HYPONYMY A further subdivision within the lexico-grammatical groups is achieved in the wellknown thematic subgroups, such as terms

of kinship, names for parts of the human body, colour terms, military terms and so on. The basis of grouping this time is not only linguistic but also extra-linguistic: the words are associated, because the things they name occur together and are closely connected in reality. It has been found that these words constitute quite definitely articulated spheres held together by differences, oppositions and distinctive values. For an example it is convenient to turn to the adjectives. These are known to be subdivided into qualitative and relative lexico-grammatical groups. Among the first, adjectives that characterise a substance for shape, colour, physical or mental qualities, speed, size, etc. are distinguished. The group of colour terms has always attracted the attention of linguists, because it permits research of lexical problems of primary importance. The most prominent among them is the problem of the systematic or non-systematic character of vocabulary, of the difference in naming the same extra-linguistic referents by different languages, and of the relationship between thought and language. There are hundreds of articles written about colour terms. The basic colour name system comprises four words: blue, green, yellow, red; they cover the whole spectrum. All the other words denoting colours bring details into this scheme and form subsystems of the first and second order, which may be considered as synonymic series with corresponding basic terms as their dominants. Thus, red is taken as a dominant for the subsystem of the first degree: scarlet, orange, crimson, rose, and the subsystem of the second degree is: vermilion, wine red, cherry, coral, copper-red, etc. Words belonging to the basic system differ from words belonging to subsystems not only semantically but in some other features as well. These features are: (1) frequency of use; (2) motivation; (3) simple or compound character; (4) stylistic colouring; (5) combining power. The basic terms, for instance, are frequent words belonging to the first thousand of words in H.S. Eaton’s “semantic frequency list", their motivation is lost in present-day English. They are all native words of long standing. The motivation of colour terms in the subsystem is very clear: they are derived from the names of fruit (orange), flowers (pink), colouring stuffs (indigo). Basic system words and most of the first degree terms are root words, the second degree terms are derivatives or compounds: copper-red, jade-green, sky-coloured. Stylistically the basic terms are definitely neutral, the second degree terms are either special or poetic. The meaning is widest in the four basic terms, it gradually narrows down from subsystem to subsystem. The relationship existing between elements of various levels is logically that of inclusion. Semanticists call it h y p o n y m y . The term is of comparatively recent creation. J. Lyons stresses its importance as a constitutive principle in the organisation of the vocabulary of all languages. For example, the meaning of scarlet is “included” in the meaning of red. So scarlet is the hyponym of red, and its cohyponym is crimson, as to red — it is the superordinate of both crimson and scarlet. Could every word have a superordinate in the vocabulary, the hierarchical organisation of the lexical system would have been ideal. As it is there is not always a superordinate term. There is, for instance, no superordinate term for all colours as the term coloured usually excludes white and black. F.R. Palmer gives

several examples from the animal world. The word sheep is the superordinate for ram, ewe and lamb. The word dog is in a sense its own superordinate, because there is no special word for a male dog, although there is a special term for the female and for the little dog, i.e. bitch and pup. Superordinates are also called h y p e r o n y m s , this latter term is even more frequent. Some scholars treat this phenomenon as presupposition, because if we say that some stuff is scarlet it implies that it is red. One may also treat synonymy as a special case of hyponymy (see Ch. 10). Thematic groups as well as ideographic groups, i.e. groups uniting words of different parts of speech but thematically related, have been mostly studied diachronically. Thus A.A. Ufimtseva wrote a monograph on the historical development of the words: eorþe, land, grund;, mideanzeard, molde, folde and hruse. The evolution of these words from the Old-English period up to the present is described in great detail. The set in this case is defined by enumerating all its elements as well as by naming the notion lying at the basis of their meaning. Many other authors have also described the evolution of lexico-semantic groups. The possibility of transferring the results obtained with limited subsets on the vocabulary as a whole adaptive system remains undefined. Subsequent works by A.A. Ufimtseva are devoted to various aspects of the problem of the lexical and lexico-semantic system. All the elements of lexico-semantic groups remain within limits of the same part of speech and the same lexico-grammatical group. When; grammatical meaning is not taken into consideration, we obtain the so-called ideographic groups.

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