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



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Narrowing of meaning is the process when a word acquires a specialised sense in which it is applicable only to some of the objects it had previously denoted or a word of wide usage is restricted in its application and comes to be used only in a special sense.

e.g.: In Shakespeare’s „King Lear“ there is a reference made to mice and rats and such small deer. In Old English deer meant any beast.



Coffin once meant a box. Then it began to mean a special box for the dead.

These are the cases in which narrowing took place due to the concretization of meaning. Sometimes narrowing takes place due to the differentiation of concepts. This is the case when two words were synonyms once and then they acquired different meanings.

e.g.: Stool once meant табурет і стілець. After the word chair was borrowed from French, the word stool began to be used only for табурет.

Attributes when used continuously with a word may lead to the narrowing of meaning: corn (Indian corn), private (private soldier).

Narrowing can take place when the name of the material is transferred onto the thing made of this material: iron, kids.

It is a well-known fact that people tend to specialise and thus to narrow the meanings of words connected with their special activities.

e.g.: The word operation(операція) has quite different meanings to a financial worker, to a mathematician, to a military man and to a physician.

Печиво meant усе спечене з борошна. Now it means кондитерські вироби з борошна.

Квас meant усе кисле. Now the word means кислуватий напій з житнього хліба або житнього борошна.

Elevation of meaning presupposes the following thing. Words often rise from humble beginnings to positions of greater importance. Such changes are not always easy to account for in detail, but, on the whole, we may say that social changes are of the very first importance with words that acquire better meanings.

Some highly complimentary words were originally applied to things of comparatively slight importance.

e.g.: Fame meant news (good or bad). Now it means glory.

Nice meant foolish. The word was gradually specialised in the sense foolishly particular about trifles. Then the idea of folly was lost and particular about small things, accurate came into existence.

To adore had the meaning to speak with, to greet, to address. Now it means to love, to worship.

The words офіс, менеджмент, кур’єр are considered to have better meanings than контора, управління, посильний.




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