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Lexicology

20.10.2015

Neologisms

Pop-up restaurants,
staycation,
glamping,
a fascinator,
backpacking,
couch surfing,
zipline
How do we translate them into Slovene?

Lexicology vs. contrastive lexicology


Lexicology is the study of the
lexicon , or lexis, or vocabulary, of a
given language or of language in
general.
Contrastive lexicology must then
be the contrastive study of the
vocabularies of (at least) two
languages.

Contrastive lexicology
Contrastive lexicology is the
comparative study of the
vocabularies of two or more
languages. Its essential task is to
examine how the data of human
experience are reflected in the word
material of the languages compared.
(Van Roey, 1990)
How is it done?

Contrastive lexicology
Practically, the linguist will do this by
examining whether and to what
extent the words of one language
can be said to be translational
equivalents or interlingual
synonyms of the words of another
language.
(Van Roey, 1990)

General vs. contrastive


lexicology
general lexicology examines or
contrasts lexical items of one and the
same language (referred to as the
intralingual or intralexical
perspective).

Itralingual or intralexical
perspective
Discusses, for instance, the largely
synonymous words in the
language:
adjectives in English, for instance
broad and wide,
the verbs, for instance scold,
reprimand and tell off,
the nouns, such as concept and
notion.

Itralingual or intralexical
perspective
OR
discusses the conditions under
which the native speakers use some
words:
for instance, downright,
it is largely synonymous with
thorough(ly), complete(ly),
BUT associated with something bad
or undesirable.

Downright vs. thorough(ly)


...ideas that would have been
downright dangerous if put into
practice...
BUT
I thoroughly enjoyed your
programme...

General lexicology
Also discusses:
idiom comprehension,
for instance, its raining cats and
dogs,
OR
on the surface deceptively simple
word combinations:
for instance, get a life!, or way to
go!

General lexicology
Also examines principles of
compositionality, it is exceedingly difficult
to classify all significant word
combinations.
There is a cline or a continuum of
options between the two extremes of
fully opaque word combinations (to
throw in the towel) and
fully transparent word combinations
(to throw a stone).

General lexicology
deals also with polysemy and
homonymy, the phenomenon of
words having the same form but
different meanings (record, close,
drop, fly, row).

Contrastive lexicology
Looks for differences or sometimes
also similarities between the lexical
terms of two languages (interference
or transfer, or currently fashionable
term cross linguistic influence),
for instance, in meaning and form.

Contrastive lexical problems

False friends
gimnazija is not gymnasium,
intruirati is not to instruct,
perspektiven is not perspective ("It
is useful occasionally to look at the
past to gain a perspectiveon the
present),
faktografski is not factographic
this word does not even exist in
English.

Contrastive lexical problems


Interlingual lexical and referential
gaps:
for instance the Slovene words:
index,
pogojni vpis,
stvarna lastna imena,
gasilska fotografija
How do we translate them in English?

Contrastive lexical problems


Culture-bound vocabulary
Slovenian words: maturant,
hopitacija, absolvent, pavzer, izpitni
rok, pogojni vpis, klavzura, kolektivni
dopust, Zeleni Jurij, dober tek, kosilo,
GANCI, vpis v ALNO KNJIGO
English words: happy hour, haggis,
brunch
How do we translate them?

Lexicology vs. lexicography


Lexicology words, (lexicology is
the study of the vocabulary of a
language).
Lexicography dictionaries,
(lexicography is the theory and
practice of dictionary-making).
Dictionaries are determined by: aim,
size and intended users.
Dictionaries for encoding or
decoding activities.

Lexicography

Native-speaker dictionaries,
Monolingual learners dictionaries,
Monolingual collocation dictionaries,
Bilingual dictionaries,
Specialized dictionaries,
Online dictionaries
What dictionaries do you use and
why?

Monolingual dictionaries of
English
For native speakers typically
encyclopedic
For foreign learners more
selective entry list, simple and
carefully worded definitions, many
examples, collocations, indication
of style, often for both decoding
and encoding tasks

Bilingual dictionaries
Rather than providing definitions they assist
with translation between languages,
Focus on decoding,
Explanations by means of translation
equivalents,
Selection of entries based on contrastive
considerations,
A common problem of context-neutral
information in dictionaries vs. contextsensitive needs of the user.

General or specialized
dictionaries
General for general purpose.
and
Specialized for a specialized
language (abbreviations, catch
phrases, foreign terms, idioms,
neologisms),
or a special subject field
(archeology, geography, tourism)

The study of words


Word meaning is: the use, and relational
meaning.
Word types:
lexical words (content, full, vocabulary
words) are most of the open-class words:
nouns, main verbs, adjectives, some adverbs,
grammatical words (function, empty,
structure words), closed-class words: mostly
auxiliary verbs, determiners, conjunctions,
articles, prepositions, pronouns.

Some other types of words


Signals, for instance oh, um-hmm,
hiss, boo

Other recent categorizations


Widdowson (1983) introduced a
distinction between
procedural or indexical
vocabulary, items that explain or
define other words, instrument, type
, and
schematic vocabulary, items
occurring in a narrow range of texts
within certain scientific and technical
fields, hydrometer

Another recent
categorization
Another distinction (Salkie, 1995):
General words (stuff, place, creature,
person, thing), and
specialized words (chromosome,
appendix, affirmative).
The same word can function in both
categories depending on the context (to
prove).
What are the two meanings?

To prove

.
.
.
(Cookery)(intr)(ofdough)torisein
awarm place beforebaking

Another recent
categorization
Core vocabulary (Carter, 1998): the
essential words with their meanings,
needed to communicate at basic
level.
For instance, in learners
dictionaries it is often indicated
that they give the most complete
information about core words.

Contemporary lexicology
(Read, 2000)
high-frequency vocabulary, major word
families,
low-frequency vocabulary, known and
used by few,
specialized vocabulary, technical terms
occurring in particular registers,
subtechnical vocabulary, used across a
range of registers or topic areas (analyze,
context).

Many ways of looking at


words
Basically we can see words as (Singleton,
2000):
lexemes or word forms (units of vocabulary),
orthographic units,
phonological units,
grammatical units.
Or
Semantic units as
content words and
form words.

Dimensions of the lexical


item
Knowing a word has several dimensions:
the item itself, its denotation and its
figurative senses, its polysemy (bright sky,
bright child),
its phraseology (idioms, lexical phrases,
collocations, compounds),
its patterns (extended chunks), for instance the
time spent playing the game,
its semantic associations (horse vs. animal),
context, its linguistic or situational environment.

Word knowledge
Pronunciation, spelling,
word structure (inflections, derivations),
grammatical behavior in a phrase and
sentence,
collocations,
frequency,
associations or lexical relations with other
words (synonymy, hyponymy),
meaning, denotative, metaphorical, connotative,
stylistic (register), pragmatic (appropriateness).

Knowing a word (Carter, 1998) in L2


Knowing how to use the word productively,
having the ability to recall it,
knowing the likelihood of encountering it in
spoken or written context,
knowing the syntactic frames and derivations,
knowing the relations with other words,
perceiving its coreness (core vocabulary),
knowing the collocational patterns,
knowing the word as part of fixed expressions.

Knowing the word jump


the basic dictionary equivalent in L1, skoiti, poskoiti,
napasti
knowing its other senses, polysemous item, (to leap or
spring, to jerk, to pass or skip over, to promote in rank,
(British,slang)an act of sexual intercourse)
knowing grammatical facts: transitive and intransitive
verb, and noun,
knowing the derivatives, jumper, jumpy
knowing the compounds, jump rope, jumpsuit, bungee
jumping, high jump, long jump, triple jump
knowing the phraseological facts, jump the traffic light,
jump the queue, jump to a conclusion, jump the gun