1. Slang forms the biggest one. Slang words, used by most speakers in very informal communication, are highly emotive and expressive and as such, lose their originality rather fast and are replaced by newer formations. This tendency to synonymic expansion results in long chains of synonyms of various degrees of expressiveness, denoting one and the same concept. So, the idea of a "pretty girl" is worded by more than one hundred ways in slang.
In only one novel by S. Lewis there are close to a dozen synonyms used by Babbitt, the central character, in reference to a girl: "cookie", "tomato", "Jane", "sugar", "bird", "cutie", etc.
The substandard status of slang words and phrases, through universal usage, can be raised to the standard colloquial: "pal", "chum," "crony" for "friend"; "heavies", "woolies" for "thick panties"; "booze" for "liquor"; "dough" for "money"; "how's tricks" for "how's life"; "beat it" for "go away" and many many more - are examples of such a transition.
2. Jargonisms stand close to slang, also being substandard, expressiveand emotive, but, unlike slang they are used by limited groups of people,united either professionally (in this case we deal with professionalJargonisms, or professionalisms), or socially (here we deal withjargonisms proper). In distinction from slang, Jargonisms of both typescover a narrow semantic field: in the first case it is that, connected withthe technical side of some profession. So, in oil industry, e.g., for theterminological "driller" (буровщик) there exist "borer", "digger","wrencher", "hogger", "brake weight"; for "pipeliner" (трубопроводчик)- "swabber", "bender", "cat", "old cat", "collar-pecker", "hammerman";for "geologist" - "smeller", "pebble pup", "rock hound", "witcher", etc.From all the examples at least two points are evident: professionalismsare formed according to the existing word-building patterns or presentexisting words in new meanings, and, covering the field of specialprofessional knowledge, which is semantically limited, they offer a vastvariety of synonymic choices for naming one and the same professionalitem.
Jargonisms proper are characterized by similar linguistic features, but differ in function and sphere of application. They originated from the thieves' jargon (l'argo, cant) and served to conceal the actual significance of the utterance from the uninitiated. Their major function thus was to be cryptic, secretive. This is why among them there are cases of conscious deformation of the existing words. The so-called back jargon (or back slang) can serve as an example: in their effort to conceal the machinations of dishonest card-playing, gamblers used numerals in their reversed form: "ano" for "one", "owt" for "two", "erth" for "three".
Anglo-American tradition, starting with E. Partridge, a famous English lexicographer, does not differentiate between slang and Jargonisms regarding these groups as one extensive stratum of words divided into general slang, used by all, or most, speakers and special slang, limited by the professional or social standing of the speaker. This debate appears to concentrate more on terminology than on essence. Indeed slang (general slang) and jargonisms (special slang) have much in common: are emotive, expressive, unstable, fluctuating, tending to expanded synonymity within certain lexico-semantic groups and limited to a highly informal, substandard communication. So it seems appropriate to use the indicated terms as synonyms.
3. Vulgarisms are coarse words with a strong emotive meaning, mostly derogatory, normally avoided in polite conversation. History of vulgarisms reflects the history of social ethics. So, in Shakespearian times people were much more linguistically frank and disphemistic in their communication than in the age of Enligtenment or the Victorian era, famous for its prudish and reserved manners. Nowadays words which were labelled vulgar in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are considered such no more. In fact, at present we are faced with the reverse of the problem: there are practically no words banned from use by the modern permissive society. Such intensifiers as "bloody", "damned", "cursed", "hell of", formerly deleted from literature and not allowed in conversation, are not only welcomed in both written and oral speech, but, due to constant repetition, have lost much of their emotive impact and substandard quality. One of the best-known American editors and critics Maxwell Perkins, working with the serialized 1929 magazine edition of Hemingway's novel A Farewell to Arms found that the publishers deleted close to a dozen words which they considered vulgar for the publication. Preparing the hard-cover edition Perkins allowed half of them back ("son of a bitch", "whore", "whorehound," etc.). Starting from the late fifties no publishing house objected to any coarse or obscene expressions. Consequently, in contemporary West European and American prose all words, formerly considered vulgar for public use (including the four-letter words), are accepted by the existing moral and ethical standards of society and censorship.
4. Dialectal words are normative and devoid of any stylistic meaning in regional dialects, but used outside of them, carry a strong flavour of the locality where they belong. In Great Britain four major dialects are distinguished: Lowland Scotch, Northern, Midland (Central) and Southern. In the USA three major dialectal varieties are distinguished: New England, Southern and Midwestern (Central, Midland). These classifications do not include many minor local variations Dialects markedly differ on the phonemic level: one and the same phoneme is differently pronounced in each of them. They differ also on the lexical level, having their own names for locally existing phenomena and also supplying locally circulating synonyms for the words, accepted by the language in general. Some of them have entered the general vocabulary and lost their dialectal status ("lad", "pet", "squash", "plaid").
Each of the above-mentioned four groups justifies its label of special colloquial words as each one, due to varying reasons, has application limited to a certain group of people or to certain communicative situations.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR SELF-CONTROL
1. What can you say about the meaning of a word and its relation to the concept of an object (entity)?
2 What types of lexical meaning do you know and what stipulates their existence and differentiation?
3 What connotational meanings do you know? Dwell on each of them, providing your own examples.
4. What is the role of the context in meaning actualization?
5. What registers of communication are reflected in the stylistic-differentiation of the vocabulary?
6. Speak about general literary words illustrating your elaboration with examples from nineteenth- and
7. What are the main subgroups of special literary words?
8 What do you know of terms, their structure, meaning, functions?
9. What are the fields of application of archaic words and forms?
10. Can you recognize general colloquial words in a literary text? Where do they mainly occur?
11. What are the main characteristics of slang?
12. What do you know of professional and social jargonisms?
13. What connects the stock of vulgarisms and social history?
14. What is the place and the role of dialectal words in the national language? in the literary text?
15. To provide answers to the above questions find words belonging to different stylistic groups and
in the dictionary, specifying its stylistic mark ("label");
in your reading material, specifying the type of discourse, where you found it -authorial speech (narration description, philosophising) or dialogue.
I. State the type and function of literary words in the following examples:
1. "I must decline to pursue this painful discussion. It is not pleasant to my feelings; it is repugnant to my feelings." (D.)
2. "I am not in favour of this modern mania for turning bad people into good people at a moment's notice. As a man sows so let him reap." (O.W.)
3. Isolde the Slender had suitors in plenty to do her lightest hest. Feats of arms were done daily for her sake. To win her love suitors were willing to vow themselves to perdition. But Isolde the Slender was heedless of the court thus paid to her. (L.)
4. "He of the iron garment," said Daigety, entering, "is bounden unto you, MacEagh, and this noble lord shall be bounden also." (W.Sc.)
5. If manners maketh man, then manner and grooming maketh poodle. (J. St.)
6. "Thou art the Man," cried Jabes, after a solemn pause, leaning over his cushion. "Seventy times didst thou gapingly contort thy visage - seventy times seven did I take council with my soul - Lo! this is human weakness: this also may be absolved. The first of the seventy first is come. Brethren - execute upon him the judgement written. Such honour have all His saints." (E. Br.)