Lexicology

Topics: Linguistics, Lexicography, Word Pages: 3 (558 words) Published: June 2, 2014


CHAPTER 1. AN INTRODUCTION TO LEXICOLOGY

Main issues:
Lexicology: words, words, words
Language units
Lexicology as a system
Relationships with other linguistic sciences

Learning objectives
By the end of this chapter you will be able to:
One sign of immaturity [in a science]
is the endless flow of terminology
.
 define the field of lexicology and use the subject-related terminology  distinguish between lexicology and other related linguistic sciences  speak about various branches of lexicology as well as its basic instruments, lexemes and lexical formations

Words, words, words
The vocabulary of any natural language joins together all the words of a language and associates to each word all the information required by the rules of grammar.
1.1. Words play a tremendous role in human existence in that they are the basic representation of the world on an abstract level, i.e., that of the human mind. They are the vital instrument which enables humans to name real things and abstractions, to express themselves, to make their life better in a monolingual and multilingual society. As such, they may be used or interpreted either discretely or in the most diverse combinations or associations based on a wide range of criteria. Besides their being used in everyday communication, words are the raw material for different kinds of scientific analyses and interpretations circumscribed to social sciences and humanities. In a wider perspective, the sum total of words in a language as well as their ability to express concepts, objects, feelings, attitudes which may be very simple and linear or perhaps, very complex, intricate or sophisticated, the vocabulary not only reflects its speakers’ level of education and instruction but also the level of progress of human knowledge at a certain time interval or through the centuries.

1.2. Both vocabulary and lexicon are terms used to denote the system formed by the sum total of words a...
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