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MORPHOLOGICAL AND LEXICO-GRAMMATICAL GROUPING
On the morphological level words are divided into four groups according to their morphological structure (see § 5.1), namely the number and type of morphemes which compose them. They are:
1. Root or morpheme words. Their stem contains one free morpheme, e. g. dog, hand.
2. Derivatives contain no less than two morphemes of which at least one is bound, e.g. dogged, doggedly, handy, handful; sometimes both are bound: terrier.
3. Compound words consist of not less than two free morphemes, the presence of bound morphemes is possible but not necessary, e. g. dog-cheap ‘very cheap’; dog-days ‘hottest part of the year’; handball, handbook.
4. Compound derivatives consist of not less than two free morphemes and one bound morpheme referring to the whole combination. The pattern is (stem+stem) +suffix,e. g. dog-legged ‘crooked or bent like a dog’s hind leg’, left-handed.
This division is the basic one for lexicology.
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 the words are grouped according to the root morpheme. For example: dog, doggish, doglike, doggy/doggie, to dog, dogged, doggedly, doggedness, dog-wolf, dog-days, dog-biscuit, dog-cart, etc.; hand, handy, handicraft, handbag, handball, handful, handmade, handsome, etc.
Similar groupings according to a common suffix or prefix are also possible, if not as often made use of. The greater the combining power of the affix, the more numerous the group. Groups with such suffixes as -er, -ing, -ish, -less, -ness constitute infinite (open) sets, i.e. are almost unlimited, because new combinations are constantly created. When the suffix is no longer productive the group may have a diminishing number of elements, as with the adjective-forming suffix -some, e. g. gladsome, gruesome, handsome, lithesome, lonesome, tiresome, troublesome, wearisome, wholesome, winsome, etc.
The next step is classifying words not in isolation but taking them within actual utterances. Here the first contrast to consider is the contrast between notional words and form or functional words. Actually the definition of the word as a minimum free form holds good for notional words only. It is only notional words that can stand alone and yet have meaning and form a complete utterance. They can name different objects of reality, the qualities of these objects and actions or the process in which they take part. In sentences they function syntactically as some primary or secondary members. Even extended sentences are possible which consist of notional words only. They can also express the attitude of the speaker towards reality.
Form words, also called functional words, empty words or auxiliaries (the latter term is coined by H. Sweet), are lexical units which are called words, although they do not conform to the definition of the word, because they are used only in combination with notional words or in reference to them. This group comprises auxiliary verbs, prepositions, conjunctions and relative adverbs. Primarily they express grammatical relationships between words. This does not, however, imply that they have no lexical meaning of their own.
The borderline between notional and functional words is not always very clear and does not correspond to that between various parts of speech. Thus, most verbs are notional words, but the auxiliary verbs are classified as form words. It is open to discussion whether link verbs should be treated as form words or not. The situation is very complicated if we consider pronouns. Personal, demonstrative and interrogative pronouns, as their syntactical functions testify, are notional words;
reflexive pronouns seem to be form words building up such analytical verb forms as I warmed myself, but this is open to discussion. As to prop-words (one, those, etc.), some authors think that they should be considered as a separate, third group.
B.N. Aksenenko very aptly proved the presence of a lexical meaning by suggesting a substitution test with They went to the village as a test frame. By substituting across, from, into, round, out of and through for to, one readily sees the semantic difference between them.
It is typical of the English language that the boundary between notional and functional words sometimes lies within the semantic structure of one and the same word, so that in some contexts they appear as notional words and in other contexts as form words. Compare the functions and meanings of the verb have as used in the following extract from a novel by A. Huxley: Those that have not complain about their own fate. Those that have do not, it is only those in contact with them •— and since the havers are few these too are few — who complain of the curse of having. In my time I have belonged to both categories. Once I had, and I can see that to my fellowmen I must then have been intolerable ... now I have not. The curse of insolence and avarice has been removed from me.
The systematic use of form words is one of the main devices of English grammatical structure, surpassed in importance only by fixed word order. Form words are therefore studied in grammar rather than in lexicology which concentrates its attention upon notional words.
Those linguists who divide all the words into three classes (notional words, form words, deictic and substitute words or prop-words) consider the latter as pointing words (this, that, they, there, then, thus, he, here, how, who, what, where, whither, nobody, never, not). Deictic words are orientational words, relative to the time and place of utterance. They ultimately stand for objects of reality, if only at second hand.
Very interesting treatment of form words is given by Charles Fries. The classes suggested by Ch. Fries are based on distribution, in other words, they are syntactic positional classes. Ch. Fries establishes them with the view of having the minimum number of different groups needed for a general description of utterances. His classification is based on the assumption that all the words that could occupy the same “set of positions” in the patterns of English single free utterances without a change of the structural meaning, must belong to the same class. Very roughly and approximately his classification may be described as follows. The bulk of words in the utterances he investigated is constituted by four main classes. He gives them no names except numbers. Class I: water, time, heating, thing, green (of a particular shade), (the) sixth, summer, history, etc.; Class II: felt, arranged, sees, forgot, guess, know, help, forward ‘to send on’; Class HI: general, eighth, good; better, outstanding, wide, young’, Class IV: there, here, now, usually, definitely, first, twice.
The percentage of the total vocabulary in these four classes is over 93%. The remaining 7% are constituted by 154 form words. These, though few in number, occur very frequently.
Every reader is at once tempted to equate these class numbers with the usual names: “nouns", “verbs", “adjectives” and “adverbs”. The two sets of names, however, do not strictly coincide in either what is included or what is excluded. Neither morphological form nor meaning are taken into consideration. Unfortunately Ch. Fries does not give satisfactory definitions and offers only the procedure of substitution by which words can be tested and identified in his minimum test frames:
The functional words are subdivided into 15 groups, and as Ch. Fries could not find for them any general identifying characteristics, they are supposed to be recognised and learned as separate words, so that they form 15 subsets defined by listing all the elements. As an example of form words the group of determiners may be taken. These are words which in the Ch. Fries classification system serve to mark the so-called Class I forms. They can be substituted for the in the frame (The) concert is good. That is to say, they are words belonging to the group of limiting noun modifiers, such as a, an, any, each, either, every, neither, no, one, some, the, that, those, this, these, what, whatever, which, whichever, possessive adjectives (my) and possessive case forms (Joe’s). Determiners may occur before descriptive adjectives modifying the Class I words.
We have dwelt so extensively upon this classification, because it is very much used, with different modifications, in modern lexicological research practice, though the figures in the denotations of Ch. Fries were later substituted by letters. N denotes Class I words, i.e. all the nouns and some pronouns and numerals occupying the same positions, V — Class II, namely verbs with the exception of the auxiliaries, A — Class III, adjectives, some pronouns and numerals used attributively, D — Class IV, adverbs and some noun phrases. In lexicology the notation is chiefly used in various types of semasiological research with distributional and transformational analysis.
The division into such classes as parts of speech observes both paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships of the words and also their meaning. There is no necessity to dwell here upon the parts of speech, because they are dealt with in grammar. We shall limit our discussion to subdivisions of parts of speech and call them 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 lexico-grammatical meaning. These groups are subsets of the parts 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 for people, toponymic proper nouns.
If, for instance, we consider a group of nouns having the following characteristics: two number forms, the singular and the plural; two case forms; animate, substituted in the singular by he or she; common, i.e. denoting a notion and not one particular object (as proper names do); able to combine regularly with the indefinite article, some of them characterised by such suffixes as -er/-or, -ist, -ее, -eer and the semi-affix -man, we obtain the so-called personal names: agent, baker, artist, volunteer, visitor, workman.
Observing the semantic structure of words belonging to this group we find a great deal of semantic likeness within it, not only in the denotative meanings as such but also in the way various meanings are combined. Personal nouns, for instance, possess a comparatively simple semantic structure. A structure consisting of two variants predominates. In many cases the secondary, i.e. derived meaning is due to generalisation or specialisation.1 Generalisation is present in such words as advocate, which may mean any person who supports or defends a plan or a suggestion anywhere, not only in court; apostle, which alongside its religious meaning may denote any leader of any reform or doctrine. E.g.: What would Sergius, the apostle of the higher love, say if he saw me now? (Shaw)
Specialisation is observed in cases like beginner, where the derived meaning corresponds to a notion of a narrower scope: ‘one who has not had much experience’ as compared to ‘one who begins’.
The group is also characterised by a high percentage of emotionally coloured, chiefly derogatory words among the metaphorical derived variants, such as baby ‘a person who behaves like a baby’ or witch ‘an ugly and unkind woman’.
Words belonging to another lexico-grammatical group, for instance those denoting well-known animals, very often develop metaphorical expressive names for people possessing qualities rightly or wrongly attributed to the respective animals: ass, bitch, cow, fox, swine. E. g.: Armitage had talked, he supposed. Damned young pup! What did he know about it!(Christie)
The subdivision of all the words belonging to some part of speech into groups of the kind described above is also achieved on this basis of oppositions. Should we want to find the subgroups of the English noun, we may take as distinctive features the relations of the given word to the categories of number and case, their combining possibilities with regard to definite, indefinite and zero article, their possible substitution by he, she, it or they, their unique or notional correlation.2
Lexico-grammatical groups should not be confused with parts of speech. A few more examples will help to grasp the difference. Audience and honesty, for instance, belong to the same part of speech but to different lexico-grammatical groups, because their lexico-grammatical
1 These terms are used to denote not the process but the result of the semantic change seen when existing lexico-semantic variants of a word are compared.
2 Unique correlation is characteristic of proper names which have some unique object for referent (e. g. the Thames); words whose referents are generalised in a notion have notional correlations (e. g. river).
15 И. В. Арнольд 225
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. To show that the substituting elements are different two examples will suffice: I am referring to what goes on inside the audience’s mind when they see the play (Arden). Honesty isn’t everything but I believe it’s the first thing (Priestley). 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, but not flock or swarm, because the lexico-grammatical meaning of the last two words is different: they are substituted by it and denote groups of living beings but not persons, unless, of course, they are used metaphorically.
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