Chirchik state pedagogical institute of tashkent region the faculty of history and languages the department of foreign languages


Semantic structure of English words



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2.2 Semantic structure of English words

The branch of linguistics concerned with the meaning of words is called semasiology. The name comes from the Greek semasia 'signification' (sema 'sign', semantikos 'significant' and logos 'learning').

There are four most important types of semantic complexity of the word meaning:

1. Every word combines lexical and grammatical meanings: Father is a personal noun.

2. Many words not only refer to some object but have an aura of associations expressing the attitude of the speaker. They have not only denotational but connotational meaning a swell: Daddy is a colloquial term of endearment (нежность).

3. The denotational meaning is segmented into semantic components or semes: Father is a male parent.

4. A word may be polysemantic, that is it may have several meanings, all interconnected and forming its semantic structure: Father may mean: 'male parent', 'an ancestor', 'a founder or leader', 'a priest'.

Connotation - it is what the word conveys about the speaker's attitude to the social circumstances and the appropriate functional style or speaker's emotions (mummy vs mother), or the degree of intensity (adore vs love).

There are four main types of connotations: stylistic, emotional, evaluative and expressive.

An effective method of revealing connotations is the analysis of synonymic groups, where the identity of denotational meanings makes it possible to separate the connotational overtones. A classical example for showing stylistic connotations is the noun horse and its synonyms. The word horse is stylistically neutral, its synonym steed is poetic, nag is a word of slang and gee-gee is baby language.


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