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•Lexicology (from Greek lexis “word” and logos
“learning”)is the part of linguistics dealing with the
vocabulary of the language and the properties of
words as the main units of language.
•Lexicology as a branch of linguistics has its own
aims and methods of scientific research, its basic
task being a study and systematic description of
vocabulary in respect to its origin, development and
•Lexicology is concerned with words, variable word-
groups, phraseological units, and with morphemes
which make up words.
Types of lexicology
General Lexicology is
concerned with the
general study of words
irrespective of the
specific features of any
Special Lexicology is
concerned with the study
and description of
vocabulary and vocabulary
units of a given language.
lexicology) – deals with
the vocabulary and
vocabulary units of a
particular language at a
lexicology) – deals
with the changes and
the development of
vocabulary in the
course of time.
•Lexicology is linked with Grammar because the
word is used in speech as a grammatical unit, in
certain grammatical forms and functions.
•Grammar studies means of expressing grammatical
relations between words in speech and patterns
after which words are combined into word-groups
Also lexicology has connections with Phonetics. If we
change the stress, we change the meaning of the
word and even part of the speech: rEcord – recOrd,
cOment – comEnt; blackboard – black board,
blackbird – black bird.
One of the problems of lexicology is stylistic
characteristics. Stylistics studies different stylistic
styles. The reflection of the style is in the text. E.g.
bookish style we often can find in classical fiction or
textbooks; collocations – in speech.
And the last connection is with Social Linguistics
(Cultural Studies): language is a part of the culture,
it’s a reflection of the mentality of people. There are
some specific word combinations and associations in
every language. E.g. professions: kindness is
associated with social workers.
Types of word meaning
Grammatical meaning is an expression in speech
of relationships between words based on
contrasting features of arrangement in which they
Lexical meaning is the realization of concept or
emotion by means of a definite language system.
The lexical meaning of every word depends upon
the part of speech to which the word belongs.
Lexical meaning is further divided into:
• Conceptual meaning Conceptual meaning forms
the basis for communication as the same word has
the same conceptual meaning to all the speakers of
the same language.
• Associate meaning is the secondary meaning
supplemented to the conceptual meaning.
• Connotative meaning.
In contrast to denotative meaning, connotative meaning refers to
the overtones or associations which a word suggests or implies.
• Stylistic meaning.
Words may have stylistic features, which make them
appropriate for different contexts. This stylistic difference is
especially true of synonyms.
• Affective meaning.
Affective meaning indicates the speaker’s attitude towards the
person or thing in question.
• Collocative meaning.
Collocative meaning consists of the associations a word acquires
in its collocation. In other words, it is that part of the word
meaning suggested by the words before or after the word in
Free-word groups and
The free word-groups are only relatively free
as collectability of their member-words is
fundamentally delimited by their lexical and
Phraseological units are comparatively
stable and semantically inseparable.
Distinctive features of
free-word groups and phraseological units
Free word-groups Phraseological units
are formed in the
process of speech
according to the
standards of the
exist in the language
are constructed in the
joining together words
into a phrase;
are reproduced in
speech as ready-
have any of the
forms of their pattern.
have just one form of
all the forms of their
no substitution is
each of its
meaning belongs to
the word group as a
Semantics is the study of meanings of
words, phrases and sentences.
Semantics is a subfield of linguistics that
is traditionally defined as the study of
meaning of (parts of) words, phrases,
sentences, and texts.
Semantic classification of
• Semantic classification of phraseological units is
based on the motivation of the unit. It is divided
further into three categories.
1. Phraseological fusions:
Phraseological fusions are units
whose meaning cannot be deduced from the meanings
of their component parts. The meaning of PFs is
unmotivated at the present stage of language
2. Phraseological unities:
Phraseological unities are
expressions the meaning of which can be deduced from
the meanings of their components; the meaning of the
whole is based on the transferred meanings of the
components, e.g. to show one’s teeth (to be unfriendly),
They are motivated expressions.
3. Phraseological collocations:
collocations are not only motivated but contain one
component used in its direct meaning, while the other is
used metaphorically, e.g. to meet requirements, to attain
•Word formation is the creation of a
•It is a branch of science of the language,
which studies the patterns on which a
language forms new lexical items (new
unities, new words)
•It’s a process of forming words by
combining root and affixal morphemes.
Types of word
There are 2 ways of word formation: productive
and non-productive ways.
•Productive ways: includes affixation, word
composition, conversion, abbreviation.
•Non-productive way: includes sound
interchange, stress interchange, sound imitation,
blending, back formation.
• It consists of adding an affix to the stem of a
definite part of speech. The main function of
affixation is to form one part of speech from
• The secondary function is to change the lexical
meaning of the same part of speech.
• Affixation is divided into suffixation and
• A prefix is an affixation process that includes
adding a morpheme at the beginning of the word.
•It is a formation of new words by adding suffixes to
•There are 5 groups of suffixation:
- Noun-forming –er, -dom, -ism
- Adjective-forming –able, -less, -ous
- Verb-forming -ize, -ify, -en
- Adverb-forming –ly, -ward, -wise
- Numeral-forming –teen, -ty, -fold
•It refers to the joining of two separate words to
produce a single word. The two words don’t lose
their individual sounds.
• This is the change of the function of the word. For
example when a noun comes to be used as a verb.
Bag – to bag
Back – to back
Bottle – to bottle
• Clipping a synonym of reduction. In this process a word
that has more than one syllable is reduced to a shorter
• Brassiere (bra)
• Fanatic (fan)
• Situation Comedy (sitcom)
•Word groups can be shortened.
•Abbreviation can be graphical (a.m.- in the
morning, i.e.- that is) and Initial (J.V.- joint
venture, BBC, UK, UNESCO)
•Abbreviation of words consists in clipping a part
of a word.
• New words are formed from a word group or
two synonyms by clipping the end of the first
component and the beginning of the second
• medical + care = Medicare
• Spanish + English = Spanglish
• Modulator + demodulator = Modem
• Backformation or Negative derivation is a concept
that complex word exists first, the non-affixed
form is derived later, e.g.
–baby-sitter to baby-sit
–editor to edit
• is one of the ways of word building, based on a shift
'conduct – to con'duct
'present – to pre'sent
'frequent - to fre'quent
•Lexicology is that branch of
linguistics which is associated
with each and every aspect of
English learning and language