Lexical and semantical fields of english.
Words are essential to communication. Everybody learns to speak in isolated words and then we begin to use chains of words and verbs. Students tend to pick up vocabulary first and then a framework in which these words can be used.
At the same time that students learn vocabulary they must learn phonetics and grammar.
Usually students have a problem with the vocabulary when they have to use it in a context and also with words that don’t have the same meaning as in their mother tongue.
For that reason, they must practice to assimilate them.
2.LEXICAL AND SEMANTIC FIELD.
We can identify two groups:
Lexical field: which refers to the formation of words.
Semantic field: which refers to the understanding of words.
To understand this subject, first I am going to explain what BASE and STEM are, within the rules of word-formation.
BASE: is a form to which a rule of word-formation is applied.
STEM: is the part of the word that remaining after every affix has been removed.
The STEM can be understood as the root of the word and the BASE as the original part from which a mixture is made. Once a base has undergone a rule of word-formation, the derived word itself may become the base for another derivation.
The chief processes of English word-formation by which the base may be modified are:
Adding a prefix to the base: happy—unhappy
-Types of prefixes.
Prefixes of degree or size
Prefixes of attitude
Prefixes of time and order
Adding a suffix to the base: happy—–happily
-Types of suffixes.
1. Noun suffixes:
Diminutive or femenine
Other noun suffixes
2. Verb suffixes:
3. Adjective suffixes:
Suffixes added to nouns
Suffixes common in borrowed and neo-classical words
Other adjective suffixes
4. Adverb suffixes:
-ward (s): backwards
3.2. Compound words.
Adding one base to another: tea + pot= teapot.
1. Kinds of composition in the noun:
Subject + verb: playboy
Verb + object: storytelling
Verb + adverbial compounds: sun-bathing
Noun + noun compounds: frogman
Adjectives + noun: blackboard
Bahubrihi compounds: paperback
2. Kinds of composition in the verb:
Verb + adverb: outdo
3. Adjective compounds:
Object + -ing participle: heartbreaking
Verb + adverbial compounds: homemade
Verbless compounds: tax-free
Reduplicatives or repetition compounds: ping-pong
4. SEMANTIC FIELD.
As I have said, the semantic field refers to the understanding of words (homonyms, synonyms and antonyms).
4.1. Homonymy and Polysemy.
Homonymy is when a single word has different meanings not closely related.
– a box for keeping papers in order
– a tool for smoothing surfaces
– a line of persons or things one behind the other
We can find two classes of homonymy:
1. Homophones: are the words that show identity of pronunciation: “no”—“know”
2. Homographs: are the words that have the same spelling: “saw (noun)”—-“saw (verb)”
– Homomorph is the term to refer to those words which share the same morphological form, the same stem. This concept is relevant to grammar: fast (adjective)—fast (adverb).
And, Polysemy is when a word has several different but closely related meanings.
– of a tree
– railway line…
Synonymy is the relationship between words that mean exactly the same. It is a semantic relation.
Antonymy is when a word is opposite in meaning to another. For example: better—worst
a) Complementaries: words that are incompatibles and there is no possibility of a third lying between them: true—false
b) Multiple Incompatibles: Days, seasons, months… “It’s Monday” excludes all other the days.
c) Gradable Antonyms: There are intermediate terms between them: hot/ warm/ cool/ cold.
d) Converses: The words are reciprocal: husband—wife // father—son.
5. FALSE FRIENDS.
We call false friend to a word that is similar to another in our language.
For instance, Spanish students must pay attention to Latin fields because they may change:
“Success”—éxito, not “suceso”
“Contamination”—-infección, not “contaminación”—-“pollution”
6. TEACHING VOCABULARY.
To learn vocabulary words, the teacher should pronounce the new item, in association to the orthographic realization of the same and also to teach it meaning.
The teacher also has to use the new word on a context to help students assimilate this word with its meaning.
After this, student must try to use the new item, inserting it in a context they think suitable to use it.
Finally, the student should use this word as many time as possible to fix it in their minds.
There are some techniques in vocabulary teaching that may help 220.127.116.11students. These are the followings:
a) The use of visuals
Flashcards; blackboard; transparencies; “clock board”; labels; magazine pictures; props; colour coding; classroom objects; posters…
b) The use of gestures
Students can gesture when describing adjectives as tall,…
c) The use of known vocabulary
The teacher can use synonyms and antonyms; categories; definitions… to explain the new meanings.
There are many different methods to teach vocabulary. These methods depend on the level of the students and on the types of items we want to teach them.
However, as the students advance in their learning process, their needs become more and more important. For that reason, we must study which are the most common fields that they would like to deal with in the class.