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Diachrony of Semantic Conversives in English - Дипломна робота

intermediate meanings. Thus, the agent-noun charger is no longer used for 'load-bearer, beast of burden,' but only in the special sense 'war-horse'; the meaning charge 'make a swift attack (on)' is a back-formation from charger 'war-horse.' The word board had in Old English apparently the same central meaning as today, 'flat piece of wood,' and, in addition to this, several specialized meanings. One of these,'shield,' has died out entirely. Another, 'side of a ship,' has led to some isolated forms, such as on board, aboard, to board (a ship), and these have been extended to use in connection with other vehicles, such as railway cars. A third marginal meaning, 'table,' survives, again, in elevated turns of speech, such as festive board. Before its general obsolescence, however, board 'table' underwent a further transference to 'regular meals,' which is still current, as in bed and board, board and lodging, to board (at a boarding-house), and so on. This use of board is so widely isolated today from board ' plank' that we should perhaps speak of the two as homonymous words.
In Old Germanic the adjective *['hajlaz] meant 'unharmed, well, prosperous,' as heil still does in German; this meaning remains in our verb to heal. In modern English we have only a transferred meaning in whole. Derived from *['hajlaz] there was another adjective *['hajlagaz] which meant 'conducive to welfare, health, or prosperity.' This word seems to have been used in a religious or superstitious sense. It occurs in a Gothic inscription in runes, but as Bishop Ulfila did not use it in his Bible, we may suspect that it had heathen associations. In the other Germanic languages it appears, from the beginning of our records, only as an equivalent of Latin sanctus 'holy.' Thus, the semantic connection between whole and holy has been completely wiped out in English; even in German heil 'unharmed, prosperous' and heilig 'holy' lie on the border-line between distant semantic connection and mere homonymy of roots.
The Old English adjective heard 'hard' underlay two adverbs, hearde and heardlice; the former survives in its old relation, as hard, but the latter, hardly, has been isolated in the remotely transferred meaning of 'barely, scarcely,' through loss of intermediate meanings such as 'only with difficulty.'
Isolation may be furthered by the obsolescence of some construction. We find it hard to connect the meaning of understand with the meanings of under and stand, not only because the meaning ' stand close to' or ' stand among,' which must have been central at the time the compound was formed, has been obsolete since prehistoric time, but also because the construction of the com-pound, preposition plus verb, with stress on the latter, has died out except for traditional forms, which survive as irregularities, such as undertake, undergo, underlie, overthrow, overcome, overtake, forgive, forget, forbid. The words straw (Old English streaw) and to strew (Old English strewian) were in prehistoric time morphologically connected; the Primitive Germanic types are *['strawwan] 'a strewing, that strewn,' and *['strawjo:] 'I strew.' At that time strawberry (Old English streaw-berige) 'strewn-berry' must have described the strawberry-plant as it lies along the ground; as straw became specialized to 'dried stalk, dried stalks,' and the morphologic connection with strew disappeared, the prior member of strawberry was isolated, with a deviant meaning, as a homonym of straw.
Phonetic change may prompt or aid isolation. A clear case of this is ready, which has diverged too far from ride and road; other examples are holiday and holy, sorry and sore, dear and dearth, and especially, with old umlaut - whole and heal, dole and deal. The word lord (Old English hlaford) was at the time of its formation 'loaf-ward,' doubtless in a sense like 'bread-giver'; lady (Old English hlafdige) seems to have been 'bread-shaper.' The word disease was formerly 'lack of ease, un-ease'; in the present specialized meaning 'sickness' it is all the better isolated from dis- and ease through the deviant form of the prefix, with [z] for [s] after unstressed vowel.
Another contributory factor is the intrusion of analogic new-formations. Usually these overrun the central meaning and leave only some marginal meanings to the old form. Thus, sloth 'laziness' was originally the quality-noun of slow, just as truth is still that of true, but the decline of the -th derivation of quality-nouns and the rise of slowness, formed by the now regular -ness derivation, has isolated sloth. An Old English compound *hus-wif 'housewife' through various phonetic changes reached a form which survives today only in a transferred meaning as hussy ['hozij] 'rude, pert woman.' In the central meaning it was replaced by an analogic new composition of hus and wif. This, in its turn, through phonetic change reached a form hussif ['hozef] which survives, though now obsolescent, in the transferred meaning 'sewing-bag,' but has been crowded out, in the central meaning, by a still newer compounding, housewife ['haws-wajf]. In medieval German, some adjectives with an umlaut vowel had derivative adverbs without umlaut: schoene ['??:ne] 'beautiful,' but schone ['?o:ne] 'beautifully'; feste 'firm' but faste 'firmly.' In the modern period, these adverbs have been crowded out by regularly formed adverbs, homonymous with the adjective: today schon ['??:n] is both 'beautiful' and, as an adverb, 'beautifully,' and fest both 'firm, vigorous' and 'firmly, vigorously,' but the old adverbs have survived in remotely marginal uses, schon 'already' and 'never fear,' and fast 'almost.'
Finally, we may be able to recognize a change in the practical world as a factor in isolation. Thus, the isolation of German Wand 'wall' from winden 'to wind' is due to the disuse of wattled walls. Latin penna 'feather' ( > Old French penne) was borrowed in Dutch and in English as a designation of the pen for writing. In French plume [plym] and German Feder ['fe:der], the vernacular word for 'feather' is used also for 'pen.' The disuse of the goose-quill pen has isolated these meanings.
2.3.2. Special Factors.
Paul's explanation of semantic change does not account for the rise of marginal meanings and for the obsolescence of forms in a part of their semantic domain. The same is true of so-called psychological explanations, such as Wundt's, which merely paraphrase the outcome of the change. Wundt defines the central meaning as the dominant element of meaning, and shows how the dominant element may shift when a form occurs in new typical contexts [16, p. 435]. Thus, when meat had been heard predominantly in situations where flesh-food was concerned, the dominant element became for more and more speakers, not 'food' but 'flesh-food.' This statement leaves