and many others.
The semantic relationship between the prototype and the derivative is regular. Baby-sit, for example, means to act or become employed as a baby-sitter', that is to take care of children for short periods of time while the parents are away from home. Similarly, beachcomb is 'to live or act as a beachcomber'; the noun is a slightly ironical word de-
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The degree of substantivation may be different. Alongside with complete substantivation of the type already mentioned (the private, the private's, the privates), there exists partial substantivation. In this last case a substantivised adjective or participle denotes a group or a class of people: the blind, the dead, the English, the poor, the rich, the accused, the condemned, the living, the unemployed, the wounded, the lower-paid.
We call these words partially substantivised, because they undergo no morphological changes, i.e. do not acquire a new paradigm and are only used with the definite article and a collective meaning. Besides they keep some properties of adjectives. They can, for instance, be modified by adverbs. E.g.: Success is the necessary misfortune of human life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early (Trollope). It was the suspicious and realistic, I thought, who were most easy to reassure. It was the same in love: the extravagantly jealous sometimes needed only a single word to be transported into absolute trust (Snow).
Besides the substantivised adjectives denoting human beings there is a considerable group of abstract nouns, as is well illustrated by such grammatical terms as: the Singular, the Plural, the Present, the Past, the Future, and also: the evil, the good, the impossible. For instance: "One should never struggle against the inevitable," he said (Christie)/
It is thus evident that substantivation has been the object of much controversy. Some of those, who do not accept substantivation of adjectives as a variant of conversion, consider conversion as a process limited to the formation of verbs from nouns and nouns from verbs. But this point of view is far from being universally accepted.
§ 8.6 CONVERSION IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF SPEECH
In this paragraph we present the types of conversion according to parts of speech and secondary word classes involved. By secondary word classes we mean lexico-grammatical classes, that is subsets within parts of speech that differ in meaning and functions, as, for instance, transitive and intransitive verbs, countable and uncountable nouns, gradable and non-gradable adjectives, and so on.
We know already that the most frequent types of conversion are those from noun to verb, from verb to noun and from adjective to noun and to verb. The first type seems especially important, conversion being the main process of verb-formation at present.
Less frequent but also quite possible is conversion from form words to nouns. E. g. He liked to know the ins and outs. I shan't go into the whys and wherefores. He was familiar with ups and downs of life. Use is even made of affixes. Thus, ism is a separate word nowadays meaning 'a set of ideas or principles', e. g. Freudism, existentialism and all the other isms.
In all the above examples the change of paradigm is present and helpful for classifying the newly coined words as cases of conversion. But it is not absolutely necessary, because conversion is not limited to such parts of speech which possess a paradigm. That, for example, may be converted into an adverb in informal speech: I was that hungry I could have eaten a horse.
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R. Quirk and his colleagues extend the notion of conversion to re-classification of secondary word classes within one part of speech, a phenomenon also called transposition. Thus, mass nouns and abstract nouns are converted into countable nouns with the meanings 'a unit of N', 'a kind of N', 'an instance of N'. E. g. two coffees, different oils (esp. in technical literature), peaceful initiatives.
The next commonest change is changing of intransitive verbs into transitive: to run a horse in a race, to march the prisoners, to dive a plane. Other secondary verb-classes can be changed likewise. Non-gradable adjectives become gradable with a certain change of meaning: He is more English than the English.
We share a more traditional approach and treat transposition within one part of speech as resulting in lexico-semantic variation of one and the same word, not as coining a new one (see § 3.4).
§ 8.7 CONVERSION AND OTHER TYPES OF WORD-FORMATION
The flexibility of the English vocabulary system makes a word formed by conversion capable of further derivation, so that it enters into combinations not only with functional but also with derivational affixes characteristic of a verbal stem, and becomes distributionally equivalent to it. For example, view 'to watch television' gives viewable, viewer, viewing.
Conversion may be combined with other word-building processes, such as composition. Attributive phrases like black ball, black list, pin point, stone wall form the basis of such firmly established verbs as blackball, blacklist, pinpoint, stonewall. The same pattern is much used in nonce-words such as to my-dear, to my-love, to blue-pencil.
This type should be distinguished from cases when composition and conversion are not simultaneous, that is when, for instance, a compound noun gives rise to a verb: corkscrew n : : corkscrew v; streamline n : : streamline v.
A special pattern deserving attention because of its ever increasing productivity results as a combined effect of composition and conversion forming nouns out of verb-adverb combinations. This type is different from conversion proper as the basic forms are not homonymous due to the difference in the stress pattern, although they consist of identical morphemes. Thanks to solid or hyphenated spelling and single stress the noun stem obtains phonetical and graphical integrity and indivisibility absent in the verb-group, f. to 'draw 'back : : a 'drawback. Further examples are: blackout n : : black out v; breakdown n : : break down v; come-back, drawback, fall-out, hand-out, hangover, knockout, link-up, lookout, lockout, makeup, pull-over, runaway, run-off, set-back, take-off, takeover, teach-in.
The type is specifically English, its intense and growing development is due to the profusion of verbal collocations (see p. 120 ff) and con- or unchangeable, whether the meaning of the one element remains free, and,
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more generally, on the interdependence between the meaning of the elements and the meaning of the set expression. Much attention is devoted to different types of variation: synonymic, pronominal, etc.
After this brief review of possible semantic classifications, we pass on to a formal and functional classification based on the fact that a set expression functioning in speech is in distribution similar to definite classes of words, whereas structurally it can be identified with various types of syntagmas or with complete sentences.
We shall distinguish set expressions that are nominal phrases: the wot of the trouble', verbal phrases: put one's best foot forward; adjectival phrases: as good as gold; red as a cherry; adverbial phrases: from head to foot; prepositional phrases: in the course of; conjunctional phrases: as long as, on the other hand; interjectional phrases: Well, I never! A stereotyped sentence also introduced into speech as a ready-made formula may be illustrated by Never say die! 'never give up hope', take your time 'do not hurry'.
The above classification takes into consideration not only the type of component parts but also the functioning of the whole, thus, tooth and nail is not a nominal but an adverbial unit, because it serves to modify a verb (e. g. fight tooth and nail); the identically structured lord and master is a nominal phrase. Moreover, not every nominal phrase is used in all syntactic functions possible for nouns. Thus, a bed of roses or a bed of nails and forlorn hope are used only predicatively.
Within each of these classes a further subdivision is necessary. The following list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give only the principal features of the types.
I. Set expressions functioning like nouns:
N+N: maiden name 'the surname of a woman before she was married'; brains trust 'a committee of experts' or 'a number of reputedly well informed persons chosen to answer questions of general interest without preparation', family jewels 'shameful secrets of the CIA' (Am. slang).
N's+N: cat's paw 'one who is used for the convenience of a cleverer and stronger person' (the expression comes from a fable in which a monkey wanting to eat some chestnuts that were on a hot stove, but not wishing to burn himself while getting them, seised a cat and holding its paw in his own used it to knock the chestnuts to the ground); Hob-son's choice, a set expression used when there is no choice at all, when a person has to take what is offered or nothing (Thomas Hobson, a 17th century London stableman, made every person hiring horses take the next in order).
Ns'+N: ladies' man 'one who makes special effort to charm or please women'.
N+prp+N: the arm of the law; skeleton in the cupboard.
N+A: knight errant (the phrase is today applied to any chivalrous man ready to help and protect oppressed and helpless people).
N+and+N: lord and master 'husband'; all the world and his
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wife (a more complicated form); rank and file 'the ordinary working members of an organisation' (the origin of this expression is military life, it denotes common soldiers); ways and means 'methods of overcoming difficulties'.
A+N: green room 'the general reception room of a theatre' (it is said that formerly such rooms had their walls coloured green to relieve the strain on the actors' eyes after the stage lights); high tea 'an evening meal which combines meat or some similar extra dish with the usual tea'; forty winks 'a short nap'.
N+subordinate clause: ships that pass in the night 'chance acquaintances'.
II. Set expressions functioning like verbs: V+N: take advantage
V+and+V: pick and choose V+(one's)+N+(prp): snap ones fingers at V+one+N: give one the bird 'to fire sb'
V+subordinate clause: see how the land lies 'to discover the state of affairs'.
III. Set expressions functioning like adjectives: A+and+A: high and mighty
(as)+A+as+N: as old as the hills, as mad as a hatter Set expressions are often used as predicatives but not attributively. In the latter function they are replaced by compounds.
IV. Set expressions functioning like adverbs:
A big group containing many different types of units, some of them with a high frequency index, neutral in style and devoid of expressiveness, others expressive.
N+N: tooth and nail
prp+N: by heart, of course, against the grain
adv+prp+N: once in a blue moon
prp+N+or+N: by hook or by crook
cj+clause: before one can say Jack Robinson
V. Set expressions functioning like prepositions: prp+N+prp: in consequence of
It should be noted that the type is often but not always characterised by the absence of article. f: by reason of : : on the ground of.
VI. Set expressions functioning like interjections:
These are often structured as imperative sentences: Bless (one's) soul! God bless me! Hang it (all)!
This review can only be brief and very general but it will not be difficult for the reader to supply the missing links.
The list of types gives a clear notion of the contradictory nature of set expressions: structured like phrases they function like words.
There is one more type of combinations, also rigid and introduced into discourse ready-made but differing from all the types given above in so far as it is impossible to find its equivalent among the parts of speech. These are formulas used as complete utterances and syntactically shaped like sentences, such as the well-known American maxim Keep smiling! or the British Keep Britain tidy. Take it easy.
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A.I. Smirnitsky was the first among Soviet scholars who paid attention to sentences that can be treated as complete formulas, such as How do you do? or I beg your pardon, It takes all kinds to make the world, Can the leopard change his spots? They differ from all the combinations so far discussed, because they are not equivalent to words in distribution and are semantically analysable. The formulas discussed by N.N. Amosova are on the contrary semantically specific, e. g. save your breath 'shut up' or tell it to the marines. As it often happens with set expressions, there are different explanations for their origin. (One of the suggested origins is tell that to the horse marines; such a corps being nonexistent, as marines are a sea-going force, the last expression means 'tell it to someone who does not exist, because real people will not believe it'). Very often such formulas, formally identical to sentences are in reality used only as insertions into other sentences: the cap fits 'the statement is true' (e. g.: "He called me a liar." "Well, you should know if the cap fits. ) Compare also: Butter would not melt in his mouth; His bark is worse than his bite.
§ 9.4 SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SET EXPRESSION AND A WORD
There is a pressing need for criteria distinguishing set expressions not only from free phrases but from compound words as well. One of these criteria is the formal integrity of words which had been repeatedly mentioned and may be best illustrated by an example with the word breakfast borrowed from W.L. Graff. His approach combines contextual analysis and diachronic observations. He is interested in gradation from free construction through the formula to compound and then simple word. In showing the borderline between a word and a formular expression, W.L. Graff speaks about the word breakfast derived from the set expression to break fast, where break was a verb with a specific meaning inherent to it only in combination with fast which means 'keeping from food'. Hence it was possible to say: And knight and squire had broke their fast (W.Scott). The fact that it was a phrase and not a word is clearly indicated by the conjugation treatment of the verb and syntactical treatment of the noun. With an analytical language like English this conjugation test is, unfortunately, not always applicable.
It would also be misleading to be guided in distinguishing between set expressions and compound words by semantic considerations, there being no rigorous criteria for differentiating between one complex notion and a combination of two or more notions. The references of component words are lost within the whole of a set expression, no less than within a compound word. What is, for instance, the difference in this respect between the set expression point of view and the compound viewpoint? And if there is any, what are the formal criteria which can help to estimate it?
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Alongside with semantic unity many authors mention the unity of syntactic function. This unity of syntactic function is obvious in the predicate of the main clause in the following quotation from J. Wain, which is a simple predicate, though rendered by a set expression: ...the government we had in those days, when we (Great Britain) were the world's richest country, didn't give a damn whether the kids grew up with rickets or not ...
This syntactic unity, however, is not specific for all set expressions.
Two types of substitution tests can be useful in showing us the points of similarity and difference between the words and set expressions. In the first procedure a whole set expression is replaced within context by a synonymous word in such a way that the meaning of the utterance remains unchanged, e. g. he was in a brown study > he mas gloomy. In the second type of substitution test only an element of the set expression is replaced, e. g. (as) white as chalk > (as) white as milk > (as) white as snow; or it gives me the blues > it gives him the blues > it gives one the blues. In this second type it is the set expression that is retained, although its composition or referential meaning may change.
When applying the first type of procedure one obtains a criterion for the degree of equivalence between a set expression and a word. One more example will help to make the point clear. The set expression dead beat can be substituted by a single word exhausted. E. g.: Dispatches, sir. Delivered by a corporal of the 33rd. Dead beat with hard riding, sir (Shaw). The last sentence may be changed into Exhausted with hard riding, sir. The lines will keep their meaning and remain grammatically correct. The possibility of this substitution permits us to regard this set expression as a word equivalent.
On the other hand, there are cases when substitution is not possible. The set expression red tape has a one word equivalent in Russian , but in English it can be substituted only by a free phrase. Thus, in the enumeration of political evils in the example below red tape, although syntactically equivalent to derivative nouns used as homogeneous members, can be substituted only by some free phrase, such as rigid formality of official routine. Cf. the following example:
BURGOYNE: And will you wipe out our enemies in London, too? SWINDON: In London! What enemies?
BURGOYNE (forcible): Jobbery and snobbery, incompetence and Red Tape ... (Shaw).
The unity of syntactic function is present in this case also, but the criterion of equivalence to a single word cannot be applied, because substitution by a single word is impossible. Such equivalence is therefore only relative, it is not universally applicable and cannot be accepted as a general criterion for defining these units. The equivalence of words and set expressions should not be taken too literally but treated as a useful abstraction, only in the sense we have stated.
The main point of difference between a word and a set expression is the divisibility of the latter into separately structured elements which is contrasted to the structural integrity of words. Although equivalent to words in being introduced into speech ready-made, a set expression is different from them, because it can be resolved into words, whereas words are resolved
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into morphemes. In compound words the process of integration is more advanced. The methods and criteria serving to identify compounds and distinguish them from phrases or groups of words, no matter how often used together, have been pointed out in the chapter on compounds.
Morphological divisibility is evident when one of the elements (but not the last one as in a compound word) is subjected to morphological change. This problem has been investigated by N.N. Amosova, A.V. Koonin and others.] N.N. Amosova gives the following examples:
He played second fiddle to her in his father's heart (Galsworthy). ... She disliked playing second fiddle (Christie). To play second fiddle 'to occupy a secondary, subordinate position'.
It must be rather fun having a skeleton in the cupboard (Milne). I hate skeletons in the cupboard (Ibid.) A skeleton in the cupboard 'a family secret'.
A.V. Koonin shows the possibility of morphological changes in adjectives forming part of phraseological units: He's deader than a doornail; It made the night blacker than pitch; The Cantervilles have blue blood, for instance, the bluest in England.
It goes without saying that the possibility of a morphological change cannot regularly serve as a distinctive feature, because it may take place only in a limited number of set expressions (verbal or nominal).
The question of syntactic ties within a set expression is even more controversial. All the authors agree that set expressions (for the most part) represent one member of the sentence, but opinions differ as to whether this means that there are no syntactical ties within set expressions themselves. Actually the number of words in a sentence is not necessarily equal to the number of its members.
The existence of syntactical relations within a set expression can be proved by the possibility of syntactical transformations (however limited) or inversion of elements and the substitution of the variable member, all this without destroying the set expression as such. By a variable element we mean the element of the set expression which is structurally necessary but free to vary lexically. It is usually indicated in dictionaries by indefinite pronouns, often inserted in round brackets: make (somebody's) hair stand on end 'to give the greatest astonishment or fright to another person'; sow (one's) wild oats 'to indulge in dissipation while young'. The word in brackets can be freely substituted: make (my, your, her, the reader's) hair stand on end.
The sequence of constant elements may be broken and some additional words inserted, which, splitting the set expression, do not destroy it, but establish syntactical ties with its regular elements. The examples are chiefly limited to verbal expressions, e.g. The chairman broke the ice > Ice was broken by the chairman; Has burnt his boats and ... > Having burnt his boats he ... Pronominal substitution is illustrated by the following example: "Hold your tongue, Lady L." "Hold yours, my good fool." (N. Marsh, quoted by N.N. Amosova)
All these facts are convincing manifestations of syntactical ties within
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the units in question. Containing the same elements these units can change their morphological form and syntactical structure, they may be called changeable set expressions, as contrasted to stereotyped or unchangeable set expressions, admitting no change either morphological or syntactical. The examples discussed in the previous paragraph mostly belong to this second type, indivisible and unchangeable; they are nearer to a word than their more flexible counterparts. This opposition is definitely correlated with structural properties.
All these examples proving the divisibility and variability of set expressions throw light on the difference between them and words.
§ 9.5 FEATURES ENHANCING UNITY AND STABILITY OF SET EXPRESSIONS
Set expressions have their own specific features, which enhance their stability and cohesion. These are their euphonic, imaginative and connotative qualities. It has been often pointed out that many set expressions are distinctly rhythmical, contain alliteration, rhyme, imagery, contrast, are based on puns, etc. These features have always been treated from the point of view of style and expressiveness. Their cementing function is perhaps no less important. All these qualities ensure the strongest possible contact between the elements, give them their peculiar muscular feel, so that in pronouncing something like stuff and nonsense the speaker can enjoy some release of pent-up nervous tension. Consider the following sentence: Tommy would come back to her safe and sound (O'Flaherty). Safe and sound is somehow more reassuring than the synonymous word uninjured, which could have been used.
These euphonic and connotative qualities also prevent substitution for another purely linguistic, though not semantic, reason - any substitution would destroy the euphonic effect. Consider, for instance, the result of synonymic substitution in the above alliterative pair safe and sound. Secure and uninjured has the same denotational meaning but sounds so dull and trivial that the phrase may be considered destroyed and one is justified in saying that safe and sound admits no substitution.
Rhythmic qualities are characteristic of almost all set expressions. They are especially marked in such pairs as far and wide, far and near 'many places both near and distant'; by fits and starts 'irregularly'; heart and soul 'with complete devotion to a cause'. Rhythm is combined with reiteration in the following well-known phrases: more and more, on and on, one by one, through and through. Alliteration occurs in many cases: part and parcel 'an essential and necessary part'; with might and main 'with all one's powers'; rack and ruin 'a state of neglect and collapse'; then and there 'at once and on the spot'; from pillar to post', in for a penny, in for a pound', head over heels; without rhyme or reason', pick of the pops', a bee in one's bonnet', the why and wherefore. It is interesting to note that alliterative phrases often contain obsolete elements, not used elsewhere. In the above expressions these are main, an obsolete synonym to might, and rack, probably a variant of wreck.
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As one of the elements becomes obsolete and falls out of the language, demotivation may set in, and this, paradoxical though it may seem, also tends to increase the stability and constancy of a set expression. The process is complicated, because the preservation of obsolete elements in set expressions is in its turn assisted by all the features mentioned above. Some more examples of set expressions containing obsolete elements are: hue and cry 'a loud clamour about something' (a synonymic pair with the obsolete word hue); leave in the lurch 'to leave in a helpless position' (with the obsolete noun lurch meaning 'ambush'); not a whit 'not at all' (with the obsolete word whit - a variant of wight 'creature', 'thing' -not used outside this expression and meaning 'the smallest thing imaginable').
Rhyme is also characteristic of set expressions: fair and square 'honest'; by hook or by crook 'by any method, right or wrong' (its elements are not only rhymed but synonymous). Out and about 'able to go out' is used about a convalescent person. High and dry was originally used about ships, meaning 'out of the water', 'aground'; at present it is mostly used figuratively in several metaphorical meanings: 'isolated', 'left without help', 'out of date'. This capacity of developing an integer (undivided) transferred meaning is one more feature that makes set expressions similar to words.
Semantic stylistic features contracting set expressions into units of fixed context are simile, contrast, metaphor and synonymy. For example: as like as two peas, as old as the hills and older than the hills (simile); from beginning to end, for love or money, more or less, sooner or later (contrast); a lame duck, a pack of lies, arms race, to swallow the pill, in a nutshell (metaphor); by leaps and bounds, proud and haughty (synonymy). A few more combinations of different features in the same phrase are: as good as gold, as pleased as Punch, as fit as a fiddle (alliteration, simile); now or never, to kill or cure (alliteration and contrast). More rarely there is an intentional pun: as cross as two sticks means 'very angry'. This play upon words makes the phrase jocular. The comic effect is created by the absurdity of the combination making use of two different meanings of the word cross a and n.
To a linguistically conscious mind most set expressions tend to keep their history. It remains in them as an intricate force, and the awareness of their history can yield rewarding pleasure in using or hearing them. Very many examples of metaphors connected with the sea can be quoted: be on the rocks, rest on the oars, sail close to the wind, smooth sailing, weather the storm. Those connected with agriculture are no less expressive and therefore easily remembered: plough the sand, plough a lonely furrow, reap a rich harvest, thrash (a subject) out.
For all practical purposes the boundary between set expressions and free phrases is vague. The point that is to be kept in mind is that there are also some structural features of a set expression correlated with its invariability.
There are, of course, other cases when set expressions lose their metaphorical picturesqueness, having preserved some fossilised words and
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phrases, the meaning of which is no longer correctly understood. For instance, the expression buy a pig in a poke may be still used, although poke 'bag' (cf . pouch, pocket) does not occur in other contexts. Expressions taken from obsolete sports and occupations may survive in their new figurative meaning. In these cases the euphonic qualities of the expression are even more important. A muscular and irreducible phrase is also memorable. The muscular feeling is of special importance in slogans and battle cries. Saint George and the Dragon for Merrie England, the medieval battle cry, was a rhythmic unit to which a man on a horse could swing his sword. The modern Scholarships not battleships] can be conveniently scanned by a marching crowd.
To sum up, the memorableness of a set expression, as well as its unity, is assisted by various factors within the expression such as rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, imagery and even the muscular feeling one gets> when pronouncing them.
§ 9.6 PROVERBS, SAYINGS, FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS AND CLICHES
The place of proverbs, sayings and familiar quotations with respect to set expressions is a controversial issue. A proverb is a short familiar epigrammatic saying expressing popular wisdom, a truth or a moral lesson in a concise and imaginative way. Proverbs have much in common with set expressions, because their lexical components are also constant, their meaning is traditional and mostly figurative, and they are introduced into speech ready-made. That is why some scholars following V.V. Vinogradov think proverbs must be studied together with phraseological units. Others like J. Casares and N.N. Amosova think that unless they regularly form parts of other sentences it is erroneous to include them into the system of language, because they are independent units of communication. N.N. Amosova even thinks that there is no more reason to consider them as part of phraseology than, for instance, riddles and children's counts. This standpoint is hardly acceptable especially if we do not agree with the narrow limits of phraseology offered by this author. Riddles and counts are not as a rule included into utterances in the process of communication, whereas proverbs are. Whether they are included into an utterance as independent sentences or as part of sentences is immaterial. If we follow that line of reasoning, we shall have to exclude all interjections such as Hang it (all)! because they are also syntactically independent. As to the argument that in many proverbs the meaning of component parts does not show any specific changes when compared to the meaning of the same words in free combinations, it must be pointed out that in this respect they do not differ from very many set expressions, especially those which are emotionally neutral.
Another reason why proverbs must be taken into consideration together with set expressions is that they often form the basis of set expressions. E. g. the last straw breaks the camel's back : : the last straw; a drowning man will clutch at a straw : : clutch at a straw; it is useless to lock the stable door when the steed is stolen : : lock the stable door 'to take precautions when the accident they are meant to prevent has already happened'.
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Both set expressions and proverbs are sometimes split and changed for humorous purposes, as in the following quotation where the proverb All is not gold that glitters combines with an allusion to the set expression golden age, e . g . It will be an age not perhaps of gold, but at least of glitter. Compare also the following, somewhat daring compliment meant to shock the sense of bourgeois propriety: But I laughed and said, "Don't you worry, Professor, I'm not pulling her ladyship's leg. I wouldn't do such a thing. I have too much respect for that charming limb." (Cary) Sometimes the speaker notices the lack of logic in a set expression and checks himself, as in the following: Holy terror, she is - least not so holy, I suppose, but a terror all right (Rattigan).
Taking a familiar group of words: A living dog is better than a dead lion (from the Bible) and turning it around, a fellow critic once said that Hazlitt was unable to appreciate a writer till he was dead - that Hazlitt thought a dead ass better than a living lion. A. Huxley is very fond of stylistic, mostly grotesque, effects achieved in this way. So, for example, paraphrasing the set expression marry into money he says about one of his characters, who prided herself on her conversation, that she had married into conversation.
Lexicology does not deal more fully with the peculiarities of proverbs: created in folklore, they are studied by folklorists, but in treating units introduced into the act of communication ready-made we cannot avoid touching upon them too.
As to familiar quotations, they are different from proverbs in their origin. They come from literature but by and by they become part and parcel of the language, so that many people using them do not even know that they are quoting, and very few could acccurately name the play or passage on which they are drawing even when they are aware of using a quotation from W. Shakespeare.
The Shakespearian quotations have become and remain extremely numerous - they have contributed enormously to the store of the language. Some of the most often used are: I know a trick worth two of that; A man more sinned against than sinning ("King Lear"); Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown ("Henry IV"). Very many come from "Hamlet", for example: Frailty, thy name is woman', Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice', Something is rotten in the state of Denmark; Brevity is the soul of wit; The rest is silence; Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, I Than are dreamt of in your philosophy; It out-herods Herod; For to the noble mind / Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
Excepting only W. Shakespeare, no poet has given more of his lines than A. Pope to the common vocabulary of the English-speaking world. The following are only a few of the best known quotations: A little learning is a dangerous thing; To err is human; To forgive, divine; For fools rush in where angels fear to tread; At every word a reputation dies; Who shall decide when doctors disagree?
Quotations from classical sources were once a recognised feature of
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public speech: de te fabula narratur (Horace) 'the story is about you'; ternpora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis 'times change, and we change with them'; timeo Danaoset dona ferentes (Virgil) 'I fear the Greeks, even when bringing gifts'. Now they are even regarded as bad form, because they are unintelligible to those without a classical education. So, when a speaker ventures a quotation of that kind he hastens to translate it. A number of classical tags nevertheless survive in educated speech in many countries, in Russian no less than in English. There are the well-known phrases, such as ad hoc 'for this special reason'; bona fide 'in good faith'; cum grano salts 'with a grain of salt'; mutatis mutandis 'with necessary changes'; tabula rasa 'a blank tablet' and others of the same kind. As long as they keep their Latin form they do not belong to English vocabulary. Many of them, however, show various degrees of assimilation, e.g. viva voce ['vaiva 'vousi] 'oral examination', which may be used as an adjective, an adverb and a verb. Viva voce examination is colloquially shortened into viva (noun and verb).
Some quotations are so often used that they come to be considered cliches. The term comes from the printing trade. The cliche (the word is French) is a metal block used for printing pictures and turning them out in great numbers. The term is used to denote such phrases as have become hackneyed and stale. Being constantly and mechanically repeated they have lost their original expressiveness and so are better avoided. H.W. Fowler in a burst of eloquence in denouncing them even exclaims: "How many a time has Galileo longed to recant his recantation, as e pur si muove was once more applied or misapplied!"1 Opinions may vary on what is tolerable and what sounds an offence to most of the listeners or readers, as everyone may have his own likes and dislikes. The following are perhaps the most generally recognised: the acid test, ample opportunities, astronomical figures, the arms of Morpheus, to break the ice, consigned to oblivion, the irony of fate, to sleep the sleep of the just, stand shoulder to shoulder, swan song, toe the line, tender mercies, etc. Empty and worn-out but pompous phrases often become mere verbiage used as a poor compensation for a lack of thought or precision. Here are some phrases occurring in passages of literary criticism and justly branded as cliches: to blaze a trail, consummate art, consummate skill, heights of tragedy, lofty flight of imagination. The so-called journalese has its own set of overworked phrases: to usher in a new age, to prove a boon to mankind, to pave the way to a bright new world, to spell the doom of civilisation, etc.
In giving this review of English set expressions we have paid special attention to the fact that the subject is a highly complex one and that it has been treated by different scholars in very different ways. Each approach and each classification have their advantages and their drawbacks. The choice one makes depends on the particular problem one has in view, and even so there remains much to be studied in the future.
1 E pur si muove (It) 'yet it does move' - the words attributed to Galileo Galilei. He is believed to have said them after being forced to recant his doctrine that the Earth moves round the Sun.
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Part Two
ENGLISH VOCABULARY AS A SYSTEM
Chapter 10
HOMONYMS. SYNONYMS. ANTONYMS
§ 10.1 HOMONYMS
In a simple code each sign has only one meaning, and each meaning is associated with only one sign. This one-to-one relationship is not realised in natural languages. When several related meanings are associated with the same group of sounds within one part of speech, the word is called polysemantic, when two or more unrelated meanings are associated with the same form - the words are homonyms, when two or more different forms are associated with the same or nearly the same denotative meanings - the words are synonyms.
Actually, if we describe the lexical system according to three distinctive features, each of which may be present or absent, we obtain 23 = 8 possible combinations. To represent these the usual tables with only horizontal and vertical subdivisions are inadequate, so we make use of a mapping technique developed for simplifying logical truth functions by E.W. Veitch that proved very helpful in our semantic studies.
In the table below a small section of the lexico-semantic system of the language connected with the noun sound (as in sound of laughter) is represented as a set of oppositions involving phonetical form, similar lexical meaning and grammatical part-of-speech meaning. Every pair of words is contrasted according to sameness or difference in three distinctive features at once.
A maximum similarity is represented by square 1 containing the lexico-semantic variants of the same word. All the adjoining squares differ in one feature only. Thus squares 1 and 2 differ in part of speech meaning only. Some dictionaries as, for instance "Thorndike Century Junior Dictionary" even place sound1 and sounds3 in one entry. On the other hand, we see that squares 2, 3 and 4 represent what we shall call different types of homonymy. Square 7 presents words completely dissimilar according to the distinctive features chosen. Square 5 is a combination of features characteristic not only of synonyms but of other types of semantic similarity that will be discussed later on. But first we shall concentrate on homonyms, i.e. words characterised by phonetic coincidence and semantic differentiation.
Two or more words identical in sound and spelling but different in meaning, distribution and (in many cases) origin are called homonyms. The term is derived from Greek homonymous (homos 'the same'
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Table 1

SIMILAR LEXICAL MEANING
DIFFERENT LEXICAL MEANING
SIMILAR SOUND FORM
1. Polysemy
2. Patterned Homonymy
3. Partial Homonymy
.4. Full Homonymy


sound2 n : : sound2 n sound2 as in : a vowel sound
sound1 n : : sounds3 sounds as in: to sound a trumpet
sound1 n : : sound4 a sound4 as in: sound argument
sound1 n: : sound5 n sound5 as in: Long Island Sound
DIFFERENT SOUND FORM
5. Synonymy and Hyponymy
6. Word-Family
7. Any English Words
8. Words of the Same Part of Speech







sound1: : noise sound1:: whistle
sound1 n soundless a soundproof a sound3 v
sound n simple a
sound n simplicity n


SAME PART OF SPEECH
DIFFERENT PART OF SPEECH
SAME PART OF SPEECH
and onoma 'name') and thus expresses very well the sameness of name combined with the difference in meaning.
There is an obvious difference between the meanings of the symbol fast in such combinations as run fast 'quickly' and stand fast 'firmly'. The difference is even more pronounced if we observe cases where fast is a noun or a verb as in the following proverbs: A clean fast is better than a dirty breakfast; Who feasts till he is sick, must fast till he is well. Fast as an isolated word, therefore, may be regarded as a variable that can assume several different values depending on the conditions of usage, or, in other words, distribution. All the possible values of each linguistic sign are listed in dictionaries. It is the duty of lexicographers to define the boundaries of each word, i.e. to differentiate homonyms and to unite variants deciding in each case whether the different meanings belong to the same polysemantic word or whether there are grounds to treat them as two or more separate words identical in form. In speech, however, as a rule only one of all the possible values is determined by the context, so that no ambiguity may normally arise. There is no danger, for instance, that the listener would wish to substitute the meaning
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'quick' into the sentence: It is absurd to have hard and fast rules about anything (Wilde), or think that fast rules here are 'rules of diet'. Combinations when two or more meanings are possible are either deliberate puns, or result from carelessness. Both meanings of liver, i.e. 'a living person' and 'the organ that secretes bile' are, for instance, intentionally present in the following play upon words: "Is life worth living?" "It depends upon the liver." f.: "What do you do with the fruit?" "We eat what we can, and what we can't eat we can."
Very seldom can ambiguity of this kind interfere with understanding. The following example is unambiguous, although the words back and part have several homonyms, and maid and heart are polysemantic:
Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh give me back my heart (Byron).
Homonymy exists in many languages, but in English it is particularly frequent, especially among monosyllabic words. In the list of 2540 homonyms given in the "Oxford English Dictionary" 89% are monosyllabic words and only 9.1 % are words of two syllables. From the viewpoint of their morphological structure, they are mostly one-morpheme words.
Classification of Homonyms. The most widely accepted classification is that recognising homonyms proper, homophones and homographs. Homonyms proper are words identical in pronunciation and spelling, like fast and liver above. Other examples are: back n 'part of the body' : : back adv 'away from the front' : : back v 'go back'; ball n 'a round object used in games' : : ball n 'a gathering of people for dancing'; bark n 'the noise made by a dog' : : bark v 'to utter sharp explosive cries' : : bark n 'the skin of a tree' : : bark n 'a sailing ship'; base n 'bottom' : : base v 'build or place upon' : : base a 'mean'; bay n 'part of the sea or lake filling wide-mouth opening of land' : : bay n 'recess in a house or a room' : : bay v 'bark' : : bay n 'the European laurel'. The important point is that homonyms are distinct words: not different meanings within one word.
Homophones are words of the same sound but of different spelling and meaning: air : : heir; arms : : alms; buy : : by; him : : hymn; knight : : night; not: : knot; or: : oar; piece : : peace; rain: : reign; scent: : cent; steel : : steal; storey : : story; write : : right and many others.
In the sentence The play-wright on my right thinks it right that some conventional rite should symbolise the right of every man to write as he pleases the sound complex [rait] is a noun, an adjective, an adverb and a verb, has four different spellings and six different meanings. The difference may be confined to the use of a capital letter as in bill and Bill, in the following example: "How much is my milk bill?11 "Excuse me, Madam, but my name is John.11 On the other hand, whole sentences may be homophonic: The sons raise meat : : The sun's rays meet. To understand these one needs a wider context. If you hear the second in the course of a lecture in optics, you will understand it without thinking of the possibility of the first.
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Homographs r words different in sound and in meaning but accidentally identical in spelling: bow [bou] : : bow [bau]; lead [li:d] : : lead [led]; row [rou] : : row [rau]; sewer ['sou] : : sewer [sju]; tear [ti] : : tear [tea]; wind [wind] : : wind [waind] and many more.
It has been often argued that homographs constitute a phenomenon that should be kept apart from homonymy as the object of linguistics is sound language. This viewpoint can hardly be accepted. Because of the effects of education and culture written English is a generalised national form of expression. An average speaker does not separate the written and oral form. On the contrary he is more likely to analyse the words in terms of letters than in terms of phonemes with which he is less familiar. That is why a linguist must take into consideration both the spelling and the pronunciation of words when analysing cases of identity of form and diversity of content.
Various types of classification for homonyms proper have been suggested.
A comprehensive system may be worked out if we are guided by the theory of oppositions and in classifying the homonyms take into consideration the difference or sameness in their lexical and grammatical meaning, paradigm and basic form. For the sake of completeness we shall consider this problem in terms of the same mapping technique used for the elements of vocabulary system connected with the word sound.
As both form and meaning can be further subdivided, the combination of distinctive features by which two words are compared becomes more complicated - there are four features: the form may be phonetical and graphical, the meaning - lexical and grammatical, a word may also have a paradigm of grammatical forms different from the basic form.
The distinctive features shown in the table on p. 186 are lexical meaning (different denoted by A, or nearly the same denoted by A), grammatical meaning (different denoted by B, or same by B), paradigm (different denoted by C, or same denoted by C), and basic form (different D and same D).
The term "nearly same lexical meaning" must not be taken too literally. It means only that the corresponding members of the opposition have some important invariant semantic components in common. "Same grammatical meaning" implies that both members belong to the same part of speech.
Same paradigm comprises also cases when there is only one word form, i.e. when the words are unchangeable. Inconsistent combinations of features are crossed out in the table. It is, for instance, impossible for two words to be identical in all word forms and different in basic forms, or for two homonyms to show no difference either in lexical or grammatical meaning, because in this case they are not homonyms. That leaves twelve possible classes.
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Homonyms

Table II


Difference and Identity in Words
A Different lexical meaning
A Nearly same lexical meaning
Different grammatical meaning
Partial Homonymy
Patterned Homonymy
D Same basic form


light, -s n light, -er, -est a flat, -s n flat, -er, -est a
for prp for cj
before prp before adv before cj
eye, -s n eye, -s, -ed, -ing v




might n may-might v

thought n thought v (Past Indefinite Tense of think)
D Different basic form
Same grammatical meaning
axis, axes n axe - axes n bat-butted v butt-butted v

Synonyms




lie-lay-lain
V
lie - lied - lied v
Full Homonymy
spring, -s n spring, -s n spring, -s n
Polysemy
Variants of the same polysemantic word
D Same basic form

Different paradigm

Same paradigm or no changes

Different paradigm
The 12 classes are:
ABCD. Members of the opposition light n 'the contrary of darkness' : : light a 'not heavy' are different in lexical and grammatical meaning, have different paradigms but the same basic form. The class of partial homonymy is very numerous. A further subdivision might take into consideration the parts of speech to which the members belong, namely the oppositions of noun : : verb, adjective : : verb, n : : adjective, etc.
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ABCD. Same as above, only not both members are in their basic form. The noun (here might 'power') is in its basic form, the singular, but the verb may will coincide with it only in the Past Tense. This lack of coincidence between basic forms is not frequent, so only few examples are possible. Compare also bit n 'a small piece' and bit (the Past Indefinite Tense and Participle II of bite).
ABCD. Contains pairs of words belonging to the same part of speech, different in their basic form but coinciding in some oblique form, e. g. in the plural, or in the case of verbs, in the Past Tense. Axe - axes, axis - axes. The type is rare.
ABCD. Different lexical meaning, same basic form, same grammatical meaning and different paradigm: lie - lay - lain and lie - lied - lied. Not many cases belong to this group.
ABCD. Represents pairs different in lexical and grammatical meaning but not in paradigm, as these are not changeable form words. Examples: for prp contrasted to for cj.
ABCD. The most typical case of full homonymy accepted by everybody and exemplified in every textbook. Different lexical meanings, but the homonyms belong to the same part of speech: spring1 n 'a leap' :: spring2 'a source' :: spring3 n 'the season in which vegetation begins'.
ABCD. Patterned homonymy. Differs from the previous (i.e. ABCD) in the presence of some common component in the lexical meaning of the members, some lexical invariant: before prp, before adv, before cj, all express some priority in succession. This type of opposition is regular among form words. .
ABCD. Pairs showing maximum identity. But as their lexical meaning is only approximately the same, they may be identified as variants of one polysemantic word.
ABCD. Contains all the cases due to conversion: eye n : : eye v. The members differ in grammatical meaning and paradigm. This group is typical of patterned homonymy. Examples of such noun-to-verb or verb-to-noun homonymy can be augmented almost indefinitely. The mean-ing of the second element can always be guessed if the first is known.
ABCD. Pairs belonging to different parts of speech and coinciding in some of the forms. Their similarity is due to a common root, as in thought n : thought v (the Past Indefinite Tense of think).
ABCD. Similarity in both lexical and grammatical meaning combined with difference in form is characteristic of synonyms and hyponyms.
ABCD. The group is not numerous and comprises chiefly cases of double plural with a slight change in meaning such as brother - brothers : : brother - brethren.
It goes without saying that this is a model that gives a general scheme. Actually a group of homonyms may contain members belonging to different groups in this classification. Take, for example, fell1 n 'animal's hide or skin with the hair'; fell2 n 'hill' and also 'a stretch of North-English moorland'; fell3 a 'fierce' (poet.); fell4 v 'to cut down
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trees' and as a noun 'amount of timber cut'; fell5 (the Past Indefinite Tense of the verb fall). This group may be broken into pairs, each of which will fit into one of the above described divisions. Thus, fell1 : : fell2 may be characterised as ABCD, fell1 : : fell4 as ABCD and fell4 : : fell5 as ABCD.
§ 10.2 THE ORIGIN OF HOMONYMS
The intense development of homonymy in the English language is obviously due not to one single factor but to several interrelated causes, such as the monosyllabic character of English and its analytic structure.
The abundance of homonyms is also closely connected with such a characteristic feature of the English language as the phonetic identity of word and stem or, in other words, the predominance of free forms among the most frequent roots. It is quite obvious that if the frequency of words stands in some inverse relationship to their length, the monosyllabic words will be the most frequent. Moreover, as the most frequent words are also highly polysemantic, it is only natural that they develop meanings which in the course of time may deviate very far from the central one. When the intermediate links fall out, some of these new meanings lose all connections with the rest of the structure and start a separate existence. The phenomenon is known as disintegration or split of polysemy.
Different causes by which homonymy may be brought about are subdivided into two main groups:
1) homonymy through convergent sound development, when two or three words of different origin accidentally coincide in sound; and
2) homonymy developed from polysemy through divergent sense development. Both may be combined with loss of endings and other morphological processes.
In Old English the words zesund 'healthy' and sund 'swimming' were separate words both in form and in meaning. In the course of time they have changed their meaning and phonetic form, and the latter accidentally coincided: OE sund>ModE sound 'strait'; OE esund>ModE sound 'healthy'. The group was joined also accidentally by the noun sound 'what is or may be heard' with the corresponding verb that developed from French and ultimately from the Latin word sonus, and the verb sound 'to measure the depth' of dubious etymology. The coincidence is purely accidental.
Two different Latin verbs: cadere 'to fall' and capere 'to hold' are the respective sources of the homonyms case1 'instance of thing's occurring' and case2 'a box'. Indeed, case1<OFr cas < Lat casus 'fall', and case2<Old Northern French casse<Lat capsa. Homonymy of this type is universally recognised. The other type is open to discussion. V.I. Abayev accepts as homonymy only instances of etymologically different words. Everything else in his opinion is polysemy. Many other scholars do not agree with V.I. Abayev and insist on the semantic and structural criteria for distinguishing homonymy from polysemy.
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Unlike the homonyms case and sound all the homonyms of the box group due to disintegration or split of polysemy are etymologically connected. The sameness of form is not accidental but based on genetic relationship. They are all derived from one another and are all ultimately traced to the Latin buxus. "The Concise Oxford Dictionary" has five entries for box: box1 n 'a kind of small evergreen shrub'; box2 n 'receptacle made of wood, cardboard, metal, etc. and usually provided with a lid'; box3 v 'to put into a box'; box4 n 'slap with the hand on the ear'; box5 v - a sport term meaning 'to fight with fists in padded gloves'.
Such homonyms may be partly derived from one another but their common point of origin lies beyond the limits of the English language. In these words with the appearance of a new meaning, very different from the previous one, the semantic structure of the parent word splits. The new meaning receives a separate existence and starts a new semantic structure of its own. Hence the term disintegration or split of polysemy.
It must be noted, however, that though the number of examples in which a process of this sort could be observed is considerable, it is difficult to establish exact criteria by which disintegration of polysemy could be detected. The whole concept is based on stating whether there is any connection between the meanings or not.1 Whereas in the examples dealing with phonetic convergence, i.e. when we said that case1 and case2 are different words because they differ in origin, we had definite linguistic criteria to go by; in the case of disintegration of polysemy there are none to guide us, we can only rely on intuition and individual linguistic experience. For a trained linguist the number of unrelated homonyms will be much smaller than for an uneducated person. The knowledge of etymology and cognate languages will always help to supply the missing links. It is easier, for instance, to see the connection between beam 'a ray of light' and beam 'the metallic structural part of a building' if one knows the original meaning of the word, i.e. 'tree' (OE beam||Germ Baum), and is used to observe similar metaphoric transfers in other words. The connection is also more obvious if one is able to notice the same element in such compound names of trees as hornbeam, whitebeam, etc.
The conclusion, therefore, is that in diachronic treatment the only rigorous criterion is that of etymology observed in explanatory dictionaries of the English language where words are separated according to their origin, as in match1 'a piece of inflammable material you strike fire with' (from OFr mesche, Fr meche) and match2 (from OE gem?cca 'fellow').
It is interesting to note that out of 2540 homonyms listed in "The Oxford English Dictionary" only 7% are due to disintegration of polysemy, all the others are etymologically different. One must, however, keep in mind that patterned homonymy is here practically disregarded.
This underestimation of regular patterned homonymy tends to produce a false impression. Actually the homonymy of nouns and verbs due to the processes of loss of endings on the one hand and conversion
1 See p. 192 where a formal procedure is suggested.
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on the other is one of the most prominent features of present-day English. The process has been analysed in detail in the chapter on conversion. It may be combined with semantic changes as in the pair long a : : long v. The explanation is that when it seems long before something comes to you, you long for it (long a<OE 1z, lonz a <OE lanzian v), so that me lonzs means 'it seems long to me'.
The opposite process of morphemic addition can also result in homonymy. This process is chiefly due to independent word-formation with the same affix or to the homonymy of derivational and functional affixes. The suffix -er forms several words with the same stem: trail - trailer1 'a creeping plant' : : trailer2 'a caravan', i.e. 'a vehicle drawn along by another vehicle'.
In summing up this diachronic analysis of homonymy it should be emphasised that there are two ways by which homonyms come into being, namely convergent development of sound form and divergent development of meaning (see table below).
The first may consist in
(a) phonetic change only,
(b) phonetic change combined with loss of affixes,
(c) independent formation from homonymous bases by means of homonymous affixes.
The second, that is divergent development of meaning may be
(a) limited within one lexico-grammatical class of words,
(b) combined with difference in lexico-grammatical class and therefore difference in grammatical functions and distribution,
(c) based on independent formation from the same base by homonymous morphemes.
Table III
Origin of Homonyms


Convergent development of sound form
Divergent semantic development
Independent of morphological changes
OE z? 'common' Lat medianus mean 'average' OE ? 'think'
chest 'large box' OE cest
chest 'part of human body'
Combined with morphological changes
OE lufu n love n, v OE lufian v
wait v ME waiten v wait n silence n Lat silentium n silence v
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The process can sometimes be more complicated. Thus, according to COD, the verb stick developed as a mixture of ME stiken<OE stician<sticca 'peg', and ME steken cognate with Greek stigma. At present there are at least two homonyms: stick v 'to insert pointed things into', a highly polysemantic word, and the no less polysemantic stick n 'a rod'.
In the course of time the number of homonyms on the whole increases, although occasionally the conflict of homonyms ends in word loss.
§ 10.3 HOMONYMY TREATED SYNCHRONICALLY
The synchronic treatment of English homonyms brings to the forefront a set of problems of paramount importance for different branches of applied linguistics: lexicography, foreign language teaching and information retrieval. These problems are: the criteria distinguishing homonymy from polysemy, the formulation of rules for recognising different meanings of the same homonym in terms of distribution, and the description of difference between patterned and non-patterned homonymy. It is necessary to emphasise that all these problems are connected with difficulties created by homonymy in understanding the message by the reader or listener, not with formulating one's thoughts; they exist for the speaker though in so far as he must construct his speech in a way that would prevent all possible misunderstanding.
All three problems are so closely interwoven that it is difficult to separate them. So we shall discuss them as they appear for various practical purposes. For a lexicographer it is a problem of establishing word boundaries. It is easy enough to see that match, as in safety matches, is a separate word from the verb match 'to suit'. But he must know whether one is justified in taking into one entry match, as in football match, and match in meet one's match 'one's equal'.
On the synchronic level, when the difference in etymology is irrelevant, the problem of establishing the criterion for the distinction between different words identical in sound form, and different meanings of the same word becomes hard to solve. Nevertheless the problem cannot be dropped altogether as upon an efficient arrangement of dictionary entries depends the amount of time spent by the readers in looking up a word: a lexicographer will either save or waste his readers' time and effort.
Actual solutions differ. It is a widely spread practice in English lexicography to combine in one entry words of identical phonetic form showing similarity of lexical meaning or, in other words, revealing a lexical invariant, even if they belong to different parts of speech. In our country a different trend has settled. The Anglo-Russian dictionary edited by V.D. Arakin makes nine separate entries with the word right against four items given in the dictionary edited by A.S. Hornby.
The truth is that there exists no universal criterion for the distinction between polysemy and homonymy.
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The etymological criterion may lead to distortion of the present-day situation. The English vocabulary of today is not a replica of the Old English vocabulary with some additions from borrowing. It is in many respects a different system, and this system will not be revealed if the lexicographer is guided by etymological criteria only.
A more or less simple, if not very rigorous, procedure based on purely synchronic data may be prompted by analysis of dictionary definitions. It may be called explanatory transformation. It is based on the assumption that if different senses rendered by the same phonetic complex can be defined with the help of an identical kernel word-group, they may be considered sufficiently near to be regarded as variants of the same word; if not, they are homonyms.
Consider the following set of examples:
1. A child's voice is heard (Wesker).
2. His voice ... was ... annoyingly well-bred (Cronin).
3. The voice-voicelessness distinction ... sets up some English consonants in opposed pairs ...
4. In the voice contrast of active and passive ... the active is the unmarked form.
The first variant (voice1) may be defined as 'sounds uttered in speaking or singing as characteristic of a particular person', voice2 as 'mode of uttering sounds in speaking or singing', voice3 as 'the vibration of the vocal chords in sounds uttered'. So far all the definitions contain one and the same kernel element rendering the invariant common basis of their meaning. It is, however, impossible to use the same kernel element for the meaning present in the fourth example. The corresponding definition is: "Voice - that form of the verb that expresses the relation of the subject to the action". This failure to satisfy the same explanation formula sets the fourth meaning apart. It may then be considered a homonym to the polysemantic word embracing the first three variants. The procedure described may remain helpful when the items considered belong to different parts of speech; the verb voice may mean, for example, 'to utter a sound by the aid of the vocal chords':
This brings us to the problem of patterned homonymy, i.e. of the invariant lexical meaning present in homonyms that have developed from one common source and belong to various parts of speech.
Is a lexicographer justified in placing the verb voice with the above meaning into the same entry with the first three variants of the noun? The same question arises with respect to after or before - preposition, conjunction and adverb.
English lexicographers think it quite possible for one and the same word to function as different parts of speech. Such pairs as act n - act v, back n - back v, drive n - drive v, the above mentioned after and before and the like, are all treated as one word functioning as different parts of speech. This point of view was severely criticised. It was argued that one and the same word could not belong to different parts of speech simultaneously, because this would contradict the definition of the word as a system of forms.
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This viewpoint is not faultless either; if one follows it consistently, one should regard as separate words all cases when words are countable nouns in one meaning and uncountable in another, when verbs can be used transitively and intransitively, etc. In this case hair1 'all the hair that grows on a person's head' will be one word, an uncountable noun; whereas 'a single thread of hair' will be denoted by another word (hair2) which, being countable, and thus different in paradigm, cannot be considered the same word. It would be tedious to enumerate all the absurdities that will result from choosing this path. A dictionary arranged on these lines would require very much space in printing and could occasion much wasted time in use. The conclusion therefore is that efficiency in lexicographic work is secured by a rigorous application of etymological criteria combined with formalised procedures of establishing a lexical invariant suggested by synchronic linguistic methods.
As to those concerned with teaching of English as a foreign language, they are also keenly interested in patterned homonymy. The most frequently used words constitute the greatest amount of difficulty, as may be summed up by the following jocular example: I think that this "that" is a conjunction but that that "that" that that man used was a pronoun.
A correct understanding of this peculiarity of contemporary English should be instilled in the pupils from the very beginning, and they should be taught to find their way in sentences where several words have their homonyms in other parts of speech, as in Jespersen's example: Will change of air cure love? To show the scope of the problem for the elementary stage a list of homonyms that should be classified as patterned is given below:
Above, prp, adv, a; act n, v; after prp, adv, cj; age n, v; back n, adv, v; ball n, v; bank n, v; before prp, adv, cj; besides prp, adv; bill n, v; bloom n, v; box n, v. The other examples are: by, can, case, close, country, course, cross, direct, draw, drive, even, faint, flat, fly, for, game, general, hard, hide, hold, home, just, kind, last, leave, left, lie, light, like, little, lot, major, march, may, mean, might, mind, miss, part, plain, plane, plate, right, round, sharp, sound, spare, spell, spring, square, stage, stamp, try, type, volume, watch, well, will.
For the most part all these words are cases of patterned lexico-grammatical homonymy taken from the minimum vocabulary of the elementary stage: the above homonyms mostly differ within each group grammatically but possess some lexical invariant. That is to say, act v follows the standard four-part system of forms with a base form act, an s-form (act-s), a Past Indefinite Tense form (acted) and an ing-form (acting) and takes up all syntactic functions of verbs, whereas act n can have two forms, act (sing.) and acts (pl.). Semantically both contain the most generalised component rendering the notion of doing something.
Recent investigations have shown that it is quite possible to establish and to formalise the differences in environment, either syntactical or lexical, serving to signal which of the several inherent values is to be ascribed to the variable in a given context. An example of distributional analysis will help to make this point clear.
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The distribution of a lexico-semantic variant of a word may be represented as a list of structural patterns in which it occurs and the data on its combining power. Some of the most typical structural patterns for a verb are: N+V+N, N+V+prp+N, N+V+A, N+V+adv, N+ V+to+V and some others. Patterns for nouns are far less studied, but for the present case one very typical example will suffice. This is the structure: article+A+N.
In the following extract from "A Taste of Honey" by Shelagh Delaney the morpheme laugh occurs three times: I can't stand people who faugh at other people. They'd get a bigger laugh, if they laughed at themselves.
We recognise laugh used first and last here as a verb, because the formula is N+laugh+prp+N and so the pattern is in both cases N+ V+prp+N. In the beginning of the second sentence laugh is a noun and the pattern is article+A+N.
This elementary example can give a very general idea of the procedure which can be used for solving more complicated problems.
We may sum up our discussion by pointing out that whereas distinction between polysemy and homonymy is relevant and important for lexicography it is not relevant for the practice of either human or machine translation. The reason for this is that different variants of a polysemantic word are not less conditioned by context than lexical homonyms. In both cases the identification of the necessary meaning is based on the corresponding distribution that can signal it and must be present in the memory either of the pupil or the machine. The distinction between patterned and non-patterned homonymy, greatly underrated until now, is of far greater importance. In non-patterned homonymy every unit is to be learned separately both from the lexical and grammatical points of view. In patterned homonymy when one knows the lexical meaning of a given word in one part of speech, one can accurately predict the meaning when the same sound complex occurs in some other part of speech, provided, of course, that there is sufficient context to guide one.
| 10.4 SYNONYMS
Taking up similarity of meaning and contrasts of phonetic shape, we observe that every language has in its vocabulary a variety of words, kindred in meaning but distinct in morphemic composition, phonemic shape and usage, ensuring the expression of most delicate shades of thought, feeling and imagination. The more developed the language, the richer the diversity and therefore the greater the possibilities of lexical choice enhancing the effectiveness and precision of speech.
Thus, slay is the synonym of kill but it is elevated and more expressive involving cruelty and violence. The way synonyms function may be seen from the following example: Already in this half-hour of bombardment hundreds upon hundreds of men would have been violently slain, smashed, torn, gouged, crushed, mutilated (Aldington).
The synonymous words smash and crush are semantically very close, they combine to give a forceful representation of the atrocities of war. Even this preliminary example makes it obvious that the still very common
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definitions of synonyms as words of the same language having the same meaning or as different words that stand for the same notion are by no means accurate and even in a way misleading. By the very nature of language every word has its own history, its own peculiar motivation, its own typical contexts. And besides there is always some hidden possibility of different connotation and feeling in each of them. Moreover, words of the same meaning would be useless for communication: they would encumber the language, not enrich it. If two words exactly coincide in meaning and use, the natural tendency is for one of them to change its meaning or drop out of the language.
Thus, synonyms are words only similar but not identical in meaning. This definition is correct but vague. E. g. horse and animal are also semantically similar but not synonymous. A more precise linguistic definition should be based on a workable notion of the semantic structure of the word and of the complex nature of every separate meaning in a polysemantic word. Each separate lexical meaning of a word has been described in Chapter 3 as consisting of a denotational component identifying the notion or the object and reflecting the essential features of the notion named, shades of meaning reflecting its secondary features, additional connotations resulting from typical contexts in which the word is used, its emotional component and stylistic colouring. Connotations are not necessarily present in every word. The basis of a synonymic opposition is formed by the first of the above named components, i.e. the denotational component. It will be remembered that the term opposition means the relationship of partial difference between two partially similar elements of a language. A common denotational component forms the basis of the opposition in synonymic group. All the other components can vary and thus form the distinctive features of the synonymic oppositions.
Synonyms can therefore be defined in terms of linguistics as two or more words of the same language, belonging to the same part of speech and possessing one or more identical or nearly identical denotational meanings, interchangeable, at least in some contexts without any considerable alteration in denotational meaning, but differing in morphemic composition, phonemic shape, shades of meaning, connotations, style, valency and idiomatic use. Additional characteristics of style, emotional colouring and valency peculiar to one of the elements in a synonymic group may be absent in one or all of the others.
The definition is of necessity very bulky and needs some commenting upon.
To have something tangible to work upon it is convenient to compare some synonyms within their group, so as to make obvious the reasons for the definition. The verbs experience, undergo, sustain and suffer, for example, come together, because all four render the notion of experiencing something. The verb and the noun experience indicate actual living through something and coming to know it first-hand rather than from hearsay. Undergo applies chiefly to what someone or something bears or is subjected to, as in to undergo an operation, to undergo changes. Compare also the following example from L.P. Smith: The French language has undergone
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considerable and more recent changes since the date when the Normans brought it into England. In the above example the verb undergo can be replaced by its synonyms suffer or experience without any change of the sentence meaning. The difference is neutralised.
Synonyms, then, are interchangeable under certain conditions specific to each group. This seems to call forth an analogy with phonological neutralisation. Now, it will be remembered that neutralisation is the absence in some contexts of a phonetic contrast found elsewhere or formerly in the language. It appears we are justified in calling semantic neutralisation the suspension of an otherwise functioning semantic opposition that occurs in some lexical contexts.
And yet suffer in this meaning ('to undergo'), but not in the example above, is characterised by connotations implying wrong or injury. No semantic neutralisation occurs in phrases like suffer atrocities, suffer heavy losses. The implication is of course caused by the existence of the main intransitive meaning of the same word, not synonymous with the group, i.e. 'to feel pain'. Sustain as an element of this group differs from both in shade of meaning and style. It is an official word and it suggests undergoing affliction without giving way.
A further illustration will be supplied by a group of synonymous nouns: hope, expectation, anticipation. They are considered to be synonymous, because they all three mean 'having something in mind which is likely to happen'. They are, however, much less interchangeable than the previous group because of more strongly pronounced difference in shades of meaning. Expectation may be either of good or of evil. Anticipation, as a rule, is a pleasurable expectation of something good. Hope is not only a belief but a desire that some event would happen. The stylistic difference is also quite marked. The Romance words anticipation and expectation are formal literary words used only by educated speakers, whereas the native monosyllabic hope is stylistically neutral. Moreover, they differ in idiomatic usage. Only hope is possible in such set expressions as: hope against hope, lose hope, pin one's hopes on sth. Neither expectation nor anticipation could be substituted into the following quotation from T.S. Eliot: You do not khow what hope is until you have lost it.
Taking into consideration the corresponding series of synonymous verbs and verbal set expressions: hope, anticipate, expect, look forward to, we shall see that separate words may be compared to whole set expressions. Look forward to is also worthy of note, because it forms a definitely colloquial counterpart to the rest. It can easily be shown, on the evidence of examples, that each synonymic group comprises a dominant element. This synonymic dominant is the most general term of its kind potentially containing the specific features rendered by all the other members of the group, as, for instance, undergo and hope in the above.
The synonymic dominant should not be confused with a generic term or a hyperonym. A generic term is relative. It serves as the name for the notion of the genus as distinguished from the names of the species - hyponyms. For instance, animal is a
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generic term as compared to the specific names wolf, dog or mouse (which are called equonyms). Dog, in its turn, may serve as a generic term for different breeds such as bull-dog, collie, poodle, etc.
The recently introduced term for this type of paradigmatic relation is hyponymy or inclusion, for example the meaning of pup is said to be included in the meaning of dog, i.e. a more specific term is included in a more generic one. The class of animals referred to by the word dog is wider and includes the class referred to by the word pup. The term inlusin is somewhat ambiguous, as one might also say that pup includes the meaning 'dog'+the meaning 'small', therefore the term hyponym is preferable. We can say that pup is the hyponym of dog, and dog is the hyponym of animal, dog, cat, horse, cow, etc. are equonyms and are co-hyponyms of animal. Synonymy differs from hyponymy in being a symmetrical relation, i.e. if a is a synonym of b, b is the synonym of a. Hyponymy is asymmetrical, i.e. if a is a hyponym of b, b is the hyperonym of a. The combining forms hypo- and hyper-come from the Greek words hypo- 'under' and hyper- 'over' (cf. hypotonic 'having less than normal blood pressure' and hypertonic 'having extreme arterial tension').
The definition on p. 195 states that synonyms possess one or more identical or nearly identical meanings. To realise the significance of this, one must bear in mind that the majority of frequent words are polysemantic, and that it is precisely the frequent words that have many synonyms. The result is that one and the same word may belong in its various meanings to several different synonymic groups. The verb appear in ... an old brown cat without a tail appeared from nowhere (Mansfield) is synonymous with come into sight, emerge. On the other hand, when Gr. Greene depicts the far-off figures of the parachutists who ...appeared stationary, appeared is synonymous with look or seem, their common component being 'give impression of'. Appear, then, often applies to erroneous impressions.
Compare the following groups synonymous to five different meanings of the adjective fresh, as revealed by characteristic contexts:
A fresh metaphor - fresh : : original : : novel : : striking.
To begin a fresh paragraph - fresh : : another : : different : : new.
Fresh air - fresh : : pure : : invigorating.
A freshman - fresh : : inexperienced : : green : : raw.
To be fresh with sb - fresh : : impertinent : : rude.
The semantic structures of two polysemantic words sometimes coincide in more than one meaning, but never completely.
Synonyms may also differ in emotional colouring which may be present in one element of the group and absent in all or some of the others. Lonely as compared with alone is emotional as is easily seen from the following examples: ... a very lonely boy lost between them and aware at ten that his mother had no interest in him, and that his father was a stranger. (Aldridge). I shall be alone as my secretary doesn't come to-day (M.Dickens). Both words denote being apart from others, but lonely besides the general meaning implies longing for company, feeling sad because of the lack of sympathy and companionship. Alone does not necessarily suggest any sadness at being by oneself.
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If the difference in the meaning of synonyms concerns the notion or the emotion expressed, as was the case in the groups discussed above, the synonyms are classed as idegraphi synonyms,1 and the opposition created in contrasting them may be called an ideographic opposition. The opposition is formulated with the help of a clear definitive statement of the semantic component present in all the members of the group. The analysis proceeds as a definition by comparison with the standard that is thus settled. The establishment of differential features proves very helpful, whereas sliding from one synonym to another with no definite points of departure created a haphazard approach with no chance of tracing the system.
"The Anglo-Russian Dictionary of Synonyms" edited by J.D. Apresyan analyses semantic, stylistic, grammatical and distributional characteristics of the most important synonymic groups with great skill and thoroughness and furnishes an impressive array of well-chosen examples. The distinctive features evolved in describing the points of similarity and difference within groups deserves special attention. In analysing the group consisting of the nouns look, glance, glimpse, peep, sight and view the authors suggest the following distinctive features: 1) quickness of the action, 2) its character, 3) the role of the doer of the action, 4) the properties and role of the object. The words look, glance, glimpse and peep denote a conscious and direct endeavour to see, the word glance being the most general. The difference is based on time and quickness of the action. A glance is 'a look which is quick and sudden'. A glimpse is quicker still, implying only momentary sight. A peep is 'a brief furtive glimpse at something that is hidden'. The words sight and view, unlike the other members of the group, can describe not only the situation from the point of one who sees something, but also situations in which it is the object - that what is seen, that is most important, e. g. a fine view over the lake. It is also mentioned that sight and view may be used only in singular. What is also important about synonyms is that they differ in their use of prepositions and in other combining possibilities. One can, for instance, use at before glance and glimpse (at a glance, at a glimpse) but not before look.
In a stylistic opposition of synonyms the basis of comparison is again the denotational meaning, and the distinctive feature is the presence or absence of a stylistic colouring which may also be accompanied by a difference in emotional colouring.
It has become quite a tradition with linguists when discussing synonyms to quote a passage from "As You Like It" (Act V, Scene I) to illustrate the social differentiation of vocabulary and the stylistic relationship existing in the English language between simple, mostly native, words and their dignified and elaborate synonyms borrowed from the French. We shall keep to this time-honoured convention. Speaking to a country fellow William, the jester Touchstone says: Therefore, you
1 The term has been introduced by V.V. Vinogradov.
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clown, abandon, - which is in the vulgar leave, - the society, - which in the boorish is company, - of this female, - which in the common is woman; which together is abandon the society of this female, or, clown, thou perishest; or to thy better understanding diest; or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into death.
The general effect of poetic or learned synonyms when used in prose or in everyday speech is that of creating an elevated tone. The point may be proved by the very first example in this paragraph (see p. 194) where the poetic and archaic verb slay is substituted for the neutral kill. We must be on our guard too against the idea that the stylistic effect may exist without influencing the meaning; in fact it never does. The verb slay not only lends to the whole poetical and solemn ring, it also shows the writer's and his hero's attitude to the fact, their horror and repugnance of war and their feeling for the victims.
The study of synonyms is a borderline province between semantics and stylistics on the one hand and semantics and phraseology on the other because of the synonymic collocations serving as a means of emphasis.
Synonymic pairs like wear and tear, pick and choose are very numerous in modern English phraseology and often used both in everyday speech and in literature. They show all the typical features of idiomatic phrases that ensure their memorableness such as rhythm, alliteration, rhyme and the use of archaic words seldom occurring elsewhere.
The examples are numerous: hale and hearty, with might and main, nevertheless and notwithstanding, stress and strain, rack and ruin, really and truly, hue and cry, wane and pale, act and deed. There are many others which show neither rhyme nor alliteration, and consist of two words equally modern. They are pleonastic, i.e. they emphasise the idea by just stating it twice, and possess a certain rhythmical quality which probably enhances their unity and makes them easily remembered. These are: by leaps and bounds, pure and simple, stuff and nonsense, bright and shining, far and away, proud and haughty and many more.
In a great number of cases the semantic difference between two or more synonyms is supported by the difference in valency. The difference in distribution may be syntactical, morphological, lexical, and surely deserves more attention than has been so far given to it. It is, for instance, known that bare in reference to persons is used only predicatively, while naked occurs both predicatively and attributively. The same is true about alone, which, irrespectively of referent, is used only predicatively, whereas its synonyms solitary and lonely occur in both functions. The function is predicative in the following sentence: If you are idle, be not solitary, if you are solitary, be not idle (S. Johnson). It has been repeatedly mentioned that begin and commence differ stylistically. It must be noted, however, that their distributional difference is not less important. Begin is generalised in its lexical meaning and becomes a semi-auxiliary when used with an infinitive. E. g.: It has begun to be done - it has been begun. If follows naturally that begin and not commence is the right word before an infinitive even in formal style. Seem and appear may be followed by an infinitive or
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a that-clause, a hill of a hundred metres is not high. The same relativity is characteristic of its antonym low. As to the word tall, it is used about objects whose height is greatly in excess of their breadth or diameter and whose actual height is great for an object of its kind: a tall man, a tall tree. The antonym is short.
The area where substitution is possible is very limited and outside it all replacement makes the utterance vague, ungrammatical and even unintelligible. This makes the knowledge of where each synonym differs from another of paramount importance for correctness of speech.
The distinction between words similar in meaning are often very fine and elusive, so that some special instruction on the use of synonyms is necessary even for native speakers. This accounts for the great number of books of synonyms that serve as guides for those who aim at good style and precision and wish to choose the most appropriate terms from the varied stock of the English vocabulary. The practical utility of such reference works as "Roget's International Thesaurus" depends upon a prior knowledge of the language on the part of the person using them. N.A. Shechtman has discussed this problem on several occasions. (See Recommended Reading.)
The study of synonyms is especially indispensable for those who learn English as a foreign language because what is the right word in one situation will be wrong in many other, apparently similar, contexts.
It is often convenient to explain the meaning of a new word with the help of its previously learned synonyms. This forms additional associations in the student's mind, and the new word is better remembered. Moreover, it eliminates the necessity of bringing in a native word. And yet the discrimination of synonyms and words which may be confused is more important. The teacher must show that synonyms are not identical in meaning or use and explain the difference between them by comparing and contrasting them, as well as by showing in what contexts one or the other may be most fitly used.
Translation cannot serve as a criterion of synonymy: there are cases when several English words of different distribution and valency are translated into Russian by one and the same word. Such words as also, too and as well, all translated by the Russian word , are never interchangeable. A teacher of English should always stress the necessity of being on one's guard against mistakes of this kind.
Contextual or context-dependent synonyms are similar in meaning only under some specific distributional conditions. It may happen that the difference between the meanings of two words is contextually neutralised. E. g. buy and get would not generally be taken as synonymous, but they are synonyms in the following examples offered by J. Lyons: I'll go to the shop and buy some bread : : I'll go to the shop and get some bread. The verbs bear, suffer and stand are semantically different and not interchangeable except when used in the negative form; can't stand is equal to can't bear in the following words of an officer: Gas. I've swallowed too much of the beastly stuff. I can't stand it any longer. I'm going to the dressing-station (Aldington).
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There are some other distinctions to be made with respect to different kinds of semantic similarity. Some authors, for instance, class groups like ask : : beg : : implore; like : : love : : adore or gift : : talent : : genius as synonymous, calling them relative synonyms. This attitude is open to discussion. In fact the difference in denotative meaning is unmistakable: the words name different notions, not various degrees of the same notion, and cannot substitute one another. An entirely different type of opposition is involved. Formerly we had oppositions based on the relationships between the members of the opposition, here we deal with proportional oppositions characterised by their relationship with the whole vocabulary system and based on a different degree of intensity of the relevant distinctive features. We shall not call such words synonymous, as they do not fit the definition of synonyms given in the beginning of the chapter.
Total synonymy, i.e. synonymy where the members of a synonymic group can replace each other in any given context, without the slightest alteration in denotative or emotional meaning and connotations, is a rare occurrence. Examples of this type can be found in special literature among technical terms peculiar to this or that branch of knowledge. Thus, in linguistics the terms noun and substantive; functional affix, flection and inflection are identical in meaning. What is not generally realised, however, is that terms are a peculiar type of words totally devoid of connotations or emotional colouring, and that their stylistic characterisation does not vary. That is why this is a very special kind of synonymy: neither ideographic nor stylistic oppositions are possible here. As to the distributional opposition, it is less marked, because the great majority of terms are nouns. Their interchangeability is also in a way deceptive. Every writer has to make up his mind right from the start as to which of the possible synonyms he prefers, and stick to it throughout his text to avoid ambiguity. Thus, the interchangeability is, as it were, theoretical and cannot be materialised in an actual text.
The same misunderstood conception of interchangeability lies at the bottom of considering different dialect names for the same plant, animal or agricultural implement and the like as total (absolute) synonyms. Thus, a perennial plant with long clusters of dotted whitish or purple tubular flowers that the botanists refer to as genus Digitalis has several dialectal names such as foxglove, fairybell, fingerflower, finger-root, dead men's bells, ladies' fingers. But the names are not interchangeable in any particular speaker's ideolect.1 The same is true about the cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), so called because it grows in cornfields; some people call it bluebottle according to the shape and colour of its petals. Compare also gorse, furze and whim, different names used in different places for the same prickly yellow-flowered shrub.
§ 10.6 SOURCES OF SYNONYMY
The distinction between synchronic and diachronic treatment is so fundamental that it cannot be overemphasised, but the two aspects
1 Ideolect - language as spoken by one individual.
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are interdependent. It is therefore essential after the descriptive analysis of synonymy in present-day English to take up the historical line of approach and discuss the origin of synonyms and the causes of their abundance in English.
The majority of those who studied synonymy in the past have been cultivating both lines of approach without keeping them scrupulously apart, and focused their attention on the prominent part of foreign loan words in English synonymy, e. g. freedom : : liberty or heaven : : sky, where the first elements are native and the second, French and Scandinavian respectively. O. Jespersen and many others used to stress that the English language is peculiarly rich in synonyms, because Britons, Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normans fighting and settling upon the soil of the British Isles could not but influence each other's speech. British scholars studied Greek and Latin and for centuries used Latin as a medium for communication on scholarly topics.
Synonymy has its characteristic patterns in each language. Its peculiar feature in English is the contrast between simple native words stylistically neutral, literary words borrowed from French and learned words of Greco-Latin origin. This results in a sort of stylistically conditioned triple "keyboard" that can be illustrated by the following:

Native English
words
Words borrowed
from French
Words borrowed
from Latin
to ask
to question
to interrogate
belly
stomach
abdomen
to gather
to assemble
to collect
empty
devoid
vacuous
to end
to finish
to complete
to rise
to mount
to ascend
teaching
guidance
instruction
English also uses many pairs of synonymous derivatives, the one Hellenic and the other Romance, e. g. periphery : : circumference; hypothesis : : supposition; sympathy : : compassion; synthesis : : composition.
The pattern of stylistic relationship represented in the above table, although typical, is by no means universal. For example, the native words dale, deed, fair are the poetic equivalents of their much more frequent borrowed synonyms valley, act or the hybrid beautiful.
This subject of stylistic differentiation has been one of much controversy in recent years. It is universally accepted, however, that semantic and stylistic properties may change and synonyms which at one time formed a stylistic opposition only may in the course of time become ideographically cognitively contrasted as well, and vice versa.
It would be linguistically naive to maintain that borrowing results only in quantitative changes or that qualitative changes are purely stylistical. The introduction of a borrowed word almost invariably starts some alteration both in the newcomer and in the semantic structure of existing words that are close to it in meaning. When in the 13th century the word soil (OFr soil,
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soyil) was borrowed into English its meaning was 'a strip of land'. The upper layer of earth in which plants grow had been denoted since Old English by one of the synonyms: eor?e, land, folde. The development of the group has been studied by A.A. Ufimtseva. All these words had other central meanings so that the meaning in question was with them secondary. Now, if two words coincide in meaning and use, the tendency is for one of them to drop out of the language. Folde had the same function and meaning as eor?e and in the fight for survival the latter won. The polysemantic word land underwent an intense semantic development in a different direction but dropped out of this synonymic series. In this way it became quite natural for soil to fill the obvious lexical gap, receive its present meaning and become the main name for the corresponding notion, i.e. 'the mould in which plants grow'. The noun earth retained this meaning throughout its history, whereas the word ground in which this meaning was formerly absent developed it. As a result this synonymic group comprises at present soil, earth and ground.
The fate of the word folde is not at all infrequent. Many other words now marked in the dictionaries as "archaic" or "obsolete" have dropped out in the same competition of synonyms; others survived with a meaning more or less removed from the original one. The process is called synonymic differentiation and is so current that M. Breal regarded it as an inherent law of language development. It must be noted that synonyms may influence each other semantically in two diametrically opposite ways: one of them is dissimilation, the other the reverse process, i.e. assimi1atin. The assimilation of synonyms consists in parallel development. This law was discovered and described by G. Stern. H.A. Trebe and G.H. Vallins give as examples the pejorative meanings acquired by the nouns wench, knave and churl which originally meant 'girl', 'boy' and 'labourer' respectively, and point out that this loss of old dignity became linguistically possible, because there were so many synonymous terms at hand.
The important thing to remember is that it is not only borrowings from foreign languages but other sources as well that have made increasing contributions to the stock of English synonyms. There are, for instance, words that come from dialects, and, in the last hundred years, from American English in particular. As a result speakers of British English may make use of both elements of the following pairs, the first element in each pair coming from the USA: gimmick : : trick; dues : : subscription; long distance (telephone) call : : trunk call; radio : : wireless. There are also synonyms that originate in numerous dialects as, for instance, clover : : shamrock; liquor : : whiskey (from Irish); girl : : lass, lassie or charm : : glamour (from Scottish).
The role of borrowings should not be overestimated. Synonyms are also created by means of all word-forming processes productive in the language at a given time of its history. The words already existing in the language develop new meanings. New words may be formed by affixation or loss of affixes, by conversion, compounding, shortening and so on, and being coined, form synonyms to those already in use.
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Of special importance for those who are interested in the present-day trends and characteristic peculiarities of the English vocabulary are the synonymic oppositions due to shift of meaning, new combinations of verbs with postpositives and compound nouns formed from them, shortenings, set expressions and conversion.
Phrasal verbs consisting of a verb with a postpositive are widely used in present-day English and may be called one of its characteristic features. (See p. 120 ff.) Many verbal synonymic groups contain such combinations as one of their elements. A few examples will illustrate this statement: choose : : pick out; abandon : : give up; continue : : go on; enter : : come in; lift : : pick up; postpone : : put off; quarrel : : fall out; return : : bring back. E.g.: By the way, Toby has quite given up the idea of doing those animal cartoons (Plomer).
The vitality of these expressions is proved by the fact that they really supply material for further word-formation. Very many compound nouns denoting abstract notions, persons and events are correlated with them, also giving ways of expressing notions hitherto named by somewhat lengthy borrowed terms. There are, for instance, such synonymic pairs as arrangement : : layout; conscription : : call-up; precipitation : : fall-out; regeneration : : feedback; reproduction : : playback; resistance : : fight-back; treachery : : sell-out.
An even more frequent type of new formations is that in which a noun with a verbal stem is combined with a verb of generic meaning (have, give, take, get, make) into a set expression which differs from the simple verb in aspect or emphasis: laugh : : give a laugh; sigh : : give a sigh; walk : : take a walk; smoke : : have a smoke; love : : fall in love (see p. 164). E. g.: Now we can all have a good read with our coffee (Simpson).
N.N. Amosova stresses the patterned character of the phrases in question, the regularity of connection between the structure of the phrase and the resulting semantic effect. She also points out that there may be cases when phrases of this pattern have undergone a shift of meaning and turned into phraseological units quite different in meaning from and not synonymical with the verbs of the same root. This is the case with give a lift, give somebody quite a turn, etc.
Quite frequently synonyms, mostly stylistic, but sometimes ideographic as well, are due to shortening, e. g. memorandum : : memo; vegetables : : vegs; margarine : : marge; microphone : : mike; popular (song) : : pop (song).
One should not overlook the fact that conversion may also be a source of synonymy; it accounts for such pairs as commandment : : command] laughter : : laugh. The problem in this connection is whether such cases should be regarded as synonyms or as lexical variants of one and the same word. It seems more logical to consider them as lexical variants. Compare also cases of different affixation: anxiety : : anxious- ness; effectivity : : effectiveness, and loss of affixes: amongst : : among or await : : wait.
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§ 10.7 EUPHEMISMS
A source of synonymy also well worthy of note is the so-called euphemism in which by a shift of meaning a word of more or less 'pleasant or at least inoffensive connotation becomes synonymous to one that is harsh, obscene, indelicate or otherwise unpleasant.1 The euphemistic expression merry fully coincides in denotation with the word drunk it substitutes, but the connotations of the latter fade out and so the utterance on the whole is milder, less offensive. The effect is achieved, because the periphrastic expression is not so harsh, sometimes jocular and usually motivated according to some secondary feature of the notion: naked : : in one's birthday suit] pregnant : : in the family way. Very often a learned word which sounds less familiar is therefore less offensive, as in drunkenness : : intoxication; sweat : : perspiration.
Euphemisms can also be treated within the synchronic approach, because both expressions, the euphemistic and the direct one, co-exist in the language and form a synonymic opposition. Not only English but other modern languages as well have a definite set of notions attracting euphemistic circumlocutions. These are notions of death, madness, stupidity, drunkenness, certain physiological processes, crimes and so on. For example: die : : be no more : : be gone : : lose one's life : : breathe one's last : : join the silent majority : : go the way of alt flesh : : pass away : : be gathered to one's fathers.
A prominent source of synonymic attraction is still furnished by interjections and swearing addressed to God. To make use of God's name is considered sinful by the Church and yet the word, being expressive, formed the basis of many interjections. Later the word God was substituted by the phonetically similar word goodness: For goodness sake\ Goodness gracious] Goodness knows! Cf. By Jovel Good Lord! By Gum! As in:
His father made a fearful row.
He said: "By Gum, you've done it now." (Belloc)
A certain similarity can be observed in the many names for the devil (deuce, Old Nick). The point may be illustrated by an example from Burns's "Address to the Devil":
thou! Whatever title suit thee,
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie ...
Euphemisms always tend to be a source of new synonymic formations, because after a short period of use the new term becomes so closely connected with the notion that it turns into a word as obnoxious as the earlier synonym.
§ 10.8 LEXICAL VARIANTS AND PARONYMS
There are many cases of similarity between words easily confused with synonymy but in fact essentially different from it.
1 For a diachronic analysis of this phenomenon see p.p. 73 ff.
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Lexical variants, for instance, are examples of free variation in language, in so far as they are not conditioned by contextual environment but are optional with the individual speaker. E. g. northward / norward; whoever / whosoever. The variation can concern morphological or phonological features or it may be limited to spelling. Compare weazen/weazened 'shrivelled and dried in appearance', an adjective used about a person's face and looks; directly which may be pronounced [di'rektli] or [dai'rektli] and whisky with its spelling variant whiskey. Lexical variants are different from synonyms, because they are characterised by similarity in phonetical or spelling form and identity of both meaning and distribution.
The cases of identity of stems, a similarity of form, and meaning combined with a difference in distribution should be classed as synonyms and not as lexical variants. They are discussed in many books dedicated to correct English usage. These are words belonging to the same part of speech, containing identical stems and synonymical affixes, and yet not permitting free variation, not optional. They seem to provoke mistakes even with native speakers. A few examples will suffice to illustrate the point. The adjectives luxurious and luxuriant are synonymous when meaning 'characterised by luxury'. Otherwise, luxuriant is restricted to the expression of abundance (used about hair, leaves, flowers). Luxurious is the adjective expressing human luxury and indulgence (used about tastes, habits, food, mansions). Economic and economical are interchangeable under certain conditions, more often, however, economic is a technical term associated with economics (an economic agreement). The second word, i.e. economical, is an everyday word associated with economy; e. g. economical stove, economical method, be economical of one's money.
Synonyms of this type should not be confused with paronyms, i.e. words that are kindred in origin, sound form and meaning and therefore liable to be mixed but in fact different in meaning and usage and therefore only mistakenly interchanged.
The term paronym comes from the Greek para 'beside' and onoma 'name', it enters the lexicological terminology very conveniently alongside such terms as synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and allonyms.1
Different authors suggest various definitions. Some define paronyms as words of the same root, others as words having the same sound form, thus equalising them with word-families or homonyms. Any definition, however, is valuable only insofar as it serves to reflect the particular conception or theory of the subject one studies and proves useful for the practical aims of its study. As the present book is intended for the future teachers of English, it is vital to pay attention to grouping of words according to the difficulties they might present to the student. That is why we take the definition given above stressing not only the phonetic and semantic similarity but also the possible mistakes in the use
1 Allnm is a term offered by N.A. Shechtman denoting contextual pairs semantically coordinated like slow and careful, quick and impatient.
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of these "hard words". This is the case with the adjectives ingenious and ingenuous. The first of these means 'clever' and may be used both of man and of his inventions and doings, e. g. an ingenious craftsman, an ingenious device. Ingenuous means 'frank', 'artless', as an ingenuous smile.
The likeness may be accidental as in the verbs affect and effect. The first means 'influence', the second - 'to produce'. These come from different Latin verbs. The similarity may be also due to a common source. It is etymologically justified in alternate 'succeeding each other' and alternative 'providing a choice', or consequent 'resulting' and consequential 'important', or continuance 'an uninterrupted succession' and continuation which has two distinct meanings 'beginning again' and 'sequel' as the continuation of a novel.
§ 10.9 ANTONYMS AND CONVERSIVES
Antonyms may be defined as two or more words of the same language belonging to the same part of speech and to the same semantic field, identical in style and nearly identical in distribution, associated and often used together so that their denotative meanings render contradictory or contrary notions.
Contradictory notions are mutually opposed and denying one another, e. g. alive means 'not dead' and impatient means 'not patient'. Contrary notions are also mutually opposed but they are gradable, e. g. old and young are the most distant elements of a series like: old : : middle-aged : : young, while hot and cold form a series with the intermediate cool and warm, which, as F.R. Palmer points out, form a pair of antonyms themselves. The distinction between the two types is not absolute, as one can say that one is more dead than alive, and thus make these adjectives gradable.
Another classification of antonyms is based on a morphological approach: root words form absolute antonyms (right : : wrong), the presence of negative affixes creates derivational antonyms (happy : : unhappy).
The juxtaposition of antonyms in a literary text emphasises some contrast and creates emotional tension as in the following lines from "Romeo and Juliet" (Act I, Scene V):
My only love sprang from my only hate\ Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
One of the features enhancing the pathetic expressiveness of these lines is contrast based on such pairs as love : : hate; early : : late; unknown : : known. The opposition is obvious: each component of these pairs means the opposite of the other. The pairs may be termed antonymic pairs.
Antonyms have traditionally been defined as words of opposite meaning. This definition, however, is not sufficiently accurate, as it only shifts the problem to the question of what words may be regarded as words of opposite meaning, so we shall keep to the definition given at the beginning of the present paragraph.
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The important question of criteria received a new and rigorously linguistic treatment in V.N. Komissarov's work. Keeping to the time-honoured classification of antonyms into absolute or root antonyms (love : : hate) and derivational antonyms, V.N. Komissarov breaks new ground by his contextual treatment of the problem. Two words, according to him, shall be considered antonymous if they are regularly contrasted in actual speech, that is if the contrast in their meanings is proved by definite types of contextual co-occurrence.
Absolute antonyms, then, are words regularly contrasted as homogenous sentence members connected by copulative, disjunctive or adversative conjunctions, or identically used in parallel constructions, in certain typical contexts.
In the examples given below we shall denote the first of the antonyms - A, the second - B, and the words they serve to qualify - X and Y, respectively.
1. If you've obeyed all the rules good and bad, and you still come out at the dirty end ... then I say the rules are no good (M. Wilson).

The formula is:

A and (or) = all


not A but (on the contrary)
2. He was alive, not dead (Shaw). The formula is:

3. You will see if you were right or wrong (Cronin).

The formula is:

A or

4. The whole was big, oneself was little (Galsworthy). The formula is: X is A, and Y, on the contrary,
A regular and frequent co-occurrence in such contexts is the most important characteristic feature of antonyms. Another important criterion suggested by V.N. Komissarov is the possibility of substitution and identical lexical valency. This possibility of identical contexts is very clearly seen in the following lines:
There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly becomes any of us To talk about the rest of us (Hock).
Members of the same antonymic pair reveal nearly identical spheres of collocation. For example the adjective hot in its figurative meaning of 'angry' and 'excited' is chiefly combined with names of
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unpleasant emotions: anger, resentment, scorn, etc. Its antonym cold occurs with the same words.
The diagnostic force of valency is weaker than that of regular cooccurrence.
Unlike synonyms, antonyms do not differ either in style, emotional colouring or distribution. They are interchangeable at least in some contexts. The result of this interchange may be of different kind depending on the conditions of context. There will be, for instance, no change of meaning if ill and well change places within the sentence in the following: But whether he treated it ill or well, it loved nothing so much as to be near him (Wells). Or a whole sentence receives an opposite meaning when a word is replaced by its antonym, although it differs from its prototype in this one word only: You may feel he is clever : : You may feel he is foolish.
As antonyms do not differ stylistically, an antonymic substitution never results in a change of stylistic colouring.
The possibility of substitution and identical valency show that semantic polarity is a very special kind of difference implying a great deal of sameness.
In dealing with antonymic oppositions it may be helpful to treat antonyms in terms of "marked" and "unmarked" members. The unmarked member can be more widely used and very often can include the referents of the marked member but not vice versa. This proves that their meanings have some components in common. In the antonymic pair old : : young the unmarked member is old. It is possible to ask: How old is the girl? without implying that she is no longer young. W.C. Chafe says that we normally talk about a continuum of wideness as width and not about a continuum of narrowness. Thus, the usual question is: How wide is if? and not How narrow is it? which proves the unmarked vs marked character of wide vs narrow. In the antonymic opposition love : : hate, there is no unmarked element.
Some authors, J.Lyons among them, suggest a different terminology. They distinguish antonyms proper and complementary antonyms. The chief characteristic feature of antonyms proper is that they are regularly gradable. Antonyms proper, therefore, represent contrary notions. Grading is based on the operation of comparison. One can compare the intensity of feeling as in love - attachment - liking - indifference - antipathy - hate. Whenever a sentence contains an antonym or an antonymic pair, it implicitly or explicitly contains comparison.
The important point to notice is this - the denial of the one member of antonymic opposition does not always imply the assertion of the other - take, for instance W.H. Auden's line: All human hearts have ugly little treasures. If we say that our hearts' treasures are neither ugly nor little, it does not imply that they are beautiful or great.
It is interesting to note that such words as young : : old; big : : small; good : : bad do not refer to independent absolute qualities but to some-implicit norm, they are relative. Consider the following portrait of an elephant:
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The Elephant
When people call this beast to mind, They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind
So large a trunk before.
The tail of an elephant is little only in comparison with his trunk and the rest of his body. For a mouse it would have been quite big. J. Lyons discusses an interesting example of antonyms also dealing with elephants: A small elephant is a large animal. The implicit size-norm for elephants is not the same as that for all animals in general: the elephant which is small in comparison with other elephants may be big in comparison with animals as a class.
This example may also serve to show the difference and parallelism between antonymy proper and complementarity (expressing contradictory notions).
The semantic polarity in antonymy proper is relative, the opposition is gradual, it may embrace several elements characterised by different degrees of the same property. The comparison they imply is clear from the context. Large and little denote polar degrees of the same notion. The same referent which may be small as an elephant is a comparatively big animal, but it cannot be male as an elephant and female as an animal: a male elephant is a male animal.
Having noted the difference between complementary antonyms and antonyms proper, we must also take into consideration that they have much in common so that in a wider sense both groups are taken as antonyms. Complementaries like other antonyms are regularly contrasted in speech (male and female), and the elements of a complementary pair have similar distribution. The assertion of a sentence containing an antonymous or complementary term implies the denial of a corresponding sentence containing the other antonym or complementary:
The poem is good > The poem is not bad (good : : bad - antonyms proper)
This is prose > This is not poetry (prose : : poetry - complementaries)
As to the difference in negation it is optional with antonyms proper: by saying that the poem is not good the speaker does not always mean that it is positively bad. Though more often we are inclined to take into consideration only the opposite ends of the scale and by saying that something is not bad we even, using a litotes, say it is good.
So complementaries are a subset of antonyms taken in a wider sense.
If the root of the word involved in contrast is not semantically relative, its antonym is derived by negation. Absolute or root antonyms (see p. 209) are on this morphological basis, contrasted to those containing some negative affix.
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Thus, the second group of antonyms is known as derivational antonyms. The affixes in them serve to deny the quality stated in the stem. The opposition known : : unknown in the opening example from Shakespeare (see p. 209) is by no means isolated: far from it. It is not difficult to find other examples where contrast is implied in the morphological structure of the word itself. E. g. appear : : disappear; happiness : : unhappiness; logical : : illogical; pleasant : : unpleasant; prewar : : postwar; useful : : useless, etc. There are typical affixes and typical patterns that go into play in forming these derivational antonyms. It is significant that in the examples given above prefixes prevail. The regular type of derivational antonyms contains negative prefixes: dis-, il-/im-/in-/ir-, - and un-. Other negative prefixes occur in this function only occasionally.
As to the suffixes, it should be noted that modern English gives no examples of words forming their antonyms by adding a negative suffix, such as, for instance, -less. The opposition hopeless : : hopeful or useless : : useful is more complicated, as the suffix -less is not merely added to the contrasting stem, but substituted for the suffix -ful. The group is not numerous. In most cases, even when the language possesses words with the suffix -less, the antonymic pairs found in actual speech are formed with the prefix un-. Thus, the antonymic opposition is not selfish : : self/ess but selfish : : unselfish. Cf. selfishness : : unselfishness; selfishly : : unselfishly. E.g.: I had many reasons, both selfish and unselfish, for not giving the unnecessary openings (Snow).
Several features distinguish the two groups of antonyms. In words containing one of the above negative prefixes the contrast is expressed morphologically as the prefixed variant is in opposition to the unprefixed one. Therefore if the morphological motivation is clear, there is no necessity in contexts containing both members to prove the existence of derivational antonyms. The word unsuccessful, for instance, presupposes the existence of the word successful, so that the following quotation is sufficient for establishing the contrast: Essex was always in a state of temper after one of these unsuccessful interviews (Aldridge).
The patterns, however, although typical, are not universal, so that morphologically similar formations may show different semantic relationships. Disappoint, for example, is not the antonym of appoint, neither is unman 'to deprive of human qualities' the antonym of man 'to furnish with personnel'.
The difference between absolute and derivational antonyms is not only morphological but semantic as well. To reveal its essence it is necessary to turn to logic. A pair of derivational antonyms form a privative binary opposition, whereas absolute antonyms, as we have already seen, are polar members of a gradual opposition which may have intermediary elements, the actual number of which may vary from zero to several units, e. g. beautiful : : pretty : : good-looking : : plain : : ugly.
Many antonyms are explained by means of the negative particle: clean - not dirty, shallow - not deep. It is interesting to note that whereas in Russian the negative particle and the negative prefix are homonymous, in the English language the negative particle not is morphologically unrelated to the prefixes dis-, il-/im-/in-/ir- and un-. Syntactic negation by means of
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this particle is weaker than the lexical antonymy. Compare: not happy : : unhappy; not polite : : impolite; not regular : : irregular; not to believe : : to disbelieve. To prove this difference in intensity V.N. Komissarov gives examples where a word with a negative prefix is added to compensate for the insufficiency of a syntactic negation, even intensified by at all: I am sorry to inform you that we are not at all satisfied with your sister. We are very much dissatisfied with her (Ch. Dickens).
Almost every word can have one or more synonyms. Comparatively few have antonyms. This type of opposition is especially characteristic of qualitative adjectives. Cf. in W.Shakespeare's "Sonnet LXXVI":
For as the sun is daily new and old, So is my love still telling what is told.
It is also manifest in words derived from qualitative adjectives, e. g. gladly : : sadly; gladness : : sadness. Irrespective of the part of speech, they are mostly words connected with feelings or state: triumph : : disaster; hope : : despair. Antonymic pairs, also irrespective of part of speech, concern direction (hither and thither) (L.A. Novikov calls these "vectorial antonyms"), and position in space and time (far and near).
Nothing so difficult as a beginning,
In poetry, unless perhaps the end (Byron).
Compare also day : : night; late : : early; over : : under.
The number of examples could be augmented, but those already quoted will suffice to illustrate both the linguistic essence of antonyms and the very prominent part they play among the expressive means a language can possess. Like synonyms they occupy an important place in the phraseological fund of the language: backwards and forwards, far and near, from first to last, in black and white, play fast and loose, etc.
Not only words, but set expressions as well, can be grouped into antonymic pairs. The phrase by accident can be contrasted to the phrase on purpose. Cf. up to par and below par. Par represents the full nominal value of a company's shares, hence up to par metaphorically means 'up to the level of one's normal health' and below par 'unwell'.
Antonyms form mostly pairs, not groups like synonyms: above : : below; absent : : present; absence : : presence; alike : : different; asleep : : awake; back : : forth; bad : : good; big : : little, etc. Cases when there are three or more words are reducible to a binary opposition, so that hot is contrasted to cold and warm to cool.
Polysemantic words may have antonyms in some of their meanings and none in the others. When criticism means 'blame' or 'censure' its antonym is praise, when it means 'writing critical essays dealing with the works of some author', it can have no antonym. The fact lies at the basis of W.S. Maugham's pun: People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise. Also in different meanings a word may have different aa-tonyms. Compare for example: a short story : : a long story but a short man : : a tall man; be short with somebody : : be civil with somebody.
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Semantic polarity presupposes the presence of some common semantic components in the denotational meaning. Thus, while ashamed means 'feeling unhappy or troubled because one has done something wrong or foolish', its antonym proud also deals with feeling but the feeling of happiness and assurance which also has its ground in moral values.
A synonymic set of words is an opposition of a different kind: its basis is sameness or approximate sameness of denotative meaning, the distinctive features can be stylistic, emotional, distributional or depending on valency.
There is one further type of semantic opposition we have to consider. The relation to which the name of conversives is usually given may be exemplified by such pairs as buy : : sell; give : : receive; ancestor : : descendant; parent : : child; left : : right; cause : : suffer; saddening : : saddened.
Conversives (or relational opposites) as F.R. Palmer calls them denote one and the same referent or situation as viewed from different points of view, with a reversal of the order of participants and their roles. The interchangeability and contextual behaviour are specific. The relation is closely connected with grammar, namely with grammatical contrast of active and passive. The substitution of a conversive does not change the meaning of a sentence if it is combined with appropriate regular morphological and syntactical changes and selection of appropriate prepositions: He gave her flowers. She received flowers from him. = She was given flowers by him.
Some linguists class conversives as a subset of antonyms, others suggest that antonyms and conversives together constitute the class of contrastives. Although there is parallelism between the two relations, it seems more logical to stress that they must be distinguished, even if the difference is not always clear-cut. The same pair of words, e. g. fathers and sons, may be functioning as antonyms or as conversives.
An important point setting them apart is that conversive relations are possible within the semantic structure of one and the same word. M.V. Nikitin mentions such verbs as wear, sell, tire, smell, etc. and such adjectives as glad, sad, dubious, lucky and others.
It should be noted that sell in this case is not only the conversive of buy, it means 'be sold', 'find buyers' (The book sells well). The same contrast of active and passive sense is observed in adjectives: sad 'saddening' and 'saddened', dubious and doubtful mean 'feeling doubt and inspiring doubt'.
This peculiarity of conversives becomes prominent if we compare equivalents in various languages. The English verb marry renders both conversive meanings, it holds good for both participants: Mary married Dick or Dick married Mary. In a number of languages, including Russian, there are, as J. Lyons and some other authors have pointed out, two verbs: one for the woman and another for the man.
The methodological significance of the antonymic, synonymic, conversive, hyponymic and other semantic relations between lexical items becomes clear if we remember that the place that each unit occupies in the lexical system and its function is derived from the relations it contracts with other units (see table on p. 183).
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Chapter 11
LEXICAL SYSTEMS
§ 11.1 THE ENGLISH VOCABULARY AS AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM. NEOLOGISMS
To adapt means to make or undergo modifications in function and structure so as to be fit for a new use, a new environment or a new situation.1 It has been stated in § 1.5 that being an adaptive system the vocabulary is constantly adjusting itself to the changing requirements and conditions of human communications and cultural and other needs. We shall now give a more detailed presentation of the subject. This process of self-regulation of the lexical system is a result of overcoming contradictions between the state of the system and the demands it has to meet. The speaker chooses from the existing stock of words such words that in his opinion can adequately express his thought and feeling. Failing to find the expression he needs, he coins a new one. It is important to stress that the development is not confined to coining new words on the existing patterns but in adapting the very structure of the system to its changing functions.
According to F. de Saussure synchronic linguistics deals with systems and diachronic linguistics - with single elements, and the two methods must be kept strictly apart. A language system then should be studied as something fixed and unchanging, whereas we observe the opposite: it is constantly changed and readjusted as the need arises. The concept of adaptive systems overcomes this contradiction and permits us to study language as a constantly developing but systematic whole. The adaptive system approach gives a more adequate account of the systematic phenomena of a vocabulary by explaining more facts about the functioning of words and providing more relevant generalisations, because we can take into account the influence of extra-linguistic reality. The study of the vocabulary as an adaptive system reveals the pragmatic essence of the communication process, i.e. the way language is used to influence the addressee.
There is a considerable difference of opinion as to the type of system involved, although the majority of linguists nowadays agree that the vocabulary should be studied as a system.2 Our present state of knowledge is, however, insufficient to present the whole of the vocabulary as one articulated system, so we deal with it as if it were a set of interrelated systems.
1 The term adaptive comes from the theory of evolution. Ch. Darvin as far back as 1859 wrote about adaptation in the animal world by which a species or individual improves its conditions in relation to its environment. Note also that a relatively new science called "bionics" studies living systems in order to make machines behaving as efficiently as systems in nature.
2 For a detailed discussion of the statistical approach the reader should refer to the works of A.J. Shaikevitch.
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For different purposes of study different types of grouping may prove effective, there is no optimum short cut equally suitable for all purposes. In the present chapter we shall work out a review of most of the types of grouping so far suggested and an estimate of their possibilities. If we succeed in establishing their interrelation, it will help us in obtaining an idea of the lexical system as a whole. We must be on our guard, however, against taking the list of possible oppositions suggested by this chapter for a classification.
We shall constantly slide the basis of our definitions from one level to another, whereas in an adequate classification the definition of various classes must be based on the same kind of criteria. That means we shall obtain data for various approaches to the system, not the system itself as yet.
The adaptive system approach to vocabulary is still in its infancy, but it is already possible to hazard an interim estimate of its significance. Language as well as other adaptive systems, better studied in other branches of science, is capable of obtaining information from the extra-linguistic world and with the help of feedback makes use of it for self-optimisation. If the variation proves useful, it remains in the vocabulary. The process may be observed by its results, that is by studying new words or neologisms. New notions constantly come into being, requiring new words to name them. Sometimes a new name is introduced for a thing or notion that continues to exist, and the older name ceases to be used. The number of words in a language is therefore not constant, the increase, as a rule, more than makes up for the leak-out.
New words and expressions or nelgisms 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 the thing may be quite insignificant and short-lived, like fashions in dancing, clothing, hairdo or footwear (e. g. roll-neck). 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 either according to the patterns and ways already productive in the language at a given stage of its development or creating new ones.
Thus, a neologism is a newly coined word or phrase or a new meaning for an existing word, or a word borrowed from another language.
The intense development of science and industry has called forth the invention and introduction of an immense number of new words and changed the meanings of old ones, e. g. aerobic, black hole, computer, isotope, feedback, penicillin, pulsar, quasar, tape-recorder, supermarket and so on.
The laws of efficient communication demand maximum signal in minimum time. To meet these requirements the adaptive lexical system is not only adding new units but readjusts the ways and means of word-formation and the word-building means. Thus, when radio location was invented it was defined as radio detection and ranging which is long and so a
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convenient abbreviation out of the first letter or letters of each word in this phrase was coined, hence radar. (See § 7.3.) The process of nomination may pass several stages. In other words, a new notion is named by a terminological phrase consisting of words which in their turn are made up of morphemes. The phrase may be shortened by ellipsis or by graphical abbreviation, and this change of form is achieved without change of meaning. Acronyms are not composed of existing morphemes according to existing word-formation patterns, but on the contrary revolutionise the system by forming new words and new morphemes out of letters. The whole process of word-formation is paradoxically reversed.
The lexical system may adapt itself to new functions by combining several word-building processes. Thus fall-out - the radioactive dust descending through the air after an atomic explosion - is coined by composition and conversion simultaneously. Ad-lib 'to improvise' is the result of borrowing (Lat. ad libitum), shortening, compounding and conversion. Compare also admass coined by J.B. Priestley and meaning 'mass advertising in its harmful effect on society'.
It is also interesting to mention the new meaning of word-formation patterns in composition (see § 6.9). Teach-in is a student conference or a series of seminars on some burning issue of the day, meaning some demonstration of protest. This pattern is very frequent: lie-in, sleep-in, pray-in, laugh-in, love-in, read-in, sing-in, stay-in, talk-in.
In all the above variants the semantic components 'protest' and 'place' are invariably present. This is a subgroup of peculiarly English and steadily developing type of nouns formed by a combined process of conversion and composition from verbs with postpositives, such as a holdup 'armed robbery' from hold-up 'rob', come-back 'a person who returns after a long absence'.
The intense development of shortening aimed at economy of time and effort but keeping the sense complete is manifest not only in acronyms and abbreviations but also in blends, e.g. bionics < bio+(electr)onics; slintnastics < slim+gymnastics (see § 7.2.) and back-formation (§ 7.7). The very means of word-formation change their status. This is for instance manifest in the set of combining forms. In the past these were only bound forms borrowings from Latin and Greek mostly used to form technical terms. Now some of them turn into free standing words, e. g. maxi n 'something very large'.
Semi-affixes which used to be not numerous and might be treated as exceptions now evolve into a separate set. An interesting case is person substituting the semi-affix -man due to an extra linguistic cause - a tendency to degender professional names, to avoid mentioning sex discrimination (chairperson, policeperson). A freer use of semi-affixes has been illustrated on p. 118. The set of semi-affixes is also increased due to the so-called abstracted forms, that is parts of words or phrases used in what seems the meaning they contribute to the unit. E. g. workaholic 'a person with a compulsive desire to work' was patterned on alcoholic; footballaholic and bookaholic are selfexplanatory. Compare also: washeteria 'a self-service laundry'.
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When some word becomes a very frequent element in compounds the discrimination of compounds and derivatives, the difference between affix and semi-affix is blurred. Here are some neologisms meaning 'obsessed with sth' and containing the elements mad and happy: power-mad, money-mad, speed-mad, movie-mad and auto-happy, trigger-happy, footlight-happy. It is not quite clear whether, in spite of their limitless productivity, we are still justified in considering them as compounds.
Our survey has touched only upon a representative series of problems connected with the functioning and development of the present-day English vocabulary as an adaptive system and of the tendency in coining new words. For a reliable mass of evidence on the new English vocabulary the reader is referred to lexicographic sources.
New additions to the English vocabulary are collected in addenda to explanatory dictionaries and in special dictionaries of new words. One should consult the supplementary volume of the English-Russian Dictionary ed. by I.R. Galperin, the three supplementary volumes of "The Oxford English Dictionary" and the dictionaries of New English which are usually referred to as Barnhart Dictionaries, because Clarence Barnhart, a distinguished American lexicographer, is the senior of the three editors. The first volume covers words and word equivalents that have come into the vocabulary of the English-speaking world during the period 1963-1972 and the second - those of the 70s.
In what follows the student will find a few examples of neologisms showing the patterns according to which they are formed. Automation 'automatic control of production' is irregularly formed from the stem automatic with the help of the very productive suffix -tion. The corresponding verb automate is a back-formation, i. e. 're-equip in the most modern and automated fashion'. Re- is one of the most productive prefixes, the others are anti-, de-, un-, the semi-affixes self-, super- and mini-and many more; e. g. anti-flash 'serving to protect the eyes', antimatter n, anti- novel n, anti-pollution, deglamorise 'to make less attractive', resit 'to take a written examination a second time', rehouse 'to move a family, a community, etc. to new houses'. The prefix un- increases its combining power, enjoys a new wave of fashion and is now attached even to noun stems. A literary critic refers to the broken-down "Entertainer" (in John Osborne's play) as a "contemporary un-hero, the desperately unfunny Archie Rice". Unfunny here means "not amusing in spite of the desire to amuse'. All the other types of word-formation described in the previous chapters are in constant use, especially conversion (orbit the moon, service a car), composition and semantic change.
Compounding by mere juxtaposition of free forms has been a frequent pattern since the Old English period and is so now, f. brains-trust 'a group of experts', brain drain 'emigration of scientists', to brain-drain, brain-drainer, quiz-master 'chairman in competitions designed to test the knowledge of the participants'. In the neologism backroom boys 'men engaged in secret research' the structural cohesion of the compound is enhanced by the attributive function. Cf. redbrick (universities), paperback (books), ban-the-bomb (demonstration). The change of meaning, or rather the introduction of
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a new, additional meaning may be illustrated by the word net-work 'a number of broadcasting stations, connected for a simultaneous broadcast of the same programme'. Another example is a word of American literary slang - the square. This neologism is used as a derogatory epithet for a person who plays safe, who sticks to his illusions, and thinks that only his own life embodies all decent moral values.
As a general rule neologisms are at first clearly motivated. An exception is shown by those based on borrowings or learned coinages which, though motivated at an early stage, very soon begin to function as indivisible signs. A good example is the much used term cybernetics 'study of systems of control and communication in living beings and man-made devices' coined by Norbert Wiener from the Greek word kyberne-tes 'steersman'+suffix -ics.
There are, however, cases when etymology of comparatively new words is obscure, as in the noun boffin 'a scientist engaged in research work' or in gimmick 'a tricky device' - an American slang word that is now often used in British English.
In the course of time the new word is accepted into the word-stock of the language and being often used ceases to be considered new, or else it may not be accepted for some reason or other and vanish from the language. The fate of neologisms is hardly predictable: some of them are short-lived, others, on the contrary, become durable as they are liked and accepted. Once accepted, they may serve as a basis for further word-formation: gimmick, gimmickry, gimmicky. Zip (an imitative word denoting a certain type of fastener) is hardly felt as new, but its derivatives - the verb zip (zip from one place to another), the corresponding personal noun zipper and the adjective zippy - appear to be neologisms.
When we consider the lexical system of a language as an adaptive system developing for many centuries and reflecting the changing needs of the communication process, we have to contrast the innovations with words that dropped from the language (obsolete words) or survive only in special contexts (archaisms and historisms).
Archaisms are words that were once common but are now replaced by synonyms. When these new synonymous words, whether borrowed or coined within the English language, introduce nothing conceptually new, the stylistic value of older words tends to be changed; on becoming rare they acquire a lofty poetic tinge due to their ancient flavour, and then they are associated with poetic diction.
Some examples will illustrate this statement: aught n 'anything whatever', betwixt prp 'between', billow n 'wave', chide v 'scold', damsel n 'a noble girl', ere prp 'before', even n 'evening', forbears n 'ancestors', hapless a 'unlucky', hark v 'listen', lone a 'lonely', morn n 'morning', perchance adv 'perhaps', save prp, cj 'except', woe n 'sorrow', etc.
When the causes of the word's disappearance are extra-linguistic, e.g. when the thing named is no longer used, its name becomes an histrism. Historisms are very numerous as names for social relations, institutions and objects of material culture of the past. The names of ancient transport means, such as types of boats or types of carriages, ancient clothes, weapons, musical instruments, etc. can offer many examples.
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Before the appearance of motor-cars many different types of horse-drawn carriages were in use. The names of some of them are: brougham, berlin, calash, diligence, fly, gig, hansom, landeau, phaeton, etc. It is interesting to mention specially the romantically metaphoric prairie schooner 'a canvas-covered wagon used by pioneers crossing the North American prairies'. There are still many sailing ships in use, and schooner in the meaning of 'a sea-going vessel' is not an historism, but a prairie schooner is. Many types of sailing craft belong to the past as caravels or galleons, so their names are historisms too.
The history of costume forms an interesting topic by itself. It is reflected in the history of corresponding terms. The corresponding glossaries may be very long. Only very few examples can be mentioned here. In W. Shakespeare's plays, for instance, doublets are often mentioned. A doublet is a close-fitting jacket with or without sleeves worn by men in the 15th-17th centuries. It is interesting to note that descriptions of ancient garments given in dictionaries often include their social functions in this or that period. Thus, a tabard of the 15th century was a short surcoat open at the sides and with short sleeves, worn by a knight over his armour and emblazoned on the front, back and sides with his armorial bearings. Not all historisms refer to such distant periods. Thus, bloomers - an outfit designed for women in mid-nineteenth century. It consisted of Turkish-style trousers gathered at the ankles and worn by women as "a rational dress". It was introduced by Mrs Bloomer, editor and social reformer, as a contribution to woman rights movement. Somewhat later bloomers were worn by girls and women for games and cycling, but then they became shorter and reached only to the knee.
A great many historisms denoting various types of weapons occur in historical novels, e. g. a battering ram 'an ancient machine for breaking walls'; a blunderbuss 'an old type of gun with a wide muzzle'; breastplate 'a piece of metal armour worn by knights over the chest to protect it in battle'; a crossbow 'a medieval weapon consisting of a bow fixed across a wooden stock'. Many words belonging to this semantic field remain in the vocabulary in some figurative meaning, e. g. arrow, shield, sword, vizor, etc.
§ 11.2 MORPHOLOGICAL AND LEXICO-GRAMMATICAL GROUPING
On the morphological level words are divided into four groups according to their morphological structure (see § 5.1), namely the number and type of morphemes which compose them. They are:
1. Root or morpheme words. Their stem contains one free morpheme, e. g. dog, hand.
2. Derivatives contain no less than two morphemes of which at least one is bound, e.g. dogged, doggedly, handy, handful; sometimes both are bound: terrier.
3. Compound words consist of not less than two free morphemes, the presence of bound morphemes is possible but not necessary, e. g. dog-cheap 'very cheap'; dog-days 'hottest part of the year'; handball, handbook.
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4. Compound derivatives consist of not less than two free morphemes and one bound morpheme referring to the whole combination. The pattern is (stem+stem) +suffix, e. g. dog-legged 'crooked or bent like a dog's hind leg', left-handed.
This division is the basic one for lexicology.
Another type of traditional lexicological grouping is known as word-families. The number of groups is certainly much greater, being equal to the number of root morphemes if all the words are grouped according to the root morpheme. For example: dog, doggish, doglike, doggy/doggie, to dog, dogged, doggedly, doggedness, dog-wolf, dog-days, dog-biscuit, dog-cart, etc.; hand, handy, handicraft, handbag, handball, handful, handmade, handsome, etc.
Similar groupings according to a common suffix or prefix are also possible, if not as often made use of. The greater the combining power of the affix, the more numerous the group. Groups with such suffixes as -er, -ing, -ish, -less, -ness constitute infinite (open) sets, i.e. are almost unlimited, because new combinations are constantly created. When the suffix is no longer productive the group may have a diminishing number of elements, as with the adjective-forming suffix -some, e. g. gladsome, gruesome, handsome, lithesome, lonesome, tiresome, troublesome, wearisome, wholesome, winsome, etc.
The next step is classifying words not in isolation but taking them within actual utterances. Here the first contrast to consider is the contrast between notional words and form or functional words. Actually the definition of the word as a minimum free form holds good for notional words only. It is only notional words that can stand alone and yet have meaning and form a complete utterance. They can name different objects of reality, the qualities of these objects and actions or the process in which they take part. In sentences they function syntactically as some primary or secondary members. Even extended sentences are possible which consist of notional words only. They can also express the attitude of the speaker towards reality.
Form words, also called functional words, empty words or auxiliaries (the latter term is coined by H. Sweet), are lexical units which are called words, although they do not conform to the definition of the word, because they are used only in combination with notional words or in reference to them. This group comprises auxiliary verbs, prepositions, conjunctions and relative adverbs. Primarily they express grammatical relationships between words. This does not, however, imply that they have no lexical meaning of their own.
The borderline between notional and functional words is not always very clear and does not correspond to that between various parts of speech. Thus, most verbs are notional words, but the auxiliary verbs are classified as form words. It is open to discussion whether link verbs should be treated as form words or not. The situation is very complicated if we consider pronouns. Personal, demonstrative and interrogative pronouns, as their syntactical functions testify, are notional words;
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reflexive pronouns seem to be form words building up such analytical verb forms as I warmed myself, but this is open to discussion. As to prop-words (one, those, etc.), some authors think that they should be considered as a separate, third group.
B.N. Aksenenko very aptly proved the presence of a lexical meaning by suggesting a substitution test with They went to the village as a test frame. By substituting across, from, into, round, out of and through for to, one readily sees the semantic difference between them.
It is typical of the English language that the boundary between notional and functional words sometimes lies within the semantic structure of one and the same word, so that in some contexts they appear as notional words and in other contexts as form words. Compare the functions and meanings of the verb have as used in the following extract from a novel by A. Huxley: Those that have not complain about their own fate. Those that have do not, it is only those in contact with them •- and since the havers are few these too are few - who complain of the curse of having. In my time I have belonged to both categories. Once I had, and I can see that to my fellowmen I must then have been intolerable ... now I have not. The curse of insolence and avarice has been removed from me.
The systematic use of form words is one of the main devices of English grammatical structure, surpassed in importance only by fixed word order. Form words are therefore studied in grammar rather than in lexicology which concentrates its attention upon notional words.
Those linguists who divide all the words into three classes (notional words, form words, deictic and substitute words or prop-words) consider the latter as pointing words (this, that, they, there, then, thus, he, here, how, who, what, where, whither, nobody, never, not). Deictic words are orientational words, relative to the time and place of utterance. They ultimately stand for objects of reality, if only at second hand.
Very interesting treatment of form words is given by Charles Fries. The classes suggested by Ch. Fries are based on distribution, in other words, they are syntactic positional classes. Ch. Fries establishes them with the view of having the minimum number of different groups needed for a general description of utterances. His classification is based on the assumption that all the words that could occupy the same "set of positions" in the patterns of English single free utterances without a change of the structural meaning, must belong to the same class. Very roughly and approximately his classification may be described as follows. The bulk of words in the utterances he investigated is constituted by four main classes. He gives them no names except numbers. Class I: water, time, heating, thing, green (of a particular shade), (the) sixth, summer, history, etc.; Class II: felt, arranged, sees, forgot, guess, know, help, forward 'to send on'; Class HI: general, eighth, good; better, outstanding, wide, young', Class IV: there, here, now, usually, definitely, first, twice.
The percentage of the total vocabulary in these four classes is over 93%. The remaining 7% are constituted by 154 form words. These, though few in number, occur very frequently.
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Every reader is at once tempted to equate these class numbers with the usual names: "nouns", "verbs", "adjectives" and "adverbs". The two sets of names, however, do not strictly coincide in either what is included or what is excluded. Neither morphological form nor meaning are taken into consideration. Unfortunately Ch. Fries does not give satisfactory definitions and offers only the procedure of substitution by which words can be tested and identified in his minimum test frames:

Class I
Class II
Class III
Class IV
Frame
A
(The)
concert
was
good
(always)
Frame

(The)
clerk
remembered
(the) tax
(suddenly)
Frame

(The)
team
went
there
The functional words are subdivided into 15 groups, and as Ch. Fries could not find for them any general identifying characteristics, they are supposed to be recognised and learned as separate words, so that they form 15 subsets defined by listing all the elements. As an example of form words the group of determiners may be taken. These are words which in the Ch. Fries classification system serve to mark the so-called Class I forms. They can be substituted for the in the frame (The) concert is good. That is to say, they are words belonging to the group of limiting noun modifiers, such as a, an, any, each, either, every, neither, no, one, some, the, that, those, this, these, what, whatever, which, whichever, possessive adjectives (my) and possessive case forms (Joe's). Determiners may occur before descriptive adjectives modifying the Class I words.
We have dwelt so extensively upon this classification, because it is very much used, with different modifications, in modern lexicological research practice, though the figures in the denotations of Ch. Fries were later substituted by letters. N denotes Class I words, i.e. all the nouns and some pronouns and numerals occupying the same positions, V - Class II, namely verbs with the exception of the auxiliaries, A - Class III, adjectives, some pronouns and numerals used attributively, D - Class IV, adverbs and some noun phrases. In lexicology the notation is chiefly used in various types of semasiological research with distributional and transformational analysis.
The division into such classes as parts of speech observes both paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships of the words and also their meaning. There is no necessity to dwell here upon the parts of speech, because they are dealt with in grammar. We shall limit our discussion to subdivisions of parts of speech and call them lexico-grammatical groups. By a lexico-grammatical group we understand a class of words which have a common lexico-grammatical meaning, a common paradigm, the same substituting elements and possibly a characteristic set of suffixes rendering the lexico-grammatical meaning. These groups are subsets of the parts of speech, several lexico-grammatical groups constitute one part of speech. Thus, English nouns are subdivided approximately into the following lexico-grammatical groups: personal names, animal names, collective names (for people), collective names (for animals), abstract nouns, material nouns, object nouns, proper names for people, toponymic proper nouns.
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If, for instance, we consider a group of nouns having the following characteristics: two number forms, the singular and the plural; two case forms; animate, substituted in the singular by he or she; common, i.e. denoting a notion and not one particular object (as proper names do); able to combine regularly with the indefinite article, some of them characterised by such suffixes as -er/-or, -ist, -, -eer and the semi-affix -man, we obtain the so-called personal names: agent, baker, artist, volunteer, visitor, workman.
Observing the semantic structure of words belonging to this group we find a great deal of semantic likeness within it, not only in the denotative meanings as such but also in the way various meanings are combined. Personal nouns, for instance, possess a comparatively simple semantic structure. A structure consisting of two variants predominates. In many cases the secondary, i.e. derived meaning is due to generalisation or specialisation.1 Generalisation is present in such words as advocate, which may mean any person who supports or defends a plan or a suggestion anywhere, not only in court; apostle, which alongside its religious meaning may denote any leader of any reform or doctrine. E.g.: What would Sergius, the apostle of the higher love, say if he saw me now? (Shaw)
Specialisation is observed in cases like beginner, where the derived meaning corresponds to a notion of a narrower scope: 'one who has not had much experience' as compared to 'one who begins'.
The group is also characterised by a high percentage of emotionally coloured, chiefly derogatory words among the metaphorical derived variants, such as baby 'a person who behaves like a baby' or witch 'an ugly and unkind woman'.
Words belonging to another lexico-grammatical group, for instance those denoting well-known animals, very often develop metaphorical expressive names for people possessing qualities rightly or wrongly attributed to the respective animals: ass, bitch, cow, fox, swine. E. g.: Armitage had talked, he supposed. Damned young pup! What did he know about it! (Christie)
The subdivision of all the words belonging to some part of speech into groups of the kind described above is also achieved on this basis of oppositions. Should we want to find the subgroups of the English noun, we may take as distinctive features the relations of the given word to the categories of number and case, their combining possibilities with regard to definite, indefinite and zero article, their possible substitution by he, she, it or they, their unique or notional correlation.2
Lexico-grammatical groups should not be confused with parts of speech. A few more examples will help to grasp the difference. Audience and honesty, for instance, belong to the same part of speech but to different lexico-grammatical groups, because their lexico-grammatical
1 These terms are used to denote not the process but the result of the semantic change seen when existing lexico-semantic variants of a word are compared.
2 Unique correlation is characteristic of proper names which have some unique object for referent (e. g. the Thames); words whose referents are generalised in a notion have notional correlations (e. g. river).
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meaning is different: audience is a group of people, and honesty is a quality; they have different paradigms: audience has two forms, singular and plural, honesty is used only in the singular; also honesty is hardly ever used in the Possessive case unless personified. To show that the substituting elements are different two examples will suffice: I am referring to what goes on inside the audience's mind when they see the play (Arden). Honesty isn't everything but I believe it's the first thing (Priestley). Being a collective noun, the word audience is substituted by they; honesty is substituted by it.
Other words belonging to the same lexico-grammatical group as audience are people, party, jury, but not flock or swarm, because the lexico-grammatical meaning of the last two words is different: they are substituted by it and denote groups of living beings but not persons, unless, of course, they are used metaphorically.
§ 11.3 THEMATIC AND IDEOGRAPHIC GROUPS. THE THEORIES OF SEMANTIC FIELDS. HYPONYMY
A further subdivision within the lexico-grammatical groups is achieved in the well-known thematic subgroups, such as terms of kinship, names for parts of the human body, colour terms, military terms and so on. The basis of grouping this time is not only linguistic but also extra-linguistic: the words are associated, because the things they name occur together and are closely connected in reality. It has been found that these words constitute quite definitely articulated spheres held together by differences, oppositions and distinctive values. For an example it is convenient to turn to the adjectives. These are known to be subdivided into qualitative and relative lexico-grammatical groups. Among the first, adjectives that characterise a substance for shape, colour, physical or mental qualities, speed, size, etc. are distinguished.
The group of colour terms has always attracted the attention of linguists, because it permits research of lexical problems of primary importance. The most prominent among them is the problem of the systematic or non-systematic character of vocabulary, of the difference in naming the same extra-linguistic referents by different languages, and of the relationship between thought and language. There are hundreds of articles written about colour terms.
The basic colour name system comprises four words: blue, green, yellow, red; they cover the whole spectrum. All the other words denoting colours bring details into this scheme and form subsystems of the first and second order, which may be considered as synonymic series with corresponding basic terms as their dominants. Thus, red is taken as a dominant for the subsystem of the first degree: scarlet, orange, crimson, rose, and the subsystem of the second degree is: vermilion, wine red, cherry, coral, copper-red, etc. Words belonging to the basic system differ from words belonging to subsystems not only semantically but in some other features as well. These features are: (1) frequency of use; (2) motivation; (3) simple or compound character; (4) stylistic colouring; (5) combining power. The basic
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terms, for instance, are frequent words belonging to the first thousand of words in H.S. Eaton's "semantic frequency list", their motivation is lost in present-day English. They are all native words of long standing. The motivation of colour terms in the subsystem is very clear: they are derived from the names of fruit (orange), flowers (pink), colouring stuffs (indigo). Basic system words and most of the first degree terms are root words, the second degree terms are derivatives or compounds: copper-red, jade-green, sky-coloured. Stylistically the basic terms are definitely neutral, the second degree terms are either special or poetic. The meaning is widest in the four basic terms, it gradually narrows down from subsystem to subsystem.
The relationship existing between elements of various levels is logically that of inclusion. Semanticists call it hyponymy. The term is of comparatively recent creation. J. Lyons stresses its importance as a constitutive principle in the organisation of the vocabulary of all languages. For example, the meaning of scarlet is "included" in the meaning of red. So scarlet is the hyponym of red, and its co-hyponym is crimson, as to red - it is the superordinate of both crimson and scarlet. Could every word have a superordinate in the vocabulary, the hierarchical organisation of the lexical system would have been ideal. As it is there is not always a superordinate term. There is, for instance, no superordinate term for all colours as the term coloured usually excludes white and black. F.R. Palmer gives several examples from the animal world. The word sheep is the superordinate for ram, ewe and lamb. The word dog is in a sense its own superordinate, because there is no special word for a male dog, although there is a special term for the female and for the little dog, i.e. bitch and pup. Superordinates are also called hyperonyms, this latter term is even more frequent. Some scholars treat this phenomenon as presupposition, because if we say that some stuff is scarlet it implies that it is red. One may also treat synonymy as a special case of hyponymy (see Ch. 10).
Thematic groups as well as ideographic groups, i.e. groups uniting words of different parts of speech but thematically related, have been mostly studied diachronically. Thus A.A. Ufimtseva wrote a monograph on the historical development of the words: eor?e, land, grund;, mideanzeard, molde, folde and hruse.
The evolution of these words from the Old-English period up to the present is described in great detail. The set in this case is defined by enumerating all its elements as well as by naming the notion lying at the basis of their meaning. Many other authors have also described the evolution of lexico-semantic groups. The possibility of transferring the results obtained with limited subsets on the vocabulary as a whole adaptive system remains undefined. Subsequent works by A.A. Ufimtseva are devoted to various aspects of the problem of the lexical and lexico-semantic system.
All the elements of lexico-semantic groups remain within limits of the same part of speech and the same lexico-grammatical group. When; grammatical meaning is not taken into consideration, we obtain the so-called ideographic groups.
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The ideographic subgroups are independent of classification into parts of speech. Words and expressions are here classed not according to their lexico-grammatical meaning but strictly according to their signification, i.e. to the system of logical notions. These subgroups may comprise nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs together, provided they refer to the same notion. Thus, V.I. Agamdzhanova unites into one group such words as light n, bright a, shine v and other words connected with the notion of light as something permitting living beings to see the surrounding objects.
The approach resembles the much discussed theory of semantic fields but is more precise than some of them, because this author gives purely linguistic criteria according to which words belonging to the group may be determined. The equivalence of words in this case is reflected in their valency.
The theory of semantic fields continues to engage the attention of linguists. A great number of articles and full-length monographs have been written on this topic, and the discussion is far from being closed.
Jost Trier's1 conception of linguistic fields is based on F. de Saussure's theory of language as a synchronous system of networks held together by differences, oppositions and distinctive values. The starting point of the whole field theory was J. Trier's work on intellectual terms in Old and Middle High German. J. Trier shows that they form an interdependent lexical sphere where the significance of each unit is determined by its neighbours. The semantic areas of the units limit one another and cover up the whole sphere. This sphere he called a linguistic, conceptual or lexical field. His definition (here given in St. Ullmann's translation)2 is: "Fields are linguistic realities existing between single words and the total vocabulary; they are parts of a whole and resemble words in that they combine into some higher unit, and the vocabulary in that they resolve themselves into smaller units." Since the publication of J. Trier's book, the field theory has proceeded along different lines, and several definitions of the basic notion have been put forward. A search for objective criteria made W. Porzig, G. Ipsen and other authors narrow the conception down. G. Ipsen studies Indo-European names of metals and notices their connection with colour adjectives. W. Porzig pays attention to regular contextual ties: dog - bark, blind - see, see - eye. A. Jolles takes up correlative pairs like right - left.
The greatest merit of the field theories lies in their attempt to find linguistic criteria disclosing the systematic character of language. Their structuralist orientation is consistent. J. Trier's most important shortcoming is his idealistic methodology. He regards language as a super-individual cultural product shaping our concepts and our whole knowledge of the world. His ideas about the influence of language upon thought, and the existence of an "intermediate universe" of concepts interposed between man and the universe are wholly untenable. An
1 See: Trier, Jost. Der deutsche Wortschatz im Sinnbezirk des Verstandes. Die Geschichte eines sprachlichen Feldes. Heidelberg, 1931.
2 See: Ullmann St. The Principles of Semantics. P. 157.
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exhaustive criticism of this theory may be found in M.D. Stepanova's work.
Freed from its idealistic fetters, J. Trier's theory may, if properly developed, have far-reaching consequences in modern semantics. At this point mention should be made of influential and promising statistical work by A. Shaikevitch.1 This investigation is based on the hypothesis that semantically related words must occur near one another in the text, and vice versa; if the words often occur in the text together, they must be semantically related. Words (adjectives) were chosen from concordance dictionaries for G. Chaucer, E. Spenser, W. Shakespeare and several other English poets. The material was studied statistically, and the results proved the hypothesis to be correct. Groups were obtained without making use of their meaning on a strictly formal basis, and their elements proved to be semantically related. For example: faint, feeble, weary, sick, tedious and whole 'healthy' formed one group. Thin, thick, subtle also came together. The experiment shows that a purely formal criterion of co-occurrence can serve as a basis of semantic equivalence.
A syntactic approach to the problem of semantic fields has been initiated by the Moscow structuralist group. From their point of view, the detailed syntactic properties of the word are its meaning. Y. Apresyan proposes an analysis, the material of which includes a list of configuration patterns (phrase types) of the language as revealed by syntactic analysis, an indication of the frequency of each configuration pattern and an enumeration of meanings (already known, no matter how discovered) that occur in each pattern. Preliminary study of English verbs as constituents of each pattern has yielded corresponding sets of verbs with some semantic features in common. A semantic field can therefore be described on the basis of the valency potential of its members. Since a correlation has been found between the frequency of a configuration pattern and the number of word meanings which may appear in it, Y. Apresyan proposes that a hierarchy of increasingly comprehensive word fields should be built by considering configuration patterns of increasing frequency. Of the vast literature on semantic fields special attention should be paid to the works by G. Scur.2
§ 11.4 TERMINOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
Sharply defined extensive semantic fields are found in terminological systems.
Terminology constitutes the greatest part of every language vocabulary. It is also its most intensely developing part, i.e. the class giving the largest number of new formations. Terminology of a. language consists of many systems of terms. We shall call a term any word or word-group used to name a notion characteristic of some special field of knowledge, industry or culture. The scope and content of the notion that a 'term serves to express are specified by definitions in
1 .. - : . . ...- . . ., 1982.
2 See, for instance: .. . ., 1974.
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literature on the subject. The word utterance for instance, may be regarded as a linguistic term, since Z. Harris, Ch. Fries and other representatives of descriptive linguistics attach to it the following definition: "An utterance is any stretch of talk by one person before and after which there is a silence."
Many of the influential works on linguistics that appeared in the last five years devote much attention to the problems of sociolinguistics. Sociolinguistics may be roughly defined as the study of the influence produced upon language by various social factors. It is not difficult to understand that this influence is particularly strong in lexis. Now terminology is precisely that part of lexis where this influence is not only of paramount importance, but where it is recognised so that terminological systems are purposefully controlled. Almost every system of special terminology is nowadays fixed and analysed in glossaries approved by authorities, special commissions and eminent scholars.
A term is, in many respects, a very peculiar type of word. An ideal term should be monosemantic and, when used within its own sphere, does not depend upon the micro-context, provided it is not expressed by a figurative variant of a polysemantic word. Its meaning remains constant until some new discovery or invention changes the referent or the notion. Polysemy, when it arises,1 is a drawback, so that all the speakers and writers on special subjects should be very careful to avoid it. Polysemy may be tolerated in one form only, namely if the same term has various meanings in different fields of science. The terms alphabet and word, for example, have in mathematics a meaning very different from those accepted in linguistics.
Being mostly independent of the context a term can have no contextual meaning whatever. The only meaning possible is a denotational free meaning. A term is intended to ensure a one-to-one correspondence between morphological arrangement and content. No emotional colouring or evaluation are possible when the term is used within its proper sphere. As to connotation or stylistic colouring, they are superseded in terms by the connection with the other members of some particular terminological system and by the persistent associations with this system when the term is used out of its usual sphere.
A term can obtain a figurative or emotionally coloured meaning only when taken out of its sphere and used in literary or colloquial speech. But in that case it ceases to be a term and its denotational meaning may also become very vague. It turns into an ordinary word. The adjective atomic used to describe the atomic structure of matter was until 1945 as emotionally neutral as words like quantum or parallelogram. But since Hiroshima and the ensuing nuclear arms race it has assumed a new implication, so that the common phrase this atomic age, which taken literally has no meaning at all, is now used to denote an age of great scientific progress, but also holds connotations of ruthless menace and monstrous destruction.
Every branch and every school of science develop a special
1 There may be various reasons for it.
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terminology adapted to their nature and methods. Its development represents an essential part of research work and is of paramount importance, because it can either help or hinder progress. The great physiologist I.P. Pavlov, when studying the higher nervous activity, prohibited his colleagues and pupils to use such phrases as the dog thinks, the dog wants, the dog remembers; he believed that these words interfered with objective observation.
The appearance of structuralist schools of linguistics has completely changed linguistic terminology. A short list of some frequently used terms will serve to illustrate the point: allomorph, allophone; constituent, immediate constituent', distribution, complementary distribution, contrastive distribution', morph, morphophonemics, morphotactics, etc.
Using the new terms in context one can say that "phonologists seek to establish the system pattern or structure of archiphonemes, phonemes and phonemic variants based primarily on the principle of twofold choice or binary opposition11. All the italicised words in the above sentence are terms. No wonder therefore that the intense development of linguistics made it imperative to systematise, standardise and check the definitions of linguistic terms now in current use. Such work on terminology standardisation has been going on in almost all branches of science and engineering since the beginning of the 20th century, and linguists have taken an active part in it, while leaving their own terminology in a sad state of confusion. Now this work of systematisation of linguistic terms is well under way. A considerable number of glossaries appeared in different countries. These efforts are of paramount importance, the present state of linguistic terminology being quite inadequate creating a good deal of ambiguity and misunderstanding.
The terminology of a branch of science is not simply a sum total of its terms but a definite system reflecting the system of its notions. Terminological systems may be regarded as intersecting sets, because some terms belong simultaneously to several terminological systems. There is no harm in this if the meaning of the terms and their definitions remain constant, or if the respective branches of knowledge do not meet; where this is not so, much ambiguity can arise. The opposite phenomenon, i.e. the synonymy of terms, is no less dangerous for very obvious reasons. Scholars are apt to suspect that their colleagues who use terms different from those favoured by themselves are either talking nonsense or else are confused in their thinking. An interesting way out is offered by one of the most modern developments in world science, by cybernetics. It offers a single vocabulary and a single set of concepts suitable for representing the most diverse types of systems: in linguistics and biological aspects of communication no less than in various engineering professions. This is of paramount importance, as it has been repeatedly found in science that the discovery of analogy or relation between two fields leads to each field helping the development of the other.
Such notions and terms as quantity of information, redundancy, enthropy, feedback and many more are used in various disciplines. Today linguists, no less than other scholars, must know what is going on in other fields of learning and keep abreast of general progress.
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Up till now we have been dealing with problems of linguistic terminology. These are only a part of the whole complex of the linguistic problems concerning terminology. It goes without saying that there are terms for all the different specialities. Their variety is very great, e. g. amplitude (physics), antibiotic (medicine), arabesque (ballet), feedback (cybernetics), fission (chemistry), frame (cinema). Many of the terms that in the first period of their existence are known to a few specialists, later become used by wide circles of laymen. Some of these are of comparatively recent origin. Here are a few of them, with the year of their first appearance given in brackets: stratosphere (1908), gene (1909), quantum (1910), vitamin (1912), isotope (1913), behaviourism (1914), penicillin (1929), cyclotron (1932), ionosphere (1931), radar (1942), transistor (1952), bionics (1960), white hole (1972), beam weapon (1977).
The origin of terms shows several main channels, three of which are specific for terminology. These specific ways are:
1. Formation of terminological phrases with subsequent clipping, ellipsis, blending, abbreviation: transistor receiver > transistor > trannie; television text > teletext; ecological architecture > ecotecture; extremely low frequency > ELF.
2. The use of combining forms from Latin and Greek like aerodrome, aerodynamics, cyclotron, microfilm, telegenic, telegraph, thermonuclear, telemechanics, supersonic. The process is common to terminology in many languages.
3. Borrowing from another terminological system within the same language whenever there is any affinity between the respective fields. Sea terminology, for instance, lent many words to aviation vocabulary which in its turn made the starting point for the terminology adopted in the conquest of space. If we turn back to linguistics, we shall come across many terms borrowed from rhetoric: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and others.
The remaining two methods are common with other layers of the vocabulary. These are word-formation in which composition, semantic shift and derivation take the leading part, and borrowing from other languages. The character of the terms borrowed, the objects and ideas they denote are full of significance for the history of world culture. Since the process of borrowing is very marked in every field, all terminology has a tendency to become international. An important peculiarity of terms as compared to the rest of the vocabulary is that they are much more subject to purposeful control. There are special establishments busy with improving terminology. We must also pay attention to the fact that it is often possible to trace a term to its author. It is, for instance, known that the radio terms anode and cathode were coined by M. Faraday, the term vitamin by Dr. Funk in 1912, the term bionics was born at a symposium in Ohio (USA) in September of 1960. Those who coin a new term are always careful to provide it with a definition and also to give some reasons for their choice by explaining its motivation.
Terms are not separated from the rest of the vocabulary, and it is rather hard to say where the line should be drawn. With the development and growth of civilisation many special notions become known to the
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layman and form part and parcel of everyday speech. Are we justified to call such words as vitamin, inoculation and sedative or tranquilliser terms? With radio and television sets in every home many radio terms - antenna, teletype, transistor, short waves - are well known to everybody and often used in everyday conversation. In this process, however, they may lose their specific terminological character and become similar to all ordinary words in the intentional part of their meaning. The constant interchange of elements goes both ways. The everyday English vocabulary, especially the part of it characterised by a high index of frequency and polysemy, constitutes a constant source for the creation of new terms.
Due to the expansion of popular interest in the achievements of science and technology new terms appear more and more frequently in newspapers and popular magazines and even in fiction. Much valuable material concerning this group of neologisms is given in two Barn-hart Dictionaries of New English from which we borrow the explanation of two astronomical terms black hole (1968) and white hole created on its pattern in 1971. Both terms play an important symbolic role in A. Voznesensky's first major prose work entitled "O". A black hole is a hypothetic drain in space which engulfs matter and energy, even massive stars. A white hole is a hypothetical source of matter and energy through which what was sucked in through black holes may reappear in other universes.
Dictionaries for the most part include terminological meanings into the entry for the head-word. The fact that one of the meanings is terminological is signalled by showing in brackets the field where it can be used. For example, the word load as an electrical term means 'the amount of current supplied by a generating station at any given time'; power in mathematics is 'the product obtained by multiplying the number into itself, and in mechanics 'capacity of doing work'; the optical term power denotes 'the magnifying capacity of a lens'.
The above survey of terms as a specific type of words was descriptive, the approach was strictly synchronic. Investigation need not stop at the descriptive stage. On the contrary, the study of changes occurring in a group of terms or a whole terminological subsystem, such as sea terms, building terms, etc. during a long period of time, can give very valuable data concerning the interdependence of the history of language and the history of society. The development of terminology is the most complete reflection of the history of science, culture and industry.
§ 115 THE OPPOSITION OF EMOTIONALLY COLOURED AND EMOTIONALLY NEUTRAL VOCABULARY
There are people who are apt to assume that speech is a sort of device for making statements. They forget its numerous other functions. Speech also expresses the speaker's attitude to what he is talking about, his emotional reaction, his relations with his audience. He may wish to warn, to influence people, to express his approval or disapproval or to make some
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parts of what he says more emphatic. All these pragmatic factors introduce into the lexical meaning of words additional overtones. These again are apt to be confused. Using terms like "expressive", "emotive", "affective", "evaluative", "slang", some authors are inclined to treat them as synonyms, thinking, for instance, that an emotive word is of necessity also a stylistically coloured word, or considering all stylistically coloured words as emotional. We shall see that this is not always the case.
In what follows we shall understand by emotive speech any speech or utterance conveying or expressing emotion. This emotive quality of discourse is due to syntactical, intonational and lexical peculiarities. By lexical peculiarities we mean the presence of emotionally coloured words. The emotional colouring of the word may be permanent or occasional. We shall concentrate our attention on the first. A word acquires its emotional colouring, otherwise called its affective connotations, its power to evoke or directly express feelings as a result of its history in emotional contexts reflecting emotional situations. The character of denotata corresponding to the root of the word may be wrought with emotion. Thus, in the emotive phrases: be beastly mean about something, a glorious idea, a lovely drink, a rotten business, etc., the emotional quality is based upon associations brought about by such notions as 'beast', 'glory', 'love' and 'rot' and the objects they stand for.
The best studied type of emotional words are interjections. They express emotions without naming them: Ah! Alas! Bother! Boy! Fiddlesticks! Hear, hear! Heavens! Hell! Humbug! Nonsense! Pooh! etc. Some of them are primary interjections, others are derived from other parts of speech. On the latter opinions differ. Some say that Cornel and Hark! are not interjections at all, but complete sentences with their subject not expressed. We shall not go into this controversy and keep to our main theme.
A word may have some morphological features signalling its emotional force. These may be either morphemes or patterns. Diminutive and derogatory affixes, though not so numerous and variegated as in Russian, still play an important role. The examples are daddy, kiddykins, dearie, babykins, blackie, oldie. The scarcity of emotional suffixes favours the appearance of such combinations as: little chap, old chap, old fellow, poor devil where the emotional effect results from the interaction of elements. The derogatory group of suffixes may be exemplified by bastard, drunkard, dullard, trustard, princeling, weakling, gangster, hipster (now with a diminutive hippie), mobster, youngster. It must be noted that the suffix -ster is derogatory only with nouns denoting persons, and neutral otherwise, f. roadster 'an open automobile'.
There is a disparaging semi-affix -monger: panicmonger, scandalmonger, scaremonger, warmonger.
A very interesting problem, so far investigated but little, concerns the relationship between the morphological pattern of a word and its emotional possibilities. Thus, for example, personal nouns formed by composition from complete sentences or phrases are derogatory:
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also-ran, never-do-well, sit-by-the-fire, stick-in-the-mud, die-hard. This goes only for names of persons. There is nothing objectionable in a forget-me-not. Compare also: I suppose your friends, if you have any, don't mean much to you unless ... they are great-something-or-other (Fair-child).
There are several groups expressing censure by their morphological structure. There are personal nouns formed by conversion: a bore, a swell and by combined composition and conversion from verbs with post positives: a come-back 'a person reinstated in his former position', a stand-in 'a substitute', a stuck-up = an upstart 'a person who assumes arrogant tone' (also one who has risen from insignificance), a washout 'a failure'.
To express emotion the utterance must be something not quite ordinary. Syntactically this is reflected in inversion contrasted to the usual word order. Its counterpart in vocabulary is coinage of nonce-words. Very often it is a kind of echo-conversion, as in the following: Lucas: Well? Hans: Don't well me, you feeble old ninny (Osborne).
Emotional nonce-words are created in angry or jocular back-chat by transforming whole phrases into verbs to express irritation or mockery. For example: "Now well!" "Don't now-well-me!" "How on earth!?" "Don't begin how-on-earthing!" "Oh, bloody hell! "You don't bloody-hell here."
The type is definitely on the increase in English speech of today.
Often the muscular feeling of the emotional word or phrase is more important than its denotational meaning. Its function is to release pent-up emotions, pent-up tension. This may explain why hell and heaven have such rich possibilities, while paradise has practically none.
It must be noted that emotional words only indicate the presence of emotion but very seldom are capable of specifying its exact character.
The emotionally coloured words are contrasted to the emotionally neutral ones. The words of this latter group express notions but do not say anything about the state of the speaker or his mood: copy, report, impatient, reach, say, well are all emotionally neutral. The difference between the sets is not very clear-cut, there are numerous boundary cases. The sets may be said to intersect and contain elements that belong to both, because many words are neutral in their direct meaning and emotional under special conditions of context. Having been used for some time with an occasionally emotional effect, they may acquire some permanent features in their semantic structure that justify referring them into the other subset.
It is also difficult to draw a line of demarcation between emotional and emphatic or intensifying words; therefore we shall consider the latter a specific group of the emotional words subset. Intensifiers convey special intensity to what is said, they indicate the special importance of the thing expressed. The simplest and most often used of these are such words as ever, even, all, so. The first of them, due to its incessant use, has become a kind of semi-affix, as seen from the solid spelling of such combinations as whatever, whenever, etc. If we compare:
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Whyever didn't you go? and Why didn't you go? we shall see at once how much more expressive and emphatic the first variant is. There is also a big incessantly developing and changing group of intensifying adverbs: awfully, capitally, dreadfully, fiercely, frightfully, marvellously, terribly, tremendously, wonderfully and very many others. The fashion for them changes, so that every generation has its favourite intensifiers and feels those used by their elders trite and inexpressive. The denotative meaning of intensifying adverbs may be almost completely suppressed by their emphatic function, so that in spite of the contradiction of combinations like awfully glad, frightfully beautiful or terribly important, they are very frequent. E.g.: How are you, Helene? You're looking frightfully well (Amis).
Very little is known so far about limitations imposed upon the combining possibilities of intensifiers. It is, for instance, quite usual to say stark naked or stark mad, where stark means 'wholly', but not *stark deaf; we say stone deaf instead. The fact is very little studied from the synchronic point of view. Compare also the fixed character of such combinations as flat denial, sheer nonsense, paramount importance, dead tired, bored stiff. All such purely linguistic constraints concerning the valency of words are of great theoretical interest.
Sometimes it is very difficult to tell an intensifier from an emotionally coloured word, because in many cases both functions are fulfilled by one and the same word, as in the following example: "You think I know damn nothing," he said indignantly. "Actually I know damn all (Priestley).
An intensifying function may be also given to sound-imitative interjections, as in the following: I was an athlete, you see, one of those strong-as-a-horse boys. And never a day's illness - until bang, comes a coronary, or whoosh, go the kidneys! (Huxley)
A third group which together with emotional and intensifying words could be opposed to the neutral vocabulary may be called evaluatory words. Words which, when used in a sentence, pass a value judgment differ from other emotional words in that they can not only indicate the presence of emotion but specify it.
In evaluatory words the denotative meaning is not superseded by the evaluative component, on the contrary they co-exist and support each other. For example: Oh, you're not a spy. Germans are spies. British are agents (Rattigan). A few more examples will not be amiss. The verb fabricate has not lost its original neutral meaning of 'manufacture', but added to it the meaning of 'invent falsely'. When using this word, the speaker is not indifferent to the fact but expresses his scorn, irony or disgust. Scheming is a derogatory word (cf. planning), it means 'planning secretly, by intrigue or for private ends'. For example: "I wouldn't exaggerate that, Mildred," said Felix. "You're such a schemer yourself, you're a bit too ready to attribute schemes to other people" "Well, somebody's got to do some scheming," said Mildred. "Or let's call it planning, shall we? As you won't raise a finger to help yourself, dear boy, I have to try to help you. And then I am accused of scheming." (Murdoch)
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When the emotional variant of the word or a separate emotional word is contrasted to its neutral variant the emotional word always turns out to be morphologically or semantically derived, not primary.
The names of animals, for instance, when used metaphorically, almost invariably have a strong evaluative force: "Silly ass," said Dick. "He's jealous because he didn't win a prise." (M. Dickens) Compare also colt 'a young male horse up to an age of four or five', which occurs in the figurative meaning of 'a young inexperienced person'. The same type of relationship is seen in the figurative meaning of the word pup as a contemptuous term for a conceited young man.
Emotional, emphatic and evaluative words should not be confused with words possessing some definite stylistic features although in actual discourse these properties may coincide, and we often come across words both emotionally and stylistically coloured. Style is, however, a different kind of opposition; it will be discussed in the next chapter. The distinction we are dealing with in the present paragraph is helpful, because it permits us to observe some peculiar phenomena and features of words in emotional speech.
The emotive effect is also attained by an interaction of syntactic and lexical means. The pattern a+(A)1+N1+of+a+N2 is often used to express emotion and emphasis. The precise character of the emotion is revealed by the meaning and connotations possible for N1 and N2, the denotata may be repulsive or pleasant, or give some image. Compare, for example: a devil of a time, a deuce of a price, a hell of a success, a peach of a car, an absolute jewel of a report, a mere button of a nose. The word button in the last example acquires expressiveness and becomes ironical, being used metaphorically, although used in its direct meaning it is emotionally neutral; it acquires its emotional colour only when transferred to a different sphere of notions. The adjectives absolute and mere serve as intensifiers.
Emotional words may be inserted into a syntactic chain without any formal or logical connection with what precedes or follows but influencing the whole and making it more forcible, as, for example, in the following: "There was a rumour in the office," Wilson said, "about some diamonds." "Diamonds my eye," Father Rank said. "They'll never find any diamonds." (Greene) It would be wrong to consider this use of my eye a figurative meaning, its relationship with the direct denotational meaning being different from what we observe in metaphorical or metonymical meanings. In this and similar cases the emotional component of meaning expressing in a very general way the speaker's feelings and his state of mind dominates over the denotational meaning: the latter is suppressed and has a tendency towards fading out.
Emotional words may even contradict the meaning of the words they formally modify, as, for example, in the following: Everything was too bloody friendly, Damn good stuff this. The emotional words in these two examples were considered unprintable in the 19th century and dashes were used to indicate the corresponding omissions in oaths:
The brackets show that this position is optional.
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D--n. The word has kept its emotional colouring, but its stylistic status has improved.
Words expressing similar emotions may belong to different styles and the vulgar Damn\ that can be at best qualified as familiar colloquial can be compared with the lofty and poetical Alas! Each of them in its own way expresses vexation, so that their emotional colouring, though not identical, is similar; stylistically they are very different. The criteria by which words can be referred to the set in question are being at present investigated. A difficult problem is presented by words naming emotions: love, hate, fear, fright, rage, etc. or associated with emotions: dead, death, dirt, mean and the like. Some authors argue that they cannot be considered emotional, because emotion plays the part of denotatum, of something that is named, not expressed. Subsequent authors have shown that if the question is considered in purely linguistic terms of word-building and contextual ties, it may be proved that some of these words can express feeling.
Words belonging (on a synchronic level) to word-families containing interjections can be proved to possess the following properties: they can express emotions, they can lend emotional colouring to the whole sentence in which they occur, they occupy an optional position. Thus, the whole cluster of derivatives with rot are regularly emotional: rot, rotten, to rot, rotter. Emotionality is indubitable in the following: Oh, get out! You don't really care, damn you! You asked her to marry you in your rotten cold-blooded way, but I loved her (Christie).
Different positive emotions are rendered by love and its derivatives lovely a and lovely n (the latter is a synonym for darling).
In concluding the paragraph it is necessary to stress once more that as a rule emotional and emphatic words do not render emotions by themselves but impart these to the whole utterance in co-ordination with syntactic and intonation means. Only context permits one to judge whether the word serves as a mere intensifier or expresses emotion, and if so, to particularise the type of emotion.
§ 11.6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF NON-SEMANTIC GROUPING
The simplest, most obvious non-semantic grouping, extensively used in all branches of applied linguistics is the alphabetical organisation of written words, as represented in most dictionaries. It is of great practical value as the simplest and the most universal way of facilitating the search for the necessary word. Even in dictionaries arranged on some other principles (in "Roget's International Thesaurus", for example) we have an alphabetical index for the reader to refer to before searching the various categories. The theoretical value of alphabetical grouping is almost null, because no other property of the word can be predicted from the letter or letters the word begins with. We cannot infer anything about the word if the only thing we know is that it begins with a p. Only in exceptional cases some additional information can be obtained on a different, viz. the etymological, level. For instance, words beginning with a w are mostly native, and those beginning with a ph borrowed from Greek. But such cases are few and far between.
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The rhyming, i.e. inverse, dictionary presents a similar non-semantic grouping of isolated written words differing from the first in that the sound is also taken into consideration and in that the grouping is done the other way round and the words are arranged according to the similarity of their ends. The practical value of this type is much more limited. These dictionaries are intended for poets. They may be also used, if but rarely, by teachers, when making up lists of words with similar suffixes.
A third type of non-semantic grouping of written words is based on their length, i.e. the number of letters they contain. This type, worked out with some additional details, may prove useful for communication engineering, for automatic reading of messages and correction of mistakes. It may prove useful for linguistic theory as well, although chiefly in its modified form, with length measured not in the number of letters but in the number of syllables. Important statistical correlations have been found to exist between the number of syllables, the frequency, the number of meanings and the stylistic characteristics a word possesses. The shorter words occur more frequently and accumulate a greater number of meanings.
Finally, a very important type of non-semantic grouping for isolated lexical units is based on a statistical analysis of their frequency. Frequency counts carried out for practical purposes of lexicography, language teaching and shorthand enable the lexicographer to attach to each word a number showing its importance and range of occurrence. Large figures are, of course, needed to bring out any inherent regularities, and these regularities are, naturally, statistical, not rigid. But even with these limitations the figures are fairly reliable and show important correlations between quantitative and qualitative characteristics of lexical units, the most frequent words being polysemantic and stylistically neutral.

variants of these vocabularies have received the derogatory names of officialese and journalese. Their chief drawback is their triteness: both are given to cliches.
§ 12.4 POETIC DICTION
Any word or set expression which is peculiar to a certain level of style or a certain type of environment and mood will become associated with it and will be able to call up its atmosphere when used in some other context. There is no such thing as one poetic style in the English language. The language a poet uses is closely bound with his outlook and experience, with his subject-matter and the message he wants to express. But there remains in English vocabulary a set of words which contrast with all other words, because, having been traditionally used only in poetry, they have poetic connotations. Their usage was typical of poetic conventions in the 18th century, but since the so-called Romantic Revolt in the first quarter of the 19th century poetic diction fell into disuse. These words are not only more lofty but also as a rule more abstract in their denotative meaning than their neutral synonyms. To illustrate this layer, suffice it to give some examples in oppositions with their stylistically neutral synonyms. Nouns: array : : clothes; billow : : wave; brine : : salt water; brow : : forehead; gore : blood; main : : sea; steed : : horse; woe : : sorrow. Verbs: behold : : see; deem : : think; hearken : : hear; slay : : kill; trow : : believe. Adjectives: fair : : beautiful; hapless : : unhappy; lone : : lonely; murky : : grim; uncouth : : strange. Adverbs: anon : : presently; nigh : : almost; oft : : often; whilom : : formerly. Pronouns: thee : : thou; aught : : anything; naught : : nothing. Conjunctions: albeit : : although; ere : : before.
Sometimes it is not the word as a whole that is poetic but only one of its variants. It may be semantic: the words fair, hall, flood and many others have among their meanings a poetical one. It may be also a phonetical variant: e'en : : even; morn : : morning; oft : : often.
In the 18th century the standards of poetic diction were rigorously observed and the archaic ingredient was considered not only appropriate but obligatory. This poetic diction specialised by generations of English poets was not only a matter of vocabulary, but also of phraseology, imagery, grammar and even spelling. Traces of this conservative tendency may be observed in the 19th century poetry. They may either heighten the emotional quality of the expression or create an ironical colouring by juxtaposing high style and trivial matter.
In the following stanza by G.G. Byron conventional features of poetic language can be interpreted both ways:
I've tried another's fetters too
With charms perchance as fair to view And I would fain have loved as well,
But some inconquerable spell
Forbade my bleeding breast to own
A kindred care for ought but one.
("Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England")
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§ 12.5 COLLOQUIAL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
The term colloquial is old enough: Dr Johnson, the great English lexicographer, used it. Yet with him it had a definitely derogatory ring. S. Johnson thought colloquial words inconsistent with good usage and, thinking it his duty to reform the English language, he advised "to clear it from colloquial barbarisms". By the end of the 19th century with Neo-grammarians the description of colloquial speech came into its own, and linguists began to study the vocabulary that people actually use under various circumstances and not what they may be justified in using.
As employed in our time, the adjective colloquial does not necessarily mean 'slangy' or 'vulgar', although slang and vulgar vocabulary make part of colloquial vocabulary, or, in set-theoretical terminology, form subsets contained in the set we call colloquial vocabulary.
The term literary colloquial is used to denote the vocabulary used by educated people in the course of ordinary conversation or when writing letters to intimate friends. A good sample may be found in works by a number of authors, such as J. Galsworthy, E.M. Forster, C.P. Snow, W.S. Maugham, J.B.Priestley, and others. For a modern reader it represents the speech of the elder generations. The younger generation of writers (M. Drabble for instance) adhere to familiar colloquial. So it seems in a way to be a differentiation of generations. Familiar colloquial is more emotional and much more free and careless than literary colloquial. It is also characterised by a great number of jocular or ironical expressions and nonce-words.
Low colloquial is a term used for illiterate popular speech. It is very difficult to find hard and fast rules that help to establish the boundary between low colloquial and dialect, because in actual communication the two are often used together. Moreover, we have only the evidence of fiction to go by, and this may be not quite accurate in speech characterisation. The basis of distinction between low colloquial and the two other types of colloquial is purely social. Everybody remembers G.B. Shaw's "Pygmalion" where the problem of speech as a mark of one's social standing and of social inequalities is one of the central issues. Ample material for observation of this layer of vocabulary is provided by the novels of Alan Sillitoe, Sid Chaplin or Stan Barstow. The chief peculiarities of low colloquial concern grammar and pronunciation; as to the vocabulary, it is different from familiar colloquial in that it contains more vulgar words, and sometimes also elements of dialect.
Other vocabulary layers below the level of standard educated speech are, besides low colloquial, the so-called slang and argot. Unlike low colloquial, however, they have only lexical peculiarities. Argot should be distinguished from slang: the first term serves to denote a special vocabulary and idiom, used by a particular social or age group, especially by the so-called underworld (the criminal circles). Its main point is to be unintelligible to outsiders.
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The boundaries between various layers of colloquial vocabulary not being very sharply defined, it is more convenient to characterise it on the whole. If we realise that gesture, tone and voice and situation are almost as important in an informal act of communication as words are, we shall be able to understand why a careful choice of words in everyday conversation plays a minor part as compared with public speech or literature, and consequently the vocabulary is much less variegated. The same pronouns, prop-words, auxiliaries, postpositives and the same most frequent and generic terms are used again and again, each conveying a great number of different meanings. Only a small fraction of English vocabulary is put to use, so that some words are definitely overworked. Words like thing, business, do, get, go, fix, nice, really, well and other words characterised by a very high rank of frequency are used in all types of informal intercourse conveying a great variety of denotative and emotional meanings and fulfilling no end of different functions. The utterances abound in imaginative phraseology, ready-made formulas of politeness and tags, standard expressions of assent, dissent, surprise, pleasure, gratitude, apology, etc.
The following extract from the play "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley can give ample material for observations:
BIRLING (triumphantly): There you are! Proof positive. The whole story's just a lot of moonshine. Nothing but an elaborate sell. (He produces a huge sigh of relief.) Nobody likes to be sold as
badly as that - but - for all that - - - - (He smiles at them
all.) Gerald, have a drink.
GERALD (smiling): Thanks. I think I could just do with one now.
BIRLING (going to sideboard): So could I.
Mrs BIRLING (smiling): And I must say, Gerald, you've argued this very cleverly, and I'm most grateful.
GERALD (going for his drink): Well, you see, while I was out of the house I'd time to cool off and think things out a little.
BIRLING (giving him a drink): Yes, he didn't keep you on the run as he did the rest of us. I'll admit now he gave me a bit of a scare at the time. But I'd a special reason for not wanting any public scandal just now. (Has his drink now, and raises his glass.) Well, here's to us. Come on, Sheila, don't look like that. All over now.
Among the colloquialisms occurring in this conversation one finds whole formulas, such as there you are, you see, I'm most grateful, here's to us; set expressions: a lot of moonshine, keep sb on the run, for all that, cases of semi-conversion or typical word-groups like have a drink (and not drink)', give a scare (and not scare)', verbs with postpositives: cool off, think things out, come on; particles like just and well. Every type of colloquial style is usually rich in figures of speech. There is no point in enumerating them all, and we shall only note the understatement: a bit of a scare, I could just do with one.
The above list shows that certain lexical patterns are particularly characteristic of colloquialisms. Some may be added to those already mentioned.
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Substantivised adjectives are very frequent in colloquial speech: constitutional 'a walk', daily 'a woman who comes daily to help with household chores', also greens for 'green leaf vegetables', such as spinach, cabbage, etc., and woollies 'woollen clothes'.
A large number of new formations is supplied by a process combining composition and conversion and having as prototypes verbs with postpositives: carry-on 'way of behaving', let-down 'an unexpected disappointment', make-up 'cosmetics'.
One of the most modern developments frequent in colloquial style are the compounds coined by back-formation: the type to baby-sit (from baby-sitter) is often resorted to.
It is common knowledge that colloquial English is very emotional.1 Emotions find their lexical expression not only in emphatic adverbs and adjectives of the awfully and divine type, or interjections including swear words, but also in a great number of other lexical intensifiers. In the following example the feeling named by the novelist is expressed in direct speech by an understatement: Gazing down with an expression that was loving, gratified and knowledgeable, she said, "Now I call that a bit of all right." (Snow)
In all the groups of colloquialisms, and in familiar colloquial especially, words easily acquire new meanings and new valency. We have already observed it in the case of the verb do in I could do with one meaning 'I would like to have (a drink)' and originally used jokingly. Make do is a colloquialism also characterised by fixed context; it means 'to continue to use old things instead of buying new ones, to economise'. Other peculiarities of valency of the same verb are observed in such combinations as do a museum, or do for sb, meaning 'to act as a housekeeper'. Verbs with postpositives are used in preference to their polysyllabic synonyms.
Such intensifiers as absolutely, fabulous/fab, grand, lovely, superb, terrific and the like come readily to the speaker's lips. Getting hackneyed, they are apt to lose their denotational meaning and keep only their intensifying function. The loss of denotational meaning in intensifiers is also very obvious in various combinations with the word dead, such as dead sure, dead easy, dead right, dead slow, dead straight.
As these adverbs and adjectives become stale other expressive means may be used. Here is an example of heated argument in literary colloquial between the well-bred and educated personages of . Snow's "The Conscience of the Rich":
"If you're seriously proposing to print rumours without even a scrap of evidence, the paper isn't going to last very long, is it?"
"Why in God's name not?"
"What's going to stop a crop of libel actions'?"
"The trouble with you lawyers," said Seymour, jauntily once more, "is that you never know when a fact is a fact, and you never see an inch beyond your noses. I am prepared to bet any of you, or all three, if you like, an even hundred pounds that no one, no one brings an action against us over this business".
1 The subject has been dealt with in the previous chapter but a few additional examples will not come amiss.
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Carefully observing the means of emphasis used in the passage above, one will notice that the words a scrap, an inch, even are used here only as intensifiers lending emphasis to what is being said; they are definitely colloquial. But they have these properties due to the context, and the reader will have no difficulty in finding examples where these words are neither emphatic nor stylistically coloured. The conclusion is that some words acquire these characteristics only under certain very definite conditions, and may be contrasted with words and expressions that are always emotional and always colloquial in all their meanings, whatever the context. On earth or in God's name, for instance, are colloquial and emotional only after some interrogative word: Why in God's name ..., Why on earth ..., Where in God's name ..., Where on earth ..., What in God's name..., What on earth..., etc. A typical context is seen in the following extract: The man must be mad, sitting-out there on a freezing morning like this. What on earth he thinks he is doing I can't imagine (Shaffer). On the other hand, there exist oaths, swear words and their euphemistic variations that function as emotional colloquialisms independent of the context. The examples are: by God, Goodness gracious, for Goodness sake, good Lord and many others. They occur very often and are highly differentiated socially. Not only is there a difference in expressions used by schoolboys and elderly ladies, sailors and farmers but even those chosen by students of different universities may show some local colour.
Many lexical expressions of modality may be also referred to colloquialisms, as they do not occur anywhere except informal everyday intercourse. Affirmative and negative answers, for instance, show a wide range of modality shades: definitely, up to a point, in a way, exactly, right-o, by all means, I expect so, I should think so, rather, and on the other hand: I am afraid, not or not at all, not in the least, by no means, etc. E. g.: Mr Salter's side of the conversation was limited to expressions of assent. When Lord Copper was right he said, "Definitely, Lord Copper"; when he was wrong, "Up to a point." (Waugh) The emotional words already mentioned are used as strong negatives in familiar or low colloquial: "Have you done what he told you?" "Have I hell!" The answer means 'Of course I have not and have no intention of doing it'. Or: "So he died of natural causes, did he?" "Natural causes be damned." The implication is that there is no point in pretending the man died of natural causes, because it is obvious that he was killed. A synonymous expression much used at present is my foot. The second answer could be substituted by Natural causes my foot, without any change in meaning.
Colloquialisms are a persistent feature of the conversation of at least 90% of the population. For a foreign student the first requirement is to be able to differentiate those idioms that belong to literature, and those that are peculiar to spoken language. It is necessary to pay attention to comments given in good dictionaries as to whether a word is colloquial (colloq.), slang (sl.) or vulgar (vulg.).
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To use colloquialisms one must have an adequate fluency in English and a sufficient familiarity with the language, otherwise one may sound ridiculous, especially, perhaps, if one uses a mixture of British and American colloquialisms. The author has witnessed some occasions where a student used American slang words intermingled with idiomatic expressions learned from Ch. Dickens, with a kind of English public school accent; the result was that his speech sounded like nothing on earth.
§ 12.6 SLANG
Slang words are identified and distinguished by contrasting them to standard literary vocabulary. They are expressive, mostly ironical words serving to create fresh names for some things that are frequent topics of discourse. For the most part they sound somewhat vulgar, cynical and harsh, aiming to show the object of speech in the light of an off-hand contemptuous ridicule. Vivid examples can be furnished by various slang words for money, such as beans, brass, dibs, dough, chink, oof, wads; the slang synonyms for word head are attic, brain-pan, hat peg, nut, upper storey, compare also various synonyms for the adjective drunk: boozy, cock-eyed, high, soaked, tight and many more. Notions that for some reason or other are apt to excite an emotional reaction attract as a rule many synonyms: there are many slang words for food, alcohol drinks, stealing and other violations of the law, for jail, death, madness, drug use, etc.
Slang has often attracted the attention of lexicographers. The best-known English slang dictionary is compiled by E. Partridge.
The subject of slang has caused much controversy for many years. Very different opinions have been expressed concerning its nature, its boundaries and the attitude that should be adopted towards it. The question whether it should be considered a healthful source of vocabulary development or a manifestation of vocabulary decay has been often discussed.
It has been repeatedly stated by many authors that after a slang word has been used in speech for a certain period of time, people get accustomed to it and it ceases to produce that shocking effect for the sake of which it has been originally coined. The most vital among slang words are then accepted into literary vocabulary. The examples are bet, bore, chap, donkey, fun, humbug, mob, odd, pinch, shabby, sham, snob, trip, also some words from the American slang: graft, hitch-hiker, sawbones, etc.
These words were originally slang words but have now become part of literary vocabulary. The most prominent place among them is occupied by words or expressions having no synonyms and serving as expressive names for some specific notions. The word teenager, so very frequent now, is a good example. Also blurb - a publisher's eulogy of a book printed on its jacket or in advertisements elsewhere, which is originally American slang word.
The communicative value of these words ensures their stability. But they are rather the exception. The bulk of slang is formed by shortlived words. E. Partridge, one of the best known specialists in English
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slang, gives as an example a series of vogue words designating a man of fashion that superseded one another in English slang. They are: blood (1550-1660), macaroni (1760), buck (1720-1840), swell (1811), dandy (1820-1870), toff (1851)1.
It is convenient to group slang words according to their place in the vocabulary system, and more precisely, in the semantic system of the vocabulary. If they denote a new and necessary notion, they may prove an enrichment of the vocabulary and be accepted into standard English. If, on the other hand, they make just another addition to a cluster of synonyms, and have nothing but novelty to back them, they die out very quickly, constituting the most changeable part of the vocabulary.
Another type of classification suggests subdivision according to the sphere of usage, into general slang and special slang. General slang includes words that are not specific for any social or professional group, whereas special slang is peculiar for some such group: teenager slang, university slang, public school slang, Air Force slang, football slang, sea slang, and so on. This second group is heterogeneous. Some authors, A.D. Schweitzer for instance, consider argot to belong here. It seems, however, more logical to differentiate slang and argot. The essential difference between them results from the fact that the first has an expressive function, whereas the second is primarily concerned with secrecy. Slang words are clearly motivated, f. cradle-snatcher 'an old man who marries or courts a much younger woman'; belly-robber 'the head of a military canteen'; window-shopping 'feasting one's eyes on the goods displaced in the shops, without buying anything'. Argot words on the contrary do not show their motivation, f. rap 'kill', shin 'knife', book 'a life sentence'.
Regarding professional words that are used by representatives of various trades in oral intercourse, it should be observed that when the word is the only name for some special notion it belongs not to slang but to terminology. If, on the other hand, it is a jocular name for something that can be described in some other way, it is slang.
There are cases, of course, when words originating as professional slang later on assume the dignity of special terms or pass on into general slang. The borderlines are not always sharp and distinct.
For example, the expression be on the beam was first used by pilots about the beam of the radio beacon indicating the proper course for the aircraft to follow. Then figuratively be on the beam came to mean 'to be right', whereas be off the beam came to mean 'to be wrong' or 'to be at a loss'.
1 To this list the 20th century words masher and teddy-boy could be added. There seems to be no new equivalent in today's English because such words as mod and rocker (like beat and beatnik) or hippy and punk imply not only, and not so much a certain way of dressing but other tastes and mental make-up as well. Mods (admirers of modern jazz music) and more sportive rockers were two groups of English youth inimical to one another. The words are formed by abbreviation and ellipsis: mod< modern jazz; rocker < rock'n roll; beat, beatnik < beat generation', punk<punk rocker.
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A great deal of slang comes from the USA: corny, cute, fuss-pot, teenager, swell, etc. It would be, however, erroneous to suppose that slang is always American in its origin. On the contrary, American slang also contains elements coming from Great Britain, such as cheerio 'goodbye', right-o 'yes' > Gerry for 'a German soldier', and some, though not many, others.
Slang is a difficult problem and much yet remains to be done in elucidating it, but a more complete treatment of this layer of vocabulary would result in an undue swelling of the chapter. Therefore in concluding the discussion of slang we shall only emphasise that the most important peculiarities of slang concern not form but content. The lexical meaning of a slang word contains not only the denotational component but also an emotive component (most often it expresses irony) and all the other possible types of connotation - it is expressive, evaluative and stylistically coloured and is the marked member of a stylistic opposition. .

tions, the salesmen of these were stationers and what they sold - stationery (with the noun suffix -ery as in grocery or bakery).
Not all doublets come in pairs. Examples of groups are: appreciate, appraise, apprise; astound, astonish, stun; kennel, channel, canal.
The Latin word discus is the origin of a whole group of doublets:
dais<ME deis < OF deis < Lat discus dish < ME dish < OE disc < Lat discus disc/disk < Lat discus discus (in sport) < Lat discus
Other doublets that for the most part justify their names by coming in pairs show in their various ways the influence of the language or dialect systems which they passed before entering the English vocabulary.
Compare words borrowed in Middle English from Parisian French: chase, chieftain, chattels, guard, gage with their doublets of Norman French origin: catch, captain, cattle, ward, wage.
§ 13.4 INTERNATIONAL WORDS
As the process of borrowing is mostly connected with the appearance of new notions which the loan words serve to express, it is natural that the borrowing is seldom limited to one language. Words of identical origin that occur in several languages as a result of simultaneous or successive borrowings from one ultimate source are called international words.
Expanding global contacts result in the considerable growth of international vocabulary. All languages depend for their changes upon the cultural and social matrix in which they operate and various contacts between nations are part of this matrix reflected in vocabulary.
International words play an especially prominent part in various terminological systems including the vocabulary of science, industry and art. The etymological sources of this vocabulary reflect the history of world culture. Thus, for example, the mankind's cultural debt to Italy is reflected in the great number of Italian words connected with architecture, painting and especially music that are borrowed into most European languages: allegro, andante, aria, arioso, barcarole, baritone (and other names for voices), concert, duet, opera (and other names for pieces of music), piano and many many more.
The rate of change in technology, political, social and artistic life has been greatly accelerated in the 20th century and so has the rate of growth of international wordstock. A few examples of comparatively new words due to the progress of science will suffice to illustrate the importance of international vocabulary: algorithm, antenna, antibiotic, automation, bionics, cybernetics, entropy, gene, genetic code, graph, microelectronics, microminiaturisation, quant, quasars, pulsars, ribosome, etc. All these show sufficient likeness in English, French, Russian and several other languages.
The international wordstock is also growing due to the influx of exotic borrowed words like anaconda, bungalow, kraal, orang-outang, sari, etc. These come from many different sources.
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International words should not be mixed with words of the common Indo-European stock that also comprise a sort of common fund of the European languages.
This layer is of great importance for the foreign language teacher not only because many words denoting abstract notions are international but also because he must know the most efficient ways of showing the points of similarity and difference between such words as control : : ; general : : ; industry : : or magazine : : , etc. usually called 'translator's false friends'.
The treatment of international words at English lessons would be one-sided if the teacher did not draw his pupils' attention to the spread of the English vocabulary into other languages. We find numerous English words in the field of sport: football, out, match, tennis, time. A large number of English words are to be found in the vocabulary pertaining to clothes: jersey, pullover, sweater, nylon, tweed, etc. Cinema and different forms of entertainment are also a source of many international words of English origin: film, club, cocktail, jazz.
At least some of the Russian words borrowed into English and many other languages and thus international should also be mentioned: balalaika, bolshevik, cosmonaut, czar, intelligentsia, Kremlin, mammoth, rouble, sambo, soviet, sputnik, steppe, vodka.
To sum up this brief treatment of loan words it is necessary to stress that in studying loan words a linguist cannot be content with establishing the source, the date of penetration, the semantic sphere to which the word belonged and the circumstances of the process of borrowing. All these are very important, but one should also be concerned with the changes the new language system into which the loan word penetrates causes in the word itself, and, on the other hand, look for the changes occasioned by the newcomer in the English vocabulary, when in finding its way into the new language it pushed some of its lexical neighbours aside. In the discussion above we have tried to show the importance of the problem of conformity with the patterns typical of the receiving language and its semantic needs.

Chapter 14
REGIONAL VARIETIES OF THE ENGLISH VOCABULARY
§ 14.1 STANDARD ENGLISH VARIANTS AND DIALECTS
Standard English - the official language of Great Britain taught at schools and universities, used by the press, the radio and the television and spoken by educated people may be defined as that form of English which is current and literary, substantially uniform and recognised as acceptable wherever English is spoken or understood. Its vocabulary is contrasted to dialect words or dialecticisms. Local dialets are varieties of the English language peculiar to some districts and having no normalised literary form. Regional varieties possessing a literary form are called variants. In Great Britain there are two variants, Scottish English and Irish English, and five main groups of dialects: Northern, Midland, Eastern, Western and Southern. Every group contains several (up to ten) dialects.
One of the best known Southern dialects is Cockney, the regional dialect of London. According to E. Partridge and H.C. Wylde, this dialect exists on two levels. As spoken by the educated lower middle classes it is a regional dialect marked by some deviations in pronunciation but few in vocabulary and syntax. As spoken by the uneducated, Cockney differs from Standard English not only in pronunciation but also in vocabulary, morphology and syntax. G.B. Shaw's play "Pygmalion" clearly renders this level of Cockney as spoken at the time when the play was written and reveals the handicap Cockney obviously presents in competition with speakers of standard English. Professor Henry Higgins, the main character of the play, speaking about Eliza Doolittie, the flower girl, says: You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days. Well, sir, in three months I could pass this girl off as a duchess ... even get her a place as lady's maid or shop assistant which requires better English.
"The Encyclopaedia Britannica" treats Cockney as an accent, not acknowledging it the status of dialect.
Cockney has attracted much literary attention, and so we can judge of its past and present on the evidence of literature. As recorded by Ch. Dickens over a century ago, Cockney was phonetically characterised by the interchange of the labial and labio-dental consonants [w] and [v]: wery for very and vell for well. This trait was lost by the end of the 19th century. The voiceless and voiced dental spirants [?] and [?] are still replaced - though not very consistently - by [f] and [v] respectively: fing for thing and farver for father (inserting the letter r indicates vowel
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length). This variation is not exclusively characteristic of Cockney and may be found in several dialects. Another trait not limited to Cockney is the interchange of the aspirated and non-aspirated initial vowels: hart for art and 'eart for heart. The most marked feature in vowel sounds is the substitution of the diphthong [ai] for standard [ei] in such words as day, face, rain, way pronounced: [dai], [fais], [rain], [wai].
There are some specifically Cockney words and set expressions such as up the pole 'drunk', you'll get yourself disliked (a remonstrance to a person behaving very badly).
Cockney is lively and witty and its vocabulary imaginative and colourful. Its specific feature not occurring anywhere else is the so-called rhyming slang, in which some words are substituted by other words rhyming with them. Boots, for instance, are called daisy roots, hat is tit for tat, head is sarcastically called loaf of bread, and wife - trouble and strife. It has set expressions of its own. Here is an example of a rather crude euphemistic phrase for being dead: "She may have pulled me through me operation," said Mrs Fisher, "but 'streuth I'm not sure I wouldn't be better off pushing up the daisies, after all." (M. Dickens)
The study of dialects has been made on the basis of information obtained with the help of special techniques: interviews, questionnaires, recording by phonograph and tape-recorder, etc. Data collected in this way show the territorial distribution of certain key words and pronunciations which vary from region to region.
Dialects are now chiefly preserved in rural communities, in the speech of elderly people. Their boundaries have become less stable than they used to be; the distinctive features are tending to disappear with the shifting of population due to the migration of working-class families in search of employment and the growing influence of urban life over the countryside. Dialects are said to undergo rapid changes under the pressure of Standard English taught at schools and the speech habits cultivated by radio, television and cinema.
For the most part dialect in literature has been limited to speech characterisation of personages in books otherwise composed in Standard English. There are Yorkshire passages in "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, and Lancashire passages in "Mary Barton" by E. Gaskell. A Southern dialect (that of Dorset) is sometimes introduced by Th. Hardy, A. Tennyson used Lancashire dialect in two of his poems reproducing peasant speech ("Northern Farmer: Old Style" and "Northern Farmer: New Style").
"The Northern Farmer: Old Style" is the monologue of a dying old man. He knows that his death is near and is resigned to it: "If I must die I must die." He wants his nurse to bring him ale, although doctor has forbidden it. The last stanza runs as follows: "What atta stannin' theer for, an' doesn bring ma the yaale? Doctor's a 'tattier, lass, an a's hallus V the owd taale; I weant break rules for Doctor, a knows now moor nora floy, Git ma my yaale I tell tha, an gin I doy I doy." (Tennyson)
The dialect vocabulary is remarkable for its conservatism: many words that have become obsolete in standard English are still kept in dialects, e. g. to and 'envy' < OE andian; barge 'pig' < OE berg; bysen 'blind' < OE bisene and others.
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According to O. Jespersen, however, dialect study suffered from too much attention being concentrated on the "archaic" traits. "Every survival of an old form, every trace of old sounds that have been dropped in standard speech, was greeted with enthusiasm, and the significance of these old characteristics greatly exaggerated, the general impression being that popular dialects were always much more conservative than the speech of educated people. It was reserved for a much later time to prove that this view is completely erroneous, and that popular dialects in spite of many archaic details are on the whole further developed than the various standard languages with their stronger tradition and literary reminiscences."1
The standard work of reference in dialect study is Joseph Wright's "English Dialect Dictionary".
After this brief review of dialects we shall now proceed to the discussion of variants.
The Scottish Tongue and the Irish English have a special linguistic status as compared with dialects because of the literature composed in them. The name of Robert Burns, the great national poet of Scotland, is known all over the world. There is a whole group of modern poets including Hugh MacDiarmid writing in this variant of the English language.
A few lines from R. Burns's poem dedicated to his friend James Smith will illustrate the general character of Scottish:
To James Smith
1
Dear Smith, the slee'st, pawkie thief
That e'er attempted stealth or rief!
Ye surely hae some warlock-brief
Owre human hearts;
For ne'er a bosom yet was prief
Against your arts.
2
For me, I swear by sun and moon,
And every star that blinks aboon,
Ye've cost me twenty pair o'shoon
Just gaun to see you;
And ev'ry ither pair that's done
Mair taen I'm wi' you...
Here slee'st meant 'slyest', pawkie 'cunning', 'sly', rief 'robbery', warlock-brief 'wizard's contract' (with the devil), prief 'proof', aboon
1 Jespersen O. Language, Its Nature, Development and Origin. London, 1949. P. 68.
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'above', shoon 'shoes'. The other dialect words differing only in pronunciation from their English counterparts (owre : : over; mair : : more) are readily understood.
The poetic features of Anglo-Irish may be seen in the plays by J.M. Synge and Sean 'Casey. The latter's name is worth an explanation in this connection. O' is Gaelic and means 'of the clan of'. Cf. Mac - the Gaelic for 'son' found in both Scottish and Irish names.1 Sean, also spelled Shawn and pronounced [So:n], is the Irish for John.
Some traits of Anglo-Irish may be observed in the following lines from "The Playboy of the Western World" by J.M. Synge: I've told my story no place till this night, Pegeen Mike, and it's foolish I was here, maybe, to be talking free, but you're decent people, I'm thinking, and yourself a kindly woman, the way I was not fearing you at all.
Pegeen exemplifies the diminutive suffix found in Standard English only in loan-words. The emphatic personal pronoun yourself appears in a non-appositional construction. Cf. also It was yourself started it (O'Casey). The main peculiarities concern syntax, and they are reflected in some form words. The concrete connective word the way substitutes the abstract conjunction so that. Cf. also the time that, the while for when, and all times for always. E.g.: I'd hear himself snoring out - a loud, lonesome snore he'd be making all times, the while he was sleeping', and he a man'd be raging all times the while he was waking (Synge). The Anglo-Irish of J.M. Synge, however, should not be taken as a faithful reproduction of real speech, as it is imbued with many romantic poetic archaisms.
Words from dialects and variants may penetrate into Standard English. The Irish English gave, for instance, blarney n 'flattery', bog n 'a spongy, usually peaty ground of marsh'. This word in its turn gave rise to many derivatives and compounds, among them bog-trotter, the ironical nickname for Irishman. Shamrock (a trifoliate plant, the national emblem of Ireland) is a word used quite often, and so is the noun whiskey.
The contribution of the Scottish dialect is very considerable. Some of the most frequently used Scotticisms are: bairn 'child', billy 'chum', bonny 'handsome', brogue 'a stout shoe', glamour 'charm', laddie, lassie, kilt, raid, slogan, tartan, wee, etc.
A great deal in this process is due to Robert Burns who wrote his poems in Scottish English, and to Walter Scott who introduced many Scottish words into his novels.
§ 14.2 AMERICAN ENGLISH
The variety of English spoken in the USA has received the name of American English. The term variant or variety appears most appropriate for several reasons. American English cannot be called a dialect although it is a regional variety, because it has a literary
1 Cf. fitz (ultimately from Latin filius), which is used in the same way in the Anglo-Norman names: Fitzgerald 'son of Gerald'.
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normalised form called Standard American (or American National Standard), whereas by definition given above a dialect has no literary form. Neither is it a separate language, as some American authors, like H.L. Mencken, claimed, because it has neither grammar nor vocabulary of its own. From the lexical point of view we shall have to deal only with a heterogeneous set of Americanisms.
An Americanism may be defined as a word or a set expression peculiar to the English language as spoken in the USA. E. g. cookie 'a biscuit'; frame-up 'a staged or preconcerted law case'; guess 'think'; mail 'post'; store 'shop'.
A general and comprehensive description of the American variant is given in Professor A.D. Schweitzer's monograph. An important aspect of his treatment is the distinction made between Americanisms belonging to the literary norm and those existing in low colloquial and slang. The difference between the American and British literary norm is not systematic.
The American variant of the English language differs from British English1 in pronunciation, some minor features of grammar, but chiefly in vocabulary, and this paragraph will deal with the latter. Our treatment will be mainly diachronic.
Speaking about the historic causes of these deviations it is necessary to mention that American English is based on the language imported to the new continent at the time of the first settlements, that is on the English of the 17th century. The first colonies were founded in 1607, so that the first colonisers were contemporaries of W. Shakespeare, E. Spenser and J. Milton. Words which have died out in Britain, or changed their meaning may survive in the USA. Thus, I guess, was used by G. Chaucer for I think. For more than three centuries the American vocabulary developed more or less independently of the British stock and was influenced by the new surroundings. The early Americans had to coin words for the unfamiliar fauna and flora. Hence bullfrog 'a large frog', moose (the American elk), opossum, raccoon (an American animal related to the bears) for animals; and corn, hickory, etc. for plants.
The opposition of any two lexical systems among the variants described is of great linguistic and heuristic2 value, because it furnishes ample data for observing the influence of extra-linguistic factors upon vocabulary. American political vocabulary shows this point very definitely: absentee voting 'voting by mail', dark horse 'a candidate nominated unexpectedly and not known to his voters', gerrymander 'to arrange and falsify the electoral process to produce a favourable result in the interests of a particular party or candidate', all-outer 'an adept of decisive measures'.
Both in the USA and Great Britain the meaning of leftist is 'an adherent of the left wing of a party'. In the USA it also means a left-handed person and lefty in the USA is only 'a left-handed person' while in Great Britain it is a colloquial variant of leftist and has a specific sense of a communist or socialist.
1 It must be noted that an Englishman does not accept the term "British English".
2 Heuristic means 'serving to discover'.
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Many of the foreign elements borrowed into American English from the Indian languages or from Spanish penetrated very soon not only into British English but also into several other languages, Russian not excluded, and so became international due to the popularity of J.F. Cooper and H. Longfellow. They are: canoe, moccasin, squaw, tomahawk, wigwam, etc. and translation loans: pipe of peace, pale-face and the like, taken from Indian languages. The Spanish borrowings like cafeteria, mustang, ranch, sombrero, etc. are very familiar to the speakers of many European languages. It is only by force of habit that linguists still include these words among the specific features of American English.
As to the toponyms, for instance Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Utah (all names of Indian tribes), or other names of towns, rivers and states named by Indian words, it must be borne in mind that in all countries of the world towns, rivers and the like show in their names traces of the earlier inhabitants of the land in question.
Another big group of peculiarities as compared with the English of Great Britain is caused by some specific features of pronunciation, stress or spelling standards, such as [?] for [a:] in ask, dance, path, etc., or [e] for [ei] in made, day and some other.
The American spelling is in some respects simpler than its British counterpart, in other respects just different. The suffix -our is spelled -or, so that armor and humor are the American variants of armour and humour. Altho stands for although and thru for through. The table below illustrates some of the other differences but it is by no means exhaustive. For a more complete treatment the reader is referred to the monograph by A.D. Schweitzer.
British spelling American spelling
cosy cozy
offence offense
practice practise
jewellery jewelry
travelling traveling
thraldom thralldom
encase incase
In the course of time with the development of the modern means of communication the lexical differences between the two variants show a tendency to decrease. Americanisms penetrate into Standard English and Britishisms come to be widely used in American speech. Americanisms mentioned as specific in manuals issued a few decades ago are now used on both sides of the Atlantic or substituted by terms formerly considered as specifically British. It was, for instance, customary to contrast the English word autumn with the American fall. In reality both words are used in both countries, only autumn is somewhat more elevated, while in England the word fall is now rare in literary use, though found in some dialects and surviving in set
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expressions: spring and fait, the fall of the year are still in fairly common use.
Cinema and TV are probably the most important channels for the passage of Americanisms into the language of Britain and other languages as well: the Germans adopted the word teenager and the French speak of l'automatisation. The influence of American advertising is also a vehicle of Americanisms. This is how the British term wireless is replaced by the Americanism radio.
The personal visits of British writers and scholars to the USA and all forms of other personal contacts bring back Americanisms.
The existing cases of difference between the two variants are conveniently classified into:
1) Cases where there are no equivalents in British English: drive-in 'a cinema where you can see the film without getting out of your car' or 'a shop where motorists buy things staying in the car'; dude ranch 'a sham ranch used as a summer residence for holiday-makers from the cities'.
2) Cases where different words are used for the same denotatum, such as can, candy, mailbox, movies, suspenders, truck in the USA and tin, sweets, pillar-box (or letter-box), pictures or flicks, braces and lorry in England.
3) Cases where the semantic structure of a partially equivalent word is different. The word pavement, for example, means in the first place 'covering of the street or the floor and the like made of asphalt, stones or some other material'. In England the derived meaning is 'the footway at the side of the road'. The Americans use the noun sidewalk for this, while pavement with them means 'the roadway'.
4) Cases where otherwise equivalent words are different in distribution. The verb ride in Standard English is mostly combined with such nouns as a horse, a bicycle, more seldom they say ride on a bus. In American English combinations like a ride on the train, ride in a boat are quite usual.

5) It sometimes happens that the same word is used in American English with some difference in emotional and stylistic colouring. Nasty, for example, is a much milder expression of disapproval in England than in the States, where it was even considered obscene in the 19th century. Politician in England means 'someone in polities', and is derogatory in the USA. Professor A.D. Schweitzer pays special attention to phenomena differing in social norms of usage. For example balance in its lexico-semantic variant 'the remainder of anything' is substandard in British English and quite literary in America.
6) Last but not least, there may be a marked difference in frequency characteristics. Thus, time-table which occurs in American English very rarely, yielded its place to schedule.
This question of different frequency distribution is also of paramount importance if we wish to investigate the morphological peculiarities of the American variant.
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Practically speaking the same patterns and means of word-formation are used in coining neologisms in both variants. Only the frequency observed in both cases may be different. Some of the suffixes more frequently used in American English are: - (draftee n 'a young man about to be enlisted'), -ette (tambour-majorette 'one of the girl drummers in front of a procession'), -dom and -ster, as in roadster 'motorcar for long journeys by road' or gangsterdom.
American slang uses alongside the traditional ones also a few specific models, such as verb stem+-er+adverb stem+-er, e. g. opener-upper 'the first item on the programme' and winder-upper 'the last item'. It also possesses some specific affixes and semi-affixes not used in literary colloquial: -o, -eroo, -aroo, -sie, -sy, as in coppo 'policeman', fatso 'a fat man', bossaroo 'boss', chapsie 'fellow'.
The trend to shorten words and to use initial abbreviations in American English is even more pronounced than in the British variant. New coinages are incessantly introduced in advertisements, in the press, in everyday conversation; soon they fade out and are replaced by the newest creations. Ring Lardner, very popular in the 30s, makes one of his characters, a hospital nurse, repeatedly use two enigmatic abbreviations: G.F. and B.F.; at last the patient asks her to clear the mystery.
"What about Roy Stewart?" asked the man in bed.
"Oh, he's the fella I was telling you about," said Miss Lyons. "He's my G.F.'s B.F."
"Maybe I'm a D.F. not to know, but would you tell me what a B.F. and G.F. are?"
"Well, you are dumb, aren't you!" said Miss Lyons. "A G.F. that's a girl friend, and a B.F. is a boy friend. I thought everybody knew that."
The phrases boy friend and girl friend, now widely used everywhere, originated in the USA. So it is an Americanism in the wider meaning of the term, i.e. an Americanism "by right of birth", whereas in the above definition we have defined Americanisms synchronically as lexical units peculiar to the English language as spoken in the USA.
Particularly common in American English are verbs with the hanging postpositive. They say that in Hollywood you never meet a man: you meet up with him, you do not study a subject but study up on it. In British English similar constructions serve to add a new meaning.
With words possessing several structural variants it may happen that some are more frequent in one country and the others in another. Thus, amid and toward, for example, are more often used in the United States and amidst and towards in Great Britain.
The lexical peculiarities of American English are an easy target for ironical outbursts on the part of some writers. John Updike is mildly humorous. His short poem "Philological" runs as follows:
The British puss demurely mews;
His transatlantic kin meow,
The kine in Minnesota moo;
Not so the gentle Devon cows:
They low,
As every schoolchild ought to know.
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A well-known humourist G. Mikes goes as far as to say: "It was decided almost two hundred years ago that English should be the language spoken in the United States. It is not known, however, why this decision has not been carried out." In his book "How to Scrape Skies" he gives numerous examples to illustrate this proposition: "You must be extremely careful concerning the names of certain articles. If you ask for suspenders in a man's shop, you receive a pair of braces, if you ask for a pair of pants, you receive a pair of trousers, and should you ask for a pair of braces, you receive a queer look.
I should like to mention that although a lift is called an elevator in the United States, when hitch-hiking, you do not ask for an elevator, you ask for a lift.
There is some confusion about the word flat. A flat in America is called an apartment; what they call a flat is a puncture in your tyre (or as they spell it, tire). Consequently the notice: FLATS FIXED does not indicate an estate agent where they are going to fix you up with a flat, but a garage where they are equipped to mend a puncture."
Disputing the common statement that there is no such thing as the American nation, he says: "They do indeed exist. They have produced the American constitution, the American way of life, the comic strips in their newspapers: they have their national game, baseball - which is cricket played with a strong American accent - and they have a national language, entirely their own, unlike any other language."
This is of course an exaggeration, but a very significant one. It confirms the fact that there is a difference between the two variants to be reckoned with. Although not sufficiently great to warrant American English the status of an independent language, it is considerable enough to make a mixture of variants sound unnatural and be called Mid-Atlantic. Students of English should be warned against this danger.
§ 14.3 CANADIAN, AUSTRALIAN AND INDIAN VARIANTS
It should of course be noted that American English is not the only existing variant. There are several other variants where difference from the British standard is normalised. Besides the Irish and Scottish variants that have been mentioned in the preceding paragraph, there are Australian English, Canadian English, Indian English. Each of these has developed a literature of its own, and is characterised by peculiarities in phonetics, spelling, grammar and vocabulary.
Canadian English is influenced both by British and American English but it also has some specific features of its own. Specifically Canadian words are called Canadianisms. They are not very frequent outside Canada, except shack 'a hut' and fathom out 'to explain'.
The vocabulary of all the variants is characterised by a high percentage of borrowings from the language of the people who inhabited the land before the English colonisers came. Many of them denote some specific realia of the new country: local animals, plants or weather conditions, new social relations, new trades and conditions of labour. The local words for new notions penetrate into the English language and later on may become international, if they are of sufficient interest and importance for people speaking other languages.
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International words coming through the English of India are for instance: bungalow n, jute n, khaki a, mango n, nabob n, pyjamas, sahib, sari.
Similar examples, though perhaps fewer in number, such as boomerang, dingo, kangaroo, are all adopted into the English language through its Australian variant and became international. They denote the new phenomena found by English immigrants on the new continent. A high percentage of words borrowed from the native inhabitants of Australia will be noticed in the sonorous Australian place names. 1
It has been noticed by a number of linguists that the British attitude to this phenomenon is somewhat peculiar. When anyone other than an Englishman uses English, the natives of Great Britain, often half-consciously, perhaps, feel that they have a special right to criticise his usage because it is "their" language. It is, however, unreasonable with respect to people in the United States, Canada, Australia and some other areas for whom English is their mother tongue. At present there is no single "correct" English and the American, Canadian and Australian English have developed standards of their own. It would therefore have been impossible to attempt a lexicological description of all the variants simultaneously: the aim of this book was to describe mainly the vocabulary of British English, as it is the British variant that is received and studied in Soviet schools.
1 S.J. Baker quotes a poem consisting of geographical names only:
I like the native names as Paratta
And Illawarra, and Wooloomooloo, Nandowra, Woogarora, Bulkomatta, Tenah, Toongabbie, Mittagong, Merroo...

Chapter 15 LEXICOGRAPHY
§ 15.1 TYPES OF DICTIONARIES
Lexicography, that is the theory and practice of compiling dictionaries, is an important branch of applied linguistics. The fundamental paper in lexicographic theory was written by L.V. Shcherba as far back as 1940. A complete bibliography of the subject may be found in L.P. Stupin's works. Lexicography has a common object of study with lexicology, both describe the vocabulary of a language. The essential difference between the two lies in the degree of systematisation and completeness each of them is able to achieve. Lexicology aims at systematisation revealing characteristic features of words. It cannot, however, claim any completeness as regards the units themselves, because the number of these units being very great, systematisation and completeness could not be achieved simultaneously. The province of lexicography, on the other hand, is the semantic, formal, and functional description of all individual words. Dictionaries aim at a more or less complete description, but in so doing cannot attain systematic treatment, so that every dictionary entry presents, as it were, an independent problem. Lexicologists sort and present their material in a sequence depending upon their views concerning the vocabulary system, whereas lexicographers have to arrange it most often according to a purely external characteristic, namely alphabetically.
It goes without saying that neither of these branches of linguistics could develop successfully without the other, their relationship being essentially that of theory and practice dealing with the same objects of reality. The term dictionary is used to denote a book listing words of a language with their meanings and often with data regarding pronunciation, usage and/or origin. There are also dictionaries that concentrate their attention upon only one of these aspects: pronouncing (phonetical) dictionaries (by Daniel Jones) and etymological dictionaries (by Walter Skeat, by Erik Partridge, "The Oxford English Dictionary").
For dictionaries in which the words and their definitions belong to the same language the term unilingual or explanatory is used, whereas bilingual or translation dictionaries are those that explain words by giving their equivalents in another language.1 Multilingual or polyglot
1 The most important unilingual dictionaries of the English language are "The Oxford English Dictionary", A.S. Hornby's dictionary, Webster's, Funk and Wagnells, Random House and many more (see Recommended Reading at the end of the book).
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dictionaries are not numerous, they serve chiefly the purpose of comparing synonyms and terminology in various languages. 1
Unilingual dictionaries are further subdivided with regard to the time. Diachronic dictionaries, of which "The Oxford English Dictionary" is the main example, reflect the development of the English vocabulary by recording the history of form and meaning for every word registered. They may be contrasted to synchronic or descriptive dictionaries of current English concerned with present-day meaning and usage of words. 2 The boundary between the two is, however, not very rigid: that is to say, few dictionaries are consistently synchronic, chiefly, perhaps, because their methodology is not developed as yet, so that in many cases the two principles are blended. 3 Some synchronic dictionaries are at the same time historical when they represent the state of vocabulary at some past stage of its development. 4
Both bilingual and unilingual dictionaries can be general and special. General dictionaries represent the vocabulary as a whole with a degree of completeness depending upon the scope and bulk of the book in question. The group includes the thirteen volumes of "The Oxford English Dictionary" alongside with any miniature pocket dictionary. Some general dictionaries may have very specific aims and still be considered general due to their coverage. They include, for instance, frequency dictionaries, i.e. lists of words, each of which is followed by a record of its frequency of occurrence in one or several sets of reading matter. 5 A rhyming dictionary is also a general dictionary, though arranged in inverse order, and so is a thesaurus in spite of its unusual arrangement. General dictionaries are contrasted to special dictionaries whose stated aim is to cover only a certain specific part of the vocabulary.
Special dictionaries may be further subdivided depending on whether the words are chosen according to the sphere of human activity in which they are used (technical dictionaries), the type of the units themselves (e. g. phraseological dictionaries) or the relationships existing between them (e. g. dictionaries of synonyms).
The first subgroup embraces highly specialised dictionaries of limited scope which may appeal to a particular kind of reader. They register and explain technical terms for various branches of knowledge, art and trade: linguistic, medical, technical, economical terms, etc. Unilingual books of this type giving definitions of terms are called
1 See, for example: Buck, Carl Darling. A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages. Chicago, 1949.
2 Such as: Hornby A.S., Gatenby E.V., Wakefield H. The Advance Learner's Dictionary of Current English. Oxford, 1948.
3 Cf.: The Concise Oxford Dictionary/Ed. by H.W. Fowler. Oxford, 1944.
4 Bosworth J. and Toller T. An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. Oxford, 1882-1898; Kurath, Hans and Kuhn, Sherman M. Middle English Dictionary. Univ. of Michigan Press, 1952.
5 See, for instance: Thorndike E.L. and Lorge I. The Teacher's Word-Book of 30,000 Words; West Michael. A General Service List of English Words. London, 1959; Eaton, Helen S. Semantic Frequency List of English, French, German and Spanish. Chicago, 1940; Kuccra, Henry] and Francis, W. Nelson. Computational Analysis of Present-Day American English. Brown Univ. Press, Providence, 1967.
18 . B. 273

glossaries. They are often prepared by boards or commissions specially appointed for the task of improving technical terminology and nomenclature.
The second subgroup deals with specific language units, i.e. with phraseology, abbreviations, neologisms, borrowings, surnames, toponyms, proverbs and. sayings, etc.
The third subgroup contains a formidable array of synonymic dictionaries that have been mentioned in the chapter on synonyms. Dictionaries recording the complete vocabulary of some author are called concordances,1 they should be distinguished from those that deal only with difficult words, i.e. glossaries. Taking up territorial considerations one comes across dialect dictionaries and dictionaries of Americanisms. The main types of dictionaries are classified in the accompanying table.
Types of Dictionaries
Unilingual
Bilingual or multilingual
General
Explanatory dictionaries irrespective of their bulk
English-Russian, Russian-English, etc. and multilingual dictionaries


Etymological, frequency, phonetical, rhyming and thesaurus type dictionaries
Concentrated on one of the distinctive features of the word
Special
Glossaries of scientific and other special terms; concordances1 Dictionaries of abbreviations, antonyms, borrowings, new words, proverbs, synonyms, surnames, toponyms, etc.2
Dictionaries of scientific and other special terms1
Dictionaries of abbreviations, phraseology, proverbs, synonyms, etc.2




Dictionaries of American English, dialect and slang dictionaries
Dictionaries of Old English and Middle English with explanations in Modern English
1 Dictionary entries are chosen according to the sphere of communication or the corpus in which they occur.
2 Dictionary entries are selected according to the type of relationships between words.
1 For instance: Schmidt, Alex. Shakespeare Lexicon. A Complete Dictionary of All the English Words: In 2 vols. Berlin, 1923. There are concordances to the works of G. Chaucer, E. Spenser, W. Shakespeare, J. Milton, W. Wordsworth, P.B. Shelley and other writers.
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Finally, dictionaries may be classified into linguistic and non-linguistic. The latter are dictionaries giving information on all branches of knowledge, the encyclopaedias. They deal not with words, but with facts and concepts. The best known encyclopaedias of the English-speaking world are "The Encyclopaedia Britannica"1 and "The Encyclopaedia Americana".2 There exist also biographical dictionaries and many minor encyclopaedias.
English lexicography is probably the richest in the world with respect to variety and scope of the dictionaries published. The demand for dictionaries is very great. One of the duties of school teachers of native language is to instil in their pupils the "dictionary habit". Boys and girls are required by their teachers to obtain a dictionary and regularly consult it. There is a great variety of unilingual dictionaries for children. They help children to learn the meaning, spelling and pronunciation of words. An interesting example is the Thorndike dictionary.3 Its basic principle is that the words and meanings included should be only those which schoolchildren are likely to hear or to encounter in reading. The selection of words is therefore determined statistically by counts of the actual occurrence of words in reading matter of importance to boys and girls between 10 and 15. Definitions are also made specially to meet the needs of readers of that age, and this accounts for the ample use of illustrative sentences and pictures as well as for the encyclopaedic bias of the book.
A dictionary is the most widely used reference book in English homes and business offices. Correct pronunciation and correct spelling are of great social importance, because they are necessary for efficient communication.
A bilingual dictionary is useful to several kinds of people: to those who study foreign languages, to specialists reading foreign literature, to translators, to travellers, and to linguists. It may have two principal purposes: reference for translation and guidance for expression. It must provide an adequate translation in the target language of every word and expression in the source language. It is also supposed to contain all the inflectional, derivational, semantic and syntactic information that its reader might ever need, and also information on spelling and pronunciation. Data on the levels of usage are also considered necessary, including special warnings about the word being rare or poetical or slangy and unfit to be used in the presence of "one's betters". The number of special bilingual dictionaries for various branches of knowledge and engineering is ever increasing. A completely new type are the machine translation dictionaries which present their own specific problems, naturally differing from those presented by bilingual dictionaries for human translation. It is highly probable, however, that their
1 The Encyclopaedia Britannica: In 24 vols. 10th ed. London - Chicago - Toronto, 1961.
2 The Encyclopaedia Americana. The International Reference Work: In 30 vols. 9th ed. N.Y., 1957.
3 Thorndike E.L. The Thorndike Century Junior Dictionary. Scott Foresmann Co.. Chicago - Atlanta - Dallas - New York, 1935.
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development will eventually lead to improving dictionaries for general use.
The entries of a dictionary are usually arranged in alphabetical order, except that derivatives and compounds are given under the same head-word. In the ideographic dictionaries the main body is arranged according to a logical classification of notions expressed.1 But dictionaries of this type always have an alphabetical index attached to facilitate the search for the necessary word.2
The ideographic type of dictionary is in a way the converse of the usual type: the purpose of the latter is to explain the meaning when the word is given. The Thesaurus, on the contrary, supplies the word or words by which a given idea may be expressed. Sometimes the grouping is in parallel columns with the opposite notions. The book is meant only for readers (either native or foreign) having a good knowledge of English, and enables them to pick up an adequate expression and avoid overuse of the same words. The Latin word thesaurus means 'treasury'. P. Roget's book gave the word a new figurative meaning, namely, 'a store of knowledge', and hence 'a dictionary containing all the words of a language'. A consistent classification of notions presents almost insuperable difficulties. Only relatively few "semantic fields", such as kinship terms, colour terms, names for parts of human body and some others fit into a neat scheme. For the most part, however, there is no one-to-one correlation between notions and words, and the classification of notions, even if it were feasible, is a very poor help for classification of meanings and their systematic presentation. The system of meanings stands in a very complex relationship to the system of notions because of the polysemantic character of most words. The semantic structure of words and the semantic system of vocabulary depend on many linguistic, historical and cultural factors.
§ 15.2 SOME OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS OF LEXICOLOGY
The most burning issues of lexicography are connected with the selection of head-words, the arrangement and contents of the vocabulary entry, the principles of sense definitions and the semantic and functional classification of words.
In the first place it is the problem of how far a general descriptive dictionary, whether unilingual or bilingual, should admit the historical element. In fact, the term "current usage" is disconcertingly elastic, it may, for instance, be stretched to include all words and senses used by W. Shakespeare, as he is commonly read, or include only those of the fossilised words that are kept in some set expressions or familiar quotations, e. g. shuffled off this mortal coil ("Hamlet"), where coil means 'turmoil' (of life). For the purpose of a dictionary, which must not be too bulky, selection between
1 "Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases" was first published in 1852. About 90 succeeding revised editions have appeared since.
2 An American version of Thesaurus is rearranged alphabetically, with the ideographic classification shown by means of cross-references. See: The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form/Ed. by Norman Lewis. 1961.
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scientific and technical terms is also a very important task. It is a debatable point whether a unilingual explanatory dictionary should strive to cover all the words of the language, including neologisms, nonce-words, slang, etc. and note with impartial accuracy all the words actually used by English people; or whether, as the great English lexicographer of the 18th century Samuel Johnson used to think, it should be preceptive, and (viewed from the other side) prohibitive. Dictionary-makers should attempt to improve and stabilise the English vocabulary according to the best classical samples and advise the readers on preferable usage. A distinctly modern criterion in selection of entries is the frequency of the words to be included. This is especially important for certain lines of practical work in preparing graded elementary textbooks.
When the problem of selection is settled, there is the question as to which of the selected units have the right to a separate entry and which are to be included under one common head-word. These are, in other words, the questions of separateness and sameness of words. The first deals with syntagmatic boundaries of word-units and has to solve such questions as whether each other is a group of two separate words to be treated separately under the head-words each and other, or whether each other is a unit deserving a special entry (compare also: one another). Need such combinations as boiling point, carbon paper, department store, phone box be sub-entered under their constituents? If so, under which of them? Or, perhaps, it will be more convenient for those who use the dictionary if these were placed as separate main entries consisting of a nominal compound or a phrase.
As to the sameness, this deals with paradigmatic boundaries. How many entries are justified for hound'? COD has two - one for the noun, and the other for the verb: 'to chase (as) with hounds'; the verb and the noun are thus treated as homonyms. "Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary" combines them under one head-word, i.e. it takes them as variants of the same word (hence the term "sameness"). The problem is even more complicated with variants belonging to the same part of speech.
This problem is best illustrated by the pun that has already been discussed elsewhere in this book: Mind you, I don't mind minding the children if the children mind me (Understand, I don't object to taking care of the children if the children obey me).
Here the dictionary-maker is confronted with the problem of sameness. Should mind be considered one word with several semantic variants, and take one entry? Or is it more convenient to represent it as several words?
The difference in the number of entries for an equal bulk of vocabulary may also depend on a different approach to the regularly formed derivatives, like those with -er, -ing, -ness, and -ly. These are similar to grammatical endings in their combining possibilities and semantic regularity. The derivation is so regular, and the meaning and class of these derivatives are so easily deduced that they are sometimes sidered not worth an entry.
377

That is why the definition of the scope of a dictionary is not quite as simple as it might appear at first sight. There exist almost unsurmountable difficulties to a neat statistical evaluation. Some publishers state the number of entries in a subtitle, others even claim for the total coverage with the exception of very special terms. It must be remembered, however, that without a generally accepted standard for settling the problems of sameness and separateness no meaningful evaluation of the scope of any particular dictionary is possible. Besides in the case of a living language the vocabulary is not stable, and the attitude of lexicographers to archaisms and neologisms varies.
The arrangement of the vocabulary entry presents many problems, of which the most important are the differentiation and the sequence of various meanings of a polysemantic word. A historical dictionary (the Oxford Dictionary, for instance) is primarily concerned with the development of the English vocabulary. It arranges various senses chronologically, first comes the etymology, then the earliest meanings marked by the label obs. - obsolete. The etymologies are either comparative or confined to a single language. The development is documented by illustrative quotations, ranging from the oldest to recent appearances of the word in question.
A descriptive dictionary dealing with current usage has to face its own specific problems. It has to apply a structural point of view and give precedence to the most important meanings. But how is the most important meaning determined upon? So far each compiler was guided by his own personal preference. An objective procedure would be to obtain data of statistical counts. But counting the frequency of different meanings of the same word is far more difficult than counting the frequency of its forms. It is therefore not by chance that up to now many counts have been undertaken only for word forms, irrespective of meaning. Also, the interdependence of meanings and their relative importance within the semantic structure of the word do not remain the same. They change almost incessantly, so that the task of establishing their relative frequency would have to be repeated very often. The constant revisions necessary would make the publication of dictionaries very expensive. It may also be argued that an arrangement of meanings according to frequency would sometimes conceal the ties and relationship between various elements of the semantic structure.
Nevertheless some semantic counts have been achieved and the lexicographers profited by them. Thus, in preparing high-school English dictionaries the staff under chief editor C.L. Barnhart was aided by semantic counts which Dr E.L. Thorndike had made of current standard literature, from children's books to "The Encyclopaedia Britannica". The count according to C.L. Barnhart was of enormous importance in compiling their dictionaries, but the lexicographer admits that counts are only one of the criteria necessary for selecting meanings and entries, and that more dictionary evidence is needed, namely typical quotations for each meaning. Dictionary evidence normally exists in the form of quotation slips constituting raw material for word treatment and filed under their appropriate head-words.
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In editing new dictionaries the lexicographers cannot depend only on the scholarly editions such as OED. In order to meet the demands of their readers, they have to sample the reading of the public for whom the dictionary is meant. This textual reference has to be scrupulously examined, so as to account for new words and meanings making their way into the language. Here again some quantitative criteria must be established. If a word or meaning occurs in several different sources over a wide range of magazines and books during a considerable period of time, it may be worth including even into a college dictionary.
The preface to "The Concise Oxford Dictionary", for instance, states that its authors find that sense development cannot be presented in every word, because obsolete words are as a rule omitted. Only occasionally do they place at the beginning a rare but still current sense, if it can throw light on the more common senses that follow, or forms the connecting link with the etymology. The etymologies are given throughout, but otherwise the compilers do not seem to keep to any consistent principle and are guided by what they think is the order of logical connection, familiarity or importance. E.L. Thorndike formulates the following principles: "Other things being equal, literal uses come before figurative, general uses before special, common uses before rare, and easily understandable uses before difficult, and to sum up: that arrangement is best for any word which helps the learner most."

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