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НазваThe Meating of English Words(реферат)
РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
ФорматWord Doc
Тип документуРеферат
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The meaning 

of english words


What Is "Meaning"?									

Polysemy. Semantic Structure of the Word						

Types of Semantic Components								

Meaning and Context									

What Is "Meaning"?

The linguistic science at present is not able to put forward a
definition of meaning which is conclusive. However, there are certain
facts of which we can be reasonably sure, and one of them is that the
very function of the word as a unit of communication is made possible by
its possessing a meaning. Therefore, among the word's various
characteristics, meaning is certainly the most important.      

Generally speaking, meaning can be more or less described as a component
of the word through which a concept (mental phenomena) is communicated.
Meaning endows the word with the ability of denoting real objects,
qualities, actions and abstract notions. The relationships between
“referent” (object, etc. denoted by the word), “concept” and “word” are
traditionally represented by the following triangle:

Thought or Reference

(Concept = mental phenomena)

Symbol					Referent 

(word) 					(object denoted by the word)

By the "symbol" here is meant the word; “thought” or “reference” is
concept. The dotted line suggests that there is no immediate relation
between “word” and “referent”: it is established only through the

On the other hand, there is a hypothesis that concepts can only find
their realization through words. It seems that thought is dormant till
the word wakens it up. It is only when we hear a spoken word or read a
printed word that the corresponding concept springs into mind. The
mechanism by which concepts (i. e. mental phenomena) are converted into
words (i. e. linguistic phenomena) and the reverse process by which a
heard or a printed word is converted into a kind of mental picture are
not yet understood or described. 

The branch of linguistics which specialises in the study of meaning is
called semantics. As with many terms, the term "semantics" is ambiguous
for it can stand, as well, for the expressive aspect of language in
general and for the meaning of one particular word in all its varied
aspects and nuances (i. e. the semantics of a word = the meaning(s) of a


Semantic Structure of the Word

It is generally known that most words convey several concepts and thus
possess the corresponding number of meanings. A word having several
meanings is called polysemantic, and the ability of words to have more
than one meaning is described by the term polysemy.

Polysemy is certainly not an anomaly. Most English words are
polysemantic. It should be noted that the wealth of expressive resources
of a language largely depends on the degree to which polysemy has
developed in the language. Sometimes people who are not very well
informed in linguistic matters claim that a language is lacking in words
if the need arises for the same word to be applied to several different
phenomena. In actual fact, it is exactly the opposite: if each word is
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