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Lexicology Seminar – Farka

The difference between British English and American English
1. Why different?
A. Colonial Period
-Colonists from England -> Atlantic seaboard
-1607 : The first permanent English settlement on the mainland.
-4 great periods of European immigration
1) Britain 17th century – established the form of language
2) Ireland, Germany, Spain, France, Northern Europe
3) South Europe, Slavic countries
4) Africans (slave trades), Mexico, Puerto Rico
B. National Period
-War of Independence (18th century)
-> Economical, political and linguistic independence
-National consciousness, national identity
-Proposal for an American Academy
-Noah Webster : The American Spelling Book, American Dictionary of
the English lang.
C. International Period
-Influence : BE < AE
-More speakers : BE < AE
Characteristics of AE
1. A high degree of uniformity
*BE has lots of dialects with significant difference
2. A number of old uses which have died out in England (gotten, mad, fall)
-Differences don’t mean they are mutually unintelligible
-AE tends to be shorter
-AE has dominant influence on BE
A. Grammar & Usage
1. Regular & Irregular verbs
quit – quitted – quitted
quit – quit –quit
fit – fitted – fitted
fit – fit – fit
2. Use of Past Simple and Present Perfect (just, alredy, yet)
I’ve alreday had breakfast
I already had breakfast
Have you finished it yet? (BE)
Did you finish it yet?
He’s already left
He already left
3. Auxiliaries and Modal Verbs
(BE) I shall


I will

0 No comparable differences in the USA 1. hard. Real as intensifier It is really fast It is real fast (BE) (BE) (AE) (BE) (AE) 6. past. red No r pronunciation in BE . ask-words [a:] verses [ ] ask. answer. class. Pronunciation -Pronounced dialectal differences marking the popular speech of different parts of England. Position of Adverbs John has probably arrived (Normal) John probably has arrived (Emphatic) John probably has arrived (Normal) 5. part. Negation with let’s Let’s not have a break (formal) Don’t let’s have a break (informal) Let’s don’t have a break (AE) (BE) (AE) (BE) (AE) (BE) (AE) (BE) (AE) (BE) (AE) (BE) (BE. fast. park versus carry. grass 2. dance. Prepositions and time expressions They live in the same street They live on the same street The boss wants to talk to you The boss wants to talk with you The office is closed at the weekend The office is closed on the weekend They arrived at ten past two They arrived at ten after two It’s twenty to twelve It’s twenty until/til/before twelve You did well in the exam (BE) You did well on the exam (AE) 7. path. AE) will he/she will we shall you will they will you will he/she will we will you will they will (BE) – Verbs of perception is used with „can. could” (AE) – No modals needed for verbs of perception 4. The treatment of the r car.

BE spelling – Samuel Johnson’s A dictionary of the English language. The relise / realize group (AE / BE) *capsize – capsize organize – organize seize – seize *surprise –surpirse advise – advise advertise – advertise 4. Stress pattern of polysyllabic secretary BE [ dictionary BE [ commentaryBE [ words (-ary. Spelling Introduction : early 18th century – English spelling was not standardised. -ory.> humorist (latin suffix) *contour – contour 2. The analyze / analyse group (AE / BE) paralyze – paralyse . (1755) AE – Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) Differences 1. The center / centre group (AE / BE) theater / theatre liter / litre meter / metre *writer – writer teacher – teacher bigger – bigger 3.3. -ative) ] / AE [ ] ] / AE [ ] ] / AE [ ] 4. The color / colour group (AE / BE) humor / humour favor / favour honor / honour flavor / flavour neighbor / neighbour vigor / vigour *error – error mirror – mirror actor – actor author – author *BE : humour . miscellaneous leisure occurence tomato schedule thorough ] / AE [ ] / AE [ ] / AE [ ] / AE [ ] / AE [ BE [ BE [ BE [ BE [ BE [ ] ] ] ] ] C.

garbage rubbish baggage luggage line queue vacation holiday sidewalk pavement . new words anad borrowings from other cultures. -Innovations. Vocabulary -The greatest and the earliest differences. The defense / defence group (AE / BE) 9. The fulfill / fulfill group (AE / BE) enroll / enrol wilful / willful skilful / skillful *fulfillment / fulfilment 8. D. The anesthesia / anaesthesia group (AE / BE) archeology – archaeologyencyclopedia – encyclopaedia 7. -Approximately 4000 words and expressions in common use in Britain today either don’t exist or are used differently in the US. than vice versa. AE apartment BE flat AE bureau BE chest of drawers cookie/cracker biscuit pants trousers chips crisps subway jelly railroad jam eraser french fries yard elevator truck windshield rubber chips garden lift lorry windscreen tube. The edema / oedema group (greek orgine) (AE / BE) diarrhoea – diarrhea manoeuvre – maneuver 6. underground fire department railway corn fire brigade maize store shop trash. miscellaneous AE judgment mom check jewellery program gray BE judgement mum cheque AE BE draft draught pajamas pyjamas jewelry programme skeptic grey plow sceptic plough Couclusion -Where differences exist very often AE tends to be shorter -A spelling in Britain seems to be acceptable in America.5. changes.

I see a car coming (AE) / I can see a car coming (BE) 2. -or. You’ll have to do it again. dramatist Feminine suffixes -ess. change of meaning B. Suffixiation (morphological criterion) Nominal suffixes – Suffixes denoting the doer of the action -er. CV (BE) / r’esum’e (AE) 7. After the stem – suffix Affixes – bound morphemes / forms I. Before the stem – prefix 2. composition.on the course? (BE) 11. -ine / duchess. gasoline mail. trunk (AE) / boot (BE) 9. heroine Suffixes denoting nationality . scientist. reduplication -Predominantly semantic polysemy. How many people were in the course? (AE) / . mailman patrol front desk post. 13. tire (AE) / tyre (BE) 4. He’s just gone home. External -borrowings Affixiation -General characteristics : process of forming new words by adding affixes to stems. Affix – a morpheme attached to a stem to form a new word The position of the affix 1. (AE) 8. conversion minor : abbreviation.gas. clipping. advisor. 15. 14. aluminium (BE) / aluminum (AE) 10. (BE) / He just went home. postman reception AE or BE? Provide it’s AE/BE correspondent 1. (BE) / . -ist / adviser. 12. portmanteaux change of morphological accent. Internal -Predominantly morphological major : affixiation. nappy (BE) / diaper (AE) 6. different from / to (BE) / different from / than (AE) 3. 16. catalogue (BE) / catalog (AE) 5. (AE) center (AE) / centre (BE) zed (BE) / zee (AE) ground floor (BE) / first floor (AE) get got got (BE) / get got gotten (AE) Enrolll in a course (AE) / Enrol on a course (BE) Word Formation Processes Means of Enriching the vocabulary it over/again. registrar. -ar.

counterargument. -some. widen. output. -ie. overview. forehead Temporal prefixes ante-. ex-wife Numeral prefixes bi-.-an. -ic. pre-war. flatten Adverbial suffixes -ly. -ly. blacken. -able. ir-. asceticism. im-. symbolize. undercover. exante meridiem. -ship racism. post meridiem. under-. movement. immature. -fold / thirteen. -ty. out-. -ese. identify. multilingual. harness completeness. pre-. edible. -ize. lionet Abstract noun-forming suffixes -ism. mouthful. Japanese. tetra-. slightly. il-. foreinput. -ward(s) / clearly. dishonest. auntie. -wise. northward(s) Numeral suffixes -teen. in-. triangle. nondefrost. mono-. upside. -ible. illegal. nonstop Iterative prefix re. mis-. -et. -ment. up-. foreword. -ful. -ious. anti-. Spaniard Diminutive suffixes -y. likewise. counter-. downside. down-. -less childish. freedom. facilitate. Similarities – bound morphemes / forms B. fourfold II Prefixiation (semantic criterion) Negative prefixes de-. irregular. -ette / daddy. tetrapod. -th. penta bilingual. economical. -ate.Classification according to different criteria . afore-. economic. American./ revaluate Spatial and directional prefixes in-. afore-mentioned. post-. thirty. infinite. towards. dis-. icism. fearless Verbal suffixes -ise. troublesome. multi-. -ical. -ness. kitchenette. pentagon Summary -Similarities & Differences between suffixes and prefixes A. monogamy. tri-. -hood. Differences – Position of insertion . misbehave unhappy. un-. outrageous delicious. -ous. -ian. fore-. brotherhood. -ard / Korean. anticlockwise. friendship Adjectival suffixes -ish. capable. -fy. fourth. -ify. over-. -en summarise. -dom.

Change VS does not change the morphological class (exists excep.) / ment (abstract noun forming suffix) Simplification – simple (s. hanger. unexpected. freezer. anxiety. poverty reliability. wisdom. abnormal. insane.Specialized VS not specialized to certain morphosyntactic category . Face+book = Facebook General Characteristics Gramatically combining two or more stems -The integrity of the compound (gramatically combining two or more stems) specific order/arrangement no other element can be inserted no intensification/modification morpho-synthetically it functions as one single word -the structural cohesion of the compound (semantically combining two or more stems) denotes one single notion semantically it functions as one single word . dismissal strength. inexperienced. -ing hyphen*) Composition – major internal means of enriching the vocabulary -new words are formed by gramatically and semantically combining two or more stems that already exist as free forms in the language. seriousness. depth. necessity. unlike. addition. discussion. prefix) / pay (s. announcement. rarity. length. disloyal. illiterate impersonal. refusal. quality suffix) Overpayment – over (spatial&d. cancellation..) /fy (verbal suffix) / ation (abstract noun forming suffix) non-smoking. excessiveness. asymmetry.) / ity (noun of state. denial.) loud(adj) – aloud(adv) able(adj) – enable(v) .Spelling (spelled solid vs hyphenated) Hopelessly – hope (stem) / less (adjectival suffix) / ly (adverbial suffix) Impossibility – im (negative prefix) / possible (s. certainty. misbehaviour. discovery. unpredictable unrecognizable Word Formation Prossesses (for –ed. accuracy boredom.

goldfish=fish) exocentric (hot-dog / dog) -the degree of fusion idiomatic : windbag non-idiomatic : apple tree Spelling -spelled solid (blackboard. in the middle of Typology Exercise (juxtaposed. two-thrids Compound verbs -babysit. easy-going Compound pronouns -everybody. good-looking. derivatives) . drawback) Compound adjectives -duty-free. honeymoon) II-compounds with a linking element (speedometer) III-compounds linked by prepositional/conjunctional stems (point of view. nineteen ninety-three. park-and-drive. with linked by linking element. somebody Compound numerals -twenty-four. preposition. airplane) -with hyphen (test-drive. red-haired) -without a hyphen (washing machine) Stress -one primary/high stress(black board) -exceptions : compound adjectives (easy-going) Typology I-juxtaposed compounds (tablecloth. broadcast Compound adverbs -henceforth Compound prepositino -in spite of. greenhouse) -verb+noun/verb/adjective(pickpocket.Classification -semantic point of view endocentric (bedroom=room. backcomb. textbook. raincoat) -adjective+noun(highway. good-looking. bread and butter) IV-compound derivatives (honeymooner) Classification (morphological criterion) Compound nouns -noun+noun (Facebook.

wife 6. Antonymic pairs yes-no answer 3. *No change in form. pronunciation and spelling. linked / connected with and or to bread-and-butter 7. -ing) 5. nonnon-smoker 4.Anglo-Saxon –II matter of fact-III money-saving oldfashioned blood-curdling old-fashioned stay-at-home –III theatregoer-IV toothpick-I lipstick-I doll-faced-IV bridesmaid-II open-hearted tight-fisted red-handed short-sighted hard-boiled narrow-minded Classification of semantic point of view lifeboat -> endocentric boat life -> endocentric -> exocentric overcoat -> endocentric film star -> endocentric exocentric Classification of the degree of fusion bottle-opener -> non-idiomatic idiomatic bluestocking -> idiomatic idiomatic sweetheart -> idiomatic well-mannered bluegrass swansong -> dog-eared -> apple tree -> non- Word Formation Process – Conversion *Spelling Recommendations 1. exex. self and all self-editor all-inclusive self-esteem 8. To avoid double / triple consonants / vowels co-operation re-evaluation 2. phrasal nouns passer-by Conversion -Major internal menas of enriching the vocabulary -New words are created by changing the morpho-synthetic category and the distribution of an already existing word without any formal change in it. . adjectives (-ed.

to knife. -> n. This is a must / must (modal -> n. to mop. life is a wow / wow (interjection -> n.1.) Analyze word formation processes 1.) 2. the whys and wherefores / (adv. to be in the altogether / altogether (adv. -> v.) *to take out the seed 9.) 5. to salt.->n.) *to be naked 10. to elbow. Nouns obtained by conversion -nouns converted from adjectives rich -> the rich beautiful -> the beautiful -nouns converted from verbs to desire -> the desire to walk -> the walk to want -> the want -nouns converted from adverbs altogether (to be in the altogether) -nouns converted from prepositions the ins and outs -nouns converted from interjections life is a wow 2. to wolf(down) the lunch / wolf (n. to nurse. to up the prices / up (adv.) 8.) 3. -> v. Adjectives obtained by conversions -adjectives converted from nouns family duty room upstairs -adjectives converted from adverbs back door 3. to wolf. to stone the olives / stone (n. to have a say in the matter / say (v.bookseller book + seller -> composition / sell + er (nominal suffixation) 2. to down the coffee / down (adv. to hammer -verbs converted from adjectives clean -> to clean dry -> to dry narrow -> to narrow -verbs converted from adverbs up -> to up forward -> to forward -verbs converted from other parts of speech to chirp 1. Verbs obtained by conversion -verbs converted from nouns to father. -> v. to butter.) 4. -> v. to second the proposal / second (numeral -> v) 6.) 7. cinema-actor cinema + actor -> composition / act + or (nominal suffixation) . -> n.

1. distance original meaning – 2. discouragement dis (negative prefixation) + courage (stem) + ment (nominal suffixation) 6. backward back (stem) + ward (adverbial suffix) 10.54cm -salary – payment for working original meaning – money for Roman soldiers to buy their swords 2) Specialization of meaning -girl – only female child original meaning – children of both sexes -deer – a specific kind of animal original meaning – any kind of wild animal -corpse – a dead body original meaning – simply body 3) Degradation of meaning -silly – foolish (negative) original meaning – happy. Processes underlying change of meaning 1) Generalization of meaning -butler – the most important main servant original meaning – a servant responsible for only wine celler -bird – all the birds original meaning – young birds -inch – a small quantitiy. -> v) 4.3. blessed (positive) 4) Elevation of meaning . doggy dog (stem) + y (diminutive suffixation) 7. illegality il (negative prefixation) + legal (stem) + ty (nonominal suffixation) 5. to honeymoon honey + moon -> composition / conversion (n. manifold many (stem) + fold (numeral suffix) *NOT COMPOSITION 8.The changes in meaning are gradual. troublesome trouble (stem) + some (adjectival suffix) 9. . Words are not changed in a day or two.decentralization de (negative prefix) + center (stem) + al (adjectivial suffix) + ize (verbal suffix) + tion (nominal suffix) Change of Meaning – A word loses its old meaning and comes to refer to something different.

headword e. to clear out. to retire 2. maggot) worm garage place for storing anything place for car Semantic Relations in the Lexicon Synonymy – General Characteristics -two or more words havec the same general sense. idiomatic use. cf.-nice – pleasant. Synonymy Typology 1) perfect/strict/exact/absolute synonyms -> don’t exist 2) ideographic synonyms : love(+) – adore(+++++) 3) stylistic synonyms neutral – formal/informal (leave – depart/ride off) standard – slang (money – rhino) non-technical/neutral – technical neutral – euphemistic (unemployed – in between jobs) neutral – poetic BE – AE (flat – apartment) 3. collocations. to depart. to leave. to quit. place chamber fowl bird birds for meat and eggs starve to die to die of hunger hospital a large house an institution for patients worm long animals (snake. -but they share a common compound of their senses (age -> young – old) . good (positive) original meaning – ignorant (negative) -fond – interested in positive way original meaning – foolish Process of specialization original meaning specialization room space. phrases. idioms (to decide – to make one’s mind) 1. -but they (may) differ in collocation. Synonymy : Synonymic series -synonymys arranged in synonymic series : synonymic dominant.g. distributional context. Antonymy : General Characteristics -two or more words have the opposite meaning. busy and occupied (This seat is occupied / This seat is busy ) alone and lonely (She is alone(predicative). *sleeping (v) / asleep (a) -simple words. A lonely girl(attributive)) -generally they belong to the same morphological class.

sleeping(v) – awake(a) -simple words.-generally they belong to the same morphological class. binary (=either. or) –deadd. Antonymy : Typology 1) Gradable. TARFU (things are really fucked up) Examples innocent -> virgin to be made redundant -> to fire to feel under the weather -> to feel down. Find synonymic dominant headword 1. -the euphemistic vocabulary of a language is constantly enriched The formation of euphemism 1) borrowings : naked -> in puris naturalibus (Latin) 2) different word formation process -> vampire (clipping) –femme fatale character 3) abbreviation : SNAFU (situation normal all fucked up). to scorch. to singe. unwell to burn the grass -> to urinate to swing both ways -> attracted to both man and woman to be lit up like a Christmas tree – to be heavily drunk . to obtain. short 2) non-gradable.) eu(good) + pheme (speech) -to speak in a pleasant manner -the substitution of some rough/harsh/impolite word by some other word that is less explicit. to get. to burn Find binary antonyms absent – present pass – fail vacant – occupied love – hate tall – short true – false hot – cold on – off Find converses below – above love – hate conceal – reveal buy – sell grandparent – grandchild give – take go – come Euphemisms (Gr. to smoulder. to acquire. *cf. 4. to gain 2. alive 3) converses (relation antonymys) – Husband and wife -same relationship but the order is reversed. to win. non-binary (=more or less) – long. collocations or idioms.