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Stylistic classification of english vocabulary presentation transcript
Stylistic Classification of English Vocabulary - Presentation Transcript<br />Stylistic Classification of English Vocabulary ETRC seminar, Jan.15, 2009 Presenter: Smochin Olga , SPU “I. Creanga”, Chisinau <br />Word Study (1) <br />A word is a linguistic unit that <br />can be moved around relatively freely in a sentence; <br />can be stressed; <br />has only one primary stress; <br />can be pronounced naturally on its own; <br />can usually be inserted between two other words, but in the middle of a word. <br />Classification of Words <br />By level of usage <br />Common words <br />Literary words <br />Colloquial words <br />Slang words <br />Technical words <br />Classification of Words <br />Common words <br />Common words are connected with the ordinary things or activities necessary to everyday life. The core of the common words is the basic word stock. They are stylistically neutral, hence they are appropriate in both formal and informal writing and speech. <br />Classification of Words <br />Literary words <br />Literary words are chiefly used in writing, especially in books written in a more elevated style, in official documents, or in formal speeches. They are comparatively seldom used in ordinary conversation. In English, most of the literary words are of French, Latin or Greek origin. Many of them have their everyday synonyms. For example, cast (throw), edifice (building), endeavor (try), purchase (buy), etc. <br />More examples: recognition, distinction, inclination, dubious, amelioration… <br />Classification of Words <br />Colloquial words <br />In contrast with literary words, colloquial words or expressions are used mainly in spoken English, as in conversation among friends and colleagues. They can also be used in informal writings, but are inappropriate in formal speeches or writings. They are marked colloq. or informal in dictionaries. Such as: kid, guy, fellow, gay… <br />Classification of Words <br />Compare: <br />Feeling fatigued , Tom retired early. (literary) <br />Tom felt so dog-tired he hit the sack early. (colloquial) <br />John was dismissed for petty thieving. (common) <br />John was fired for petty thieving. (colloquial) <br />Penalties for overdue books will be strictly enforced (literary) <br />You have got to pay fines for overdue books.(colloquial) <br />They approved of the plan. (literary) <br />They agreed to the plan.(common) <br /> <br />Levels of Words <br />From a stylistic point of view , words are often divided into three types: <br />formal <br />common <br />colloquial <br />Formal words <br />In formal writing: formal words, learned words, or literary words, or big words (e.g. scholarly or theoretical words, political and legal documents, and formal lectures and addresses. ) <br />1) Many formal words contain three or more than three syllables ; most of them of Greek or Latin origin . <br />2) Formal words are seldom used in informal writing. <br />Common words <br />Common words: being used by common people every day, and appear in all kinds of writing <br />Common words are good for all kinds of writing <br />Colloquial words <br />Colloquial words are mainly used in informal or familiar conversation. <br />1) being short words of one or two syllables and most of them are of Saxon origin <br />2) seldom used in formal writing, unless for some special purpose or effect <br />Slang words <br />being often used by uneducated speakers , with dialectal words <br />being highly informal , vivid and interesting <br />Slang words <br />Slang is defined as language, words or phrases of a colorful, facetious (playfully jocular; humorous), or taboo nature, invented for specific occasions, or uses, or derived from the unconventional use of the standard vocabulary. The chief reason for the formation and use of slang expressions is to secure freshness and novelty. A slang usage is not generally used in formal conversation unless the speakers are on intimate terms; slang embraces those daring and new expressions that have not been accepted by the majority of people as Standard English. <br />Slang words <br />Beaver(girl) <br />Smoky, bear (police) <br />Nut, dome, upper, bean, block (head) <br />Elevated, merry, jolly, comfortable, boiled, tight, blue-eyed, stiff (drunk) <br />Technical words <br />Most of these technical terms are Latin or Greek in origin. In fact, they are part of literary words. Most of the technical words remain essentially foreign to outsiders, even to educated native speakers. However, under the influence of radio, television, newspaper and the Internet, we are witnessing a remarkable breaking down of the barrier between technical and common words. Many technical neologisms created yesterday by specialists are today heard in ordinary conversation, e.g. moonwalk, space shutter, gene, transgenic, clone, etc. <br />Types of words <br />Content word <br />1) mainly used for its lexical content <br />2) has separate entry in the mental lexicon <br />e.g. charming , fish , fly <br />Types of words <br />Function word <br />mainly used for its grammatical function <br />has separate entry in the mental lexicon <br />e.g. and, then , under <br />Types of words <br />Word form <br />shape of word <br />Doesn't have separate entry, but is included in entry information <br />e.g. fly , flying , flies , flew <br />Types of words word , e.g. break word form (inflection) break breaks breaking broke function word content word and , then , there car, happy, steal <br />Types of Words <br />Common words <br />only a few thousand words <br />the core of the English vocabulary <br />ordinary people for ordinary purposes <br />learn and remember <br />Formal and technical words <br />useful & formal words <br />by people of special professions or fields <br />political, legal, scientific, technical, business and literary <br />Common words <br />same ， speech ， learned ， destroy ， stiff, try ， piece, and so on <br />used in everyday conversation & in informal writing <br />Formal words <br />identical ， oration ， erudite ， annihilate ， rigid ， endeavor ， fragment <br />used only in formal writing like articles, documents, research papers, manuals and in public speaking <br />Technical words <br />Technical or special words refer to those words used in various special fields. Every branch of science, every profession or trade, every art and every sort of sports has its own technical terms. Most of the technical terms are Latin or Greek in origin. In fact, they are part of literary words. <br />Since language is constantly changing, the classification of words by level of usage is not absolute. <br />Standard English words used by all educated speakers of language <br />Nonstandard words <br />not well educated people <br />people of special groups <br />a particular region <br />an age group <br />slang <br />jargon <br />dialectal <br />obsolete <br />Parts of Speech <br />noun <br />article <br />verb <br />pronoun <br />numeral <br />adjective <br />adverb <br />preposition <br />conjunction <br />interjection <br />Examples of nonstandard words <br />Ain't ( am not, is not, has not ) jolly ( very ) cool ( very good ) <br />Hot ( angry; fast ) damn ( very ) deal ( agreement ) neat ( nice ) <br />Guidelines about the choice of words <br />Use common or informal words for general purposes; <br />use formal or nonstandard words only on special occasions or for special purposes; <br />Guidelines about the choice of words <br />Use specific and concrete words when giving details; <br />Use general or abstract words when making summaries; <br />Guidelines about the choice of words <br />Use idiomatic expressions and words in acceptable collocations; <br />avoid combinations that are unidiomatic; <br />Guidelines about the choice of words <br />When there are synonyms, choose the word that expresses the meaning most exactly and that suits the content and style. <br />General rules in the domain of vocabulary <br />Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched (unnatural) <br />Prefer the concrete word to the abstract <br />Prefer the single word to the circumlocution <br />Prefer the short word to the long <br />Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance <br />General & specific word Words are general or specific by comparison. e.g. He has a big house. Note: need not use them either in speech or in writing. Both general and specific words are useful in writing. e.g. He has a two-storeyed house with four bedrooms, two living-rooms, a dining-room and a kitchen . <br />Concrete and specific words specific words are more colorful and impressive usually think of general words first when we write <br />Idiomatic expressions are those habitually used by native speakers. Word-for-word translation from Romanian into English generally results in unidiomatic expressions. <br />Collocations <br />Meals will be served outside on the terrace, weather allowing. <br />They’ll give us our meals outside if the weather is good enough, <br />Weather allowing weather permitting <br />Thick fog and dense fog <br />Thick smoke and dense smoke <br />A thick forest and dense forest <br />But not: dense hair <br />Hair: long, black, dark, brown, cut, grey, blonde, short, red, fair, curly, dry, white, thick… <br />Collocations Collocations: words can be used together Collocations in English are often different from collocations in Romanian. We say , for instance, zapada, while in English the word snow is modified not by big but by heavy. <br />Collocation <br />Vitally successful <br />Acutely popular <br />Heartily serious <br />Deadly important <br />Supremely aware <br />Highly sick <br />Immensely confident <br />Synonyms Synonyms are words that have the same, or almost the same meaning. e.g. The wall was made of rocks . The wall was made of stones . <br />Some Synonyms <br />about <br />abstract <br />to accumulate <br />to administer <br />anyway <br />apparent <br />to appear <br />to assure <br />awful <br />approximately <br />summary <br />to build up <br />to manage <br />besides <br />obvious <br />to seem <br />to guarantee <br />terrible <br />Some Synonyms <br />to behave <br />beneficial <br />bid <br />bloodless <br />branch <br />business <br />busy (telephone) <br />to act <br />Favourable <br />tender <br />cold <br />department <br />commerce, trade <br />engaged <br />Some Synonyms <br />to categorize <br />chiefly <br />citation <br />clever <br />completely <br />to confine <br />constant <br />to convey <br />to classify <br />mainly <br />quotation <br />intelligent <br />totally <br />to restrict <br />fixed <br />to communicate <br />More Synonyms <br />eager <br />to emphasize <br />to encounter <br />essential <br />to evaluate <br />exactly <br />except <br />extra <br />keen <br />to stress <br />to come across <br />fundamental <br />to assess <br />precisely <br />apart from <br />additional <br />1. Development of English vocabulary <br />The study of the historical development of the English vocabulary should not be treated in isolation from the history and the growth of the English language itself. Understanding the history may give us an insight into the nature of English: extremely rich and heterogeneous, a heavy borrower, full of synonyms, global language. <br />The Historical Development <br />The history of the English language is divided into three periods. <br />The Old English (450-1100) <br />The Middle English (1100-1500) <br />The Modern English (1500-present) <br />The Old English (450-1100 ) <br />The history of the English language begins with the conquest and settlement of what is now England by the Angles, Saxons, and the Jutes from about 450 AD. The language they spoke was Anglo-Saxon , which replaced the Celtic spoken by the former inhabitants Celts. <br />The Old English (450-1100) <br />The vocabulary of Old English was chiefly Anglo-Saxon with a small mixture of Old Norse words as a result of the Scandinavian or the Danish conquests of England in the ninth century, such as, cake, call, egg, knife, take, give, etc. The English continued to adopt words from Latin during the Old English period due to the Angles and Saxons’ various contacts with the Romans, such as, candle, kettle, mountain, school, cup, etc. <br />The Middle English (1100-1500) <br />Middle English is characterized by the strong influence of French following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Since the French-speaking Normans were the ruling class, French was used for all state affairs and for most social and cultural matters; but the masses continued to speak English. The language that emerged at that time showed vast and significant changes in the English vocabulary---the loss of a large part of the Old English word stock and the adoption of thousands of French words. <br />The Middle English (1100-1500) <br />The Norman Conquest: <br />William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England and the Anglo-Saxons in 1066 AD. <br />The Middle English (1100-1500) <br />The French loan words were found in every section of the vocabulary: <br />law and governmental administration ( judge, jury, justice, country, government, parliament, state …), <br />military affairs ( conquer, sergeant, victory …), <br />religion ( baptism, confess, divine, sermon …), <br />food ( beef, pork, dinner, mutton …), <br />art ( beauty, image, design …), <br />literature ( chapter, poet, prose, rime …), and so on. <br />The Middle English (1100-1500) <br />The Middle English literary culture was mostly an oral one, and literacy levels were still low at this time. Middle English poetry is a particularly oral genre, and is often structured so as to make it easy to remember, either through rhyme or through alliteration <br />The Modern English (1500-present) <br />In the early stages of this period, the Renaissance brought great changes to the vocabulary. In this period, the study of classics was stressed and the result was the wholesale borrowing from Latin . <br />From the sixteenth century onward, English borrowed words from an increasing number of languages, the major ones being the three Romance languages , French, Spanish, and Italy. English also adopted words from other European languages. <br />At the turn of the 19 th and 20 th centuries, as a result of exploration, colonization and trade, many words came in from non-European languages. <br />The Modern English (1500-present) <br />Since the beginning of this century, particularly after World War II, the world has seen breathtaking advances in science and technology . As a result, thousands and thousands of new words have been created to express new ideas, inventions, and scientific achievements. Although borrowing remained an important channel of vocabulary expansion, yet more words are created by means of word-formation. <br />As summed up in The Encyclopedia Americana : “…The English language has vast debts. In any dictionary some 80% of the entries are borrowed” English is supposed to have the most copious vocabulary of all the language in the world, estimated at more than a million words. <br />B. The rapid growth of present-day English vocabulary (especially after the World War II) and its causes <br />After World War II, neologisms (new words or new meanings for established words) swept in at any rate much faster than that of the pre-war period. The main reasons for the frequent appearance of neologisms are three: <br />1. Marked progress of science and technology: <br />Since the end of World War II, tremendous new advances in all fields of science and technology have given rise to the creation in the English language of tens of thousands of new words. <br />The great majority of these are technical terms known only to the specialists, but a certain number of them have become familiar to the public and passed into general use. <br />e.g. Words used in connection with the nuclear bomb: chain reaction, radioactivity, fall-out; clean bomb, overkill, neutron bomb and medium-range ballistic missiles and so on. <br />Words connected with the exploration of space : astronaut, countdown, capsule, launching pad, spacemen, space suit, space platform and space shuttle etc . <br />2. Socio-economic, political and cultural changes: (aspects that connect with the introduction of new words) <br />e.g. New social habits and new living conditions: hire purchase, credit card, fringe benefit; chores, house sitter, house sitting, pressure cooker, microwave oven, instant noodle, supermarket etc. <br />Drug addiction: upper (a stimulant drug), downer (a depressant drug) <br />Some subculture: hippie, yuppie, gay, lesbian etc. <br />Women’s Liberation Movement: Ms, chairperson, spokeswomen, saleswoman, feminism, malechauvinism, and sexism. <br />Changes in education: open classroom “an informal flexible system of elementary education in which open discussions and individualized activities replace the traditional subject-centered studies”, Open University etc. <br />3. The influence of other cultures and languages: Examining the English vocabulary in its historical perspective, one can see that <br />English is characterized by a marked tendency to go outside her own linguistic resources and borrow from other languages. Although this borrowing has slowed down, it is still an important factor in vocabulary development. <br />e.g. discotheque from French, sputnik from Russian, mao tai from Chinese and so on. <br />The development of science, the rapid changes in society, the receptive and flexible nature of English with regard to the influence of other cultures and languages---all these have resulted <br />in a dramatic increase in vocabulary, a growth which in turn contributes to the richness and resourcefulness of the English language. <br />Good Dictionaries <br />Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English <br />Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English <br />Thank you! <br />