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• Structure of the lexicon


• QUESTIONS: • What do we mean by lexicon? • In what sense can we say that the lexicon has structure? • What do we understand by lexical structure? 2 .

Hebrew or Arabic.Definitions of LEXICON (I): LDCE: LEXICON= a dictionary. language of a branch of knowledge. lexicon= inventory of words) 3 .) = vocabulary of e person. especially of Greek. especially of an ancient language COD: LEXICON= a dictionary. LEXICON= A POOL OF WORDS THAT FORMS THE BASIS OF ANY LANGUAGE (etymology: Gk lexis = word. (fig.

Coseriu’s Model.Definition of LEXICON (II) LEXICON = the vocabulary of a language. 1970) 4 . these are not unconnected THE LEXICON HAS STRUCTURE (a) Structure of the lexicon (external to the word): paradigmatic (oppositional) syntagmatic (combinatorial) (E. an accumulation of words.

5 .

complex items 6 .simple items .(b) Structure of the lexical items (internal to the word): .

Chenevix Trench (1807 – 1866) – lectures to students – 2 volumes: .English past and present (1855) Interest in the semantic evolution of words Basic idea: words often embody facts of history 7 .On the study of words (1850) . Early studies in lexicology • 19th century – R.

the plural can serve to form special lexical meanings: e. shop window vs. to do homework vs.the lexical meaning of the DO may change the meaning of the verb: e. custom vs. the ‘White House vs.g.g. damages.the syntactic position of a word may change both its function and its lexical meaning: e. to grow potatoes vs. school-girls. Relationship of lexicology to other branches of linguistics • Lexicology and phonetics – word stress e. to grow a beard . window-shop • Lexicology and stylistics – selection of lexical units adapted to style: e. the white ‘house • Lexicology and grammar .g.g. to do time. girls’ school vs. 8 . The knight mounted his stallion (historical writings) The child climbed his gee-gee (children’s narratives) * The knight mounted his gee-gee.g. damage vs. customs .

g. LEXICAL UNITS: STRUCTURE AND CLASSIFICATION WORD IDENTIFICATION AND DEFINITION Difficulties in arriving at a consistent use of the term WORD: Due to word identification – decisions over word boundaries: e.g.decisions over the status: e. bee sting – 1 word or 2 words? . is the/a a word in the same sense as mother? b) Due to word definition – a major problem of linguistic theory 9 .

• An element of human speech. apt to be used grammatically. it can be understood by a human collectivity constituted in a historical community. Definitions of the term word • A unit of expression which has universal intuitive recognition by native speakers. to which meaning is attached. 10 . • A linguistic form that can be meaningfully be spoken in isolation.

in a stretch of speech (bounded by pauses) – phonological word A neutral term that covers both: WORD FORM 11 . Three main senses of the term word (a) Word – a physically definable unit encountered -in a stretch of writing (separated by space) – orthographic word .

talk. talked. variants of the same unit) e.e. talk. talker have TALK as a common factor or lexeme = an abstract entity found in a dictionary that has a certain meaning 12 . talking.g.(b) Word (in a more abstract sense) – the common factor underlying a set of forms (i.

{-ed} (morphemes) 13 . talked (word forms of TALK) {talk}. word= a grammatical unit of the same kind as the morpheme. {-er}. Thus. {-ing}. talking. Morpheme= the smallest unit that has meaning or that serves a grammatical function TALK (lexeme) Talks.(c) Word: an abstract unit to be set up to show how words work in GRAMMAR. talker. {-s}.

Classification of morphemes (I) • Lexical • Grammatical (semantic/derivational) (functional/inflectional) -denote extralinguistic objects -denote grammatical functions and syntactic relations -open set -closed set -precede grammatical morphemes (in -follow lexical morphemes Gm. lgs) -combination with other morphemes -combination with other lexical relatively unrestricted morphemes often restricted -result of combination=new word -result of combination=new lexemes forms -change either the word-class or -they don’t change the meaning or the word-class of the root meaning of the root they are attached to INFLECTION WORD FORMATION 14 .

Infixes Function words Bound bases (-ceive. tox-) Blocked morphemes (Fri -. duce. articles) Bound roots (sanct-. -sist. -tain) conjunctions. adjectives) Prefixes vs. (prepositions. cran-) 15 .Classification of morphemes (II) • Free • Bound Content words (nouns. Suffixes verbs.

g. stems. Roots. and affixes • Root = basic part of a lexeme. bases. can not be further analysed either in terms of derivational or inflectional morphology. part of a word-form that remains when all inflectional and derivational affixes have been removed e. underprivileged 16 .