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An Introduction to English Lexicology Lectured by Huang xue e Lecture 1. Today I will make an introduction of the subject. what is it about? First of all, I shall tell you that it is a completely-new subject. You have never learned before. What is Lexicology? 1). Aims and significance of the course of English Lexicology. (1). What are the three elements of language? Speech sound, Grammar Vocabulary The term lexicology contains two Greek morphemes lexicon and logie. The former means “words”, the latter means “learning or “the study of “. Lexicology is the branch of linguistics concerned with the study of the vocabulary of a given language. What is vocabulary? All the words in a language make up what is generally known as its vocabulary What is a word? A word is a minimal free form of a language that has a given sound, meaning and syntactic function. To sum up the definition of a word will cover the following points: A minimal free form of a language; A sound unity; A unit of meaning; 2) English lexicology offers students an insight into the origin and development of the English vocabulary. It (1) the origin and development of the English vocabulary (2) It discusses the problems of word-structure and word-formation in English. (3) It deals with meanings of modern English words and their changes in the course of historical development (4) It also studies the use of English words, phrases and idioms (1) try to answer these questions such as: * What language family does English belong to? * What language family does English belong to? The low west Germanic branch of the Indo-European family.(Chinese belong to Sino-Tibetan) What are the three periods of the historical development of the English language? Anglo—Saxon (450-1150) The Middle English (1150—1500) The Modern English (1500--) * What is the characteristics of Old English (Modern English)? Old English: highly inflected and synthetic language. Modern English: analytic language. The English language is of a mixed character. More than half of the English vocabulary is derived from foreign languages. It is estimated that borrowings constitute 80% of the modern English. l What are native words and borrowed words? l What are the four major foreign elements? Latin, Greek, French, Scandinavian (2) the word--- formation in English Many students complain about their small storage of vocabulary. Do you know word—formation is an important means of vocabulary enlargement. The English language has increased its resources not only through the adoption of word from other languages, but also through the formation of new words with the material available in the language.
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