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Affix word-formation.

Derived nouns:

-derived nouns with agnative meaning.



w-f model

meaning and semantic classes

the usage

historic appearance and evolution
















the most productive. It has almost absolutely productivity.

The synonym suf -er, but less productive.

Is not very productive because the semantic class of V stems capable to join this suf is not numerous: they are the Vs with ‘to hang over’, ‘entrust’ meaning


syn with ist in the meaning of a person but is less productivity

it is an homonym of -ite1 and productive

syn with -er that

is why has the less productivity.












Adj+man> N


-there are some nouns which means belonging to the place :Londoner, Englander.

-inhabitant of some area :foreigner, Britisher.

-Adj. means color or special indication. Derivatives have the meaning of quality or indication: greener, fresher ‘a student of the first year’.

-a person of an age: fifteeners, forty niner.

-value of money: fiver, 5$, 5 pounds; tenner 10$, 10p.

Agnetive meaning:

-profession activity of a person: sewer, singer, learner.

-a person acting in such way at that moment: singer, speaker, learner.

-a person who has the indication and ability to do this action: swimmer.1

Instrumental meaning: denotes instruments, devices, etc: to sow >sower, to atomize > atomizer, to silence >silenser.

-science and technical terms: generator, indicator, radiator.

-instrumental meaning

-has the meaning of object of acting which denoted by the stem. This object can be direct or indirect , it depends on the object which the V stem needs: employee ‘one who is employee’, detainee ‘prisoner’.

The active meaning ‘a person’. There are different nuance of meaning which depends on derivant stem:

-means a person whose occupation marked by the stem: machinist, automobilist, violinist.

-a person occupied in that brunch of activity which the stem denotes: geologist, biologist.

-a follower of some doctrine, theory, idea, view, etc.: Darwinist, Pushcinist.

-a supporter of a political and since tendency: communist, pacifist.

-inhabitant of the area, country, island, town: Sydneyite, suburbanite, cityite;

-a follower of the doctrine, since and political tendency, etc.: Hitlerite, Marxite.

-joins the stems of proper people’s names, who was the first who found out the mineral, chemical or explosive substance, or the place where they were first found or discovered: hauerite ‘after F Von Haure, Australian geologist’, dolomite ‘after the French geologist Dolomier’, yprite ‘from Ypres, a town in N W Belgium’.

-names of chemical or explosive substance where the main indications are denoted by the stem: sepiolite < sepia (L: colour); speularite < specular ‘reflecting’, speculum ‘reflector’.

-denotes a person or a person used some instrument: iceman, logman, panman.

-a person living on the area: Englishman, Walshman.

-a person doing an action: watchman.2

ordinary speech


ordinary speech

different brunches of science and agriculture

science speech

juridical and administrative terms

ordinary speech

ordinary speech

science speech

ordinary speech

OE :



had the meaning ‘a person doing ... what the stem denotes’:

OE cartere-MoE carter, OE utridere-MoE out rider.

ME the meaning become wider: hatter, hunter.

It took the meaning ‘belong to some area’ Londoner.

Goes back to the Roman language. In ME period V+or>N had agnetive and instrumental meaning. In MoE has instrumental meaning in different brunches of since: reactor (1928), compressor (1920), eluminator (1928).

Roman Vs perlocated in English with French juridical and administrative terms named persons: appellee, assignee. Later -ee began joining the German V stems: drawee.

Is taken in English as a word-formative element (F-iste, L-ista, Gr-istes). In MoE me can met not only in prevocated from R but in new-forms.

Greece origin.

In OE period there are a lot of ’-man’ words with and without the interfix ‘-s-‘: carlman, ceap-man >chapman, r des-man > redesman.

MoE leman leman are not used without special aim.

Can produce compounds: -can-opener, ice-breaker;

-giver-up, teen-ager, breakfaster.

Do not produce the N:

-when there is the other word with the same meaning: student instead of steadier (though it has appeared in the language but it is used rather seldom).

-when there is the -er word in the language: betting-man instead of better (one who bets) as there is better in the language (adv. from well and adj. from good).

It is usually joined the V stem ended by -ate (in MoE ended by -t): to collect> collector, to

select > selector. But none was formed on the English basis.

Though the suf -ee is not very productive, some times it maids fresh formations.

It joins the proper names of initiators of some doctrines, tendencies, etc.

To produce the names of sols the suff joins the N stems denotes the names of acids ended by -ous: nitrite < nitrous acid.

As one word there are 65% -man words in English, the words written hyphenate are about 10%; with interfix -s- -22%: salesman3 ; words written distinctly -3%.

It is typical for these words saving the emphasis in first component (the difference between man words and compounds).

1 Very often the -er nouns have all three nuance of meaning: player: 1)actor; 2)one who is playing now; 3) one who has an ability to play.

1 the ant. is the suff ‘woman’: horseman-horsewoman, nobleman-noblewoman; but there are some words with -man which have no a parallel with -woman: postman, seaman. A word chairman can denote a man and a woman. Sometimes it is possible to use -maid instead of woman: milkman-milkmaid, barman-barwoman. But it is more preferable to use the words with -woman as more neutral component. -Maid is usually denotes a young gerl.

2 this class of words is not numerous because of more productive suf -er.

3 interfix -s- :

-a suffix of plural: talesman

-a suffix of genitive case: landsman, kinsman, guardsman.

The term «word»

Московский Педагогический Колледж № 12

Курсовая работа

Тема: ''Способы словообразования

английского языка.

Конверсия ''

Студентки III курса

Отделения начальных классов

с английским языком

Постниковой А.С.

Научный руководитель:

Лакомова Е.В.

Москва 1999 г.


  1. Introduction......................................…........

II. Theoretical part:

1) Affixal word formation........................…


  1. Practical part.....................….......................

  2. Conclusion.................…..............................

  3. Bibliography..........…....................................

  4. Appendix I…………………………………

VI. Appendix II……….………………………..


The theme of my course-paper is ‘Word-formation. Conversion’. At the first part of the work I’ve wrote some lines about the term ‘word’ as the smallest independent unit of speech. Next, there is the definition of the field of word-formation. At the following part you can find some information about the affix word-formation of nouns, verbs and adjectives. The next part named ‘conversion’. Where the terms ‘conversion’ and ‘zero-derivation’ are examined which are the synonyms for some linguists. It is necessary to mention here about productivity and ‘conversion as syntactic process’. Under the headline ‘zero-derivation’ it is possible to read about derivation connection between verbs and nouns (substantives), zero-derivation with loan-words. The next item is zero-derivation as specifically English process.

In the practical part I’ve analysed two courses: Russian by Vereshchagina, Pritykina and foreign one ‘Magic time’.

The term “word”.

The term “word” should be defined. It is taken to denote the smallest independent, indivisible unit of speech, susceptible of being used in isolation. A word may have a heavy stress, thought, some never take one. To preceding the ‘infinitive’ never has a heavy stress, but it is a word as it can be separated from the verbal stem by an adverb (as in to carefully study). A composite may have two heavy stresses so long as it is not analyzable as a syntactic group. There is a marked tendency in English to give prefixes full stress thought they do not exist as independent words. Indivisible composites such as arch-enemy, crypto-communist, unlucky, therefore are morphological units whereas combination, like stone, wall, gold watch, are syntactic groups. As for the criterion of indivisibility, it is said that the article a is a word as IT can interpolate words between article and substantive (a nice man, a very nice man, an exceptionally gifted man). But a as in aglitter can’t be separated from the verb stem with which it forms a group and therefore is not a free morpheme (word). With regard to the criterion of usability, it must not be assumed that all words can be used by themselves, in isolation. It is in the very nature of determiners like the article the to be used in conjunction with the word they determiners.

Definition of the field of word-formation.

Word-formation is that branch of the science of language which studies the patterns on which a language forms new lexical units, i.e. words. Word-formation can only treat of composites which are analyzable both formally and semantically. The study of the simple words, therefore, insofar as it is an , unmotivated sign, has no please in it. It is a lexical matter. A composite rests on a relationship between morphemes though which it is motivated. By this token, do-er, un-do, rain-bow are relevant to word-formation, but do, rain, bow are not.


Conversion is the change in form class of a form without any corresponding change of form. Thus the change whereby the form napalm, which has been used exclusively as a noun, came to be as a verb (They decided to napalm the village) is a case of conversion.

The exact status of conversion within word-formation is unclear. For some scholars (Marchand/8/) conversion is a brunch of derivation, for others (Koziol /Marchand/8/) it is a separate type of word-formation, on a level with derivation and compounding. Whether this distinction has any real effect on the structure of a theory of word-formation is not clear.

Conversion is frequently called zero-derivation, a term which many scholars prefer (Adams, Jespersen, Marchand/1,5,8/). Most writers who use both terms appear to use them as synonyms (although Marchand/8/ is an exception). However, as Lyons/7/ points out, the theoretical implications of the two are rather different. Cruber/2/, for example, argues that to treat ordinary derivation and zero-derivation differently in the grammar is to lose a generalization, since both involve changes of form class, but claims that they can only by treated the same way, if a zero-affix is permitted. Otherwise, he says, derivation can be treated as a rule-governed process, but zero-derivation can’t be; that is, the relation between some napalm and to napalm and other similar pairs must be, considered to be totally coincidental Lyon’s/7/ own view (as noted by Matthews) is that in cases of so-called zero-derivation, an identity operation can be said to have been carried out between the base and the new lexeme. This means that there is a process linking the two lexeme, napalm, lent that this process defines the form of the derived lexeme as being identical to the form of the base. This is also more or less the line taken by Matthews himself, when he speaks of a ‘formation involving zero operation’. The theoretical dubiousness of speaking of zero affixes in language leads Bauer to prefer the theoretical position enshrined in the term ‘conversion’, especially when this can be given a dynamic interpretation, and that term will be used exclusively from now (on in this book). It should, however, be noted that this is an area of dispute in the literature. For a comprehensive review of the literature on conversion and a discussion of the implication of talking in terms of zero-derivation, the reader is referred to Pannanen.


Conversion is an extremely productive way of producing new words in English. There do not appear to be morphological restrictions on the forms can undergo conversion, so that compounds, derivatives, acronyms, blends, clipped forms and simplex words are all acceptable inputs to the conversion process. Similarly, all ford classes seem to be able to undergo conversion, and conversion seems to de able to produce words of almost any form class, particularly the open form classes (noun, verb, adjective, adverb ). This seems to suggest that rather than English having specific rules of conversion (rules allowing the conversion of common nouns into verbs or adjectives into nouns, for example) conversion is a totally free process and any lexeme can undergo conversion into any of the open form classes as the need arises. Certainly, if there are constraints on conversion they have yet to de demonstrated. The only partial restriction that it is award of is that discussed by Marchand. Marchand/8/ points out that derived nouns rarely undergo conversion, and particularly not to verb. This is usually because of blocking. To take one of Marchand’s examples, a derived noun like arrival will not de converted into a verb if that verb means exactly the same as arrive, from which arrival is derived. In cases where blocking is not a relevant concern, even derived nouns can undergo conversion, as is shown by the series a sign > to sign > a signal > to signal and to commit > commission > to commission.

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