The Object of Lexicology

Topics: Linguistics, Language, Semantics Pages: 1 (295 words) Published: October 20, 2010
1.The Object of Lexicology.
Lexicology (from Gr. lexis 'word' and logos 'learning') is the part of linguistics dealing with the vocabulary of the language and the prop¬erties of words as the main units of language. The term vocabulary is used to denote the system formed by the sum total of all the words and word equivalents that the language possesses. The term word denotes the basic unit of a given language resulting from the association of a particular meaning with a particular group of sounds capable of a particular grammatical employment. A word therefore is simultaneously a semantic, grammatical and phonological unit.(E.g.1) Thus, in the word girl the group of sounds [gWl] is associated with the meaning 'a male child up to the age of 17 or 18 (also with some other meanings, but this is the most frequent) and with a definite gram¬matical employment, i.e. it is a noun and thus has a plural form — girls, it is a personal noun and has the Genitive form girl's, it may be used in certain syntactic functions. General lexicology is the general study of words and vocabulary, irrespective of the spe-cific features of any particular language. Special lexicology devotes its attention to the des-cription of the characteristic peculiarities in the vocabulary of a given language. Language universals are linguistic phenomena and properties common to all languages. Contrastive lexicology provides a theoretical basis on which the vocabularies of different languages can be compared and described. (Most obviously, we shall be particularly concerned with comparing English and Ukrainian words). Historical lexicology (etymol¬ogy) discusses the origin of various words, their change and development, and investigates the linguistic and extra-linguistic forces modifying their structure, meaning and usage.
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