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Системные группы слов. Тематические группы

A further subdivision within the lexico-grammatical groups is achieved in the well-known thematic subgroups, such as terms of kinship, names for parts of the human body, colour terms, military terms and so on. The basis of grouping this time is not only linguistic but also extra-linguistic: the words are associated, because the things they name occur together and are closely connected in reality. It has been found that these words constitute quite definitely articulated spheres held together by differences, oppositions and distinctive values. For an example it is convenient to turn to the adjectives. These are known to be subdivided into qualitative and relative lexico-grammatical groups. Among the first, adjectives that characterise a substance for shape, colour, physical or mental qualities, speed, size, etc. are distinguished.

The group of colour terms has always attracted the attention of linguists, because it permits research of lexical problems of primary importance. The most prominent among them is the problem of the systematic or non-systematic character of vocabulary, of the difference in naming the same extra-linguistic referents by different languages, and of the relationship between thought and language. There are hundreds of articles written about colour terms.

The basic colour name system comprises four words: blue, green, yellow, red; they cover the whole spectrum. All the other words denoting colours bring details into this scheme and form subsystems of the first and second order, which may be considered as synonymic series with corresponding basic terms as their dominants. Thus, red is taken as a dominant for the subsystem of the first degree: scarlet, orange, crimson, rose, and the subsystem of the second degree is:vermilion, wine red, cherry, coral, copper-red, etc. Words belonging to the basic system differ from words belonging to subsystems not only semantically but in some other features as well. These features are:

1. frequency of use;

2. motivation;

3. simple or compound character;

4. stylistic colouring;

5. combining power.

The basic The ideographic subgroups are independent of classification into parts of speech. Words and expressions are here classed not according to their lexico-grammatical meaning but strictly according to their signification, i.e. to the system of logical notions. These subgroups may comprise nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs together, provided they refer to the same notion. Thus, V.I. Agamdzhanova unites into one group such words as light n, bright adj,shine v and other words connected with the notion of light as something permitting living beings to see the surrounding objects.

The approach resembles the much discussed theory of semantic fields but is more precise than some of them, because this author gives purely linguistic criteria according to which words belonging to the group may be determined. The equivalence of words in this case is reflected in their valency.


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