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POLYSEMY. I.Answer the following questions






I. Answer the following questions.

1) What is polysemy?

2) Are most English words polysemantic? If so, why?

3) What is the semantic structure of a word?

4) How are separate meanings of a polysemantic word related?

5) How can polysemy be viewed synchronically and diachronically? What are the main sources of polysemy?

6) What is the national character of a semantic structure?

What are specific characteristics of the semantic structures of English polysemantic words?

7) What are the relations between the semantic structures of English and Russian correlated words?

 

II. Choose a polysemantic word. Prove that its meanings are related one to another.

 

III. Could you define these terms?

The primary meaning, a secondary meaning, a derived meaning, the central (basic) meaning, a minor meaning, a direct meaning, a figurative (transferred meaning), a free meaning, a bound meaning, a nominative meaning, an evaluative meaning.

 

IV. How can we identify the central meaning? What criteria can be used? Are they all equally important and reliable?

 

V. Analyze the semantic structure of the following words identifying the types of their meanings:

mouse, glass, flame, green, meat, fair (a)

 

 

VI. The underlined words in the sentences below are polysemantic. Characterize their meaning in the contexts of these sentences.

1) What does polysemy mean?

2) Make a note of any special register characteristics that a word has.

3) We had a light lunch.

4) The judge increased the sentence to life imprisonment.

5) Where does the stress go on the noun " phonographer".

6) There are a lot of points to think about when considering the meaning of words.

 

VII. Compare the semantic structures of green and зеленый, glass and стекло, meat and мясо, explain the differences.

 

VIII. A lot of nouns in English have both uncountable and countable meanings. Make sure you can explain the difference:

drink/a drink,

cloth/a cloth,

fish/a fish,

work/a work,

chocolate/a chocolate,

pepper/a pepper,

iron/an iron,

rubber/a rubber.

Give five more nouns with countable and uncountable meanings.

 


6. WORD MEANING AND CONTEX

 

I. Explain how you understand the following statements. How far would you agree or disagree with them?

1) Meaning is the use of language in context.

2) " You shall know a word by the company it keeps".(J. R. Firth)

3) A word depends in the realization of its meaning on its syntagmatics, i.e. collocability.

4) Meanings are determined both colligationally and collocationally.

 

II. Complete these definitions.

1) Meanings determined by lexical context are …

2) The meaning that the word has in isolation is …

Give examples to illustrate these types of meaning.

 

III. Fill in the diagram TYPES OF CONTEXT.

IV. What meanings of these polysemantic words are realized in the given context?

Explain your answer.

1. HEAVY Be careful! That box is rather heavy.

The traffic is really heavy on the bypass.

2. HANDY The arrangement was handy for both of us.

The house was near Drury Lane, very handy for the theatre.

3. MIX When the rice is cooked, mix in all the other ingredients.

She mixes happily with the other children.

 

 

V. Analyze the type of context that determines the meaning of the underlined words.

1) He asked her a question.-I’ve asked some friends for dinner.-The job asks a great deal of me.

2) You’ll answer me.-You’ll answer to me.

3) He propped his elbows upon a greasy counter.-The roads are greasy with rain.-I mistrust Dave, he’s greasy.

4) She wants to go to Germany.- My hair wants cutting.

5) A good breakfast will set you up for the day.- She set up a boarding house in Liverpool.

VI. Non-linguistic context is often referred to as situation.

1) In what situation can you hear the following sentence? What meanings of the noun report is realized in these situations?

I didn’t hear the report.

2) Suggest speech situations for the nouns disk, record. How do these situations determine their meaning?

VII. Meaning may be affected by context, e.g. a word may acquire emotive implications or evaluative connotations.

An advertisement for an Indian firm of builders took the slogan:

You’ve tried the cowboys. Now try the Indians.

What meaning has the word cowboy acquired in such expression as cowboybuilders or cowboy plumbers? What connotation does it have? What associations does the word " Indians " have for the speakers of the English language? What evaluative connotation has it acquired in the slogan? Explain why.

VIII. What is the difference between “meaning” and “use”, i.e. systemic, " dictionary" meaning and " functional", " occasional" meaning? How do words acquire " extended" meanings? Give examples to illustrate your explanation.

What is the “occasional” meaning of the word dull in the following sentence? Explain your answer.

I don’t like mutton, it’s so dull.








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