Реферат: Semantic Changes

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<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Foreword………………………………………………………………………………....3

<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Chapter I. Semantic changes. Types of Semantic changes……………………………… 4

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<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Definition………………………………………………… ……… … ……….4

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<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Other types of Semantic changes……………………………………………… 10

<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Chapter II. Causes of semantic change…...……………………………………… … …12

<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………15

<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">Literature…………………………………………………………………………...……16       

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<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing: -.65pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">FOREWORD

The meaning of a word canchange in the course of time. Changes of lexical meanings can be proved bycomparing contexts of different times. Transfer of the meaning is calledlexico-semantic word-building. In such cases the outer aspect of a word doesnot change.

The causes of semantic changescan be extra-linguistic and linguistic, e.g. the change of the lexical meaningof the noun «pen» was due to extra-linguistic causes. Primarily «pen» comesback to the Latin word «penna» (a feather of a bird). As people wrote withgoose pens the name was transferred to steel pens which were later on used forwriting. Still later any instrument for writing was called « a pen». 

On the other hand causes can be linguistic, e.g. the conflict ofsynonyms  when a perfect synonym of anative word is borrowed from some other language one of them may specialize inits meaning, e.g. the noun «tide» in Old English was polisemantic and denoted«time», «season», «hour». When the French words «time», «season», «hour» wereborrowed into English they ousted the word «tide» in these meanings. It wasspecialized and now means «regular rise and fall of the sea caused byattraction of the moon». The meaning of a word can also change due to ellipsis,e.g. the word-group «a train of carriages» had the meaning of «a row ofcarriages», later on «of carriages» was dropped and the noun «train» changedits meaning, it is used now in the function and with the meaning of the wholeword-group.

Semanticchanges have been classified by different scientists. The most completeclassification was suggested by a German scientist Herman Paul in his work«Prinzipien des Sprachgeschichte». It is based on the logical principle. Hedistiguishes two main ways where the semantic change is gradual (specialization and generalization), two momentary conscious semantic changes(metaphor and metonymy) and also secondary ways: gradual (elevation anddegradation),  momentary (hyperbole andlitote).

<span Garamond",«serif»; color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">CHAPTER I. SEMANTICCHANGES. TYPES OF SEMANTIC CHANGES.

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<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing:-.65pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">1.Definition.

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The development and change of the semantic structure of a word isalways a source of qualitative and quantitative development of the vocabulary.

All the types discussed depend upon some comparisonbetween the earlier (whether extinct or still in use) and the new meaning of thegiven word. This comparison may be based on the difference between notions expressed orreferents in the real world that are pointed out, on the type of psychologicalassociation at work, on evaluation of the latter by the speaker or, possibly,on some other feature.

The order in which various types are described willfollowmore or less closely the diachronic classifications of M. Breal and H.Paul.No attempt at a newclassification is considered necessary. There seems to be no point inaugmenting the number of unsatisfactory schemes already offered in literature.The treatment is therefore traditional.

M. Breal was probably the first to emphasize the factthat in passing from general usage into some special sphere of communication a word as a rule undergoes somesort of specialisation of its meaning. The word case, for instance, alongside its generalmeaning of 'circumstances in which a personor a thing is' possesses special meanings: in law ('a law suit'), in grammar (e.g. the Possessive case), in medicine ('a patient', 'an illness'). Compare the following:

One of Charles'scases had been a child ill with a form of diphtheria. (C. P. SNOW) (case = a patient).

The Solicitor whom Imet at the Holfords’  sent me a casewhich any young man at my stage would have thought himself lucky to get. (Idem) (case = a question decided, in a court oflaw, a law suit)

The general, not specialized meaning is also veryfrequent in present-day English. For example: At last we tiptoed up the broad slippery stair­case, and went to our rooms. But in my case not tosleep, immediately at least. (Idem) (case =circumstances in which one is)

This difference is revealed in the difference of contextsin which these words occur, in their different valency. Words connected with illnesses and medicine in thefirst example, and words connected with lawand court procedures in the second, form the semantic  paradigm of the word case.

The word play suggests different notions to achild, a playwright, a footballer, a musician or a chess-player and has intheir speech dif­ferent semantic paradigms.The same applies to the noun cell asused by a biologist, an electrician, a nun or a representative of the law; orthe word gas as understood by achemist, a housewife, a motorist or a miner.

In all the examples considered above a word whichformerly represen­ted a notion of a broader scope has come to render a notion of anarrower scope. When the meaning is specialized, the word can name fewer objects,i.e.have fewer referents. At the same time the content of the notion is being enriched, as itincludes -a greater number of relevant features by which the notion ischaracterized. Or as St. Ullmann puts it: «The word is now applicabletomore things but tells us less about them.» The reduction of scope accounts for the term «narrowing ofthe meaning» which is even moreoften used than the term «specialization». We shall avoid the term «narrowing», since it is somewhatmisleading. Actually it is neither the meaningnor the notion, but the scope of the notion that .is narrowed.

There is also a third term for the same phenomenon,namely «differentiation», but it is not so widely used as the first two terms.

H. Paul, as well as many other authors, emphasizes thefact that this type of semantic change is particularly frequent in vocabulary of pro­fessional and tradegroups.

H. Paul's examples are from the German language but itis very easy to find parallel cases in English. So this type of change is fairlyuniversal and fails to disclose any specifically English properties.

The best known examples of specialization in thegeneral language are as follows: OE dēor 'wildbeast' > ModE deer 'wildrum,inantof a particular species' (theoriginal meaning was still alive in Shakespeare's time as is proved by the following quotation: Rats and mice and such smalldeer); OE mete 'food' >ModE meat 'edible flesh', i.e. only a partic­ular species of food (the earlier meaning isstill noticeable in the com­pound sweetmeat). This last example deservesspecial attention because thetendency of fixed context to preserve the original meaning is very marked as is constantly proved by variousexamples. Other well-worn examples are: OE fuзol'bird' (cf. Germ Vogel) > ModEfoal 'domestic birds'. Theold, meaning is still preserved in poetic diction and in set expressions, like fowls of the air. Among its derivatives, fowler means 'a personwho shoots or traps wild birds for sport or food'; the shooting or trapping itself is called fowling; a fowling piece is a gun. OE hund 'dog' (cf. . Germ Hund) >hound 'a species ofhunting dog'. Many words connected withliteracy also show similar changes: thus, teach<.OEtæcan 'to show', 'to teach'; write <OE wrītan 'towrite', 'to scratch', 'to score' (cf. Germ reiβen)< writing in Europe hadfirst the form of scratching on the barkof the trees. Tracing these semantic changes the scholars can, as it were, witness the development of culture.

In the above examples the new meaning superseded theearlier one. Both meanings can also coexist in the structure of a polysemantic word or be differentiatedlocally. The word token < OE tāce, ║ Germ Zeichen originallyhad the broad meaning of 'sign'. The semantic change that occurred in it illustrates systematicinterdependence within the vocabularyelements. Brought into competition with the borrowed word sign it became restricted in use to a few casesof fixed context (a love token, atoken of respect, a token vote, a token payment) and consequently restricted in meaning. In present-day English token means something small,unimportant or cheap which represents something big, important or valuable. Other examples of specialization are room, which alongside the new meaning keeps the old one of 'space'; corn originally meaning 'grain', 'the seed of any cereal plant': locallythe word becomes special­ized and isunderstood to denote the leading crop of the district; hence in England cornmeans 'wheat', in Scotland 'oats', whereas in the USA, as an ellipsis for Indian corn, it came to mean'maize'.

As a special group belonging to the same type one canmention the formation of proper nouns from common nouns chiefly in toponymies, i.e. place names.For instance, the City,— the businesspart of London; the Highlands — the mountainous partof Scotland; Oxford — Univer­sity town in Englandfrom ox+ford, i.e. a place where oxencould ford the river; the Tower (ofLondon) — originally a fortress and palace, later a state prison, now a museum.

Inthe above examples the change of meaning occurred without change of sound form and without any interventionof morphological processes. In many cases, however, the two processes,semantic and morphological, go hand inhand. For instance, when considering the effect of the agent suffix -ist addedto the noun stem art- we might expectthe whole to mean any person occupied in art, a representative of any kind ofart, but usage specializes the meaning of the word artist and restricts it to a synonym of painter.

The process reverse to specialisation is termedgeneralisation
and widening of meaning. In that case the scope of the new
notion is wider than that of the original one (hence widening), whereas
the content of the notion is poorer. In most cases generalisation is combinedwith a higher order of abstraction than in the notion expressed by
the earlier meaning. The transition from a concrete meaning to an ab­stract oneis a most frequent feature in the semantic history of words. The
change may be explained as occasioned by situations in which not all
the features of the notions rendered are of equal importance for the
message.                    

Thus, ready <OEræde (a derivative of the verb rīdan 'to ride') meant 'prepared for aride'.  Fly originally meant 'to move through the air with wings'; now itdenotes any kind of movement in the airor outer space and also very quick movement in any medium.

The process went very far in the word thing with its original mean­ings  'cause',   'object', 'decision','meeting', and 'the decision of the meeting','that which was decided upon'. (Cf. Norwegian storting 'par­liament'.) At present, as a result of thisprocess of generalisation, the word cansubstitute nearly any noun, and receives an almost pronominal force. In fact all the words belonging to thegroup of generic terms fall into thiscategory of generalization. By  generic terms we shall mean non-specific,non-distributive terms applicable to a great number ;    ofindividual members of a big class of words. The grammatical meaning of this class of words becomes predominant intheir semantic components. Notice the very general, character of theword business in the following: «Donaldhasn't a very good manner of interviews.»—«All this good-mannerbusiness,» Clun said, «they take far too much notice of it now in my opinion» (A. WILSON) ,

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the instancesof generalization proper from generalization combined with a fa-ding of lexical meaning ousted by thegrammatical or emotional meaning that take its place. These phenomena are closelyconnected with the peculiar characteristics of grammatical structure typicalof each individual language. One ob­serves them, for instance, studying the semantichistory of the English auxiliary and semi-auxiliary verbs, especially have, do, shall, will, turn, go, and that of some English prepositions and adverbswhich in the course of time have come to express grammatical relations. The weakening of lexical meaning dueto the influence of emotional force is revealed in such words as awfully, terribly, terrific, smashing.

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<span Garamond",«serif»; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">2. Metaphor.

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«Specialization» and«generalization» are thus identified on the evid-' ence of comparinglogical notions expressed by the meaning of words. If, on the other hand, thelinguist is guided by psychological consider­ations and has to go by the typeof association at work in the transfer of the name of one object to anotherand different one, he will observe that the most frequent transfers arebased on associations of similarity or of contiguity. As these types oftransfer are well known in rhetoric as; figures of speech called metaphor(Gr meta 'change' and phero 'bear') and metonymy (Grmetonymia from meta and onoma 'name')and  the same terms are adopted here. A metaphor is atransfer of name based on the association of similarity and thus is actually ahidden comparison. It presents amethod of description which likens one thing to another by referring to it as if it were some other one. Acunning person, for instance, isreferred to as a fox. A woman may becalled a peach, a lemon, a cat, a goose,etc. In a metonymy, thisreferring to one thing as if it were some other one is based on association of contiguity. Sean O'Casey in hisone-act play «The Hall ofHealing» metonymically names his personages according to the things they arewearing: Red Muffler, Grey Shawl, etc. Metaphor andmetonymy differ from the two first types of semantic change, i.e. generalization andspecialization, inasmuch .as they do not originate as a result of gradualalmost imperceptible change in many contexts, but come of a purposeful momentarytransfer of a name from one object to another belonging to a different sphereof reality.

In all discussion of linguistic metaphor and metonymyit must be borne in mind that they are different from metaphor and metonymy as literary devices.When the latter are offered and accepted both the author and the reader are toa greater or lesser degree aware that this reference is figurative, that the objecthas another name. The relationship of the direct denotative meaning of theword and the meaning it has in the literary context in question is based onsimilarity of some features in the objects compared. The poetic metaphor is thefruit of the author's creative imagination, as for example when England iscalled by Shakespeare (in «King RichardII») this precious stone set in thesilver sea, or when A. Tennyson writes: Whatstamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow?/ To vieweach loved one blotted from life's page.

Ina linguistic metaphor, especially when it is dead as a result of long usage,the thing named often has no other name. In a dead metaphor the comparison iscompletely forgotten, as for instance in the words gather, source and shady inthe following example dealing with some information: / gathered that one or two of their sources were shady, and some not somuch shady as irregular in a most unexpected way. (SNOW)

Themeaning of such expressions as a sun beamor a beam of light are notexplained by-allusions to a tree, although the word is actually derived from OEbeam 'tree' || Germ Baum, whence the meaning beam a long piece of squared timbersupported at both ends' has also developed. The metaphor is dead. There are noassociations with hens in the verb' brood'to meditate' (often sullenly),'though the direct meaning is 'to sit oneggs'.

Theremay be transitory stages: a bottleneck 'anything obstructing an even flow of work", for instance, is not a neck anddoes not belong to a bottle. The transfer is possibly due to the fact thatthere are some common features in the narrow top part of the bottle, a narrowoutlet for road traffic, and obstacles interfering with the smooth working ofadministrative machinery.

Metaphors,H. Paul points out, may be based upon very different types of similarity, forinstance, similarity of shape: head of acabbage, the teeth of a saw. This similarity may be based on a similarityof function. The transferred meaning is easily recognized from the context: the head of the school, the key to amystery. The similarity may be supported also by position: foot of a page, of a mountain, orbehaviour and function: bookworm,wirepuller. The word ‘whip’ alash used to urge horses on' is metaphorically transferred to an official inthe British Parliament appointed by a political party to see that members arepresent at debates, especially when a vote is taken, to check the voting andalso to advise the members on the policy of the respective party, etc.

Inthe kg of the table the metaphor ismotivated by the similarity of the lower part of the table  and the human limb in position and partly jnshape and function. Anthropomorphic metaphors are among the most frequent. Theway in which the words denoting parts of the body are made  to express a variety of meanings may beillustrated by the following: head of anarmy, of a procession, of a household; arms and mouth of a' river, eye of aneedle, foot of a hill, tongue of a bell and so on and so forth. Thetransferred meaning is easily recognized from the context:… her feet were in low-heeled brown brogueswith fringed tongues. (PLOMER>

Numerouscases of metaphoric transfer are based upon the analogy between duration oftime  and space, e.g. long distance:: long- speech; a short path:: a short time. The transfer of space relations upon psychological andmental notions may be exemplified by words and expressions concerned withunderstanding: to catch (to grasp) anidea; to take a hint;, to get the hang of; to throw light upon.

Thismetaphoric change from the concrete to the abstract is also represented in suchsimple words as score, span, thrill.Score comes from OE scoru 'twenty'from ON skor'twenty' and also'notch'. In OE time notches were cuton sticks to keep a reckoning. As score iscognate with shear, it is very probable that the meaning developed from the twentieth notch that was made of a larger size. From themeaning 'line' or 'notch cut orscratched down' many new meanings sprang out, such as 'number of points made by a player or a side in somegames', 'running account', 'a debt','written or printed music', etc. Span fromOE spann 'maxi­mum distance between the tips of thumb and littlefinger used as a meas­ure of length',came to mean 'full extent from end to end' (of a bridge, an arch, etc.) and 'a short distance'. Thrill from ME thriven 'to pierce' developedinto the present meaning 'to penetrate with emotion'.

Another subgroup of metaphors comprises transitions ofproper names into common ones: an Adonis, aCicero, a Don Juan, etc. When a proper name like Falstaff is used referring specifically to the hero of Shakes­peare's plays it hasa unique reference. But when people speak of a person they know calling him Falstaff they make a proper name genericfor a corpulent,jovial, irrepressibly impudent person and it no longer denotes a unique being. Cf. Don Juan as used about attractiveprofligates. To certain races andnationalities traditional characteristics have been attached by the popular mind with or without real justification. If a person is an out-and-out mercenary and ahypocrite into the bargain they call him aPhilistine, ruthlessly destructive people are called Vandals.

<span Garamond",«serif»; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">3.Metonymy

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If the transfer is based upon the association ofcontiguity it is called metonymy.It is a shift of names betweenthings that are known to be in someway or other connected in reality. The transfer may be condi­tioned by spatial, temporal, causal, symbolic,instrumental, functional and other relations.

Thus, the word bookis derived from the name of a tree on which inscriptions were scratched:ModE book < OE boc 'beech'. ModE win <. OE winnan 'tofight'; the word has been shifted so as to apply to the success followingfighting. Cash is an adaptation ofthe French word caisse 'box'; from namingthe container it came to mean what was con­tained, i.e. money; the originalmeaning was lost in competition with the new word safe. Spatial relations are also present when the name of the place is used forthe people occupying it. The chair maymean 'the chair­man', the bar 'the lawyers', the pulpit 'the priests'. The word town may denote the inhabitants of a townand the word house the members of theHouseof Commons or of Lords. Cello, violin,saxophone are often used to denote not the instruments but the musicians who playthem.

A causal relationship is obvious in the followingdevelopment: ModE fear < ME feere < OE fær, fēr 'danger', 'unexpected attack'. States and properties serve asnames for objects and people possessing them: youth, age, authorities,forces. The name of the action can serve to name the result of the action: ModE kill < ME killen 'to hit on the head', ModEstay || Germ schlagen… Emotionsmay be named by the movements that accompany them: to frown, to start.

There are also the well-known instances of symbol forthing symbol­ized: the crown for'monarchy'; the instrument for the product: 'hand'handwriting'; receptacle for content, as in the word kettle, and some others. Words for the material from which an articleis made are often used to denote the particular article: glass, iron, copper, nickel are well known examples. The pars prototo where the name of a part is applied to the whole may be illustratedby such military terms as the royal horsefor'cavalry' and foot for 'infantry',and the expressions like / want to have a word with you. The reverse process is observedwhen OE cēol 'a ship' develops among othervariants into keel 'a barge load ofcoal'.

A place of its own within metonymical change isoccupied by the so-called functionalchange. Thetype has its peculiarities: in thiscase the shift is between names of things substituting one another in human practice. Thus, the early instrument forwriting was a feather or moreexactly a quill (OE pen, from OFr penne, from It penna, from Lat. penna 'feather'). We write withfountain-pens that are made of differ­entmaterials and have nothing in common with feathers except the function, but the name remains. The name rudder comes from OE roper 'oar' || Germ Ruder 'oar'. The shift of meaning is dueto the shift of function: the steering wasformerly achieved by an oar. The steersman was called pilot; with thecoming of aviation one who operates the flying controls of an aircraft was also called pilot. For more cases of functional change see also the semantic history of the words: filter, pocket, spoon, stamp, sail.

Common names may be derived from proper names alsometonymically, as in macadamanddiesel, so named after their inventors.

Many physical and technical units are named aftergreat scientists: volt, ohm, ampere,watt, etc.

There are also many instances in political vocabularywhen the place of some establishment is used not only for the establishment itself orits staff but also for its policy: theWhite House, the Pentagon, Wall Street, Downing Street, Fleet Street.

Examples of geographic namesturning into common nouns to namethe goods exported or originating there areexceedingly numerous, e.g.

astrakhan, bikini,boston, cardigan, china, tweed.

Garments came to be known by the names of those whobrought them into fashion: mackintosh, raglan, wellingtons.

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<span Garamond",«serif»; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">4. Other types of semantic changes.

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Following the lead of literary criticism linguistshave often adopted terms of rhetoric for other types of semantic change,besides metaphor and metonymy. These are: hyperbole,litotes, irony, eu p h e m i s m. In all these cases the same warning that was given in connection with metaphors and metonymy must bekept in mind: namely,there is adifference between these terms as understood in literary criti­cism and in lexicology. Hyperbole (from Gr huperballō 'exceed')is an exaggerated statement not meant to be understood literally but expressing an intensely emotional attitude of the speaker to what he is speaking about. The emotional tone is due to theillogical character in which thedirect denotative and the contextual emotional meanings are combined.

A very good example is chosen by I. R. Galperin fromByron, and one cannot help borrowing it:

When people say«I've told you fifty times,» Theymean to scold and very often do,

The reader will note that Byron's intonation isdistinctly colloquial, the poet is giving us his observations concerningcolloquial expressions, So the .hyperbole here is not poetic but linguistic.

The same may be saidabout expressionslike: It's absolutely madden­ing, You'll be the death of me, I hate troublingyou, It's monstrous, It's a nightmare, A thousandpardons, A thousand thanks, Haven't seen you for ages, I'd give the world to, I shall be eternally grateful,I'd love to do it, etc.

Themost important difference between a poetic hyperbole and a linguistic one lies in the fact that the formercreates an image, whereas in thelatter the denotative meaning quickly fades out and the correspon­ding exaggerating words serve only as generalsigns of emotion without specifyingthe emotion itself. Some of the most frequent emphatic words are: absolutely!awfully! terribly! lovely! magnificent! splendid! and so on.

The reverse figure is called litotes(from Gr lītos 'plain', 'meagre') or understatement. It. might bedefined as expressing theaffirmative by the negation of its contrary: e.g. not bad or not half bad for 'good', notsmall for 'great', no coward for'brave'. Some understate­ments do not contain negations: rather decent; I could do with a cup of tea. It is, however, doubtful whether litotes should beconsidered under the heading ofsemantic change at all, because as a rule it creates no per­manentchange in the semantic structure of the word concerned. The purpose of understatement is not to deceive butto produce a stronger impression onthe hearer.

Alsotaken from rhetoric is the term irony,i.e. expression of one's meaning by wordsof opposite meaning, especially a simulated adoption of the opposite point of view for the purpose of ridicule. Oneof the meanings of the adjective nice is 'bad', 'unsatisfactory'; it ismarked off as ironical andillustrated by the example: You've got usinto a nice mess! The same may be said about the adjective pretty: A pretty mess you've made of it!

Changes depending on the social attitude to the objectnamed, connect­ed with social evaluation and emotional tone, are called ameliora­tionand pejoration of meaning.  Amelioration orelevation is asemantic shift undergone by words due to their referents coming up the social scale. For instance OE cwen 'a woman'> ModE queen, OE cniht 'a young servant' > ModE knight. The words steward and stewardess (thepassengers' attendant on ships and airliners) have undergone a great amelioration. Steward< OE stigweard from stigo 'a sty' and weard'a ward', dates back from the days when the chief wealth of the Saxon landowner was his pigs, ofwhom the stigweard had to takecare. The meaning of some words has been elevated through associations with aristocratic life ortown life. This is true about such adjectives as civil,chivalrous, urbane.

The reverse process is pejorationor degradation; it involves a lowering in social scale connected with the appearance ofa derogatory and scornful emotive tone reflecting the disdain of the upper classes towards the lower ones. A knave < OE cnafa \ Germ Knabe meantat first 'boy', then 'servant', and finally became a term of abuse andscorn. Another example of the same kind is blackguard.In the lord's retinue of Middle Agesserved among others the guard of iron pots and other kitchen utensils black with soot. From the immoral features attrib­utedto these servants by their masters comes the present scornful ' meaning of theword blackguard. A similar history istraced for the words boor, churl, clown, villain.

Euphemism(Gr euphemismos from eu 'well'and pheme 'speak') is the substitution of words of mild or vagueconnotations for expressions rough,unpleasant or for some other reasons unmentionable.  

Within the diachronic approach the phenomenon has beenrepeatedly classed by many linguists as taboo.This standpointis hardly accep­table for modernEuropean languages. With primitive peoples taboo is a prohibition meant as a safeguard against supernaturalforces. Names of ritual objects oranimals were taboo because the name was regarded as the equivalent of what was named. S. Ullmannreturns to the conception — of taboo several times illustrating it withpropitiatory names given in the earlyperiods of language development to such objects of supersti­tious fearas the bear (whose name originally meant 'brown') and the weasel. He treats both examples as material ofcomparative semantics. The tabooinfluence behind the circumlocutions used to name these anim­als becomes quite obvious when the same phenomenonis observed in similar names invarious other languages. There is no necessity to cite them here as they are given in any book on generallinguistics. It should be borne in mind that taboo has historical relevance. Nosuch opposition as that between adirect and a propitiatory name for an animal, no matter how dangerous, can be found in present-dayEnglish.

With peoples of developed culture, euphemism isintrinsically differ­ent, has nothing to do with taboo and is dictated bysocial usage, moral tact and etiquette. Cf. queer'mad', deceased 'dead', perspire v 'sweat'.

From the semantical point of view euphemism isimportant because meanings with unpleasant connotations appear in wordsformerly neutral,as a result of their repeated use instead ofother words that are for some reasonunmentionable.

Thematerial of this chapter shows that semantic changes are not arbitrary. They proceed in accordance with thelogical and psychological laws ofthought, otherwise changed words would never be understood and could not serve the purpose of communication. Thevarious attempts at classificationundertaken by traditional linguistics, although inconsistent ( and often subjective, are useful, since theypermit the linguist to find his wayabout an immense accumulation of semantic facts. However, they say nothing or almost nothing about the causes ofthese changes.

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<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;mso-ansi-language: EN-GB">CHAPTER II. CAUSES OF SEMANTIC CHANGE

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In comparison with classifications of semantic changethe problem of their causes appears neglected. Opinions on this point are scatteredthrough a great number of linguistic works and have apparently never -been collected intoanything complete. And yet a thorough understanding of the phenomena involved .insemantic change is impossible unless the whys and wherefores becomeknown. This is of primary importance as it may lead eventually to aclearer, interpretation of language develop­ment. The vocabulary is the most flexible part of thelanguage and it is precisely its semanticaspect that responds most readily to every change in the human activity in whatever sphere it mayhappen to take place.

The causes of semantic changes may be grouped undertwo main head­ings, linguisticand extralinguistic ones. Of these the first group has suffered much greater neglect in the past and it is not surprisingtherefore that far less is known ofit than of the second. It deals with changes due to the constantinterdependence of vocabulary units in language and speech, such as differentiation between synonyms, changes taking place inconnection with ellipsis and with fixed contexts, changes resulting from ambiguity in certain contexts, and someother cases.

Semantic change due to the differentiation of synonymsis a gradual change observed in the course of language history, sometimes, but not necessarily,involving the semantic assimilation of loan words. Consider, for example, thewords time and tide. They used to be synonyms. Then tide took on its more limited application tothe periodically shifting waters, and time alone is used in the general sense.

Another example of semantic change involving synonymicdifferen­tiation is the word twist. In OE it was a noun, meaning 'a rope'whereas the verb thrawan (now throw) meant both 'hurl' and 'twist'. Since the appearance in the Middle English of the verb twisten ('twist') the first verb lost this meaning. But threw in its turn influenced the development of casten(cast), a Scandinavian borrowing. Its primary meaning 'hurl', 'throw' isnow present only in some set expressions. Castkeeps its old meaning in such phrases as cast aglance, cast lots, cast smth. in one's teeth. Twist has very many meanings, the latest being 'to dancethe twist'

Fixed context may be regarded asanother linguistic factor in semantic change. Both factors are at work in the case of token.When brought into competition with the loan word sign, it became restricted in use to a number of set expressions such as love token, token of respect and sobecame specialized in meaning. Fixed context has this influence not only in phrases but in compoundwords as well. OE mete meant 'food', its descendant meat refers only to flesh food except in the set expression meatand drink and the compound sweetmeats.

No systematic treatment has so far been offered forthe syntagmatic semantic changesdepending on the context. But such cases do exist showing that investigation ofthe problem is important.

One of these is ellipsis.Thequalifying words of a frequent phrase  may be omitted: sale comes to be used for cut-price sale, propose for to propose marriage, to be expecting for to beexpecting a baby. Or vice versa, the kernel word of the phrase mayseem redundant: minerals for mineral waters. Due to ellipsis starve whichoriginally meant 'die' (cf. Germ sterben) came to substitute the whole phrase dieof hunger, and also began to mean 'suffer from lack of food' andeven in colloquial use 'to feel hungry'. Moreover as there are many words withtransitive and intran­sitivevariants naming cause and result, starve cameto mean 'to cause to perish with hunger'.

English has a great variety of these regularcoincidences of different aspects, alongside with cause and result, we couldconsider the coincidence of subjective and objective, active and passiveaspects especially fre­quentin adjectives. E.g. hateful means'exciting hatred' and 'full of hatred'; curious—'strange'and 'inquisitive'; pitiful— 'excitingcom­passion' and 'compassionate'. Compare the different use of the wordsdoubtfuland healthy in the following: tobe doubtful :: a doubtful advan­tage, tobe healthy :: a healthy climate.

The extralinguistic causes are determined by thesocial nature of the language: they are observed in changes of meaningresulting from the development of thenotion expressed and the thing named and by the appearance of new notions andthings. In other words, extralinguistic causesof semantic change are connected with the development of the human mind as it moulds reality to conform withits needs.

Languages are powerfully affected by social,political, economic, cul­tural and technical change. The influence of thosefactors upon linguistic phenomena is studied by sociolinguistics. It shows thatsocial factors can influence even structural features of linguistic units, terms ofscience, for instance, have a number of specific features as compared to wordsused in other spheres of human activity.

The word being a linguistic realization of notion, itchanges with the progress of human consciousness. This process is reflected in thedevelop­ment of lexicalmeaning. As the human mind achieves an ever more exact understanding of the world of reality and the objective relation­ships that characterize it, the notions becomemore and more exact reflec­tions of real things. The history of thesocial, economic and political life ofpeople, the progress of culture and science bring about changes in notions andthings influencing the semantic aspect of language. For instance, OE eorpe meant 'the ground under people'sfeet', 'the soil' and 'the world ofman' as opposed to heaven that wassupposed to be inhabitedfirstby Gods and later on, with the spread ofChristianity, by God, his saints andthe souls of the dead. With the progress of science earth came to mean the third planet from the sun and theknowledge of it was con­stantlyenriched.

Theword space from the meanings of'extension' or 'intervening distance' came to mean 'the limitless expanse inwhich everything exists' and more recentlycame to be used especially in the meaning of 'outer space'. Atoms (Gr. atomos 'indivisible' from a 'not'and tomos 'cut') were formerly thought to be indivisible smallest particles ofmatter and were usually associated inlayman's speech with smallness. The word could be metaphorically used in the meaning of 'a tiny creature'. Whenatoms were found to be made up of a positively charged nucleus round which negatively charged electrons revolve, thenotion of an atom brought aboutconnotations of discrete (discontinuous) character of matter. With the advances made since science has foundways of releasing the energy hiddenin the splitting of the atomic nucleus, the notion is accom­panied with the idea of immense potentialitiespresent, as, for instance, in thephrase Atoms for peace. Since theadvent of the atomic bomb the adjective atomic distinctly connotes in the English language with the threat of a most destructive warfare (atomic bomb, atomic warfare).

The tendency to use technical imagery is increasing inevery language, thus the expression to spark offin chain reaction is almost international. Some expressions tend to becomesomewhat obsolete: the English used to talk of people being galvanized into activity, or going full steam ahead but the phrasessound out dated now.

The changes of notions and things named go hand inhand. As they are conditioned by changes in the economic, social, political and cultu­ral history of thepeople, the extralinguistic causes of semantic change might be conveniently subdividedin accordance with these. Social rela­tionships are at work in the cases of elevationand pejoration of meaning discussed in the previous section where the attitudeof the upper classes to their social inferiors determined the strengtheningof emotional tone among the semantic components of the word.

Euphemisms may be dictated by publicity needs—hence ready-tailoredandready-to-wear clothes instead of ready-made. The influence of mass-advertising onlanguage is growing; it is felt in every level of the language. Innovationspossible in advertising are of many different types.A kind of orange juice, for instance, is called Tango. The justifica­tionof the name is given in the advertising text as follows: Get this differ­ent tasting Sparkling Tango. Tell you why: madefrom whole oranges. Taste thoseoranges. Taste the tang in Tango. Tingling tang, bubbles— sparks. You drink it straight. Goes down great.Taste the tang in Tango. NewSparkling Tango. The reader willsee for himself how many expres­sive connotations are introduced by thesalesman in this commercial name in an effort to attract the buyer's attention.

Economic causes are obviously at work in the semanticdevelopment o! the word wealth. It firstmeant 'well-being', 'happiness' from wealfrom OE wela whence well. This original meaning is preservedin the compounds commonwealth and commonweal. The present meaning becamepossible due to the role played by money both in feudal and bourgeois society. The chief wealth ofthe early inhabitants of Europe being the cattle, OE feohmeans both 'cattle' and'money', likewise Goth faihu; Lat. pecu  meant'cattle' and pecunia meant 'money'.ME fee-house is both a cattle-shed and a treasury. The present-day English fee most frequently means the price paid for services to a lawyer or a physician.It appears to develop jointly fromthe above mentioned OE feoh and theAnglo-French fe, fie, fief, probably of the same origin, meaning 'arecompense' and 'a feudal tenure'. This modern meaning is obvious in thefollowing example: Physicians of the utmost Fame/Were called at once;but when they came/ They answered asthey took their fees,/ «There is no cure for this disease.» (BELLOC)

<span Garamond",«serif»;color:black;letter-spacing: -.25pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-GB">CONCLUSION

We have dialled in detail with various types ofsemantic change. This isnecessary not only because of the interest the various cases present in themselves but also because a thorough knowledge of thesepossibilities helps one to understand the semantic structure of English words at the present stage of theirdevelopment. The development and change of the semantic structure of aword is always a source of qualitative and quantitative development of thevocabulary.

Theconstant development of industry, agriculture, trade and trans­port bring intobeing new objects and new notions. Words to name them are either borrowed orcreated from material already existing in the lan­guage and it often happensthat new meanings are thus acquired by old words.

<span Garamond",«serif»;mso-ansi-language:EN-US">LITERATURE:

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1.<span Times New Roman"">    

Rinaburg R. “A course in Modern English”. Moscow 1976.

2.<span Times New Roman"">    

Griberg S. I. “Exercises in Modern English”. Moscow 1980.

3.<span Times New Roman"">    

Antrushina. “English Lexicology”. 1985.

4.<span Times New Roman"">    

Kunin A. “English Lexicology” Moscow 1972.

5.<span Times New Roman"">    

Mednikova E. M. “Seminars in English Lexicology”Moscow “Vyshaja shkola” 1978.

6.<span Times New Roman"">    

Cruise. “Lexical semantic” Cambridge University press1995.

7.<span Times New Roman"">    

“English Word Formation” Cambridge University press1996.
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