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7 Changes in Word Meaning. Vocabulary: 1.most unstable element of a language 2.undergoing constant changes both in form and content 3.Comparatively, meaning.

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Presentation on theme: "7 Changes in Word Meaning. Vocabulary: 1.most unstable element of a language 2.undergoing constant changes both in form and content 3.Comparatively, meaning."— Presentation transcript:

1 7 Changes in Word Meaning

2 Vocabulary: 1.most unstable element of a language 2.undergoing constant changes both in form and content 3.Comparatively, meaning even more unstable

3 Changes in Word Meaning Quirk : ‘...almost every word we use today has a slightly different meaning from the one it had a century ago, and a century ago it had a slightly different meaning from the one it had a century before that ’.

4 Changes in Word Meaning Shakespeare ’ s use: The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste … rival = partner Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour … jump = just

5 Changes in Word Meaning How pregnant sometimes his replies are … pregnant = meaningful

6 7.1 Types of Change 1. Extension extension= generalization: change from a specific meaning to a more general one

7 1. Extension manuscript = hand + writing 1) first draft written by hand 2) writing by any means

8 1. Extension lady1) mistress 2) woman e.g.saleslady; lady novelist; ladies ’ room=ladies salary: money given to Roman soldiers to buy salt

9 1. Extension Holiday:1) Holy Day 2) any day or days without work or study

10 1. Extension Technical terms used as common words: feedback (computer) = response allergic (medicine) = averse to anything

11 2. Narrowing Narrowing= specialization: change from a general meaning to a specific meaning wife woman → a married woman e.g. The Merry Wives of Winsor 《温莎的风流娘儿们》 housewife; midwife

12 2. Narrowing actor doer memory memory in computer shroud cloth cloth for wrapping the corpse a private = a private soldier a gold= a gold medal

13 3. Elevation elevation=amelioration: change from negative to positive from derogatory to appreciative from neutral to appreciative from unimportant to important

14 3. Elevation governorpilot head of a state ministerservant head of a ministry lordloaf giver

15 4. Degradation degradation=pejoration: change from appreciative to pejorative from positive to negative from important to unimportant from neutral to negative

16 4. Degradation criticizeappraise find fault with villain worker at a villa wicked person/ scoundrel cunningskillful sly queenhomosexual wife

17 5. Transfer/transference Transfer = transference: meaning shift from one thing to another

18 5. Transfer/transference Types of Transfer 1. Associated transfer the meaning is transferred through association to dog 追踪 to monkey 戏弄

19 5. Transfer/transference to ape 模仿 to fox 欺骗 the teeth of a comb 梳齿 the tongues of fire 火舌 teeth and tongues semantically motivated

20 5. Transfer/transference 2. Transfer between abstract and concrete meaning aftermath second crop of grass after mowing (concrete) result or consequence (abstract)

21 5. Transfer/transference envy feeling of such (abstract) a person to be envied (concrete) e.g. Mary is the envy of the class. (concrete)

22 5. Transfer/transference 3. Transfer between subjective and objective meaning The old man is hateful. The old man is hated by people. The old man receives hate. (objective)

23 5. Transfer/transference The teacher was suspicious of the student ’ s excuse. The teacher suspected the student ’ s excuse. (subjective)

24 5. Transfer/transference Characteristics of verbs: subjective:having showing full of objective:causing deserving bringing

25 5. Transfer/transference painfulobjective consideratesubjective respectableobjective respectfulsubjective

26 5. Transfer/transference courageoussubjective dangerousobjective suspicioussubjective/objective fearfulsubjective/objective doubtfulsubjective/objective

27 5. Transfer/transference The man looks suspicious as his behavior is unusual. (objective) The neighbours are suspicious of the man as his behaviour is unusual. (subjective)

28 5. Transfer/transference The teacher was doubtful 1 of the doubtful 2 excuse of the student. (1) subjective (2) objective

29 5. Transfer/transference 4. Synesthesia a transfer of sensation from sense to another sense clear-soundingfrom sight to hearing loud coloursfrom hearing to sight sweet musicfrom taste to hearing

30 7.2 Causes of Changes 7.2.1 Extra-linguistic Factors 1. Historical reason sun the luminous heavenly body — one of the seven planets revolving around the earth The sun rises and sets.

31 7.2.1 Extra-linguistic Factors a star around which the earth and other planets revolve... (WNWD) atom from atomos (Greek) any of the indivisible particles

32 7.2.1 Extra-linguistic Factors 2. Class reason churl ‘ peasant ’ ‘ free man ’ ‘ uncultivated or mean person ’ hussy ‘ housewife ’ ‘ woman of low morals ’ wench ‘ country girl ’ ‘ prostitute ’

33 7.2.1 Extra-linguistic Factors 3. Psychological reason garbage collector sanitation engineer barber beautician policeman custodian of law poor people the unprivileged

34 7.2.1 Extra-linguistic Factors dog informer arse despised prisoner square-head honest man

35 7.2.2 Linguistic Factors 1. Shortening gold gold medal bulb light bulb

36 7.2.2 Linguistic Factors 2. Borrowing deer narrowed from ‘ animal ’ animal (L) keeping the same meaning beast (F) changed in colour pig/pork sheep/muttoncattle/beef

37 7.2.2 Linguistic Factors 3. Analogizing fruition (1) a pleasure obtained from using or possessing something (2) the bearing of fruit (visual similarity and association)

38 END


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