Státnice z anglické filologie - lexikologie (lexicology)

Leikologie (Lexicology)

Sources of words in English (word-formation: types of word-formative processes and their manifestation in English and in Czech, borrowing into English over time)


  • The rules by which are words constructed help us to recognize heir grammatical class
  • Word formation has limited productivity (after we apply the rules not all words acceptable)
  • The rules themselves undergo changes as well

Affixation, conversion and compounding

  • Base = a form to which a rule of word formation is applied to
  • Stem = the part of the part remaining after every affix has been removed


A) affixation/derivation 

  • adding prefixes/suffixes to the base with/without changing the word-class
  • very productive process both in Czech + English
  • lexical morpheme + derivational morpheme -> a new word is formed (care->careful)
  • lexical morpheme + lexical morpheme -> compound (black + bird -> blackbird)
  • lexical morpheme + inflectional morpheme – a new word within a paradigm (tax->taxes)
  • blocking effect: exceptions block this rule – we apply the rule only after making sure that it’s not an exception (man ->men)
  • common suffixes  -er means agent X -ee  means patient


B) conversion

  • assigning the base to a different word class without changing its form
  • nouns, verbs and adjectives are most involved in conversion
  • conversion from V to N and vice versa are the most
  • I) partial conversion – word of one class appears in a function which is characteristic for another word class, e.g. the wealthy
  • II) full conversion – assigning the base to a different word class without changing its form; difficult to say what the base was and what the new form is
  • examples: verb -> noun: answer (= originally it was a verb); noun -> verb: mail, adjective -> noun: poor -> the poor


C) compounds

  • EN is analytical + isolational language, this means it should not form words by compounding, however compounding is very productive
  • A compound is a unit consisting of 2 or more bases
  • Orthographic criteria: compounds are written: 1) solid bedroom 2) hyphenated – tax-free c) open – reading material
  • Phonological criteria: main stress in on the first element, secondary stress is on the second element
  • Semantic criteria: the meaning elates slightly to both parts of the compound, but it has its own specific meaning as well
  • Compound words can be nouns ( blood + test = bloodtest), adjectives (tax + free = tax free) or verbs (spring + clean = spring-clean)
  • Quatational compound – not in CZ so we have to use other words to translate it, e.g. do-it-yourself, forget-me-not



  • Shortening of borrowed words
  • E.g. advertisement -> ad, sometimes more possibilities: veterinary/Veteran -> vet



  • Are formed from the first letters, we read them separately
  • e.g. From Latin i.e. (it est.)



  • Combination of syllables and initial letters, we usually read them like words (consonant + vowel combination) -> NATO
  • Usually names of institutions and product (e.g. radar is originally an acronym) X doesn’t have to be – e.g. ASAP (= as soon as possible)



  • A) proper coinage – neologism, e.g. farm
  • B) apelativization of propria – names of (usually) products after their inventors – e.g. Hoover, Xerox



  • Should be productive only in syntactic languages, however is very productive in English
  • Two lexical morphs made one word
  • e.g. smell + fog = smog



  • borrowing words from other languages
  • a) loan word = direct borrowing, e.g. alcohol – from Turkish,
  • b) calque = a loan word is translated into language, e.g. superman – ubermanch
  • I. German period – borrowing from Latin – e.g. cheese
  • II. Old English Period – borrowing from Latin – e.g. city + Vikings – e.g., bank
  • III. Middle English period – borrowing from Normans – government
  • IV Modern English period – many languages, e.g. Chinese – ketchup



  • E.g. goody-goody = hodňoučký


Author: Je to boj

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