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The term lexicology derives from Greek origin (lexis word and logos
learning). It is a section of linguistics which deals with the semantic or
morphological study mainly of the linguistic stock of a language, in particular the
content, meaning and the usage of the individual forms. Lexicology is focused on
the words in a language, their derivation and history. The term was applied for the
first time in 1820 however it is known that lexicology had been studied long before
the term was created.
Being a fundamental part of linguistics lexicology can be traced back to
the early ages of its development. A reasonably convincing structure of languages
is provided in the early Vedic texts. In those texts language is represented as a
composition of sentences with four stages of evolution that are expressed in three
tenses (past, present and future). The ancient Indian Sanskrit grammarian Paini (c.
520460 BC) is the earliest known linguist and is considered to be the founder of
linguistics. In his works he formulated the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology
which are still used nowadays. His grammar is believed to be highly systematized
and technical. Furthermore he is known to apply concepts of the morpheme, the
phoneme and the root which were only recognized by Western linguists two
millennia later. His grammar is focused on brevity and is highly unintuitive
structure, reminiscent of contemporary "machine language" (opposed to "human
readable" programming languages). His sophisticated logical rules and technique
have been widely influential in ancient and modern linguistics. The South Indian
linguist Tolkappiyar wrote the Tolkappiyam, the grammar of Tamil, which is also
still in use. Bhartrihari theorized the act of speech as being made up of four stages:
first of all, conceptualization of an idea, secondly, its verbalization and sequencing;
the third, delivery of speech into atmospheric air, and the last, the comprehension
of speech by the listener, the interpreter. Other early scholars of linguistics are
Jacob Grimm who devised the principle of consonantal shifts in pronunciation
known as Grimm's Law in 1822, Karl Verner, who discovered Verner's Law.
Ferdinand de Saussure was the founder of modern structural linguistics. Noam

Chomsky developed transformational-generative grammar, under the influence of

his teacher Zellig Harris. He remains by far the most influential linguist in the
world today. Linguists working in frameworks such as Head-Driven Phrase
Structure Grammar (HPSG) or Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) stress the
importance of formalization and formal rigor in linguistic description and relate
their works with his.
Lexicology can easily be confused with lexicography. It studies the
regularities which can be ascertained in the vocabulary of a particular language, of
the mutual relations of the individual items of that vocabulary, in short, in
discovering its structure. Lexicography on the other hand listens and describes the
words or morphemes of a language, particularly from the standpoint of meaning,
with a possible addition of derivation and history. (Mario Pei, quoted by Vachek)
Lexicography is descriptive. It deals the registration of the units of the vocabulary
of the studied language according to some fixed principles. First of all formal
which are based on alphabetical order and the second one is dictated by
considerations of content.
Lexicology can be divided into several branches. General lexicology
deals with the general study of words and their features in any particular language.
It also is a part of general linguistics. Special lexicology is focused on the deep
study of words and their meanings within the studies of a particular language.
Historical or diachronic lexicology studies the origin of various words, their
change and development, examines the linguistic and extra-linguistic forces that
modify their structure, meaning and usage. Descriptive lexicology is focused on
the functions of the words and their structure.
There is no doubt that as a part of linguistics and the semantic relationship
between lexical units such as polysemy, synonymy and many others, lexicology
has strong connection with other branches of linguistics: phonetics, phonemics,
morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis among others.
Lexicology can be found and is widely used in applied linguistics, language

acquisition which studies how a particular language is acquired; psycholinguistics,

sociolinguistics, stylistics, literary stylistics and neurolinguistics.

Main body
Lexicology is a branch of linguistics. It is the science of language. As a
branch of linguistics it has its own aims thus methods of scientific research.
Studying and systematic description of vocabulary in respect to its origin,
development and current use is its basic task. Lexicology is concerned with words,
variable word-groups, phraseological units and morphemes, which make up words.
In twentieth century the major problem of philosophy, linguistics,
semiotics, and psychology (as well as other fields) has been to differentiate
between language ('langue') and speech ('parole'). This difference is very similar, if
not identical, to the distinction between semantics and pragmatics. Such dilemma
occurs with respect to language and speech as well as to any semiotic system. It is
the difference between an abstract system of oppositional sign elements, and the
application of this system by actual concrete beings, in particular persons. There
are other semiotic systems especially those studied by zoosemiotics, cybernetics,
information theory, and computer science. The latter three of the mentioned fields







langue/parole distinction. In all of these fields the studied object is a created for
specific purposes artifact. Therefore, whenever there is a difference between
program and its implementation, it should be classified as "(machine) error"
Such "error" classification is most corresponding for artificial systems, it
shouldn't be applied to natural systems: the emotive and communicative systems of
animals, natural (physical) systems when viewed as informational, and most
importantly, the objects of the human sciences.
Ferdinand de Saussure is associated with the origins of the rift between
language and speech in modern linguistics. However such rifts existed before him
in linguistics with Wilhelm von Humboldt and back as far in philosophy starting
with Plato. Though, Saussure was the first to establish the conception of a

language/speech split to scientific linguistics. He also had great influence on

constructive thinking in all the human sciences. This influence led towards the
idealist teleology in examining people as speaking beings. The idealism and
teleology which are attributed to Saussure are tendencies which he explicitly
denied. At least, in the form we attribute them. Sometimes we have to look closely
at Saussures thinking which isnt made explicit and look at the ontological status
of his entities.
In order to understand Saussures theory the terms 'language', 'langue', and
'parole' need explaining. Moreover the latter two are crucial to Saussures thought.
Language is the most general of the terms and is meant cooperate with all elements
of human speaking. These elements include the physiological construction and
reception of sounds by persons' vocal and aural apparati; the physical facts about
transmission of sounds or other media through which language can be carried; and
the psychological and sociological mechanisms through which understanding can
occur. Langue has the last of these categories. It is both a social product of the
faculty of speech and a collection of necessary conventions that have been adopted
by a social body to permit individuals to exercise that faculty. Parole is the
"executive side" of language, that is, the individual and accidental in human
speech. Parole may be divided into two parts: 1) the combination by which the
speaker uses the language code for expressing his own thought; and 2) the
psychophysical mechanism that allows him to exteriorize those combinations
Many believe that language is an open system which means it contains
some peripheral elements which are not necessarily integrated in it, and whose
existence motivates most of the changes to which the system of language is
demonstrated at any epoch of its development. Language is a dynamic, not a static
system. On the other hand of phonic and grammar level lexical level is
predominately open. As a result many scholars expressed their doubts that the
vocabulary can have systemic status at all. However some aspects of the
vocabulary of the given language clearly reveal a pattern characteristic of that
language and different from the patterns found in other languages.

The central problem of lexicology is naming facts of reality that can be

found in language surroundings. In most languages these surroundings are similar
despite some partial differences.
Bloomfield considered a word as a minimum free form. He believed it
could take different positions in a sentence. Mathesius thought that a word is the
smallest independently utilizable segment of an utterance characterized by a
certain meaning. Lyons believed that words do not name things, they refer to them.
Grimm's Law named after Jacob Grimm establishes a set of regular
correspondences between early Germanic stops and fricatives and the stop
consonants of certain other centum Indo-European languages.
Karl Verner was a Danish linguist. He is famous for Verner's Law, which
he discovered in 1875. His law describes a historical sound change in a language.







mathematical syntactician, and methodologist of science. Originally a Semiticist,

he is famous for working with structural linguistics and discourse analysis and for
the discovery of transformational structure in language.
Avram Noam Chomsky was an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive
scientist, logician, historian, and activist. He was an Institute Professor and
Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy where he
has worked for over 50 years. He is best known for his development of formal
model of language, which refers to transformational-generative grammar. It is a
generative grammar, especially of a natural language. It is a theory of grammar that
accounts for the constructions of a language by linguistic transformations and
phrase structures. It was followed after Chomskys book Syntactic structures in
Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag created Head-driven phrase structure grammar
(HPSG) which is considered to be a highly lexicalized, non-derivational generative
grammar theory. It is a type of phrase structure grammar, as opposed to a
dependency grammar, and it is the immediate successor to generalized phrase
structure grammar.

Lexical functional grammar (LFG) is a grammar framework in theoretical

linguistics, a variety of generative grammar. It is a type of phrase structure
grammar, as opposed to a dependency grammar.
We can say that theoretically linguistics and particularly lexicology have
alongside a natural cause of evolution of humans in their desire to develop, and
create structured and formulised language. This in part may be due to the desire of
developing systematic approaches and standardised system of communication that
in turn maximises the number of people within a geographical, social or cultural
area in order to communicate effectively with each other. In the 19th century it
could be seen that many theorists, scientists, linguists went to a great length to
define standardised system with parameters and a strong focus on lexicology was a
decisive part of this development.
Autonomous theoretical linguistics is concerned with the characterization
of the nature of human linguistic ability. It explains what an individual knows
when an individual knows a language, and explains how it is that individuals come
to know languages. Since children learn any language spoken around them, there is
no genetic basis for the differences between one language and another. Theoretical
linguistics is focused on finding and describing generalities both within particular
languages and among all languages, whereas applied linguistics takes the results of
those findings and applies them to other areas. Often applied linguistics refers to
the use of linguistic research in language teaching, but results of linguistic research
are used in many other areas.
The explicit usage of computers is involved in applied linguistics.
Phonetic and phonemic knowledge are used in speech synthesis and speech
recognition in order to provide voice interfaces to computers. Applications of
computational linguistics in machine translation, computer-assisted translation, and
natural language processing are extremely fruitful areas of applied linguistics
which have come to the forefront in recent years with increasing computing power.
Their influence has had a great effect on theories of syntax and semantics, as

modelling syntactic and semantic theories on computers constrains the theories to

computable operations and provides a more rigorous mathematical basis.
Mathematical linguistics is involved in mathematics, logic and computer
science in which a formal language is a set of finite length of sequences of
elements drawn from a specified finite set of symbols. Also a formal language may
be viewed as being analogous to a collection of words or a collection of sentences
among more common options that are found in applications.
Lexicology can be applied in a variety of different branches of linguistics.
Such as phonetics, the study of systematic classifications of sounds in spoken
language. As any word is the combination of sounds and meaning there in no word
without sounds. It is focused on the actual properties of speech sounds as well as
those of non-speech sounds, and their production, audition and perception, as
opposed to phonology, which is dedicated to the study of sound systems and
abstract sound units. Phonology is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound
system of a specific language (or languages). An important part of phonology is
studying which sounds are distinctive units within a language. The principles of
phonological theory have also been applied to the analysis of sign languages, in
which it is argued that the same or a similar phonological system underlies both
signed and spoken languages.
The application of linguistics can be seen in grammar due to that in
studying a language the focus on grammar is as important as the focus on the
vocabulary of that language because the vocabulary is the building material of a
There are documented cases of developing sign languages in communities
of deaf people who couldnt understand a spoken language. The properties of these
sign languages have been shown to conform generally too many of the properties
of spoken languages, strengthening the hypothesis that those properties are not due
to common ancestry but to more general characteristics of the way languages are

Generally speaking all the languages can be referred to a universal

grammar. In general, a property of UG could be due to general properties of
human cognition, or due to some property of human cognition that is specific to
language. Too little is known about human cognition and owing to that no
meaningful distinction can be made.
Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the
psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and
understand language. Psycholinguistics covers the cognitive processes that make it
possible to generate a grammatical and meaningful sentence out of vocabulary and
grammatical structures, as well as the processes that make it possible to understand
utterances, words, text, etc. Developmental psycholinguistics studies into infants'
and children's ability to learn language, usually with experimental or at least
quantitative methods.
Sociolinguistics studies the effect of any and all aspects of society, and
includes cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used. It
is also focused on how lexis can differ between groups separated by certain social
variables and how creation and adherence to these rules is used to group and
categorize individuals in social class or socio-economic classes. As the usage of a
language changes from place to place (dialect), language usage varies among
social classes, and it is these sociolects that sociolinguistics studies.
Human beings distinguish themselves by their capacity to learn therefore
much human activity could be described as educational. "Education" can refer both
to formal activity within controlled and planned educational institutions, and to the
more informal upbringing of children or helping adults who wish to benefit from
others' experience. Language is the most distinctive method of human
communication and therefore for transmission of cultural understanding, skills and
value systems. Linguistic study influences on Education through two main ways.
Firstly, it has been the core discipline in work on teaching languages, mostly
foreign and classical, but to some extent mother tongues. Second, it is fundamental
for studies of communication in the general educational process, mainly in relation

to literacy, social behaviour in formal educational settings, and learning processes.

There are many areas that linguistics contribute to education such as the
relationship between language and cognition; the role of language as a socialising
agent within educational institutions; the relationship between language in the
educational institution and the wider community; categories for the structure of
language curricula: formal, functional, situational, etc... and much more.
Linguistics has had a vital role to play in the recognition of the field of learning
difficulties and identifying young learners with difficulties and helloing to access
their development and specific learning problems. This again is often contributed
to their ability through linguistics in their cognitive ability and their sociolinguistic

In conclusion we see that lexicology is a fundamental part of linguistics
traced back many centuries however was not so clearly identified as a project area
until the 19th century. Lexicology being a vital part of linguistics primarily
associated with descriptive techniques of words and systematic structure and order.
It has derived from many branches for a need of semantic relationship with the
development and evolution of humans, sciences and communication language has
more and more needed a singular form that people from all over the world could
understand. A need for a language that all of us could develop and enjoy. This can
be seen in the example of English becoming the main language that the world uses
to communicate by in business, and in forms of international trading and
transportation. Also we see a science developed, a singular form of language began
to appear which today is very clear through cybernetics, computers, language,
programming and so on. Many different scientists have debated the subject field of
lexicology and linguistics but in most parts they have agreed that a formal system
of a language with systematic classification is a benefit to each and every society.
We see that this field of lexicology is fundamental to the development of
linguistics and language and is used in its application within various branches of

communication and thinking, which are some of the most fundamental processes
within the form of development. Although today the field may be less popular than
it was in the 19th century there are many theorists and many evolving and
developing uses appearing in both lexicology and linguistics. As a science within
computers and technology not to mention globalisation, where people are
constantly communicating and sharing ideas, theories and thoughts. We can say
that due to linguistics and lexicology we have been able to evolve so effectively
through our ability to communicate with each other and a standardised system to
work by and we will continue to through time.