There are a lot of definitions of the lexical meaning. In our country the definition given by V.V. Vinogradov is commonly used: it is his subject – real content, decorated according to the laws of grammar of the language, and being part of the common vocabulary of the semantic system of the language.
As for the structure of the lexical meaning, most of the scholars differentiate denotational and connotational (pragmatic) components. But some scholars distinguish connotative and pragmatic meanings.
Different scholars distinguish different components of this structure. Almost all of them use significative and denotative components. Arnold distinguishes also connotational meaning. According to Nikitin it should be distinguished implicational and semiotic meanings. The last include
Показать всеs pragmatic and cognitive meanings.
According to Professor V.V. Vinogradov lexical meaning comprises nominative, nominative-derivative, collegationally conditioned, collocationally conditioned, phraseologically bound meanings.
Therefore the question of the meaning of a word is quite disputable in modern linguistics.
Language is primarily a means of communication, the most important means of communication. This is why the main category of linguistics is meaning.
In the lexicology exists a special branch which is called semasiology. It studies word meaning and semantic relations between words. The major fields of study of semasiology are:
the word meaning, its structure and components (lexical and grammatical meaning);
meaning change, development of meanings, the nature of polysemy;
semantic relations between words: synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy-hyperonymy, holonymy-meronymy, etc.
There are a lot of difficulties in defining the word meaning. It is unfortunate, however, that the term 'meaning' turns out to be elusive and is used to cover a variety of linguistic and extralinguistic aspects. This is t
Показать всеhe reason why there is no general agreement either about what meaning is or about the way in which it should be described.
The word meaning is not homogeneous, but it consists of several components, which are considered as types of meaning. The scholars distinguish 2 types of meaning to be found in words and word forms:
the grammatical (categorial) meaning;
the lexical (material) meaning.
In this essay, the lexical meaning of a word is discussed. Скрыть
The main text 4
1. The definition of the lexical meaning 4
2. The structure of the lexical meaning 5
1. Арнольд И.В. Лексикология современного английского языка: Учеб. для ин-тов и фак. иностр. яз. — 3-е изд., перераб. и доп. — М.: Высш. шк., 1986. — 295 е.
2. Беляева Е.П. Курс лекций по лексикологии. Электронный ресурс. Режим доступа: http://gendocs.ru/v5928/лекции_на_английском_языке_-_лексикологияlexicology_беляева_е.п (дата обращения 15.02.2014)
3. Виноградов В.В. Основные типы лексических значений слова // Виноградов В. В. Избранные труды. Лексикология и лексикография. – М., 1977. – С.162-189.
4. Лексикология английского языка: Учебник для ин-тов и фак. иностр. яз. / Р.3. Гинзбург, С.С. Хидекель, Г.Ю. Князева и А.А. Санкин. – 2-е изд., испр. и доп. – М.: Высш. школа, 1979. – 269 с.
5. Минаева Л.В. Лексикология и лексикография английского языка / English. Lexicology and Lexicogfaphy.
Показать все– М.: АСТ, Астрель, 2007. – 142 с.
6. Никитин М.В. Лексическое значение слова (структура и комбинаторика). – М.: Высшая школа, 1983. – 127 с.
7. Никитин М.В. Курс лингвистической семантики. – СПб.: Изд-во РГПУ им. А.И. Герцена, 2007. – 819 с.
8. Crystal D. English vocabulary. The Structure of the Lexicon: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language / David Crystal. – Cambridge University Press, 1995. – 490 p. Скрыть
When the word serves a name for a class of objects and denotes a general idea of an object it is used in its significative meaning (Арнольд, 1986, c. 47).
E.g.: The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work (Frost).
When it serves a name for individual elements of reality it is used in its demonstrative meaning (Арнольд, 1986, c. 47).
E.g. : "Do you remember what the young lady did with the telegram?" (Christie).
Generally speaking, connotation is an additional component of the lexical meaning, based on an emotional attitude of the speaker to the object denoted by the word.
The connotational meaning combines:
the emotive charge is one of the objective semantic features proper to words as linguistic units that forms part of the connotational comp
Показать всеonent of meaning, for example, daddy as compared to father.
evaluation, which may be positive or negative, for instance, clique (a small group of people who seem unfriendly to other people) as compared to group (a set of people) (Гинзбург, 1979, 21);
imagery, for example, to wade – to walk with an effort (through mud, water or anything that makes progress difficult). The figurative use of the word gives rise to another meaning, which is based on the same image as the first – to wade through a book;
intensity / expressiveness, for instance, to adore – to love (Беляева, эл.).
Connotations vary according to the experience of individuals, and are to some degree unpredictable. On the other hand, because people do have some common experiences, many lexemes in the language have connotations which would be shared by large groups of speakers. Among the widely-recognized connotations of city, for example, are ‘hustle’, ‘crowds’, ‘dust’, ‘excitement’, ‘fun’, and ‘sin’ (Crystal, 1995, p.170).
Connotative meanings are to some extent a social phenomenon. They are developed by the community. The connotation of the name can be compared with the attribute or attributes which could be used to describe the name. The denotation of the name is any object to which the name applies. For example, the word city connotes the attributes of largeness, populousness. It denotes individual objects such as London, New York, Paris.
Some scholars distinguish connotative and pragmatic meanings. They define the pragmatic meaning as the part of lexical meaning that conveys information on the situation of communication. This information can include:
the ‘time and space’ relationship of the participants. For example, the words come and go can indicate the location of the speaker who is usually taken as the zero point in the description of the situation of communication.
In this case the time element is fixed indirectly. Indirect reference to time implies that the frequency of occurrence of words may change with time and in extreme cases words may be out of use or become obsolete. Thus, the word behold – ‘take notice, see (smth. unusual)’ as well as the noun beholder – ‘spectator’ are out of use now but were widely used in the 17th century.
the participants and the given language community. The language may indicate the social status of a person, his education, profession, etc. The pragmatic aspect of the word also may convey information about the social system of the given language community, its ideology, religion, system of norms and customs.
the tenor of discourse. They may reflect how the addresser interacts with the addressee. Tenors are based on social or family role of the participants of communication.
the register of communication. The register defines the general type of the situation of communication grading the situations in formality (Беляева, эл.).
Three main types of the situations of communication are usually singled out: formal, neutral and informal. Thus, the pragmatic aspect of meaning refers words like cordial, fraternal, anticipate, aid to formal register while units like cut it out, to be kidding, stuff, hi are to be used in the informal register.
One more variant of the structure of the lexical meaning is offered by M.V. Nikitin. First of all he distinguishes the implicational and semiotic components of the lexical meaning.
Implicational meaning is based on a natural linkage of objects in reality. In this case the two things, events or phenomena are combined in the consciousness by means of implicational dependency, reflecting their natural (natural) connection in reality. Thus implicational meaning is characterized by cultural and territorial bounds (Никитин, 1983, 24). For example:
Summer – hot, green, sunny – associations connected with a name.
The author distinguishes four types of implicational meaning:
rigid implication (жесткий имплекционал), which includes highly probable features of summer (for Russia – жара, солнце)
strong implication, which includes probable features of summer (засуха, дожди)
weak implication which includes unlikely features of summer – листопад;
negative implication which includes features that can never be applied to this referent (снег, мороз).
In the case of semiotic meaning the two things, events or phenomena are combined in the consciousness by means of arbitrary and conventional link, especially established for the sake of communication. Thus, the link between the sign and the referent do not exist in reality (Никитин, 2007, с. 27-28). For example:
summer (June – August); cat.
Semiotic meaning according to M.V. Nikitin includes pragmatic and cognitive meanings.
Pragmatic component presents our subjunctive attitude towards the world and its elements (depends on our life experience). This valuation is represented in oppositions: good – bad; interesting – indifferent – not interesting; beautiful – ugly etc. (Никитин, 2007, с. 28). Скрыть
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