Lexikologie - anglická filologie

Lexikologie – anglická filologie

Lexical meaning and its analysis (word, word form, lexeme, lexical unit; onomasiology, semasiology; concept, denotation, connotation, reference, components of meaning / seme, sememe; ambiguity vs vagueness; word as a sign, arbitrariness, iconicity, motivation, onomatopoeia, sound symbolism)


Lexical meaning

Extra linguistic reality

  •  its main feature and characteristic is vagueness X ambiguity = e.g. red can in English mean red colour (the opposite of blue), the colour of Soviet flag, the colour of hair, to contrast it with Czech: červená, rudá, zrzavé -> red is polysemy



  • human perceiving of extra linguistic reality, changes with the development of knowledge



  • Sort of iconicity 

a) constructional iconicity  majority of words have constructional iconicity , e.g. noun’s plural

b) Irregularity – e.g. man->men

  • „>Motivation of vocabulary is partly clear – suffixes, prefixes
  • Its feature is arbitrariness
  • Limits of arbitrariness

1. law of economy ? words can?t be usually longer than 4 syllables
2. phonological system of the language
3. interjections, onomatopoeic words = products of inanimate nature (water bobbles – voda bublá)
4. inner structure words ? compounds, derivations

Difference English versus Czech

– they differ in clearance of meaning
1. Sometimes CZ words are clearer – e.g. put on – in En it can have many meaning: obléci si, nasadit, nazout….
2. Sometimes En words are more clear – e.g. domácí – in Czech it can have many meanings: home-made, home grown, landlord, landlady….



– due to demotivation meaning becomes more obscure
1. graphemic – variant spelling, e.g. pasttime or pastime
2. phonetic – different pronunciation, e.g. Monday
3. morphological variants – e.g. washing machine or washer
4. semantic – the difference between call boy and call girl

Components of meaning

1. denotation = set of discrete features, e.g. bread is called bread because they used to break it into pieces in order to eat it; lord is called lord because it used to be a person who gave a loaf….
2. connotation a)expressivity I) positive – kid II) neutral – child III) negative – brat III) euphemism – the use of another word to replace a taboo word, e.g. piss->pee
b) Stylistic value – formal, informal, poetic style, slang….
c) Association -we often associate the word with other meanings, e.g. woman – mother, maid, irrationality…
d) Context – what is around, e.g. an old house can be an ancient house or a house in a very bad condition
e) Collacability – some words can?t collocate, e.g. pretty collocates only with woman not with man



1. Combination of sounds + its representation in writing that symbolizes or communicates a meaning
1. full word/lexical word
2. grammatical word ? auxiliaries (be, have, do), copulas…¨



– wider than a word
1. realisation of several morphological words – do, does, did
2. words composite in structure/idioms, although there are more words, still 1 lexeme
– throw out, know the ropes


– content of lexeme, the smallest unit of meaning, e.g. pluralizing morpheme s expresses plurality
1. classemes – the division into classes -> concrete/abstract, male/female…..
2. special semenes ? e.g. snail -> + – shell
seme – single characterization of semene


sound symbolism

– example of partial motivation
– group of words characterised by a particular sound
– in En: f means a smooth movement – fly, float, flee
– in CZ: pl means a smooth movement – plout, plynout, plavit…



– Something what stands for something else that conveys a meaning
– Differ in the degree of arbitrariness
1. operational sign – arbitrariness is very high, e.g. +, -….; they stand for speech sounds
2. symptom – the casual realization, cloud -> rain
3. symbol – partially arbitrary sign accepted by society – e.g. cross
4. signal – more arbitrary but must be from 1 branch – e.g. traffic signals
5. language signs
6. Iconicity signs – e.g. how people were pictured in paintings – Christ was big, donator smaller, donator’s wife even smaller….

Author: Je to boj

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