d) degradation.

English Lexicology

3rd Year, 6th Semester

Practical class № 2

Transference of Meaning

Problems for Discussion

1. Linguistic and extralinguistic causes of semantic change.

2. Metaphoric and metonymic transfers.

3. Semantic processes based on changes of the denotative meaning:

a) restriction (specialization, narrowing) of meaning;

b) extension (generalization, widening of meaning)

4. Semantic processes based on changes of the connotative meaning:

a) degradation of meaning;

b) elevation of meaning

Obligatory Reading

  1. Арнольд И.В. Лексикология современного английского языка / И.В. Арнольд; на англ. яз. – 3-е изд. – М.: Высш. шк., 1986. – P. 60–73.
  2. Лексикология английского языка / Р.З. Гинзбург [и др.]; на англ. яз. – 2-е изд., испр. и доп. – М.: Высш. шк., 1979. – P. 29–33.

3. Харитончик d) degradation. З.А. Лексикология английского языка: Учеб. пособие. – Минск: Вышэйшая школа, 1992. – С. 44–53.


Explain the logical associations in the meanings of the same words in the following word combinations. Define the type of transference which has taken place.

A wing of a bird – a wing of a building – on wings of joy; an eye of a man – an eye of a needle; the heart of a man – the heart of the matter; a hand of a man – a hand of a clock – a farm hand); a foot of a man – the foot of a mountain; the coat of a girl – the coat of d) degradation. a dog; a star in the sky – a film star; a green leaf – green years – green with envy; warm weather – a warm welcome; black shoes – black winter – black despair; the father of the family – the father of invention; nickel (meta1) – a nickel (coin); bronze – a bronze; glass – a glass; Ford (proper name) – a Ford (car); Kashmir (town in North India)–cashmere.

2. Read the words’ stories and identify the results of their semantic development. These results are:

A) generalization;

B) specialization;

C) elevation;

d) degradation.

1. The noun picture used to refer only to a representation made with paint d) degradation.. Today it can be a photograph or a representation made with charcoal, pencil or any other means.

2. The adjective nice – from the Latin nescius for "ignorant" – at various times before the current definition became established meant "foolish", then "foolishly precise", then "pedantically precise", then "precise in a good way" and then its current definition.

3. From 1550 to 1675 silly was very extensively used in the sense "deserving pity and compassion, helpless". It is a derivative of the Middle English seely from the German selig, meaning "happy, blissful, blessed, holy" as well as "punctual, observant of season".

4. The verb kidnap has come d) degradation. into wide use in the meaning "to take a child away illegally and usually by force, in order to demand especially money for their safe return". Now it implies any person, not only a child.

5. Crafty, now a disparaging term, originally was a word of praise.

6. Target originally meant "a small round shield" but now it means "anything that is fired at" and figura­tively "any result aimed at".

7. Voyage in earlier English meant "a journey", as does the French voyage, but is now restricted mostly to journeys by sea.

8. Butcher dates from the 13th century as a term de­noting d) degradation. the person who prepared and cut up any kind of meat. Previously it referred to a specialist in goat's meat, often salted because it was tough – this fact indicates how low the consumption of beef had been in the Middle Ages.

3. The following are some of the different senses of skirt(s) as adapted from the DCE dictionary (Dictionary of Contemporary English, Longman) item quoted below in (a–d) and extended by further contexts (e–i). What is likely to be the prototypical meaning? Point out which sematic process (generalization, specialization, metaphor, metonymy) you find in each of d) degradation. the other cases. Give reasons for your answers.

a. A piece of outer clothing worn by women and girls which hangs down from the


b. The part of a dress or coat that hangs down from the waist

c. The flaps on a saddle that protect a rider’s legs

d. A circular flap as around the base of a hovercraft

e. A bit of skirt: an offensive expression meaning ‘an attractive woman’

f. Skirts of a forest, hill or village etc.: the outside edge of a forest etc. окраина (леса)

g. A new road skirting the suburb

h d) degradation.. They skirted round the bus.

i. He was skirting the issue

Документ d) degradation.