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SYNONYMS

Лекция

Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

A carefully chosen word from a group of synonyms is a great asset not only on the printed page but also in a speaker's utterance. It was Mark Twain who said that the difference between the right word and just the right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug.

Английский

2014-09-11

48 KB

2 чел.

SYNONYMS

The word synonym is a composite of two Greek words: The prefix “syn” means “together” and “onym” is “name.”

A carefully chosen word from a group of synonyms is a great asset not only on the printed page but also in a speaker's utterance. It was Mark Twain who said that the difference between the right word and just the right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug.

Synonyms are words  of similar or identical meaning.

Synonyms are words different in their outer aspects but identical or similar in their inner aspects,  i.e. meaning. One of the major sources of synonyms is the existence of borrowings.

There are no two absolutely identical words because connotations, ways of usage, frequency of occurrence are different.

In speech synonyms have two major functions : (1) substitutions  (2) specification

  1.  Substitution is necessary for the elimination of tautology.

              e.g. Its effect on history is exaggerated/  They have been overrating it for

                      years.

  1.  Specification (уточнение).  The choice of synonym may be  due to the speaker’s intention to give prominence a) to some specific characteristic or aspect of what is being referred ; b) to add a stylistic coloring or emotive element

  1.  mistake (wrong opinion, idea, act) - blunder (foolish mistake) - lapse (unexpected mistake)  -  slip (small mistake)        

                         thrifty - economical – stingy

In the following extract, in which a young woman rejects a proposal of marriage, the verbs like, admire and love,  all   describe feel-ings of attraction, approbation, fondness:

                   "I have always liked you very much, I admire your talent, but, forgive me, — I could never love you

                         as a wife should love her husband."  (From The Shivering Sands by V. Holt)

 "— Was she a pretty girl?

 — I would certainly have called her attractive." (Ibid.) 

  1.  words naming the same notions but belonging to different dialects or   

      stylistic registers    :  autumn  - fall

                                            hood  -  bonnet

                                            windshield  - windscreen

          die  - expire – depart – pop off – kick off

   Classification of synonyms

  1.  Total  or ABSOLUTE synonyms   

     (have the same meaning and belong to the same style)

Extremely rare : бегемот – гиппопотам; лингвистика – языкознание

 spirants/fricatives; сибилянты/шипящие;

 moan – groan;  homeland – motherland;  hearty  - cordial

After the word is borrowed, it  generally undergoes desynonymization, because absolute synonyms are unnecessary for the language.  

 town (native )  - city (borrowed from French)  

 stool – chair (Fr.)

2.  Ideographic synonyms

They bear the same idea but  are not identical in their referential content.

to ascent – to mount – to climb

to happen – to occur – to befall – to chance

look – appearance – complexion – countenance

3.   Phraseological synonyms

     Phraseological  synonyms are words that are identical in their meaning; they belong to the same stylistic register, but differ in combining with other words in the sentence.

To be late for the class // to miss the train

To visit the museum // to attend alectures

To do the hometask // to make a snowman

4. Dialectical synonyms

  •  lift – elevator
  •  queue – line
  •  autumn – fall 
  •  hood – bonnet
  •  windshield - windscreen

5. Contextual synonyms

Words with different meaning can become synonyms in a certain context.

  •  tasteless – dull
  •  active – curious
  •  curious – responsive
  1.  Stylistic synonyms

     Words with the same core meaning but belonging to different stylistic registers

          To begin – to commence

         To come in – to enter   (Please, enter -  from COMING TO America)

          Sky -  welkin

One of the ways of forming stylistic synonyms is abbreviation.  In most cases the abbreviated form belongs to the colloquial style, and the full form oto the neural style:

         Examination ---- exam

A special group of synonyms bears the name of EUPHEMISMS.

Euphemisms are words which are used to substitute/replace some unpleasant or offensive words:

       Dead  ---  the late, the deceased, the departed

       To sweat -  to perspire


 

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