POLYSEMY Lecture 5 POLYSEMY 1. 2. 3. 4. POLYSEMY DIACHRONIC APPROACH TO POLYSEMY SYNCHRONIC APPROACH TO POLYSEMY HISTORICAL CHANGEABILITY OF SEMANTIC STRUCTURE 5. POLYSEMY AND CONTEXT. TYPES OF CONTEXT. 1. POLYSEMY Polysemy – is the ability of a word to possess several meanings or lexicosemantic variants (LSV), e.g. bright means “shining” and “intelligent”. Monosemantic word - a word having only one meaning; Polysemantic word - a word having several meanings is called The meanings of the word table in Modern English. стол table 1. a piece of furniture 1. предмет обстановки (сидеть за столом) 2. the persons seated at a table 2. Ср. арх. застолица 3. the food put on a table, meals; cooking 3. пища (подаваемая на стол), еда 4. a flat slab of stone or board 4. Ср. плита 5. slabs of stone (with words written on them or cut into them) 5. Ср. скрижали 6. Bibl. Words cut into slabs of stone (the ten tables). 6. Ср. заповеди 7. an orderly arrangement of facts, figures, etc. 7. Ср. таблица 8. part of a machine-tool 8. Ср. планшайба 9. a level area, plateau ['pl1tq4] 9. Ср. плато 10. Адресный стол 11. Стол заказов Prof. V.V. Vinogradov Meanings are fixed and common to all people, who know the language system. The usage is only possible application of one of the meanings of a polysemantic word, sometimes very individual, more or less familiar. Meaning is not identical with usage. Prof. A.I. Smirnitsky All the meanings of the word form identity supported by the form of the word. A lexico-semantic variant (LSV) - a twofacet unit. Words with one meaning are represented in the language system by one LSV, polysemantic words – by a number of LSV. They are united together by a certain meaning – the semantic centre of the word. 2. DIACHRONIC APPROACH TO POLYSEMY Polysemy in diachronic term implies that a word may retain its previous meaning or meanings and at the same time acquire one or several new ones. According to the approach there are two types of meaning can be singled out: 1. the primary meaning; 2. the secondary meaning (derived) 3. SYNCHRONIC APPROACH TO POLYSEMY Synchronically polysemy is understood as the coexistence of various meanings of the same word at a certain historical period of the development of the English language. According to the approach there are two types of meaning can be singled out: 1. the central (basic) meaning – the most frequent; 2. marginal (minor) meanings – all other meanings. 4. HISTORICAL CHANGEABILITY OF SEMANTIC STRUCTURE The semantic structure is never static, the relationship between the diachronic and synchronic evaluation of individual meanings may be different in different periods of the historical development of language. The primary meaning of the word may become synchronically one of its marginal meanings and diachronically a secondary meaning may become the central meaning of the word. ‘significant appearance, token’ ‘information tending to establish fact’ Middle English diachronically synchronically primary central secondary marginal Modern English diachronically synchronically primary marginal secondary central Evidence 5. POLYSEMY AND CONTEXT Context is the minimum stretch of speech determining each individual meaning of the word. Context can be linguistic (verbal) or extra-linguistic (non-verbal). Linguistic context can be subdivided into lexical and grammatical. TYPES OF CONTEXT Linguistic contexts: In the lexical context of primary importance are the groups of lexical items combined with the polysemantic word under consideration, e.g. heave table (of great weigh); heavy rain (abundant, falling with force); heavy industry (the larger kind of smth). In the grammatical context it is the grammatical (syntactic) structure of the context that serves to determine various individual meanings of a polysemantic word. The meaning of the verb to make – ‘to force, to induce’ is found only in the grammatical context possessing the syntactic structure ‘to make+pronoun+verb (to make sb laugh, work, dance). Another meaning of this verb – ‘to become’ is observed in the context of a different syntactic structure – to make+adj+noun (to make a good wife, good teacher). Extra-linguistic context When the meaning of a word is ultimately determined by the actual speech situation in which the word is used, i.e. by the extralinguistic context (or context of situation), e.g. John was looking for the glasses, the meaning of word glasses has two readings ‘spectacles’ or to ‘drinking vessels’ . It is possible to state the meaning of the word glasses only through the extended context or situation References: 1. Зыкова И.В. Практический курс английской лексикологии. М.: Академия, 2006. – С.2932. 2. Бабич Н.Г. Лексикология английского языка. Екатеринбург – Москва, 2006. – С. 62-63. 3. Гинзбург Р.З. Лексикология английского языка. М.: Высшая школа, 1979. – С. 33-38. 4. Антрушина Г.Б., Афанасьева О.В., Морозова Н.Н. Лексикология английского языка. М.: Дрофа, 2006. – С. – 131-136.