Lexicology


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lexicology

 

the division of linguistics in which the vocabulary of a language is studied.

Semantics (semasiology), the study of word formation, etymology, and stylistics are closely linked with lexicology. One of the central problems of lexicology is that of the separability of a word as an independent unit of the vocabulary of a language. Contemporary lexicology, like grammar, is guided by the concept of correlating (interconnected) categories; these correlating lexicological, as well as semantic, categories include monosemy and polysemy, synonymy, and antonymy, and free and bound meanings of words. In studying vocabulary as a system, the lexicologist is looking at the interaction between meanings of words and concepts; concepts are mostly international, whereas the meanings of words are national.

Lexicology is involved with the study of the regularities in the functioning and development of the vocabulary of a language. It elaborates principles for stylistic classification of words; norms of literary word usage in its correlation with popular speech; problems regarding professional words, dialectal words, archaisms, and neologisms; and normalizations of lexicalized word groups (idiomatics and phraseology). The study of sociopolitical and scientific and technical terminology constitutes a special division of lexicology. Lexicology is closely linked with lexicography.

REFERENCES

Smirnitskii, A. I. “K voprosu o slove.” Tr. In-ta iazykoznaniia, 1954, vol. 4.
Akhmanova, O. S. Ocherki po obshchei i russkoi leksikologii. Moscow, 1957.
Voprosy teorii iazyka v sovremennoi zarubezhnoi lingvistike. Moscow, 1961.
Shmelev, D. N. Problemy semanticheskogo analiza leksiki. Moscow, 1973.
Ullmann, S. The Principles of Semantics, 2nd ed. Glasgow, 1959.
Hallig, R., and W. von Wartburg. Begriffssystem als Grundlage für die Lexikographie, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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