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The main variants of the english language - Реферат

are typical of this or that variant only in one or some of their meanings. Within the semantic structure of such words one may often find meanings belonging togeneral English, Americanisms and Briticisms, e.g., in the word pavement, the meaning 'street or road covered with stone, asphalt, concrete, etc is an Americanism, the meaning 'paved path for pedestrians at the side of the road' is a Briticism (the corresponding American expression is sidewalk), the other two meanings 'the covering of the floor made of flat blocks of wood, stone, etc.' and 'soil' (geol.) are general English. Very often the meanings that belong to general English are common and neutral, central, direct, while the Americanisms are colloquial, marginal and figurative, e.g. shoulder-general English-'the joint connecting the arm or forelimb with the body', Americanism-'either edge of a road or highway'.
There are also some full Briticisms, Americanisms, etc.-, i.e. lexical units specific to the: BritishTAmerican, etcrvariant-in all Шеігліеаш ings. For example, the words fortnight, pillar-box are full Briticisms, campus, mailboy are full Americanisms, outback, backblocks are full Australianisms.
These may be subdivided into lexical units denoting some realia that have no counterparts elsewhere (such as the Americanism junior high school) and those denoting phenomena observable in other English-speaking countries but expressed there in a different way (e.g. campus is defined in British dictionaries as 'grounds of a school or college'). The number of lexical units denoting some realia having no counterparts in the other English-speaking countries is considerable in each variant. To these we may refer, for example, lexical units pertaining to such spheres of life as flora and fauna (e.g. AuE kangaroo, kaola, dingo, gum-tree), names of schools of learning (e.g. junior high school and senior high school in AE or composite high school in CnE), namesof things of everyday life, often connected with peculiar national conditions, traditipns and customs (e.g. AuE boomerang, AE drug-store, CnE float-house). But it is not the lexical units of this kind that can be considered distinguishing features of this or that variant. As the lexical units are the only means of expressing the notions in question in the English language some of them have become common property of the entire English-speaking community (as, e.g., drug-store, lightning rod, super-market, baby-sitter that extended from AE, or the hockey terms that originated in Canada (body-check, red-line, puck-carrier, etc.); others have even become international (as the former Americanisms motel, lynch, abolitionist, radio, cybernetics, telephone, anesthesia, or the former Australianisms dingo, kangaroo and cockatoo).
The numerous locally-marked slangisms, professionalisms and dialectisms cannot be considered distinguishing features either, since they do not belong to the literary language.
Less obvious, yet not less important, are the regional differences of another kind, the so-called derivational variants of words, having the same root and identical in lexical meaning though differing in derivational affixes (e.g. BE acclimate-AE acclimatize, BE aluminium-AE aluminum).
Sometimes the derivational variation embraces several words of the same word-cluster. Compare, for example, the derivatives of race (division of mankind) in British and American English:
BE racial/racialist a, racialist n, racialism n
AE racist a, racist n, racialism/racism n
When speaking about the territorial lexical divergences it is not sufficient to bring into comparison separate words, it is necessary to compare lexico-semantic groups of words or synonymic sets, to study the relations within these groups and sets, because on the one hand a different number of members in a lexico-semantic group is connected with a different semantic structure of its members, on the other hand even insignificant modifications in the semantic structure of a word bring about tangible reshufflement in the structure of the lexico-semantic group to which the word belpngs.
For example, the British and Australian variants have different sets of words denoting inland areas: only inland is common to both, besides BE has interior, remote, etc., AuE has bush, outback, backblocks, back of beyond, back of Bourke and many others.
Accordingly, the semantic structure of the word bush and its position in the two variants are altogether different: in BE it has one central meaning ('shrub') and several derived ones, some of which are now obsolete, in AuE it has two semantic centres ('wood' and 'inland areas') that embrace five main and four derived meanings.
Lexical peculiarities in different parts of the English-speaking world эге not only those in vocabulary, to be disposed of in an alphabetical list, they also concern the very fashion of using words. For instance, he grammatical valency of the verb to push is much narrower in AuE, han in BE and AE (e.g. in this variant it is not used in the patterns VVen, NVen, NVing, NprpVing. Some patterns of the verb are typical only of one variant (e.g. NVen and NprpVing-of BE, NV and NVing - AE). There are also some features of dissimilarity in the word's lexical valency, e.g. a specifically British peculiarity observed in newspaper style is the ability of the' verb to be used in combination with nouns denoting price or quality (to push up prices, rents, etc.).
As to word-formation in different variants, the word-building means employed are the same and most of them are equally productive. The difference lies only in the varying degree of productivity of some of them in this or that variant. As compared with the British variant, for example, in the American variant the affixes -ette, -ее, super-, as in kitchenette, draftee, super-market, are used more extensively; the same is true of conversion and blending (as in walk-out-'workers' strike' from (to) walk out; (to) major-'specialize in a subject or field of study' from the adjective major; motel from motor + hotel, etc.). In the Australian variant the suffixes-ie/-y and-ее, as well as abbreviations are more productive than in BE.
Thus, the lexical distinctions between different variants of English are intricate and varied, but they do not make a system. For the most part they are partial divergences in the semantic structure and usage of some words.
Some Points of History of the Territorial Variants and Lexical interchahge Between Them
The lexical divergences between different variants of English have been brought about b several historical processes.
As ls weN known the English language was brought to the American continent at the beginning of the