Lexicology of the English Language

Страница 10

There are different semantic relations between the components of «stone wall» combinations. E.I. Chapnik classified them into the following groups:

1. time relations, e.g. evening paper,

2. space relations, e.g. top floor,

3. relations between the object and the material of which it is made, e.g. steel helmet,

4. cause relations, e.g. war orphan,

5. relations between a part and the whole, e.g. a crew member,

6. relations between the object and an action, e.g. arms production,

7. relations between the agent and an action e.g. government threat, price rise,

8. relations between the object and its designation, e.g. reception hall,

9. the first component denotes the head, organizer of the characterized object, e.g. Clinton government, Forsyte family,

10. the first component denotes the field of activity of the second component, e.g. language teacher, psychiatry doctor,

11. comparative relations, e.g. moon face,

12. qualitative relations, e.g. winter apples.


In the process of communication words and word-groups can be shortened. The causes of shortening can be linguistic and extra-linguistic. By extra-linguistic causes changes in the life of people are meant. In Modern English many new abbreviations, acronyms , initials, blends are formed because the tempo of life is increasing and it becomes necessary to give more and more information in the shortest possible time.

There are also linguistic causes of abbreviating words and word-groups, such as the demand of rhyth, which is satisfied in English by monosyllabic words. When borrowings from other languages are assimilated in English they are shortened. Here we have modification of form on the basis of analogy, e.g. the Latin borrowing «fanaticus» is shortened to «fan» on the analogy with native words: man, pan, tan etc.

There are two main types of shortenings : graphical and lexical.

Graphical abbreviations

Graphical abbreviations are the result of shortening of words and word-groups only in written speech while orally the corresponding full forms are used. They are used for the economy of space and effort in writing.

The oldest group of graphical abbreviations in English is of Latin origin. In Russian this type of abbreviation is not typical. In these abbreviations in the spelling Latin words are shortened, while orally the corresponding English equivalents are pronounced in the full form,e.g. for example (Latin exampli gratia), a.m. - in the morning (ante meridiem), No - number (numero), p.a. - a year (per annum), d - penny (dinarius), lb - pound (libra), i. e. - that is (id est) etc.

Some graphical abbreviations of Latin origin have different English equivalents in different contexts, e.g. p.m. can be pronounced «in the afternoon» (post meridiem) and «after death» (post mortem).

There are also graphical abbreviations of native origin, where in the spelling we have abbreviations of words and word-groups of the corresponding English equivalents in the full form. We have several semantic groups of them :

a) days of the week, e.g. Mon - Monday, Tue - Tuesday etc

b) names of months, e.g. Apr - April, Aug - August etc.

c) names of counties in UK, e.g. Yorks - Yorkshire, Berks -Berkshire etc

d) names of states in USA, e.g. Ala - Alabama, Alas - Alaska etc.

e) names of address, e.g. Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. etc.

f) military ranks, e.g. capt. -captain, col. - colonel, sgt - sergeant etc.

g) scientific degrees, e.g. B.A. - Bachelor of Arts, D.M. - Doctor of Medicine . ( Sometimes in scientific degrees we have abbreviations of Latin origin, e.g., M.B. - Medicinae Baccalaurus).

h) units of time, length, weight, e.g. f. / ft -foot/feet, sec. - second, in. -inch, mg. - milligram etc.

The reading of some graphical abbreviations depends on the context, e.g. «m» can be read as: male, married, masculine, metre, mile, million, minute, «l.p.» can be read as long-playing, low pressure.

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