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Word Meaning and Componential Analysis5

Chapter 5

Word Meaning and Componential Analysis


? Discuss meanings of ‘meaning’; ? Explain types of meaning.
?Teaching focus:

? Meanings of ‘meaning’; ? Motivation of meaning; ? Types of meaning; ? Components of word meaning.

5.1 Word Meaning
1.What is ?word meaning‘? Word meaning can be defined as a reciprocal relation between name and meaning. 意义是名称与意思的联系。 ‘Meaning‘ is what the form stands for. Eg: desk: something you sit at and you do
your work

2. What is reference所指关系? It is the relationship between language and the world.所指是语言与客观外界之间的相互关系。 By means of reference, a speaker indicates which things in the world (including persons) are being talked about.通过这种相互关系, 说话人指称外界的事物或人。 It is the relationship between words and the things, actions, events, and qualities they stand for. For example, the word ?tree‘ refers to the object ?tree‘.

In other words, only when a connection has been established between the linguistic sign and a referent, i.e., an object, a phenomenon, a person, etc. does the sign become meaningful.换言之,只 有当语言符号与所指物---物体、现象、人等之间建 立某种联系,这个符号才获得意义。 The reference of a word to a thing outside the language is arbitrary and conventional. This connection is the result of generalization and abstraction.词与外界事物的这种指称关系是任意的, 又是约定俗成的。是高度概括的,是从同类事物中 抽象出来的。

3. What is concept? It is the general idea or meaning which is associate with a word or symbol in a person‘s mind. 指词或符号在人脑中的大致印象或意义。

What ?s the relationship between meaning and concept?
They are closely connected but not identical. ? They are both related directly to referents and are notions of the words but belong to different categories. ? Concept, which is beyond language, is the result of human cognition, reflecting the objective world in the human mind. Concept is universal to all men alike regardless of culture, race, language and so on. ? But meaning belongs to language, so is restricted to language use. A concept can have as many referring expressions as there are languages in the world. Even in the same language, the same concept can be expressed in different words.

4. What is sense语义? The sense of an expression is its place in a system of semantic relationships with other expressions in the language. 词语的意义是它在语义关系系统中同其它词 语相对的位置。

What‘s the difference between reference and sense?
? Sense denotes the relationships inside the language. 指语言内部的关系。 Reference denotes the relationship between words and the things, actions, events, and qualities they stand for. ? Every word that has meaning has sense but not every word has reference. 每个词都有语义,但不 一定都有所指。 Eg: but, almost. These grammatical words do not refer to anything. And words like God, dragon and phoenix refer to imaginary things.

5.2 Motivation
1.What is motivation理据? It refers to the connection between the linguistic symbol and its meaning (or between name and sense).理据解释 语言符号与意义之间的关系。
( the origin of the word or how the name comes from)

Conventionality and Motivation
? Triangle of significance(词义三角)
Meaning (Concept)

Form…………. Referent

The debate over the connection between sound and meaning
?The naturalists maintain there is a natural/intrinsic connection between sound and meaning. ?The Conventionalists, on the other hand, hold that the relations between sound and meaning are conventional and arbitrary. The meaning of a word is a kind of linguistic social contract.

? What‘s in a name? That we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. -----Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet ?Words have no meaning, people have meaning for them. ------ Eric Partridge

?树---Chinese ?木---Japanese ?arbre---French ?baun---Germany

?The relationship between the word-form and meaning is conventional and arbitrary. ? Most words can be said to be non-motivated. ? English does have words whose meanings can be explained to a certain extent.

Two rival schools of thought
the Naturalists Vs the Conventionalists ? the Naturalists believed that there was an intrinsic connection between sound and sense ?the Conventionalists held that the connection was purely a matter of tradition and convention. ?E.g. chopper and doorman are respectively formed by adding –er to chop and combining door- and –man into one word. This is called morphological or grammatical motivation

Non-motivated and motivated
?From the point of view of motivation, the great majority of English words are nonmotivated, since they are conventional, arbitrary symbols. ?However, there is a small group of words that can be described as motivated, that is, a direct or somewhat connection between the symbol and its sense can be readily observed.

Classification of Motivation
1. Onomatopoeic Motivation拟声理据 It means the imitation of sounds by sounds. Words coined in imitation of the sounds associated with the things named are called onomatopoeia. ? It means defining the principle of motivation by sound. Knowing the sounds of the words means understanding the meaning. Words motivated phonetically are called onomatopoeic words, whose pronunciation suggests the meaning. They show a close connection between sound and sense.

For examples: ?Apes gibber叽里咕噜地说. ?Bears growl.(动物)发狺狺声(yí ) n ?Bulls bellow. (公牛)吼叫声 ?Cats mew ( purr/ miaow).通常指小猫的叫声;


?Eagles scream.尖叫, 尖叫声 ?Frogs croak.呱呱的叫声 ?baa:绵羊的叫声 ?bark:狗的叫声 ?bleat:(羊或小牛)叫声;咩咩声

?woof-woof (dog), ?moo (cow), ?baa-baa (sheep), ?roar (lion), ? coo (pigeon), ?hum (bee), ?quack (duck) ?bang (door)

?Note: ?Onomatopoeic words constitute only a small part of the vocabulary. All the words based on the sounds made by birds, animals, insects, and so on belong to this category

Primary onomatopoeia and Secondary onomatopoeia (Stephen Ullmann )
?Primary onomatopoeia ?Primary onomatopoeia means the imitation of sound by sound. Here the sound is truly an ―echo to the sense‖: the reference itself is an acoustic experience which is more or less closely imitated by the phonetic structure of the word. Terms like crack噼啪 声, growl咆哮 , hum 嗡嗡声/吵杂声, roar吼 叫 /咆哮, squeak尖叫声, whiz嗽嗽声/发出 呼啸声and a great many others fall into this category.

?Secondary onomatopoeia
? Secondary onomatopoeia means that certain sounds and sound-sequences are associated with certain senses in an expressive relationship. In this form, the sounds evoke, not an acoustic experience, but a movement (dither发抖, dodder摇 摆/蹒跚, quiver .颤抖/振动, slink潜逃, slither不稳地 滑动/使滑动,slouch 懒散, squirm蠕动, wriggle宛蜒 行进/扭动), or some physical or moral quality, usually unfavorable (gloom阴暗/阴沉, grumpy脾气 暴躁的 , mawkish令人厌恶的, slimy泥泞的, sloppy 潮湿的/肥大的, sloth怠惰/懒惰, wry扭歪的/歪斜的).

Features of Onomatopoeic patterns
?1. Some of these onomatopoeic terms have certain elements in common; in Bloomfield‘s words, there is ―a system of initial and final root-forming morphemes, of vague signification含义/表示―, with which the ―intense, symbolic connotation ―, of such terms is associated.

?For example, the sounds /sn / may express three types of experiences: “breath-noise (呼吸声)― ( sniff用力吸/嗅/闻到, snuff用鼻子 使劲地吸, snore打鼾/鼾声, snort喷鼻息), ― quick separation or movement ― ( snip剪 断, snap猛地吸住/突然折断/猛咬, snatch攫 取), and “ creeping‖ ( snake迂回前进, snail 缓慢移动,sneak偷偷摸摸地做, snoop 探听/调 查/偷窃). ?Final groups have similar functions: -are suggests “ big light or noise ― as in blare 号声, flare闪光/闪耀, glare眩目的光/闪耀, stare ,etc.

?2. They often work by vowel alteration. By substituting one vowel for anther one can express different noises: snip剪--- snap喀嚓 声 , sniff---snuff, flip---flap---flop. Akin to this tendency are reduplicated words and phrases like riff---raff, wishy—washy, tit-for tat, tick-tock, click-clack. It should be noted that many onomatopoeic forms are based on alternations of not vowels but of initial consonants: higgledy-piggledy杂乱无章地(的) , helter-skelter慌慌张张的, namby-pamby感 伤的,矫饰的, roly-poly矮胖的 , flower-power 和平与爱情(的非暴力政治主张), walkietalkie(无线电话机) etc.

More examples
?-are suggests ―big light or noise‖
?Blare, flare, glare, stare

?-ump suggests ―protuberance‖
?Plump, chump, rump, hump, stump, dump, mump

?sk- suggests ―touching or moving on the surface‘
?Skate, skim, skin, ski, sketch, skid

?h- suggests ―moving with great speed, force, or violence‖
?Heavy, haste, hurry, hit, hurl, hammer, hinder

2. Morphological motivation形态理据
Words which were formed by means of morphological structure belong to the category of motivation by morphology. Compounds and derived words are multimorphemic words and the meanings of many of them are the sum total of the morphemes combined.

?When we talked about derivational affixes, we said most of them have a specific meaning, and when added to a root, they derive a new word. If one knows the meaning of the affix and the root, say –able and read, then one can immediately tell that the meaning of the word readable is ―that can be read‖ . We say the word is morphologically motivated, for a direct connection can be observed between the morphemic structure of the word and its meaning.

?Compound words may be morphologically motivated too. The meaning of words like good-looking, headache, daydream and many others derive from the combined meaning of the component parts. ?One thing worth pointing out is that the morphemes, the component parts of these words are themselves conventional However, not all compounds are motivated. We cannot infer the meaning of words like bigwig, egghead from their component parts.

3. Semantic Motivation语义理据 It refers to the mental associations suggested by the conceptual meaning of a word. It explains the connection between the literal sense and figurative sense of the word. ?Metonymy e.g. crown→king ?Metaphor e.g. the curtain of night, heart of stone ?Analogy e.g. earthrise after sunrise ?Synecdoche e.g. copper for penny, bread for food

?Metaphor( 隐 喻 ) is a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another. It is a simile without like or as. ?The world is a stage. ? A sea of troubles; a tide of popular applause. ?The city is a jungle where no body is safe after the dark. ?Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
? ----- Bacon Of Studies

?Metonymy(借代) is the device in which we name something by one of its attributes. The substitution of the name of one thing for that of another with which it is closely associated. ?Metonymy usually includes several classes: container for its content, a thing closely associated for another, tool for the doer or deed, writer for his works, the concrete for the abstract and so on. ?E.g.

? He is too fond of bottles. ? The hall applauded. ? I have never read Li Bai. ? The pen is mightier than the sword. ? He succeeded to the crown. ?Uncle Sam; the Pentagon; Hollywood; the White House;Beijing

?Synecdoche(提喻)means using a part for a whole, an individual for a class, a material for a thing, or vice versa, the whole for a part. ?There are about 500 hands working in this factory. ?This newspaper—and probably the country—will wait its time and see how the new faces perform before judging them. ?The birds sing to welcome the smiling year. ?To earn one‘s bread ?He is a clever creature .

?Analogy ?Analogy(类比)is a process whereby words or phrases are created in imitation of existing patterns in the language. The motivation is that the meaning or sense of the created word shares similarity with the existing language pattern. ?Color: black list---white list, gray list; bluecolor workers---white-collar workers, graycollar workers, pink-collar workers, and goldcollar workers ?Number: the First World---the Second World, the Third world, the Fourth World

?Place and space: landscape--moonscape, marscape; sunrise--earthrise; spaceman---earthman, moonman ?Similarity: missile gap---generation gap, development gap, income gap, credibility gap ?Antonym: hot line---cold line; baby boom---baby bust; nightmare---daymare; cold-war---hot war; high-rise---low-rise

4. Etymological motivation词源理据
Etymological motivation denotes that the origins of words often throw light on their meanings. E.g.: Pen originally refers to ?a heavy quill or feather‘. Today the writing tool is still ―pen‖, but a meaning is not exactly the same as what it used to mean. Proper nouns, once they become common nouns, can be explained by their origins only. For example: a laconic answer Argus-eyed professor

?Laconic 源于 Lakon , 意为“一个拉哥尼 亚人”, 它是希腊的一个地区名,斯巴达 是其首府。以好战和纪律严明闻名的斯巴达 人也同样因为言简意赅而闻名,laconic 这 个词从1589年起被发现有言简意赅的意思 起直到今天仍然被英国作家用来表示这一意 思。 ?a laconic answer简洁的回答

? Argus阿耳戈斯(古希腊语)希腊神话中的百眼巨人。 ? 阿耳戈斯有一百只眼睛,即使睡觉时也总有一些还睁 着,因此得到别名“潘诺普忒斯”( “总在看着 的”)。 ? 阿耳戈斯有一百只眼睛的说法,可能是在较晚的时期 才出现的。在一份古老的诗歌《埃癸米俄斯》的残篇 中,只提到阿耳戈斯有四只眼睛,但由于赫拉的祝福, 他可以永不闭眼。后来才被附会为有多达一百只眼睛, 睡觉时不用全闭上。 ? 阿耳戈斯杀过几个著名的怪物。伪阿波罗多洛斯说, 阿耳戈斯杀死了危害阿耳卡狄亚地区的公牛,并剥下 它的皮当衣服。阿耳戈斯还杀死过偷盗畜群的萨堤洛 斯。他最大的功绩则是趁女妖厄喀德那睡觉时杀死了 她。

? 赫拉利用阿耳戈斯在睡觉时不用闭上所有眼睛的特 点,将被变成母牛的宙斯的情人伊俄交给他看管。 阿耳戈斯把母牛拴在迈锡尼圣林里的一棵橄榄树上, 小心地看守着。由于他有许多眼睛,在睡觉时也可 以让其中一些睁着,所以母牛无法逃跑。后来赫耳 墨斯受宙斯之命,用巧计杀死阿耳戈斯,释放了伊 俄。一说赫耳墨斯化装成一个牧人,用优美的笛声 (或歌声)诱使阿耳戈斯闭上所有眼睛,再将他杀 死。也有说法认为赫耳墨斯只是凭暴力取胜,他从 远处用石块把阿耳戈斯砸死。赫耳墨斯因此功绩而 得到别名:“阿耳革丰忒斯”(意为“杀死阿耳戈 斯的”)。据奥维德说,赫拉为了表彰阿耳戈斯的 忠实,将他的百只眼睛安在了孔雀的尾巴上,遂使 孔雀的尾巴有了眼状的图案。

5. Logical motivation
?Logical motivation(逻辑理据)deals with the problem of defining a concept by means of logic. It means, first, identify the concept of a genus(种概念), second, to identify the attributes distinguishing one species(属差)from other similar species in the same genus. ?Compounds combining species and genus ?Crisis---economical crisis, financial crisis, spiritual crisis, ecological crisis, credit crisis, military crisis, identity crisis

?Relations---international relations, business relations, diplomatic relations, bilateral relations ?Clipped compounds by shortening species or genus
?drug from narcotic or hallucinogenic drug ? He is addicted to drugs ?pill from birth control pill ?The Hill from the Capitol Hill ?Nobel from Nobel Prize

6 Motivation and Culture
?A. Relation ?Motivation is closely related to culture and history. In English, some words are endowed with rich cultural connotations. Words that epitomize cultural history are call culturally-bound words or allusive words. These words originated from religion, mythology, history and literature. ?forbidden fruit: sth. alluring but prohibited because of terrible consequences

?Odyssey: a long, adventurous journey ?the last straw: the last thing that leads one to a final loss of patience, temper, trust, or hope ?Waterloo: a final, crushing defeat,eg. meet one's Waterloo ?Uncle Tom: a person who compromises and conforms ?Prometheus unbound:an overwhelming power ?Solomon: a wise man ?Sphinx: A puzzling or mysterious person or thing. Eg. a Sphinx‘s riddle: a puzzling, mysterious question, problem.

Judas: One who betrays another under the guise of friendship. Judas kiss: a malicious intention under the guise of intimacy and friendship ? pound of flesh: legal but unreasonable demand or claim ? white elephant: A rare, expensive possession that is a financial burden to maintain, no longer wanted ? The naked truth was fully revealed through a newspaper. ? -----He told us about his adventures last night. It’s a pity you were not there. -----Arabian Nights only. Don’t believe him. ? Like an Apollo, he comes and arrests everyone’s attention in the hall. ? No cross, no crown ? To quest for full citizenship is really an Odyssey for AfroAmericans.

?B. National psychology
?To take French leave不辞而别 ?Double Dutch莫名其妙的话/胡说八道; Dutch bargain不公平交易/酒席上做成的交易; Dutch courage酒后之勇 ; Dutch comfort不起作用的安 慰; Dutch treat各付己帐; to go Dutch各人自己付 钱; to talk Dutch讲令人听不懂的话; I‘m a Dutchman if ….表示难以置信的 ?这是因为英国和荷兰在历史上打国仗,英国人很痛 恨荷兰人的缘故。

?C. Religious Philosophy
?As poor as a church-mouse ?As patient as Job ?As wise as Solomon

D. Natural environment
? 力大如牛as strong as a horse ? 守口如瓶as dump as an oyster; as silent as the ? grave; as close as wax ? 如雨后春笋 spring up like a mushroom ? 如热锅上的蚂蚁 like a cat on hot bricks ? 覆水难收It’s no use crying over spilt milk ? 胆小如鼠As timid as a rabbit

?7. Loss of Motivation ?Pupil ?bead

5.3 Types of meaning
Word meaning is made up of various components which are interrelated and interdependent. These components are commonly described as types of meaning. 词义有各种相互联系与相互依存的不同成分 组成,这些成分就是词义的种类。

Types of Meaning

Grammatical Meaning 语法意义

Lexical Meaning 词汇意义

Conceptual Meaning 概念意义

Associative Meaning 联想意义

Connotative Meaning 内涵意义

Stylistic Meaning 文体意义

Affective Meaning 情感意义

Collocative Meaning 搭配意义

1. Grammatical Meaning & Lexical Meaning
?Grammatical meaning indicates grammatical concept or relationship such as part of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs), inflectional paradigm (屈折变化)――singular and plural meaning of nouns, tense meaning of verbs and their inflectional forms (forget, forgets, forgot, forgotten, forgetting) (语法意义指词义中表示语法概念或关系的那 部分意义。例如词类、名词的单复数、动词的 时态意义及它们的屈折形式。)

? For example : girls, winters, tables, joys We notice that word-forms, though denoting different objects of reality, have something in common. This common element is the grammatical meaning of plurality. Unlike lexical meaning, different lexical items, which have different lexical meanings, may have the same grammatical meaning, e.g. tables, men, oxen, potatoes, ( having the same plural meaning) and taught, worked, forgave ( having the same tense meaning ). On the other hand, the same word may have different grammatical meanings as shown in forget, forgets, forgot, forgotten, forgetting.

?The grammatical meaning is the same in identical sets of individual forms of different words , e.g. the past tense meaning in the wordforms of different verbs ( played, sang, worked, etc.), or the grammatical meaning of plurality in the word-forms of various nouns ( desks , data, boxes, etc.).

?Lexical meaning is the meaning of an isolated word in a dictionary. This component of meaning is identical in all the forms of the word within or without context . (林承璋:词汇意义是词典中一个 独立词的意义。在该词的所有形式中,其 词汇意义相同。)

Two differences between Grammatical Meaning & Lexical Meaning :
?First, the lexical meaning of a word is the same in all the forms of one and the same word while the grammatical meaning varies from one word-form to another; secondly, every word has a different lexical meaning, whereas the grammatical meaning is the same in identical sets of individual forms of different words.

For example : The word-forms go, goes, went, going, gone possess different grammatical meanings of tense, person, and so on, but in each of these forms we find one and the same semantic component.

2. Conceptual Meaning & Associative Meaning

?Conceptual meaning/denotative meaning is meaning given in the dictionary and forms the core of word meaning.概念意义是词典中所给的意义,是

?Being constant and relatively stable, conceptual meaning forms the basis for communication as the same word has the same conceptual meaning to all the speakers of the same language.

? Associative meaning is the secondary meaning supplemented to the conceptual meaning. It differs from the conceptual meaning in that it is openended and indeterminate. It might be influenced by such factors as culture, experience, religion, geographical region, class background, education, etc. 联想意义是概念意义的补充意义,是次要意义。 它受语言外界因素如文化、经历、宗教、地域、出 身、教育等的影响而变化,所以是开放性的,是不 定的。 ? Associative meaning comprise four types: connotative (内涵/隐含),stylistic , affective and collocative.

What are the sources of associative meanings?
?The persons who use such lexemes; ?The settings in which such lexemes are employed; ?Cultural values associated with the referents of the lexemes; ?The occurrence of such lexemes in prior texts; ?Contamination from linguistic collocations; ?Contamination from homophones.

Associative Meaning

Connotative Meaning 内涵意义

Stylistic Meaning 文体意义

Affective Meaning 情感意义

Collocative Meaning 搭配意义

1) Connotative Meaning ?It refers to the overtones or associations suggested by the conceptual meaning. 内涵 意义是由概念意义产生的言外之意或联想。Or, the emotional association which a word or a phrase suggests in one‘s mind, traditionally known as connotations and it is not an essential part of the word –meaning. ?What connotations do you think ―home”, “dragon” and ―mother‖ might have?

? The denotative meaning of the word mother is ?female parent‘, but it is associated with ?love‘, ?care‘, ?tenderness‘, forgiving‘, etc. These connotations are not given in the dictionary, but associated with the word in actual context to particular readers or speakers. ? The conceptual meaning of the word home is ?a dwelling place‘. When readers come across the term in actual reading, they may make out more sense than that. It may remind them of their ?family, friends, warmth, safety, love, convenience‘, etc. These connotations are implied in the well-known sayings‘ East or west, home is best‘ .and ?There is no place like home‘这好那好家最好

? Each individual has his own sphere of experience, and his connotations of words may well be based on personal experience with the referent (the thing which the word refers to). ? The same word or expression may not possess the same connotation to people of different countries. Take the word communist for example, it is almost a term of abuse in some countries but a term of praise in others. ? Suppose a child is prejudiced against, often jeered at, beaten or scolded at home, then home to him is nothing but a ‘hell’, hence unfavorable connotations. It may mean ‘indifference’, ‘hatred’, ‘disgust’厌恶, 嫌恶and so on.

2) Stylistic Meaning
? Apart from their conceptual meanings, many words have stylistic features, which make them appropriate for different styles. These distinctive features form the stylistic meanings of words.
? 很多词除了其概念意义外,还有文体色彩,以适 应不同的文体风格。 ? In some dictionaries, these stylistic features are clearly marked as ?formal, informal, literary, archaic, slang‘ and so on.

The contexts one adjusts one‘s language
? (1) The social relationship between the speakers or correspondents ( which may be that of friend to friend , or professor to student); ? (2)the occasion ( which may be a class reunion or an official reception); ? (3) subject matter ( which may be about serious political issues or about films, swimming or food) ? (4) the mode of discourse ( spoken or written). We have a scale of speech style as shown in the following quotation:

?“Martin Joos (1967) provided one of the most common classifications of speech styles using the criterion of formality; this criterion tends to subsume /include subject matter, the audience, the mode of discourse, and the occasion. Joos recognized five different levels of formality, each implying different forms of speech to fit separate functions: (1) oratorical or ‘frozen’ (拘谨/最正式),(2) deliberate or formal, (3)consultative(商讨),(4) casual(随 意),(5) intimate (非正式).”

?The frozen and deliberate styles generally occur in written report or in dignified public speech prepared beforehand with a written draft. Words marked in dictionaries as formal, literary, poetic or archaic are to be used in these two styles. ?Consultative and casual styles occur in everyday use. Consultative style is a polite and fairly neutral style; it is used when we are talking to a person whom we do not know well, or to someone who is senior to ourselves in terms of age or social position. Common words are used in this style.

?Casual style is used in conversation between friends or in personal letters, when the language is informal, familiar, relaxed, warm, and friendly. A word or meaning labeled colloquial or informal is appropriate in the casual or intimate style. The frozen and intimate styles do not have much practical use for us. We may further simplify the styles into three levels: formal, neutral, informal. ?None of these styles is better than any other; appropriateness is the key to the good use of the various styles.

Compare the following two groups of synonyms:

? leave ? job ? can‘t ? tired ? ad

? depart ? position ? cannot ? fatigued ? advertisement

3) Affective Meaning

?Affective meaning expresses the speaker‘s attitude towards the person or thing in question. This meaning can be overtly and explicitly conveyed simply by the choice of the right words.情感意义反映 作者或说话人对所谈论的人或物、事态等 表示的个人情感或态度。这种意义可以通 过选用表情词直接了当地表现出来。

? There are a small number of words in English (chiefly interjections, like alas, aha, oh, dear me, etc) whose main function is to express emotion. ?Words that have emotive values may fall into two categories: appreciative and pejorative/derogative. Words of positive overtones are used to show appreciation or the attitude of approval such as famous determined , slim/slender, black; ; those of negative connotations imply disapproval, contempt or criticism e.g. notorious, pigheaded, skinny, nigger.

?Just like connotative meaning, affective meaning varies from individual to individual, from culture to culture, from generation to generation, from society to society. Words like revolution, freedom, democracy, imperialism may have quite different meanings in different societies and sometimes these ?emotive‘ overtones are more important in the words‘ use than the denotations (Jackson1988). ? Another example is the word dog

? little ? famous ? slim/slender ? Determined ? Statesman ? Confidence ? Farmer ? publicity

? Small ? notorious ? skinny ? Pigheaded ? Politician ? Complacency ? Peasant ? propaganda

4) Collocative Meaning It is that part of the word meaning suggested by the words with which it cooccurs. 搭配意义即与之一起使用的词语所赋予的 那部分意义。 Pretty and handsome share common ground in the meaning "good-looking", but may be distinguished by the range of nouns with which they are likely to co-occur.

?It is noticeable that collocative meaning overlaps with stylistic and affective meanings because in a sense both stylistic and affective meanings are revealed by means of collocations. As Nida notes, one can often tell what work a person has been doing by the kinds of strains on clothing, so a word in particular contexts is likely to acquire associative meanings reflecting such usage. Green is a kind of color whoes meaning is obviously affected when it occurs in such phrases as green on the job, green fruit, green hand, green with envy and green-eyed monster.

5.4 Componential Analysis 成分分析
1. What is componential analysis? The analysis of word meanings/componential analysis is often seen as a process of breaking down the sense of a word into its minimal components, which are known as semantic features 语义特征or sense components语义成分. Componential analysis is on the basis of semantic contrast. Semantic features are used to describe semantic universals (普遍性) that may characterize all languages. Conventionally, these minimal components can be symbolized in terms of binarity/binary opposition对 分法. Eg: +ADULT (adult), - ADULT (young).

Sense components are conventionally enclosed in square brackets or parenthesis or without. They are all written in capital letters or in small letters with the letter in capital to distinguish them from lexical items.

man [ +MALE, +ADULT, +HUMAN] woman [ -MALE, +ADULT, +HUMAN] boy [ +MALE, -ADULT, +HUMAN] girl [ - MALE, -ADULT, +HUMAN] bullock [+MALE, +ADULT, - HUMAN] cow [ - MALE, +ADULT, - HUMAN]

In making componential analysis, it is important to focus on the distinguishing features, i.e. features which can distinguish one word from another. Eg: Between boy, chair, dictionary and hope, thought, problem, the distinguish feature is [+CONCRETE]

?“The analysis of word meanings is often seen as a process of breaking down the sense of a word into its minimal components,” (Leech, 1981:84) ?[+Male], [-Female] ?Man: [+Human]+[+Adult]+[+Male] ?Cow:[+Animate]+[-Human]+[-Male]

2. The advantages and disadvantages of componential analysis.
?Advantages of the componential analysis ?1.Useful in characterizing meaning relations such as synonymy, polysemy, antonymy, and hyponymy ?Two words are synonymous if they contain all the same sense components; e.g. both father and male parent can be given the same definition [ + Human, + Adult, +Male,+ Married ] even though they clearly differ in connotation, the one having connotative meaning , the other evoking no association.

? 2.Helpful in choosing the right word or collocation. Some verbs require a human subject while some do not . For example, verbs of perception and cognition take a human subject as in ―John forgave your rudeness‖, but a tree or door cannot forgive unless used metaphorically. Verbs like elapse take a class of nouns referring to time as its subject, so one can say ―A month / an hour elapsed”, but not ―* A bicycle / a person elapsed”.

?Dynamic adjectives like ambitious or conscious modify a human or animate noun. Some adjectives like latent (as in ―the infection is latent‖ or “latent infection‖) and overt (as in ―the hostility is overt‖ or ―overt hostility‖) modify abstract nouns; and adjectives of color usually modify concrete objects.

?1.Hard for us to find a set of features that capture what is common in meaning across lexical item. ?It seems that we can for certain give componential definition on basis of semantic opposition for such lexical sets as man, woman, prince, princess, etc. But what about tens of thousands of words that do not fit into such sets of contrasts, like kindness, window, cloud…which seem to have very general features like [ Abstract] or [ Physical object] and then nothing but their unique senses.

?2.Insufficient for the analysis of the sense in a word e.g. the componential definition of man is [+ Human, + Adult, + Male], which is, in fact, only an analysis of man from a biological point of view. It does not include its other sense characteristics. With this componential definition of man, one can hardly explain the meaning of man in the sentence:‖ Be a man!‖ Nor can he tell the meaning of the whole sentence.

?3. Not working for the figurative usage. e.g. threaten requires an animate object, for one can only threaten sth. animate. So ―to threaten one‘s enemy‖ is semantically correct. But ―to threaten someone‘s security ―is also acceptable.


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