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On the morphological level words are divided into four groups according to their morphological structure, namely the

number and type of morphemes which compose them. They are:


Root or morpheme words. Their stem contains one free morpheme, Derivatives contain no less than two morphemes of which at least one Compound words consist of not less than two free morphemes, the Compound derivatives consist of not less than two free morphemes

e.g. dog, hand.


is bound: dogged, handy, handful, sometimes both are bound: terrier.


presence of bound morphemes is possible but not necessary: handful, blackbird.


and one bound morpheme referring to the whole combination. The pattern is (stem + stem) + affix, e.g. long-legged, left-handed. Another type of traditional lexicological grouping is known as word families. The number of groups is certainly much greater, being equal to the number of root morphemes if all words are grouped to the number of root morphemes, e.g. dog, doggish, dogless, doglike, to dog, dog-wolf, dog-cart, etc.

Lexico-grammatical groups
By a lexico-grammatical group we understand a class of words which have a common lexico-grammatical meaning, a common paradigm, the same substituting elements and possibly a characteristic set of suffixes rendering the lexicogrammatical meaning. These groups are subsets of the part of speech, several lexico-grammatical groups constitute one part of speech. Thus, English nouns are subdivided approximately into the following lexico-grammatical groups: personal names, animal names, collective names (for people), collective names(for animals), abstract nouns, material nouns, object nouns, proper names, etc. Lexico-grammatical groups should not be confused with parts of speech. Audience and honesty, for instance, belong to the same part of speech but to different lexico-grammatical groups because their lexico-grammatical meaning is different: audience is a group of people, and honesty is a quality; they have

different paradigms: audience has two forms, singular and plural, honesty is used only in the singular, also honesty is hardly ever used in the Possessive case unless personified. Being a collective noun, the word audience is substituted by they, honesty is substituted by it. Other words belonging to the same lexico-grammatical group as audience are people, party, jury.

Thematic and Ideographic Groups The Theory of Semantic Field

A further subdivision within the lexico-grammatical groups is achieved in the well-known 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 are closely connected in reality. The group of colour terms has always attracted the attention of linguists. There are hundreds of articles written about colour terms. V. A. Moskovitch gives a clear systematic description of this microsystem in English. The basis colour name system comprises four words: blue, green, yellow, red; they cover the whole spectrum. All other words denoting colour bring details into this scheme and form subsystems of the first and the second order, which may be considered as synonymic series with corresponding basis terms as synonymic series with corresponding basis terms as their dominants. Thus red is taken as a dominant for the first order: scarlet, orange, crimson, rose, and the subsystem of the second degree: vermilion, wine, red, cherry, coral, copper-red, etc. Words belonging to the basis 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 basis terms, for instance, are frequent words belonging to the first thousand of words in H. S. Eatons semantic frequency list; their motivation is lost in present-day English. They are all native words. The

motivation of colour terms in the subsystem is very clear: they are derived from the names of fruit (orange), flowers (pink), colouring stuff (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 subsystems to subsystem. All elements of lexico-semantic group remain within limits of the same part of speech and the same lexico-grammatical group. When the grammatical meaning is not taken into consideration, we obtain the so-called ideographic groups. Words and expressions in ideographic groups are classified together not according to their lexico-grammatical meaning but strictly according to their signification, i.e. to the system of logical notions. These subgroups may comprise nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs together, provided they refer to the same notion. Thus V. I. Agamdzhanova unites into one group such words as light n, bright adj, shine v and other words connected with the notion of light as something permitting living beings to see the surrounding objects. The approach resembles the much discussed theory of semantic fields but is much more precise. The theory of semantic fields is closely connected with the name of famous German scholar Jost Trier. His conception of linguistic fields is based on Saussures theory of language as a synchronous system of networks held together by differences, oppositions and distinctive values. The starting point of the whole field theory was J. Triers work on intellectual terms in Old and Middle High German. Trier shows that they form an interdependent lexical sphere where the significance of each unit is determined by its neighbours. The semantic areas of the units limit one another and cover up the whole sphere. This sphere he called a linguistic, conceptual or lexical field. His definition in S. Ullmanns translation is: Fields are linguistic realities existing between single words and the total vocabulary; they are parts of a whole and resemble words in that they combine into

some higher units and the vocabulary in that they resolve themselves into smaller units. Since the publication of Triers book several definitions of the basic notion have been put forward. A search for objective criteria made W. Porzig, G. Ipsen and other authors narrow the conception down. Ipsen studies Indo-European names of metals and notices their connection with colour adjectives. Porzig pays attention to regular contextual ties: dog-bark, blind-see, see-eye. A syntactic approach to the problem of semantic fields has been initiated by the Moscow structuralist group. From their point of view, the detailed syntactic properties of the word are its meaning. Y. Apresyan proposes an analysis of phrase types as revealed by syntactic analysis. A semantic field can therefore be described on the basis of valency potential of its members.

Different Types of Non-Semantic Grouping

The simplest, most obvious non-semantic grouping, extensively used in all branches of applied linguistics is the alphabetical organization of written words, as represented in most dictionaries. It is of great practical value as the simplest and the most universal way of searching for the necessary word. The theoretical value of alphabetical grouping is almost null, because no other property of the word can be predicted from the letter the word begins with. The rhyming, i.e. inverse dictionary presents a similar non-semantic grouping of isolated written words, differing from the first in that the sound is also taken into consideration and the words are arranged according to the similarity of their ends. The practical value of this type is much more limited. These dictionaries are intended for poets. A third type of non-semantic grouping of written words is based on their length, i.e. the number of letters they contain. This type may be useful for automatic reading of messages and correction of mistakes. Finally, a very important type of non-semantic grouping for isolated lexical units is based on a statistical analysis of their frequency. It shows important

correlation between quantitative and qualitative characteristics of lexical units, the most frequent words being polysemantic and stylistically neutral. A native word is a word which belongs to the original wordstock, as known from the earliest available manuscripts of the Old English period. A loan word, borrowed word or borrowing is a word taken over from another language and modified in phonemic shape, spelling, paradigm or meaning according to the standards of the English language. The native words are further subdivided into those of Indo-European stock and those of Common Germanic origin. The words having cognates in the vocabularies of different Indo-European languages form the oldest layer. Among them we find terms of kinship: father, mother, son, daughter, brother; words naming the most important objects and phenomena of nature: sun, moon, star, wind, water, wood, hill, stone, tree; names of animals and birds: bull, cat, crow, goose, wolf; parts of the human body: arm, ear, eye, foot, heart, etc. Some of the most frequent verbs are also of Indo-European stock: bear, come, sit, stand and others. Adjectives hard, quick, slow, red, white and most numerals also belong here. A much bigger part of the native vocabulary layer is formed by words of the Common Germanic stock, i.e. of words having parallels in German, Norwegian, Dutch, Icelandic, etc, but not in Russian or French. It contains a great number of semantic groups, e.g. summer, winter, storm, rain, ice, ground, bridge, house, shop, room, coal, iron, cloth, hat, shirt, shoe, care, evil, hope, life, need, rest; the verb bake, burn, buy, drive, hear, keep, make, meet, rise, see, send, shoot and many more, the adjectives broad, dead, deaf, deep, many adverbs and pronouns. Together with the words of the common Indo-European stock these Common Germanic words form the bulk of the most frequent elements used in any style of speech. They constitute no less than 80% of the 500 most frequent words. The part played by borrowings in the vocabulary of a language depends upon the history of each given language. the Roman invasion, the introduction of Christianity, the Danish and Norman conquests and the development of British

colonialism in modern times caused important changes in the vocabulary. 70% of the English vocabulary consist of loan words and only 30% of the words are native. The term source of borrowing should be distinguished from the term origin of borrowing. The first should be applied to the language from which the loan word was taken into English. The second refers to the language to which the word may be traced. Thus, the word paper<Fr papier Lat papyrus< Gr papyrus has French as its origin. Alongside loan words proper, we distinguish translation loans and semantic loans. Translation loans are words and expressions formed from the material already existing in the British language but according to patterns taken from another language, by way of literal morpheme-for-morpheme translation. Examples are: chain-smoker:: Kettenraucher (Germ), wall newspaper:: (); goes without saying:: (cela) va sans dire (Fr) The term semantic loan is used to denote the development in an English word of a new meaning due to the influence of a related word in another language. The English word pioneer meant explorer and one who is among the first in new fields of activity, now under the influence of the Russian word it has come to mean a member of the Young Pioneers Organization. The number of loan words in the English language is so high that many foreign scholars (L. P. Smith, H. Bradley and others) were inclined to reduce the study of the English vocabulary to the discussion of its etymology. Thus, the initial position of the sounds [v], [d ], [ ] is a sign that the word is not of native stock, e.g. valley (Fr), gem (Lat), genre (Fr). The letters j, x, z in initial position and such combinations as ph, kh, eau in the root indicate the foreign origin of the word: philology (Greek), khaki (Indian), beau (French). Some letters and combinations of letters depend in their pronunciation upon the etymology of the word. Thus x is pronounce [ks] and [gz] in words of native and Latin origin respectively, and [z] in words coming from Greek: six [siks] (native), exist [ig zist] (Latin), but xylophone [zailfoun] (Greek). The

combination of ch is pronounced [t ] in native words and early borrowings: child, chair and [ ] in Late French borrowings: machine, parachute, and [k] in words of Greek origin: epoch, chemist, echo.

Assimilation of Loan Words

The term assimilation of loan words is used to denote a partial or total conformation to the phonetical, graphical and morphological standards of the receiving language and its semantic system. According to the degree of assimilation all loan words are subdivided into three groups: completely assimilated loan words, partially assimilated loan words and unassimilated loan words or barbarisms. The group of partially assimilated words may be subdivided according to the aspect that remains unaltered, i.e. spelling, pronunciation or morphology.

Completely assimilated words are found in all layers of older

borrowings: e.g. cheese, street, wall, wine (Latin), husband, fellow, gate, root, wing (Scandinavian), table, chair, face, figure, finish, matter (French). The number of completely assimilated words is many times greater than the number of partially assimilated ones. They follow all morphological, phonetical, and orthographic standards. 2.

The second group containing the partly assimilated loan words can be loan words not assimilated semantically, because they denote objects

subdivided into subgroups. and notions peculiar to the country from which they come. They may denote foreign clothing: sari, sombrero; foreign titles and professions: shah, rajah, sheik, bei, toreador; foreign vehicles: caique (Turkish), rickshaw (Chinese); food and drinks: sherbet (Arabian), pilav (Persian).

Loan words not completely assimilated grammatically, for example

nouns borrowed from Latin or Greek which keep their original plural forms: phenomenon-phenomena, formula-formulae, index-indices.


Loan words not completely assimilated phonetically. Some French

words borrowed after 1650 keep the stress on the final syllable: machine, cartoon, police. Others contain sounds that are standard for the English language: [ ] bourgeiois, prestige, regime; [wa:] - memoir. In many cases it is not the sounds but the whole pattern is different from the rest of the vocabulary: confetti, macaroni, opera, sonata, tomato, potato, tobacco.

Loan words not completely assimilated graphically. These are, for

instance, words borrowed from French in which the final consonant is not pronounced: ballet, buffet, corps. Some may keep a diacritic mark: caf, clich. Speciffically French diagraphs (ch, qu, ou,etc) may be treated in spelling: bouquet, brioche.

The third group of borrowings comprises the so-called barbarisms, i.e.

words from other languages used by English people in conversation or in writing but not assimilated in any way, and for which there are corresponding English equivalents. The examples are the Italian addio, ciao good bye, the French affiche for placard, the Latin ad libitum at pleasure and the like.

Etymological Doublets
Etymological doublets are two or more words of the same language which were derived by different ways from the same basic word. They differ in certain degree in form, meaning and current usage. Examples are whole (in the old sense of healthy or free from decease) and hale. The latter has survived in its original meaning in the phras hale and hearty. Both come from OE hl. Other examples are: raid-road, channel-cannel, shirt-skirt, shriek-screech, shorescar, shabby-scabby.

International words

Words of identical that occur in several languages as a result of simultaneous or successive borrowings from one ultimative source are called international. They play an essentially prominent part in terminological system and among words denoting abstract notions. They should not be mixed with words of the common Indo-European stock that also comprise a sort of common fund of the European languages. A few examples of international words: antenna, antibiotic, automation, cybernetics, control, general, industry, football, match, time, cocktail, jazz, pullover, sweater.

The English Word as a Structure Word-building. Affixation

If viewed structurally, words are divisible into smaller units which are called morphemes. A morpheme is also an association of a given meaning with a given sound pattern. But unlike a word it is not autonomous. Morphemes occur in speech only as constituent parts of words, not independently, although a word may consist of a single morpheme. Morphemes are not divisible into smaller meaningful units. That is why the morpheme may be defined as the minimum meaningful language unit. The term morpheme is derived from Gr. morpheme i.e. form and suffix eme which denotes the smallest unit or the minimum distinctive feature. The morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of form. A form is said to be free if it may stand alone without changing its meaning, if not, it is a bound form, so called because it is always bound to something else. For example, if we compare the words sportive and elegant and their parts, we see that sport, sportive, elegant may occur alone as utterance, whereas eleg-, -ive, -ant are bound forms because they never occur alone. A word is, by L. Bloomfields definition, a minimum free form. A morpheme is said to be either bound or free. It means that some morphemes are capable of forming words without adding other morphemes; that is, they are homonymous to free words.

According to the role they play in constructing words, morphemes are subdivided into roots and affixes. The latter are further subdivided into prefixes, suffixes and infixes, and according to the function and meaning into derivational and functional affixes, the latter also called endings or outer formatives. When a derivational or functional affix is stripped from the word, what remains is a stem (or a stem base). The stem expresses the lexical and the part of speech meaning. For the word hearty the stem is heart. This stem is a single morpheme; it contains nothing but the root, so it is a simple stem. It is also a free stem because its homonymous to the word heart. But if we take the paradigm heartier-heartiest the stem will be hearty-. It is a free stem, but it consists of a root morpheme and an affix. Such stems are called derived. If after deducting the affix the remaining stem is not homonymous to a separate word of the same root, we call it a bound stem. Thus, in the word cardial the stem card cannot form a separate word by itself, it is bound. But in the word cardiality the stem is free. Bound stems are especially characteristic of loan words. Roots are the main morphemic vehicles of a given idea in a given language at a given stage of its development. A root may be also regarded as the ultimate constituent element which remains after the removal of all functional and derivational affixes and does not admit any further analysis. It is the common element of words within a word-family. Thus heart- is the common root of the following series of words: heart, hearten, dishearten, heartily, heartless, heartiness, sweetheart, heart-broken, kind-hearted, etc. It should be noted that the root in English is very often homonymous with the word. This fact is of fundamental importance as it is one of the most specific features of the English language arising from its grammatical analytical system on the one hand and from its phonemic system on the other. Unlike roots affixes are always bound forms. A suffix is a derivational morpheme following the stem and forming a new derivative in a different part of speech or a different word. When both the

underlying and the resulting forms belong to the same part of speech, the suffix serves to differentiate between lexico-grammatical classes. For instance, both ify and er are verb suffixes, but the first characterizes causative verbs such as horrify, purify, whereas the second is mostly typical of frequentative verbs: shimmer, flicker and the like. A prefix is a derivational morpheme standing before the root and modifying meaning, cf. to hearten to dishearten, to like to dislike. It is only with verbs and statives that a prefix may serve to distinguish one part of speech from another, like in sleep n asleep (stative), eart n unearth v. Within a few exceptions prefixes modify the stem fro time (pre-, post- e.g. pre-war, post-impressionism), for place (in-, ad- e.g. inside, adjoin), for negation (un-, dis- e.g. uncertain, dislike). An infix is an affix placed within the word e.g. s- : statesman, -o-: speedometer, -i-: handicraft. The type is not productive. An affix should not be confused with a combining form. A combining form is also a bound form but it can be distinguished from an affix historically by the fact that it is always borrowed from another language, namely from Latin or Greek. They differ from all other borrowings in that they occur in compounds and derivatives that did not exist in their original language but were formed only in modern times in English, French, Russian, etc. e.g. polyclinic, polytechnical, television, stereoscopic. Such forms are mostly international. Some elements of the English vocabulary occurring as independing nouns, such as man, berry, land, have been very frequent as second elements of words for a long time. They have developed a very general meaning similar to that of an affix. These elements are called semi-affixes. English semi-affixes are: -land (England, Scotland, Holland); -man (gentleman, sportsman); -berry (strawberry, cranberry); -like (ladylike, manlike); -well (well-done, well-bred); -proof (fireproof, waterproof); -looking (goodlooking, strange-looking); -worthy (trustworthy, praiseworthy); -oriented (familyoriented, money-oriented); -person (houseperson, business-person); -way (anyway, otherways).

H. Marchland includes among the semi-affixes also the element wise traditionally referred to adverb-forming suffixes: otherwise, likewise. Semi-affixes may also be used in preposition like prefixes, e.g. mini(miniskirt, minibudget); midi- (midicoat), maxi- (maxi-skirt), self- (selfhelp, selfstarter). The factors or the reasons which lead to transition of separate words into semi-affixes are high semantic productivity, adaptability, combinatorial capacity.

Classification of Prefixes
1) Negative prefixes de-, -dis-, in-/ im-/ il-/ ir-, un-, non-.

The prefix de- occurs in many neologisms, such as decentralize, decontaminate, etc. The general idea of negation is expressed by dis-, e.g. appeardisapper, agree-disagree; non is often used in abstract verbal nouns such as noninterference, nonsense, etc. The prefix im- occurs before bilabials (impossible), ir- before r (irregular), il- before l (illegal), in- before all other consonants and vowels (indirect, inability). The most frequent is the prefix un-; it should be noted that it may convey two different meanings, namely: a)

Simple negation, when attached to adjective stems or to particles: happy-unhappy, even-uneven. The meaning is different when un- is used with verbal stems. In that case it shows actions contrary to that of the simple word: do-undo, pack-unpack.

Another frequent prefix with a great combining power is re- denoting repetition of the action expressed by the stem: arrange-rearrange, marriageremarriage. The majority of prefixes affect only the lexical meaning of words but they are some important cases where prefixes serve to form words belonging to different parts of speech as compared with the original words. These are in the first place the verb-forming prefixes be- and en-/ em-: (belittle, becloud; encamp, engulf, embed).

The prefix a- is the characteristic feature of words belonging to statives: afraid, asleep, awake, etc. The prefixes pre-, post-, non-, anti- and some other Romanic and Greek prefixes serve to form adjectives e.g. anti-war, pre-war, non-party. The prefixes in-, a-, ab- modify the root for place e.g. inside, abduct. Several prefixes serve to modify the meaning of the stem for degree. They are out-, overand under, e.g. outlive, overfeed, undernourish. Among borrowed morphemes H.Sweet listed the following prefixes: amphi-, ana-, apo-, cata-, exo-, en-, hypo-, meta-, sina- (Greek), and ab-, ad-, amb- (Latin) e.g. amphitheatre, anaphora, adverbial.

Classification of suffixes
Depending on purpose of research, various classifications of suffixes have been used and suggested. Suffixes have been classified according to their orogin, parts of speech they served to form, their frequency, productivity amd other characteristics. Within the parts of speech suffixes have been classified semantically according to lexico-grammatical groups and types of stems they are added to. Noun-forming suffixes: -age (vicarage), -ance/ -ence (assistance, reference), -ant/ -ent (student, disinfectant), -dom (kingdom), -ee (employee), -eer (profiteer), -er (writer), -ess (actress), -hood (motherhood), -ing (building), -ion/ -sion/ -tion/ -ation (rebellion, creation, tension, explanation), -ism/ -icism (heroism, criticism), -ist (noverist), -ment (government), -ness (tenderness), -ship (friendship), -(i)ty (sonority). Adjective-forming suffixes: -able/ -ible/ -uble (unbearable, audible, soluble), -al (formal), -ic (poetic), -ical (ethical), -ant/ -ent (repentant, dependent), -ary (revolutionary), -ate/ -ete (accurate, complete), -ed/ -d (wooded), -ful (delightful), -ian (African, Australian), -ish (Irish, childish), -ive (active), -less (useless), -like (lifelike), -ly (manly), -ous/ -ious (tremendous, curious), -some (tiresome), -y (cloudy). Adverb-forming suffixes:

-ly (coldly), -ward/ -wards (upward, northwards), -wise (likewise). Alongside with adding some lexico-grammatical meaning to the stem, certain suffixes charge it with emotional force. They may be derogatory: -ard (drunkard), -ling (underling), -ster (gangster), -ton (simpleton). Emotionally coloured diminutive suffixes name not only persons but things as well, e.g. y/ -ie/ -ey: auntie, daddy, hanky (handkerchief), nightie (nightgown). Other suffixes that express smallness are: -en (chicken), -kin/ -kins (mankin), -let (booklet), -ock (hillock), -et (cornet). The connotation of some diminutive suffixes is not one of endearment but of some elegance and novelty, particularly in the case of borrowed suffix ette (kitchenette, maisonette). The diminutive affixes are not very productive, there is a tendency to express the same meaning by the semi-affixes mini, e.g. mini-bus. Productive and non-productive affixes We call productive those affixes and types of word-formation which are used to form new words in the period in question. The proof of productivity is the existence of new words coined by these means. Therefore when we see that a notion that could not possibly have existed at some previous stage has a name formed with the help of some affix, the affix is considered productive. For instance, the word telly is unquestionably a neologism, as there were no television in peoples home a hundred years ago. The diminutive suffix ie/ -y may therefore be called productive in present-day English. The most productive English prefixes and some new words containing them are: de- (decontaminate), re- (rethink), pre- (prefabricate), non- (nonoperational), un- (unfunny), anti- (antibiotic). The most productive noun suffixes, besides the highly productive ing, -ness, and er with their almost unlimited valency, are ation (automation), -ee (evacuee), -ism (racialism), -ist (racialist), -ry (gimmickry), and also or (reactor), -ance/ ancy (redundancy), -ics (cibernetics). The verb-forming suffixes are only three: -ate, -ify, -ise/ -ize (for example, oxidate, denazify, vitaminize). The productive adjective-forming

suffixes are able, -ed, -ic, -ish, -less, -y: manoeuvrable, ultra-heat-treated, electronic, smartish, jobless, tweedy. The productivity of an affix should not be confused with its frequency. An affix may occur in a great number of words, but if it is not used to form new ones, it is not productive. For example, the suffix ful is non-productive though the list of words containing this suffix is very long. It is interesting to note that such non-productive suffixes as al/ -ial/ -ual, -ve, -ancy/ -ency, -ant/ -ent and ve are among the 32 most frequent suffixes of the English language. The term dead suffixes is used for suffixes disclosed by etymological analysis but having no relevance for the present atate of the language. As a rule they are combined with bound stems. A few examples are d (deed, seed), -le/ -l/ -el (bridle, sail, havel), -lock (wedlock), -nd (friend), -red (hatred), etc. Also in verbs: -k (walk, talk), -l (kneel, whirl). These suffixes are fused with their stems. A suffix can also drop from the language altogether or be substituted by some other suffix or suffixes. The etymology of affixes From the point of view of etymology affixes are subdivided into two main classes: the native affixes and the borrowed affixes. The most important native suffixes are: -d, -dom, -ed, -en, -fold, -ful, -hood, -ing, -ish, -less, -let, -like, -lock, -ly, -ness, -oc, -red, -ship, -some, -teen, -th, -ward, -wise, -y. The suffixes of foreign origin are classified according to their source in Latin (-able/ -ible, -ant/ -ent), French (-age, -ance/ -ence, -ancy/ -ency, -ard, -ate, -sy), Greek (-ist, -ism, -ite), etc. Words that are made up of elements derived from two or more different languages are called hybrids. English contains thousands of hybrid words, the vast majority of which show various combinations of morphemes coming from Latin, French and Greek and those of native origin.

Thus, readable has an English root and a suffix that is derived from the Latin abilis and borrowed through French (e.g. eatable, usable, unmovable). The same phenomenon occurs in prefixation and inflection. The noun bicycle has a Latin prefix (bi-), a Greek root (cycle< kuklos a wheel), and it takes an English inflexion in the plural: bicycles. There are also many hybrid compounds, such as schoolboy (Gr + Engl), blackguard (Engl + Fr), etc. Conversion The process of coining a new word in a different part of speech and with a different distribution characteristic but without adding any derivative element, so that the basic form of the original and the basic form of the derived words are homonymous, is variously called conversion, zero derivation, root formation, or functional change. For example, the word silence exists in the English language as a noun, and a verb may be formed from the same stem without adding any affix or without changing the stem in any other way, so that both basic forms are homonymous. The difference between silence n and silence v is morphological, syntactic and semantic: the original and the resulting word are grammatically different. The term basic form used in the above definition means the common case singular for nouns and the infinitive for verbs. The question of conversion has, for a long time, been a controversial one in several aspects. The very essence of this process has been treated by a number of scholars (e.g. H. Sweet), not as a word-building process, but as a mere functional change. From this point of view the word hand in Hand me that book is not a verb, but a noun used in a verbal syntactical function, that is, hand (me) and hands (in She has small hands) are not two different words but one. Hence, the case cannot be treated as one of word-formation for no new word appears. According to this functional approach, conversion may be regarded as a specific feature of the English categories of parts of speech.

Nowadays this theory finds increasingly fewer supporters, and conversion is universally accepted as one of the major ways of enriching English vocabulary with new words. One of the major arguments for this approach to conversion is the semantic change that regularly accompanies each instance of conversion. Normally, a word changes its syntactic function without any shift in lexical meaning. E.g. both in yellow leaves and in The leaves were turning yellow the adjective denotes colour. Yet, in The leaves yellow the converted unit no longer denotes colour, but the process of changing colour, so that there is an essential change in meaning. The other argument is the regularity and completeness with which converted units develop a paradigm of their new category of part of speech. Conversion is not only a highly productive but also a particularly English way of word-building. Its immense productivity is considerably encouraged by certain features of the English language in its modern stage of development. The analytical structure of modern English greatly facilitates processes of making words of one category of parts of speech from words of another. A great number of one-syllable words is another factor in favor of conversion, for such words are naturally more mobile and flexible than polysyllables. Conversion is a convenient and easy way of enriching the vocabulary with new words. It is certainly an advantage to have two (or more) words where there is one, all of them fixed on the same structural and semantic base. The two categories of parts of speech especially affected by conversion are nouns and verbs. Verbs made from nouns are the most numerous amongst the words produced by conversion: e.g. to hand, to face, to eye, to nose, to monkey, to room, to blackmail, to honeymoon, and very many others. Nouns are frequently made from verbs: do, make, find, cut, walk, show, move, etc. Verbs can also be made from adjectives: to pale, to yellow, to cool, to grey, to rough.

Other parts of speech can also be produced by conversion as the following examples show: to down, to put, the ups and downs, the ins and outs, like, n. (as in the like of me and the like of you). A word made by conversion has a different meaning from that of the word from which it was made though the two meanings can be associated. There are certain regularities in these associations which can be roughly classified. For instance, in the group of verbs made from nouns some of the regular semantic associations are as indicated in the following list:
1. The noun is the name of a tool or implement, the verb denotes an action

performed by the tool: to hammer, to nail, to pin, to brush, to comb, to pencil.

2. The noun is the name of an animal, the verb denotes an action or aspect of

behaviour considered typical of this animal: to dog, to wolf, to monkey, to ape, to fox, to rut. Yet, to fish does not mean to behave like a fish but to try to catch fish. The same meaning of hunting activities is conveyed by the verb to whale and one of the meanings of to rat.
3. The name of a part of the human body an action performed by it: to hand,

to leg, to eye, to nose, to mouth, to shoulder, to elbow. However, to face does not imply doing something by or even with ones face but turning it in a certain direction.
4. The name of a place the process of occupying the place or of putting

smth/smb in it (to room, to house, to place, to table, to cage).

5. The name of a container the act of putting smth within the container (to

can, to bottle, to pocket).

6. The name of a profession or occupation an activity typical of it: to nurse,

to maid, to groom.
7. The name of a meal the process of talking it (to lunch, to supper).

The suggested groups do not include all the great variety of verbs made from nouns by conversion. They just represent the most obvious cases and illustrate the

great variety of semantic inter-relations within so-called converted pairs and the complex nature of the logical associations which specify them. Substantivation The question arises whether such cases when words with an adjective stem have the paradigm of a noun should also be classified as conversion, e.g. a private, the privates uniform, a group of privates. Other examples of words that are completely substantivized (i.e. may have the plural form or be used in the Possessive case) are conservative, criminal, female, grown-up, intellectual, male, native, neutral, red, relative and many more. There is no universally accepted evaluation of this group. E. Kruisinga speaks of conversion whenever a word receives a syntactic function which is not its basic one. The prevailing standpoint among Leningrad linguists is different. L.P. Vinokurova, I.P. Ivanova and some other scholars maintain that substantivation in which adjectives have the paradigm and syntactic features of nouns differs from conversion, as in substantivation a new word arises not spontaneously but gradually, so that a word already existing in the language acquires a new syntactic function and changes its meaning as a result of a gradual process of isolation. There are other scholars, however who think this reasoning open to doubt, because the coining of a new word is at first a fact of impossible outside a context. No isolated word can ever be formed by conversion. L.P. Vinokurova distinguishes the two main types of substantivation:
1. it may be the outcome of ellipsis in an attributive phrase, e.g. the elastic (cord),

2. it may be due to an unusual syntactic functioning: e.g. I am a contemplative,

one of the impossibles.

The degree of substantivation may be different. Alongside with complete substantivation of the type already mentioned (the private, the privates, the privates) there exists partial substantivation. In this case a substantivized adjective or participle denotes a group or a class of people: the blind, the dead, the English, the poor, the rich, the accused, the unemployed, the wounded. We call these words partially substantivized because they undergo no morphological changes, i.e. do not acquire a new paradigm and are only used with a definite article and a collective meaning. Besides the substantivized adjectives denoting human beings there is a considerable group of abstract nouns, as is well illustrated by such grammatical terms as: the Singular, the Plural, the Present, The Past, the Future, and also: the evil, the good, the impossible. It is evident that substantivation of adjectives has been the object of much controversy. Those who dont accept substantivation as a variant of conversion, consider conversion as a process limited to the formation of verbs from nouns and nouns from verbs. But this point of view is far from being universally accepted. Two types of solution have been offered:
1. We may consider the change of paradigm, if not the only, still a necessary

condition for regarding the new coined word as a case of conversion. Then, conversion is limited to such parts of speech as then will include complete substantivation of adjectives and instances like ups and downs, whys, etc. 2. In contrast to this first way, it is also possible to consider other types of distribution as significant as paradigm, and regard all the above cases when anew homonymous word is coined in a different part of speech (irrespective of what part of speech it is), as conversion. This second way seems more logical. 3. Composition This type of word-building, in which new words are produced by combining two or more stems, is one of the most productive types in Modern English. 4. Structural aspect of composition

Compounds are not homogeneous in structure. Traditionally three types are distinguished: neutral, morphological and syntactic. In neutral compounds the process of compounding is realized without any linking elements, as in blackbird, shopwindow, tallboy, etc. Neutral compounds are subdivided into simple, derived or derivational and contrasted compounds. Simple compounds consist of simple affixless stems, for example sunflower, bedroom, blackboard, etc. Compounds which have affixes in their structure are called derived or derivational compounds. E.g. blue-eyed, music-lover, golden-haired, ladykiller, film-goer, etc. Contrasted compounds have a shortened (contrasted) stem in their structure: TV-set, V-day, H-bag, T-shirt, Xmax.

Phraseological units, or idioms, as they are called by most western scholars, represent what can probably be described as the most picturesque, colourful and expressive part of the languages vocabulary. V.H. Collins writes in his Book of English Idioms: In standard spoken written English today idiom is an established and essential element that, used with care, ornaments and enriches the language. Used with care is an important warning because speech overloaded with idioms loses its fressness and originality. Idioms are ready-made speech units, and their continual repetition sometimes wears them out: they lose their colours and become trite cliches. On the other hand, oral or written speech lacking idioms loses much in expressiveness, colour and emotional force. In modern linguistics, there is a considerable confusion about the terminology associated with theses word-groups. Most Russian scholars use the term phraseological unit ( ) which was first

introduced by Academician V.V. Vinogradov whose contribution to the theory of Russian phraseology connot be overestimated. The term idiom widely used by western scholars is applied mostly to only a certain type of phraseological units, that is ones with completely transferred meanings, in which the meaning of the whole unit does not correspond to the current meanings of the components (e.g. a dark horse is actually not a horse but a person about whom np one knows anything definite, and so one is not sure what can be expected from him; to bark up the wrong tree means to follow a false scent; to look for somebody or something in a wrong place). There are some other terms denoting more or less the same linguistic phenomenon: set-expressions, set-phrases, fixed word-groups, collocations. How to distinguish phraseological units from free word-groups? This is probably the most discussed and the most controversial problem in the field of phraseology. The task of distinguishing between free word-groups and phraseological units is further complicated by the existence of a great number of marginal cases, the so-called semi-fixed or semi-free word-groups, also called nonphraseological word-groups which share with phraseological units their structural stability but lack their semantic unity and figurativness (e.g. to go to school, to go by bus, to commit suicide). There are two major criteria for distinguishing between phraseological units and free word-groups: semantic and structural. Compare the following examples: 1) Im told theyre inviting more American professors to this university. Isnt it rather carrying coals to Newcastle? (to carry coals to Newcastle means to take something to a place where it is already plentiful and not needed Cf. with Russian ). 2) This cargo ship is carrying coal to Liverpool. The first thing is the semantic difference of the two word-groups consisting of the same essential constituents. In the second sentence the free word-group is carrying coal is used in the direct sense. The first context has nothing to do either with coal or with transporting it, and the meaning of the whole word-group is

something entirely new and far removed from the current meanings of the constituents. Academician V.V. Vinogradov spoke of the semantic change in phraseological units as a meaning resulting from a piculiar chemical combination of words. Phraseological units are characterized by semantic unity. They are defined as word-groups conveying a single concept, whereas in free word-groups each meaningful component stands for a separate concept. According to Professor A.V. Koonin, the leading authority on problems of English phraseology in our country a phraseological unit is a stable word-group characterized by a completely or partially transferred meaning. The defenition clearly suggests that the degree of semantic change in a phraseological unit may affect either the whole word-group or only one of its components. The following phraseological units present the first case: to skate on thin ice (=to put onself in a dangerous position; to take risks); to have ones heart in ones mouth (=to be greatly alarmed by what is expected to happen). The second type is represented by phraseological units in which one of the components preserves its current meaning and the other is used in a transferred meaning: to loose ones temper, to fall ill, to fall in love, to stick to ones word (promise), bosom friends. The structural criterion is another feature of distinguishing phraseological units from free word-groups. Structural invariability is an essential feature of phraseological units and it finds expression in a number of restrictions. First of all, restriction in substitution. As a rule, no word can be substituted for any meaningful component of a phraseological unit without destroying its sense. To carry coals to Manchester makes as little sense as . At the same time, in free word-groups substitution does not present any dangers and does not lead to any serious consequences. In The cargo ship is

carrying coal to Liverpool all the components can be changed: The ship/vessel/boat carries/transports/takes/brings coal to (any port). The second type of restriction is the restriction in introducing any additional components into the structure of a phraseological unit. In a free word-group such changes can be made without affecting the general meaning of the utterance: This big ship is carrying a large cargo of coal to the port of Liverpool. In the phraseological unit to carry coals to Newcastle no additional components can be introduced. This third type of structural restrictions in phraseologiacl units is grammtical invirability. A typical mistake with students of English is to use the plural form of fault in the phraseological unit to find fault with somebody. Yet, there are exceptions to the rules, e.g. one can build a castle in the air, but also castles. A shameful or dangerous family secret is described as a skeleton in the cupboard, the first component being frequently used in the plural form, as in Im sure they have skeletons in every cupboard!


The traditional and oldest principle for classifying phraseological units is based on their original content and is called thematic. The approach is widely used in numerous English and American guides to idioms, phrase books, etc. On this principle, idioms are classified according to their origin, source referring to the particular sphere of human activity, of life of nature, of natural phenomena, etc. So, L.P .Smith gives in his classification groups of idioms used by sailors, fishermen, soldiers, and hunters and associated with the realia, phenomena and conditions of their occupations. In Smith's classification we also find groups of idioms associated with domestic animals and birds, agriculture and cooking. There are also numerous idioms drawn from sports, arts, etc.

The principle of classification is sometimes called etymological. Smith points out that word-groups associated with the sea and the life of seamen are especially numerous in English vocabulary. Here are some examples. To be all at sea to be unable to understand; to be in a state if ignorance or bewilderment about something (e.g. How can I be a judge in a situation in which I am all at sea?) To sink or swim to fail or succeed (e.g. It is a case of sink or swim. All depends on his own effort.) In deep water in trouble or danger In low water, on the rocks in strained financial circumstances To be in the same boat with somebody to be in a situation in which people share the same difficulties and dangers To sail under false colours to pretend to be what one is not To strike ones colours to surrender, give in, admit one is beaten To show ones colours to betray ones real character or intentions Three sheets in(to) the wind (sl.) very drunk Half seas over (sl.) very drunk The thematic principle of classifying phraseological units has real merits but it does not take into consideration the linguistic characteristic features of the phraseological units. The considerable contribution made by Russian scholars in phraseological units cannot be exaggerated. V.V. Vinogradovs classification system is founded on the degree of semantic cohesion between the components of a phraseological unit. It was the first classification based on the semantic principle. Vinogradov classified phraseological units into three classes: phraseological combinations, unities and fusions (R. , ). Phraseological combinations are word-groups with a partially changed meaning. They may be said to be clearly motivated, that is the meaning of the unit can be easily deduced from the meanings of its constituents.

E.g. to be good at something, to be a good hand at something, to have a bite, to take something for granted, to stick to ones word, to stick at nothing, bosom friends. Phraseological unities are word-groups with a completely changed meaning, that is, the meaning of the unit does not correspond to the meanings of its constituent parts. They are motivated units or, putting it another way, the unit of the whole meaning can be deduced from the meanings of the constituent parts; the metaphor, on which the shift of meaning is based, is clear and transparent. E.g. to stick to ones guns (= to be true to ones views or convictions); to lose ones head (= to be at a loss what to do); to lose ones heart to smb. (= to fall in love); to lock the stable door after the horse is stolen (= to take precautions too late, when the mischief is done); to look a gift horse in the mouth (= to examine a present too critically); to ride the high horse (= to behave in a superior way); a big bug/pot, sl. (a person of importance). Phraseological fusions are word-groups with a completely changed meaning but, in contrast to the unities, they are demotivated, that is, their meaning cannot be deduced from the meanings of the constituent parts; the metaphor, on which the shift of meaning was based, has lost its clarity and is obscure. E.g. to come a cropper (to come to disaster); neck and crop (entirely, altogether as in She severed all relations neck and crop.); to set ones cap at somebody (to try and attract a man; spoken about girls and women). In Vanity Fair; Be careful, Joe, that girl is setting her cap at you. It is obvious that this classification does not take into account the structural characteristics of phraseological units. On the other hand, the border-line separating unities from fusions is vague and even subjective. One and the same phraseological unit may appear motivated to one person and demotivated to another. The structural principle of classifying phraseological units is based on their ability to perform the same syntactical functions as words. In the traditional

structural approach, the following principal groups of phraseological units are distinguished.
A. Verbal. E.g. to run for ones (dear) life; to get (win) upper hand, to

make a song and dance about something, to sit pretty (Am.sl.).

B. Substantive. E.g. dogs life; cat-and-dog life, calf love, white lie, tall

C. Adjectival. E.g. high and mighty; safe and sound, brand new, (as) cool

as a cucumber, (as) nervous as a cat, (as) weak as a kitten, (as) good as gold (usually spoken about children), (as) pretty as a picture, (as) large as life, (as) slippery as an eel, (as) thick as thieves, (as) drunk as an owl, ( as) mad as a hatter/a hare in March.
D. Adverbial. E.g. high and low, be hook or by crook, for love or money, in

cold blood, in the dead of night, between the devil and deep sea, to the bitter end.
E. Interjectional. E.g. my God! By Jove! By George! Goodness gracious!

Good Heavens! Sakes alive! (Amer). Professor Smirnitsky offered a classification system for English phraseological units which is interesting as an attempt to combine the structural and the semantic principles. Phraseological units in this classification are grouped according to the number and semantic significance of their constituent parts. Accordingly two large groups are established: A. One-summit units, which have one meaningful constituent (e.g. to give up, to make out, to be tired, to be surprised). B. Two-summit and multi-summit units which have two or more meaningful constituents (e.g. black art, first night, common sense, to fish in trouble waters). Within each of these large groups the phraseological units are classified according to the category of parts of speech of the summit constituent. So onesummit units are subdivided into: a) verbal-adverbial units equivalent to verbs in which the semantic and the grammatical centres coincide in the first constituent (e.g. to give up); b) units equivalent to verbs which have their semantic centre in

the second constituent and their grammatical centre in the first (e.g. to be tired) c) prepositional-substantive units equivalent either to adverbs or to copulas and having their semantic centre in the substantive constituent and no grammatical centre (e.g. by heart, by means of). Two-summit and multi-summit phraseological units are classified into: a) attributive-substantive two-summit units equivalent to nouns (e.g. black art), b) verbal-substantive two-summit units equivalent to verbs (e.g. to take the floor), c) phraseological repetitions equivalent to adverbs (e.g. now and never), d) adverbial multi-summit units (e.g. every other day) . Professor Smirnitsky also distinguished proper phraseological units which, in his classification system, are units with non-figurative meanings, and idioms, The classification system of phraseological units suggested by Professor A.V. Koonin is the latest outstanding achievement in the Russian theory of phraseology. The classification is based on the combined structural-semantic principle. Phraseological units are classified into the following four classes: 1. Nominative phraseological units are represented by word-groups, including the ones with the meaningful word, and coordinative phrases of the type wear and tear, well and good. The first class also includes word-groups with a predicative structure, such as the crow flies, and predicative phrases of the type see how the land lies, ships that pass in the night. 2. Nominative-communicative phraseological units include word-groups of the type to break the ice the ice is broken, that is, verbal word-groups which are transformed into a sentence when the verb is used in the Passive voice. 3. Interjectional phraseological units which are neither nominative nor communicative (e.g. My God!). 4. Communicative phraseological units are represented by proverbs and sayings (e.g. Can the leopard change his spots?) that is, units with transferred meanings based on a metaphor.

These four classes are divided into sub-classes according to the type of structure of the phraseological unit. The sub-groups include further rubrics representing types of structural-semantic meanings according to the kind of relations between the constituents and to either full or partial transference of meaning.