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首页 英语词汇学论文---词义的变化

英语词汇学论文---词义的变化.doc

英语词汇学论文---词义的变化

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2019-02-06 0人阅读 举报 0 0 0 暂无简介

简介:本文档为《英语词汇学论文---词义的变化doc》,可适用于外语资料领域

TheCausesofChangesinWordMeaningAbstract:Keywords:historicalsocialpsychologicallinguisticsemanticDoyouknowwhenJuliettellsRomeo,“Iamtoofond”,sheisnotclaimingshelikesRomeotoomuchShemeans“Iamtoofoolish”DoyouknowwhenHoratiosaystoHamlet,“Seasonyouradmirationforawhile…”,heisnottellingHamlet“toincreasehisrespect(thecurrentmeaningofadmiration)forsomething”Infact,hemeans“tomoderatehisastonishment”Dontbesurprised,because,asQuirkasserts,almosteverywordweusetodayhasslightlydifferentmeaningfromtheoneishadacenturyagoandacenturyagoithadaslightdifferentmeaningfromtheoneithadacenturybeforethatWhenawordlosesitsoldmeaningandcomestorefertosomethingaltogetherdifferent,theresultisachangeofwordmeaningAsnonnativeEnglishlearners,learningthecausesofchangesinwordmeaningcanhelpusdeepentheunderstandingofthemeaningoflexicology,vocabulary,semanticfieldandculturebackgroundBylearningthis,wecanusevocabularyinamoreprecisewayandavoidmistakeorembarrassmentwhencommunicatingwithnativespeakersThecausesofchangesinwordmeaningcanbedividedintolinguisticcauseandextralinguisticcauseExtralinguisticcausecanalsodivideintohistoricalcause,socialcauseandpsychologycauseLinguisticcauseChangeofmeaningisfrequentlybroughtaboutbytwotendenciesinalinguisticsystem:towardsellipsisandtowardsanalogySomelinguiststhinkforeigninfluenceshouldsubordinatelinguisticcauseEllipsisoccurswhenaphraseisshortenedtoonewordwhichretainsthemeaningofthewhole,soitoftenoccursinhabitualcollocations,suchasadjectivenounorattributivenounnounPrivate,daily,duplicatearealladjectives,buttheyareusedasnounsPrivatemeansasoldierofthelowestrank,dailymeansdailynewspaper,andduplicatemeansduplicatecopyUndersuchcircumstances,whateverisleft,whetheranounoranadjective,isallusedasanounassumingtheoriginalmeaningNaturally,theassociationbecamesoclosethatthefirstelementcouldalonecarrythemeaningofthewholephraseBesides,thereisachangeofgrammaticalfunctionaswell,aswhenadjectivesassumetherolesofnounsUnliketheaboveexamples,whosesenseofonewordhasbeentransferredtoanothersimplebecausethetwooccurtogetherhabitually,insomecases,itisthesecondor“headword”ofthephrasethatremainsForexample,(stream)engine,(coal)gasand(light)bulbTheanalogicaltendencymeansnewmeaningsdevelopedinonepartofspeecharepassedontootherpartsofspeechfromthesamelexicalbaseFortuitousformerlydenoted…happeningbychance,…accidental,andlatertookonthemeaning…fortunateprobablybyanalogybecausethetwowordslooksimilarinshapeAnotherinterestingexampleisfruition,originallyfromaLatinwordfruitiomeaningenjoymentButnow,itsmeaningisgivenas“fulfillmentof(plans,desiredresults,aims,etc),”possiblyfromconnectionwiththewordfruitForeigninfluencesAparticularlyimportantcauseofchangeofmeaninginwordshasbeentheinfluenceofforeignwordsForexample,thenativewordstooloriginallymeantanykindofseatforoneperson,andcouldevenbeusedforakingsseatItgotitshumblemeaningbecausetheFrenchwordchairwasadoptedtodenoteamorecomfortablepieceoffurnitureOtherexampleisdreamDreammeant“joy”inOEitgetsitsmodernsensefromtherelatedScandinavianworddraumrHistoricalcauseItoftenhappensthatthoughawordretainsitsoriginalform,itsmeaninghaschangedbecausetheobjectwhichitdenoteshaschangedThisisthehistoricalcauseofsemanticchangeThewellknownsemanticistUllmannnotes,“Itoftenhappensthatlanguageismoreconservativethancivilization,materialaswellasmoralObjects,institutions,ideas,scientificconceptschangeinthecourseoftimeyetinmanycasesthenameisretainedandthushelpstoensureasenseoftraditionandcontinuity”(Ullmann:)Indeed,itoftenhappensthatawordisretainedforanamethoughthemeaninghaschangedbecausethereferenthaschangedTakepenforexample,itdonated…feather,whichwasusedintheWestaspeninoldtimesNow,thetimewhen…featherservedaspenislonggone,andpeopleareusinghallpointpensandfountainpens,yetthenameisstillkeptThischangehasalsooccurredtocomputer,whichdesignateda…personwhocomputesinthepastAtpresent,whenwetalkaboutcomputer,people,peoplewouldthinkofan…electronicmachineratherthanapersonTherearealsomanyscientificconceptswhichhaveretainedtheiroriginalforms,althoughtheirmeaningshavechangedasaresultofnewscientificdiscoveriesandincreasedknowledgeForinstance,beforeCopernicus,thesunwasthoughttobe…theluminouscelestialbodythatinthePlolemaicsystemisoneofthesevenplanetsrevolvingaroundtheearthandthismeaningisretainedin“Thesunrisesandsets”TheCoperniciantheorytriedtochangethehistoricalpointofviewandnoweveryoneknowsthatthesunisa…stararoundwhichtheearthandotherplanetsrevolve…SocialcauseWearegoingtodiscusssocialcauseofthechangesofwordsmeaningsinfiveaspectsASocialdevelopmentChangeinwordmeaningresultingfromaconstantverbaltrafficbetweencommonwordandvarioustechnicalwordsisreferredtoassocialcauseofsemanticchange(Ullmann:)Asaresult,sometechnicalwordshavelosttheirspecializedmeaningsandhavecometobeusedinmoregeneralsenses,whichconnectwithelectricity,physics,chemistry,medicine,mathematics,etcForinstance,feedbackmeans“response”incommonuse,asin“Theteacherlikestohavefeedbackfromhisstudents”Dimension:asacommonword,itmeans“extentinaparticularaspect”,asin“Thisproblemhasanewdimension”BSocialenvironmentBigeventsinsocietywillchangethemeaningofsomewordsThesimplewordscoldandhothavechangedtheirmeaningsinthefieldofpolitics,asin“coldwar”and“hotwar”InEngland,AbdicationcanmeanKingEdwardVIIIabdicatedformarryingadivorcedAmericanwoman,MsSimpsonInthesecases,nonnativespeakersshouldtrytomemorizeCSocialclassVillainmeansbadpeople,butitsoriginalmeaningisvillagerBecausethearistocratlooksdownuponthelowsocialstatusvillagers,themeaningofvillainchangedItisakindofdegenerationofmeaningMoreexamplesareclown,boor,knave,andchurlThus,ifawordhassomethingtodowithlowsocialstatus,itwillhavederogatorysense,viceversaDNationalsentimentNationalsentimentinfluencesthemeaningofworddeeplyInEnglish,somebadthingswillhaveconnectionwithothernationsForinstance,totakeFrenchleavemeansleavingwithoutsayinggoodbyeItalianhandmeansinterfereSpanishathletemeansapersonwhosaysnonsenseThemostobviousnation,towhichEnglishshowsgreatprejudice,isNetherlands,becausethesetwocountriesalwaysfoughteachotherincenturyDutchactmeanscommitsuicideDutchcomfortmeanscomfortofnohelpDutchwidowmeansprostituteDutchunclemeansstrictcriticDutchtreatmeansapartythatyoushouldpayforyourselfDutchbargainmeansadealmadewhenyouaredrunkIamDutchedmeansIamcheatedDoubleDutchmeanswordsthatareratherbafflingI’maDutchmanif…ESexismTherearesomewordswithsexisminEnglish,butthenumberisminorForexample,“Manisarationalanimalmenarebornequal”ThemanintherereferstohumanbeingRecentyears,thankstofeministmovement,moreandmorewordsarecreatedtorefertowomen,suchasbusinessperson,draftsperson,poetess,heroine,spokeswomanetcPsychologicalcausePsychologicalcauseisalsoconstantlyatworkinbringingaboutchangesinwordmeaningPsychologicalfactorsplayabasicpartinmeaningchange,whichleadstotheelevationordegradationofwordmeaningsIttakesthreeforms:euphemism,grandiloquenceandcynicismAEuphemismPeoplechangewordmeaningowingtovariouspsychologicalmotives:love,respect,courtesy,suspicion,pessimism,irony,contempt,hatred,etcPeopletendtousemild,agreeablelanguagewhenspeakingofanunpleasantorembarrassingfactandtaboosubjectsDeathandthingsrelatedtodeathareoneofthemostcommonobjectsofeuphemism“Topassaway,”“tobreatheoneslast,”“toceasetothink,”“tofallasleep,”“tokickthebucket,”“tobenomore,”“togowest,”allrefertodeathToiletisanotherexampleRestroom,lounge,convenience,comfortstationandpowderroomarejustsomeofitseuphemismPregnantcanbesaid“big,”“bigwithchild,”“expectant,”“heavywithchild,”“laden,”“anticipating,”“inthefamilyway,”and“inaninterestingcondition”BGrandiloquenceGrandiloquencereferstotheuseoflong,importantsoundingwordsforeffectThedesiretoupgradeorraisethesocialstatusofaposition,occupation,orinstitutionbychangingitscommonnametoonefelttoconfergreaterdignityorimportanceisanotherpsychologicalfactorinthechangeofwordmeaningInAmericanEnglish,therearesomanywordsofgrandiloquenceusedinunpopularjobsGarbagecollectorissanitationengineer,servantisdomesticengineer,morticianisfuneraldirectorandgardenerislandscapearchitectInasense,grandiloquenceisaformofeuphemism,tooSosomelinguistsconsidergrandiloquencesubordinatetheEuphemismCCynicismCynicismisthedesiretosneerandtobesarcasticForinstance,thewordpiousmaymean“hypocriticallyvirtuous”inadditiontoitsprimarymeaning,“having,showingdeepdevotiontoreligion”Thepresentmeaningofsanctimoniousis“pretendingtobeveryholyorpious”,whileitoncemeant“devout,holyorsacred”Fanatic,aLatinsynonymforenthusiastic,means“unreasonablyenthusiastic,almostapproachingtomadness”ConclusionChangeinwordmeaningiscommonplaceandfundamentalinalivinglanguage,foritisoneofthesimplestandmostconvenientwaysofmeetingpeoplesneedfornewmanestorefertonewthings,ideas,processes,etcBroadlyspeaking,changeofmeaningreferstothealterationofthemeaningofexistingwords,aswellastheaddictionofnewmeaningtoestablishedwordsThecausesofsemanticchangearehistorical,social,psychologicalorpurelylinguisticAsnonnativeEnglishlearners,weneedtopaymoreattentiontothechangesofwordmeanings,forwearenotfamiliarwiththeirownhistory,theirculturebackgroundandpsychologicalsituationOnlybylearningthesecausescanwegetabetterunderstandingoflexicology,vocabulary,semanticfieldandcontextOnlybylearningthesecausescanweknowwhichwordsshouldbeusedandwhichwordsshouldbeavoided,sothatwecanexpressourmeaningmorespecificincommunicationwithothersBibliography:JacksonHoward(),Words,MeaningandVocabulary,Trowbridge:TheCromwellPressJavierEDiazVerd(),Lexicography,SemanticsandLexicologyinEnglishHistoricalLinguistics,Netherlands:Rodopi汪榕培(),《英语词汇学研究》,上海:上海外语教育出版社汪榕培卢晓娟(),《英语词汇学教程》,上海:上海外语教育出版社杨艳华张树凡(),《现代英语词汇学》,:冶金工业出版社张维友(),《英语词汇学教程》,武汉:华中师范大学出版社张韵斐(),《现代英语词汇学概论》,北京:北京师范大学出版社

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