Сокращение как один из продуктивных словообразования в современном английском языке. Различные типы сокращений
Distinction should be made between shortening which results in new lexical items and a specific type of shortening proper only to written speech resulting in numerous graphical abbreviations which are only signs representing words and word-groups of high frequency of occurrence in various spheres of human activity as for in-stance, RD for Road and St for Street in addresses on envelopes and in letters; tu for tube, aer for aerial in Radio Engineering literature, etc. English graphical abbreviations include rather numerous shortened variants of Latin and French words and word-groups, e.g.: i.e. (L. id est) — ‘that is’; R.S.V.P.(Fr. — Repondez s'il vous plait) — ‘reply please’, etc.
Graphical abbreviations are restricted in use to written speech, occurring only in various kinds of texts, articles, books, advertisements, letters, etc. In reading, many of them are substituted by the words and phrases that they represent, e.g. Dr. = doctor, Mr.=mister, Oct.= October, etc.; the abbreviations of Latin and French words and phrases are usually read as their English equivalents. It follows that graphical abbreviations cannot be considered new lexical vocabulary units.
It is only natural that in the course of language development some graphical abbreviations should gradually penetrate into the sphere of oral intercourse and, as a result, turn into self-contained lexical units used both in oral and written speech. That is the case, for instance, with a.m. ['ei'em] — ‘in the morning, before noon’; p.m. ['pi:'em] — ‘in the afternoon’; S.O.S. ['es ‘ou ‘es] (=Save Our Souls) — ‘urgent call for help’, etc.
1. Transformations of word-groups into words involve different types of lexical shortening: ellipsis or substantivisation, initial letter or syllable abbreviations (also referred to as acronyms), blendings, etc.
Substantivisation consists in dropping of the final nominal member of a frequently used attributive word-group. When such a member of the word-group is dropped as, for example, was the case with a documentary film the remaining adjective takes on the meaning and all the syntactic functions of the noun and thus develops into a new word changing its class membership and becoming homonymous to the existing adjective. It may be illustrated by a number of nouns that appeared in this way, e.g. an incendiary goes back to an incendiary bomb, the finals to the final examinations, an editorial to an editorial article, etc. Other more recent creations are an orbital (Br. ‘a highway going around the suburbs of a city’), a verbal (‘a verbal confession introduced as evidence at a trial’), a topless which goes to three different word-groups and accordingly has three meanings: 1) a topless dress, bathing suit, etc., 2) a waitress, dancer, etc. wearing topless garments, 3) a bar, night-club featuring topless waitresses or performers. Substantivisation is often accompanied by productive suffixation as in, e.g., a one-winger from one-wing plane, a two-decker from two-deck bus or ship; it may be accompanied by clipping and productive suffixation, e.g. flickers(coll.) from flicking pictures, a smoker from smoking carriage, etc.
Acronyms and letter abbreviations are lexical abbreviations of a phrase. There are different types of such abbreviations and there is no unanimity of opinion among scholars whether all of them can be regarded as regular vocabulary units. It seems logical to make distinction between acronyms and letter abbreviations. Letter abbreviations are mere replacements of longer phrases including names of well-known organisations of undeniable currency, names of agencies and institutions, political parties, famous people, names of official offices, etc. They are not spoken or treated as words but pronounced letter by letter and as a rule possess no other linguistic forms proper to words. The following may serve as examples of such abbreviations: CBW = chemical and biological warfare, DOD = Department of Defence (of the USA), ITV = Independent Television, Instructional Television, SST = supersonic transport, etc. It should be remembered that the border-line between letter abbreviations and true acronyms is fluid and many letter abbreviations in the course of time may turn into regular vocabulary units. Occasionally letter abbreviations are given ‘pronunciation spelling’ as for instance dejay (= D.J. = disc jokey), emce (= M.C. = master of ceremonies) in which case they tend to pass over into true acronyms.
Acronyms are regular vocabulary units spoken as words. They are formed in various ways:
1. from the initial letters or syllables of a phrase, which may be pronounced differently
§ a) as a succession of sounds denoted by the constituent letters forming a syllabic pattern, i.e. as regular words, e.g. UNO ['ju:nou] = United Nations Organisations; NATO ['neitou] = North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, UNESCO [ju:'neskou]; laser ['leisa] = light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation; radar ['reidэ] = radio detection and ranging; BMEWS ['bi:mju:z] = Ballistic Missile Early Warning System;
§ b) as a succession of the alphabetical readings of the constituent letters as in, e.g., YCL ['wai’si:'el] = Young Communist League; BBC ['bi:'bi:’si:] = British Broadcasting Corporation; MP ['em'pi:] = Member of Parliament; SOS ['es'ou'es] = Save Our Souls.
2. Acronyms may be formed from the initial syllables of each word of the phrase, e.g. Interpol = inter/national pol/ice; tacsatcom = Tactical Satellite Communications: Capcom = Capsule Communicator (the person at a space flight centre who communicates with the astronauts during a space flight).
3. Acronyms may be formed by a combination of the abbreviation of the first or the first two members of the phrase with the last member undergoing no change at all, e.g. V-day = Victory Day; H-bomb = hydrogen bomb; g-force = gravity force, etc.
All acronyms unlike letter abbreviations perform the syntactical functions of ordinary words taking on grammatical inflexions, e.g. MPs (will attack huge arms bill), M.P’s (concern at . . .). They also serve as derivational bases for derived words and easily collocate with derivational suffixes as, e.g. YCLer (= member of the YCL); MPess (= woman-member of Parliament); radarman, etc.
Вlendings are the result of conscious creation of words by merging irregular fragments of several words which are aptly called “splinters.” Splinters assume different shapes — they may be severed from the source word at a morpheme boundary as in transceiver (=transmitter and receiver), transistor (= transfer and resistor) or at a syllable boundary like cute (from execute) in electrocute, medicare (from medical care), polutician (from pollute and politician) or boundaries of both kinds may be disregarded as in brunch (from breakfast and lunch), smog (from smoke and fog), ballute (from baloon and parachute), etc. Many blends show some degree of overlapping of vowels, consonants and syllables or echo the word or word fragment it replaces. This device is often used to attain punning effect, as in foolosopher echoing philosopher; icecapade (= spectacular shows on ice) echoing escapade; baloonatic (= baloon and lunatic). Blends are coined not infrequently in scientific and technical language as a means of naming new things, as trade names in advertisements. Since blends break the rules of morphology they result in original combinations which catch quickly. Most of the blends have a colloquial flavour.
Clipping refers to the creation of new words by shortening a word of two or more syllables (usually nouns and adjectives) without changing its class membership. Clipped words, though they often exist together with the longer original source word function as independent lexical units with a certain phonetic shape and lexical meaning of their own. The lexical meanings of the clipped word and its source do not as a rule coincide, for instance, doc refers only to ‘one who practices medicine’, whereas doctor denotes also ‘the higher degree given by a university and a person who has received it’, e.g. Doctor of Law, Doctor of Philosophy. Clipped words always differ from the non-clipped words in the emotive charge and stylistic reference. Clippings indicate an attitude of familiarity on the part of the user either towards the object denoted or towards the audience, thus clipped words are characteristic of colloquial speech. In the course of time, though, many clipped words find their way into the literary language losing some of their colloquial colouring. Clippings show various degrees of semantic dissociation from their full forms. Some are no longer felt to be clippings, e.g. pants (cf. pantaloons), bus (cf. omnibus), bike (cf. bicycle), etc. Some of them retain rather close semantic ties with the original word. This gives ground to doubt whether the clipped words should be considered separate words. Some linguists hold the view that in case semantic dissociation is slight and the major difference lies in the emotive charge and stylistic application the two units should be regarded as word-variants (e.g. exam and examination, lab and laboratory, etc.).
Clipping often accompanies other ways of shortening such as substantivisation, e.g. perm (from permanent wave), op (from optical art), pop (from popular music, art, singer, etc.), etc.
As independent vocabulary units clippings serve as derivational bases for suffixal derivations collocating with highly productive neutral and stylistically non-neutral suffixes -ie, -er, e.g. nightie (cf. nightdress), panties, hanky (cf. handkerchief). Cases of conversion are not infrequent, e.g. to taxi, to perm, etc.
There do not seem to be any clear rules by means of which we might predict where a word will be cut though there are several types into which clippings are traditionally classified according to the part of the word that is clipped:
1. Words that have been shortened at the end—the so-called apocope, e.g. ad (from advertisement), lab (from laboratory), mike (from microphone), etc.
2. Words that have been shortened at the beginning—the so-called aphaeresis, e.g. car (from motor-car), phone (from telephone), copter (from helicopter), etc.
3. Words in which some syllables or sounds have been omitted from the middle—the so-called syncope, e.g. maths (from mathematics), pants (from pantaloons), specs (from spectacles), etc.
4. Words that have been clipped both at the beginning and at the end, e.g. flu (from influenza), tec (from detective), fridge (from refrigerator), etc.
It must be stressed that acronyms and clipping are the main ways of word-creation most active in present-day English. The peculiarity of both types of words is that they are structurally simple, semantically non-motivated and give rise to new root-morphemes.
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