自考英语词汇学复习资料七

第七章Vocabulary is the most unstable element of a language as it is under-going constant cha…

第七章

Vocabulary is the most unstable element of a language as it is under-going constant changes both in form and content.

The content is even more unstable than the forms.

Word-meaning changes by modes if extension, narrowing, degradation, elevation and transfer. of these, extension and narrowing are by far the most common.

1.Extension (generalization)——is a term referring to the widening of meaning. It is a process by which a word, which originally had a specialized meaning, has now become generalized.

Word old meaning now meaning

Manuscript handwriting any author’s writing whether written by hand or typed

with a type-writer or a word-processor

Fabulous resembling a fable incredible, marvelous

Barn a place for storing only barley storeroom

Picture painting include “drawings” and even “photographs”。

Mill place for grinding into flour place where things are made

Journal daily paper periodical

Butcher one who kills goats one who kills animals

Companion one who shares bread a company

。 A large proportion of polysemic words of modern English have their meanings extended sometimes in the course of development. Some words are generalized to such an extent that they can mean almost anything.

Word old meaning now meaning

Thing a public assembly or a council anything

Business, concern, condition, matter, article, circumstance

。 Technical terms

Word old meaning now meaning

Alibi (a legal term) plea that the accused is not at the place excuse

When the crime is committed

Allergic (a medical term) too sensitive to medicine averse or disinclined to

Feedback (computer term) response

。 From proper nouns

Word old meaning now meaning

Lynch the Lynch’s Law kill without lawful trial

Sandwish a gambler’s name to denote a kind of fast place or squeeze between

Food

Vandal a member of an East Germanic tribe malicious destruction of a thing

A person of such behaviour

V. vandalize

Adj. Vandalic/vandalistic

n. vandalization/vandalism

2. Narrowing (specialization) ——is a term referring to the shrinking of meaning. It is a process by which a word of wide meaning acquires a narrower or specialized sense.

Word old meaning now meaning

Deer animal

Corn grain maize

Garage any safe place a place for storing cars

Liquor liquid alcoholic drink

Disease discomfort illness

Poison drink poisonous drink

Wife woman a married woman

Accident event unfortunate event

Girl young person of either sex female young person

。 Turn into a proper nouns

The City business center of London

The Peninsula Iberian Peninsula

The Prophet Mohammed

。 For economy, some phrases are shortened and only one element of the original is left to retain the meaning of the whole.

e.g. a private = a private solider

a general = a general officer

an editorial = an editorial article

。 Material nouns

Word old meaning now meaning

Silver silver dollars

Glass cup-like container or mirror

Iron device for smoothing clothes

3.Elevation or amelioration——refers to the process by which words rise from humble beginnings to positions of importance.

Word old meaning now meaning

Nice ignorant —— foolish delightful, pleasant

Marshal / constable keeper of horses high-ranking army officer / policemen

Angle messenger messenger of God

Knight servant rank below baronet

Earl men count

Governor pilot head of a state

Fond foolish affectionate

Minister servant head of ministry

Shrewd evil, wickedness smart

Nimble be good at taking things without permission smart

Chamberlain servant high official of royal courts

Success result

4. Degradation or pejoration of meaning ——It is a process whereby words of good origin fall into ill reputation or non-affective words come to be used in derogatory sense.

Word old meaning now meaning

Boor peasant rude, ill-mannered person

Churl peasant / free man uncultivated or mean person

Wench country girl prostitute

Hussy housewife woman of low morals

Villain person who worked in a villa evil or wicked person or scoundrel

Silly happy foolish

Knave boy dishonest person

Lewd ignorant lecherous

Criticize appraise find fault with

Lust pleasure sexual desire

5. Transfer —— words which were used to designate on thing but later changed to mean something else.

Word old meaning now meaning

Paper an African plant papyrus

。 Associated transfer

E.g. the lip of a wound

The tongue of a bell

The nose of a plane

Purse for money, dish for food, glass for cup

。 Between abstract and concrete meaning

Word old meaning now meaning

Aftermath second crop of grass after mowing consequence, result

Hope e.g. Clinton is the hope of the family.

。 Between subject and objective meaning

Word old meaning now meaning

Pitiful full of pity deserving pity

Dreadful / hateful subject meaning objective meaning

Fearful/ doubtful / suspicious subject and objective meaning

。 Transfer of sensations

E.g. clear-sounding (from sight to hearing)

Loud colours (from hearing to sight)

Sweet music (from taste to hearing)

6. Extra-linguistic Factors

1. Historical reason

。 A word is retained for a name though the meaning has changed because the reference has changed.

Word old meaning now meaning

Pen feather

Car two-wheel cart drown by horses and used automobile

in war

Computer person who computes electronic machine

。 Increased scientific knowledge and discovery are also important factors

Word old meaning now meaning

Sun the luminous heavenly body-one of the star around which the earth and other planets revolve

seven planets revolving around the earth

Atom any of the inspanisible particles not the smallest and can be spanided into even smaller

particles

2. Class reason. Language is just like a mirror, reflecting everything that exists in human society. It records the speech and attitude of different social classes. As a result, different social varieties of language have come into being.

Word old meaning now meaning

Churl, hussy, wench, villain ill-mannered or bad people

Democracy, revolution, liberalism, human rights, communism different meaning in different societies and to different

People

3. Psychological reason. The associated transfer of meaning and euphemistic use of words are often due to psychological factors. people change word-meaning owing to various psychological. Religious influence is another kind psychological need.

Word old meaning now meaning

Copperhead a venomous snake

7. Linguistic factors

1. Shortening

Gold for gold medal

Gas for coal gas

Bulb for light bulb

Private for private solider

2. Borrowing

Deer / animal / beast

Pig / pork, sheep / mutton, cattle / beef

Bird / fowl, dog / hound, boy / knave, chair / stool

3. Analogy

Fortuitous happening by chance, accident fortunate

Fruition a pleasure obtaining from using or possessing something

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