自考英语词汇学复习资料六

第六章1. Polysemy(识记) —polysemy is a common feature peculiar to all natural languages. When a…

第六章

1. Polysemy(识记) —polysemy is a common feature peculiar to all natural languages. When a words is first coined, it always monosemic, but tin the course of development , the same word may have two or more different meanings.

e.g. The word “flight” may mean “passing through the air”, “power of flying”, “air of journey”, etc.

Two approaches(识记)

Diachronic approach – Diachronically, polysemy is assumed to be the result of growth and development of the semantic structure of one and same word. This first meaning is the primary meaning. With the advance of time and the development of language, it took on more and more meanings. These latter meanings are called derived meanings. E.g. face

The primary meaning gave birth to new meaning.

The primary meaning become either absolute or disappeared altogether

E.g. harvest time of cutting reaping and gathering the crops

a season’s yield of grain or fruit

Pain penalty or punishment pains and penalty

upon/under pain of suffering

Synchronic approach – synchronically, polysemy is viewed as the coexistent of various meaning of the same word in a certain historical period of time. The basic meaning of a word is the core of word meaning. The core of word meaning called the central meaning (secondary meaning).

The central meaning has gradually dimished in currency with the changes and one of the derived meanings has become dominant. E.g. gay

Two process of development(领会)

Radiation – a semantic process which shows that the primary meaning stands at the center and each of the derived meanings proceed out of in every direction like rays.

The meanings are independent of one another, but can all be tracked back to the central meaning.

e.g. Neck

1) That part of a man or animal jointing the head to the body

2) That part of the garments

3) The neck of an animal used as food

4) A narrow part between the head and body or base of any object

5) The part of anything

Of the 5 meanings 1) is the primary and all the rest are derived but each of the other four is directly related to 1). Therefore, we say neck has developed through the process of radiation.

Concatenation – meaning “linking together”, is the semantic process in which the meaning of a word moves gradually away from its first sense by successive shifts until, in many cases, there is not a sign of connection between the sense that is finally developed and that which the tern had at the begining.

e.g. candidate

1) White-robed

2) Office seeker in white gouns

3) A person who seeks an office

4) A person proposed for a place, award, etc.

Of the 4 meanings, 1) is the primary meaning and the other three are derived, but each of the derived meaning is only directly related to the preceding one and there is no direct connection between 1) and 4). Therefore, we say candidate has developed through the process of concatenation.

Difference

Radiation is concatenation is closely related, being different stages of the development leading to polysemy.

Radiation, each of the derived meaning is directly connected to the primary meaning.

Concatenation, each of the later meaning is related only to the preceding one like chains. Though the latest sense can be tracked to the original, there’s no direct connection in between.

The two processes work together, complementing each other.

Radiation precedes concatenation.

2.Homonyms——are generally defined as words different in meaning but either identical both in sound and spelling or identical only in sound or spelling.

Perfect Homonyms——are words identical both in sound and spelling, but different in meaning.

e.g. bank/bank

bear/bear

date/date

Homographs——are words identical only in spelling but different in sound and meaning.

e.g. Bow/bow

Sow/sow

Homophones (most common)——are words identical only in sound but different in spelling and meaning.

e.g. Dear/dear

Right/rite

Son/sun

Origins of Homonyms (识记)

1. Change in sound and spelling (homonyms are native by origin, derived from different earlier forms in Old English. The change in sound and spelling gradually made then identical in modern English.)

e.g. ear/ear

long/long

2. Borrowing (many words of foreign origin coincide in sound and/or spelling with those of native origin with those of other foreign origin.)

e.g. fair/fair

ball/ball

3. Shortening (many shortened forms of words happen to be identical with other words in spelling or sound)

e.g. ad/add

rock/rock

NOW/now

Differentiation of Homonyms and polysemants (领会)

Perfect homonyms and polysemants are fully identical regard to spelling and pronunciation.

Homonyms refer to different word, which happen to share the same forms. Polysemant is the one and some word, which has several meanings.

One important criterion is to see their etymology. Homonyms are from different sources. A polysemant is from the same source, which has acquired different meaning in the course of development.

The second principle is semantic relatedness. The various meanings of a polysemant are correlated and connected to some central meaning to a greater or less degree. Meanings of different homonyms have nothing to do with one another.

Rhetoric feature

They create puns for desired effect of, say, humour, sarcasm or ridicule.

3.Synonyms—are words different in sound and spelling but most nearly alike or exactly the same in meaning. Synonyms share a likeness in denotation and in part of speech.

Types of Synonyms

1.Absolute (Complete) Synonyms——are words, which are identical in meaning in all its aspects, i.e. both in grammatical meaning and lexical meaning, including conceptual and associative meanings. Absolute (Complete) Synonyms are restricted to high-specialized vocabulary.

For instance, composition / compounding. They have the perfect same meaning in Lexicology.

2.Relative (Near) synonyms——are similar or nearly the same in denotation but embrace different shades of meaning or different degrees of a given quality.

e.g. Change/alter/vary

Take stagger/reel/totter for example.

Stagger implies unsteady movement characterized by a loss of balance and failure to maintain a fixed course. E.g. stagger under a heavy load;

Reel suggests a swaying or lurching so as to appear on the verge of falling. E.g. The drunken man reeled down the hall;

Totter indicates the uncertain, faltering steps of a feeble old person or of an infant learning to walk.

Sources of Synonyms

。 Borrowing: (the most important source)

Native ForeignRoom chamberFoe enemyHelp aidLeave departWise sageBodily corporalEarthly terrestrialWarlike bellicoseBuy purchase Native French LatinAsk question interrogateFast firm secureFire flame conflagrationFear terror trepidationHoly sacred consecratedGoodness virtue probityTime age epoch

。 Dialects and regional English:

Railway (BrE) railroad (AmE)

Mother (BrE) minny (ScotE)

Charm (BrE) glamour (ScotE)

Ranch (AmE) run (AusE)

Job (StandE) gig (BlackE)

Jim (BlachE) mal person (StandE)

。 Figurative「a. 比喻的,象征的」 and euphemistic 「a.委婉的」use of words:

Occupation walk of life (fig.)

Dreamer star-gazer (fig.)

Drunk elevated (euph.)

Lie distort the fact (euph.)

。 Coincidence with idiomatic expressions:

Win gain the upper hand

Decide make up one’s mind

Finish get through

Hesitate be in two minds

Help lend one a hand

Discrimination of Synonyms (运用)

1) Difference in denotation: differ in the range and intensity of meaning.

Range (some words have a wider range of meaning than others)

e.g. timid——timorous

Timid is applied to the state of minds in which a person may happen to be at the moment, ant to the habitual disposition.

Timorous is only to the disposition.

Comprehend/ understand

extend—increase—expand

The owner of the restaurant is going to extend the kitchen by ten feet this year.

The company has decided to increase its sales by ten percent next year.

The metal will expand if heated.

Extent increase expand

Differ in degree of intensity

e.g. wealth—rich

The wealth person is to posses more money and property than a rich man.

work – toil

Work is a general term having no special implications as ’light’ or ’heavy’, and ’mental’ or ’ physical’。

Toil suggests ’heavy and tiring work’, associated with more with manual than mental labor.

want—wish—desire

Want is the most general and has the widest range of meaning.

Wish and desire are much narrow in sense.

2) Difference in connotation: differ in the stylistic and emotive coloring.

Some words share the same denotation but differ in their stylistic appropriateness.

E.g.

The words borrowed from French and Latin are more formal than native words.

These borrowings are more appropriate formal and technical writing.

policeman – constable – bobby – cop

policeman(neutral) – constable(neutral) – bobby(colloquial) – cop(slangy)

ask —— beg —— request

ask (neutral); beg (colloquial); request (formal)

archaic and poetic, which are self-suggestive.

e.g. ire/anger, bliss/happiness,forlorn/distressed,dire/dreadful,list/listen,enow/enough,save/expect,mere/lake and such like are all synonyms, but in each the second is standard in usage whereas the first one is old-fashioned and archaic, only found in poetry, earlier writing, etc.

Many synonyms have clear affective values

result – consequence

result(neutral ) – consequence(negative implication)

big – great

big(the bigness of size, volume and so on, without any emotive coloring) – great(suggest distinguished, eminent, outstanding)

little – small – tiny

little (attractiveness, pleasantness)– small(not big) – tiny(abnormal growth of the child)

3) Difference in application: differ in usage.

Many words are synonyms in meaning but different in usage in simple terms. They form different collocations and fit into different sentence patterns.

E.g.

allow – let

allow sb to so sth. – let sb. do sth.

answer – reply

answer(transitive v.) the letter – reply(intransitive v.) to the letter

sense – meaning

He is a man of sense.

empty —— vacant

empty box/street/room (no one or nothing inside) ; vacant seat/chair/apartment(not occupied)

lump – slice – chunk – sheet –cake

a lump sugar– a slice of meat – a chunk of wood – a sheet of paper –a cake of soap

4.Antonymy——is concerned with semantic opposition.

Antonyms——are words which are opposite in meaning.

Types of Antonyms (according to the semantic opposition )

1) Contradictory terms – these antonyms are truly represent oppositeness of meaning. They are so opposed to each other that they are mutually exclusive and admit no possibility between them. They assertion of one is the denial of the other.

E.g. alive—dead, present——absent, male – female, boy – girl, true – false, same – different, imperfect – perfect

Such antonyms are non-gradable. They can not be used in comparative degrees and do not allow adverbs like “very” to qualify them. Single/married

特点:对立的/不可分级

2) Contrary terms —— a scale running between two poles or extremes. The two opposites are gradable and one exists in comparison with the other.

E.g. rich——(well-to-do)——poor; old – (middle-aged) —— young, open – (ajar)—close, beautiful – (good-looking) –(plain) – ugly,

hot——(warm, cool)——cold

verbs. E.g. love – (attachment) – (liking) – (indifferent) – (antipathy) —— hate

3) Relative terms – consist of relational oppositeness. The pairs of words indicate such a social relationship that one of them can not be used without suggesting the other, the type is also reverse terms. The two words of each pair interdependent.

E.g. parent——child; husband——wife; predecessor – successor, employer —— employee

sell—buy, give –receive,

方位词

difference between relative terms and contradictory terms

there is an absolute opposite between relative terms and contradictory terms. In the case of relative terms, the opposition is only relational.

contradictory terms – e.g. if the adult is not a man, then the adult must be a woman.

relative terms – the opposition is relational.

the characteristics of antonyms

1). Antonyms are classified on the basis of semantic opposition.

形容词 (most) —— 动词 – 名词(least)

There are a great many more synonyms than antonyms.

Words denoting nature, quality or state of things have many antonyms. This accounts for the large number of antonyms are adjectives.

2). A word which has more than one meaning can have more than one antonym.

e.g. fast – firm/secure loose

quick slow

pleasure-seeking/wild sober

bull —— boring interesting

She became dull and silent during the last part of the journey. lively

dull weather sunny

dull noise sharp

dull pain acute

these factors affect both intelligent and dull children. Intelligent

3) Antonyms differ in semantic inclusion.

Pairs of antonyms are seen as marked and unmarked terms. One member is more specific than the other and the meaning of the specific is included in that of the general.

e.g. man – woman

There has been no man in the island. (man signifies human being, including women, but not vice versa).

dog ——娃哈哈

male/ female dog

tall—short

How tall is his brother? (includes the meaning of next one)

How short is his brother? (more restricted in sense)

4). Contrary terms are gradable antonyms, differing in degree of intensity, so each has its own corresponding opposition.

e.g. hot – cold, warm – cool, rich – poor, destitute – opulent

Some words can have two different types of antonyms at the same time, one being negative and the other opposite.

e.g. happy—unhappy-sad

productive—unproductive—destructive

free——unfree-enslaved

the use of antonyms

。 Antonyms have various practical uses and have long proved helpful and valuable in defining the meanings of words.

fresh bread – stale bread, fresh air – stuff air, fresh flower – faded flower, fresh look – tired look

。 Antonyms are useful to express economically the opposition of a particular thought, often for the sake of contrast. They look neat and pleasant, and sound rhythmic.

。 Many idioms are formed with antonyms. They look neat and pleasant, and sound rhythmic.

Rain and shine无论如何Here and there到处Weal and woe祸福Friend and foe敌友 Now or never机不可失Thick and thin不顾艰难,险阻High and low到处Give an take互让,平等

Antonyms are often used to form antithesis to achieve emphasis by putting contrasting idea together.

Easy come, easy go. 来的易,去得快。

More haste, less speed. 欲速则不达。

United we stand, spanided we fall.团结则存,分裂则亡。

5.Hyponymy——deals with the relationship of semantic inclusion. That is, the meaning of a more specific word is included in that of another more general word. These specific words are known as hyponyms(下义词). For instance, tulip and rose are hyponyms of flower. The general word flower is the superordinate term(上义词) and the specific ones tulip and rose are the subordinate terms(下义词).

Hyponymy can be descried in terms of tree-like graph, with higher-order superordinates above the lower subordinates.

The sense relation of hyponymy is very helpful in both receptive and productive processing of language. In reading comprehension, coherence by hyponymy is an important key.

In production, knowing the semantic features of the hyponyms and their superordinates can help us achieve vividness, exactness, and concreteness.

The status either as superordinate and sobordinate is relative to other terms.

6. semantic field

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