Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

(1) Levels of Language Representation and Their Basic Units.

(Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Lexicology, Semantics).

(1.1) Language

(1.1.1) Language Definition

- language = a basic means of human communication, a system of conventional signals used for communication by a whole community

- the conventions incl. a system of significant sound units (= phonemes), the inflection, the arrangement of "words", and the association of meaning with words

- an utterance = an act of speech, a single concrete manifestation of the system at work

- language as a code, i.e. a set of means obligatory for a particular community

- a product of society, cannot be developed outside society

- Edward Sapir: Language. An Introduction to the Study of Speech.

"Language is a purely human and non-instinctive means of communication which serves to express thoughts, feelings and desires by the means of a certain system of self-consciously created symbols which are primarily acoustic and produced by speech organs."

(1.1.2) Language Study

- diachrony = a historical evolution of a system of language, linguistic change over a period of time (classical philology)

- synchrony = the system as a functioning totality, a signifying structure, i.e. the state of a language at any moment (modern linguistics)

- Ferdinand de Saussure: "langue" = the whole set of linguistic habits which allow an individual to understand and to be understood x "parole" = the individual speech act itself

- Noam Chomsky: "competence" (i.e. langue) = what the speaker of a language knows implicitly x "performance" (i.e. parole) = what the speaker does

- F. de Saussure: the linguistic sign = the union btw a "signifié" (i.e. a signifier, an acoustic image) and a "signifiant" (i.e. the signified, a concept or meaning); ignores the referent (extralinguistic object)

(1.2) Levels of Language Representation

(1.2.1) Primary Disciplines

- phonetics and phonology, conc. with the sound: the lowest level; phonology established as a discipline in the 20th c. by the Prague Linguistic Circle

- morphology and syntax, or morpho-syntax, conc. with the grammar: syntax sometimes as an upper form of morphology, in the analytical non-inflectional E very closely connected

- lexicology, conc. with the vocabulary

+ semantics, conc. with the meaning: present in all the levels, impossible to isolate it

(1.2.2) Secondary Disciplines

- pragmatics: the infl. of situation on the interpretation of utterances (i.e. the organisation of a text according to the communicative intention of a speaker)

- stylistics: the variations in different situations and different styles of speech

- dialectology: the variations in the same language in different region; often as a branch of sociolinguistics

- sociolinguistics: the interaction btw language and society

- psycholinguistics: the behaviour of human beings in their production and perception of language; from the half of the 20th c.

- etymology

+ language acquisition: children’s acquisition of their 1st language

+ applied linguistics: the acquisition of a 2nd language

(1.3) Phonetics and Phonology

- both describe the sounds + the combinatory possibilities of the sounds and the prosody of the language (how pitch, loudness and length work to produce accent, rhythm, and intonation)

(1.3.1) Phonetics

- describes the speech sounds that occur in the languages of the world

- conc. with the concrete characteristics of the sounds (articulatory, acoustic, auditory)

- determines the nature of the sounds, their patterns, and aspects of the sounds necessary for conveying the meaning

- phone = the basic unit of phonetics, the smallest identifiable unit found in a stream of speech that is able to be transcribed with an IPA symbol, a concrete realisation of a phoneme

- allophone = a phonetic variant of a phoneme in a particular language, the basis for narrow phonetic transcription []

(1.3.2) Phonology

- describes the systems and patterns of sounds in a language

- conc. with the function of the sounds in a systemic way in a particular language

- determines its distinctive sounds, establishes a set of rules to describe the changes in these sounds in different relationships with other sounds

- the phonology of a language = the set of rules describing the changes in the underlying sounds (or, phonemes) occurring in speech

- phonemics = the traditional approach to phonology, analyses the stream of speech into a sequence of contrastive segments ("contrastive" = "contrasting with other segments which might change the meaning")

- phoneme = the basic unit of phonology, an abstract unit, not a single sound but a group of sounds used to differentiate words

- the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language, defined according to its allophones and environments (American structuralist tradition) or as a set of distinctive features (generative tradition)

- the basis for writing down a language to record the variations btw sounds used to differentiate meaning = broad phonemic transcription //

- a word can be realised by a single phoneme (e.g. I, oh, ah)

(1.4) Morphology

- a part of grammar

- morphology = conc. with the word form, inner structure of the word and word formation

- syntax = conc. with the sentence

- x a close connection btw morphology and syntax: morphological forms one of the means of expressing syntactic relations

(1.4.1) Units of Morphology

- word = a unit of the morphological level

- word as a means of naming: a unit of the lexical level

- word as a part of a sentence: a unit of the syntactic level

- x a word form = a specifically morphological unit

- morpheme (a part of langue) = the basic unit of morphology

- morph (a part of parole) = a concrete realisation of a morpheme in case of an only one possibility of realisation

- allomorph (a part of parole) = a concrete realisation of a morpheme in case of more possibilities of realisation

- monomorphematic words = realised by a single morpheme (door, look, fault)

- x polymorphematic words

(1.4.2) Morphemes

- free morphemes

(a) functional: synsemantic words = their grammatical meaning realised only within the context (AUX do, proform you)

(b) lexical: autosemantic words (look)

- bound morphemes: cannot exist alone, bound with free lexical morphemes, realised by affixes, i.e. prefixes and suffixes

(a) derivational: create a new word fitting into a new word category, contribute to the modification of meaning (happy > happi|ness)

(b) inflectional: create a new form within the same paradigm (dog > dog|s)

- morphological homonymy = the same morpheme used in different functions (-s > possessive, plural, 3rd person sg simple present tense)

- morphological synonymy = the same function expressed by different allomorphs (plural > -s, -es, -en, 0, alternation of a stem vowel)

(1.5) Syntax

 - a part of grammar

- conc. with the word categories and the set of rules governing the structure of phrases, clauses and sentences in terms of order and constituency

- units of syntax: sentence, phrase, syntagma, sentence member

(1.5.1) Sentence

- sentence = a formation ordered according to the particular language specific rules, an abstract language unit (a part of langue)

- utterance = a communicative discourse unit, a concrete realisation of a particular sentence type (a part of parole)

- sentence structure

(a) simple: with a single predication

(b) non-simple = composite: with more predications

(a') compound sentence (souv. souřadné): paratactic relation, i.e. relation of coordination

(b') complex sentence (souv. podřadné): hypotactic relation, i.e. relation of subordination

(c') multiple sentence (souv. složené)

- clause = a part of a composite sentence

- main, superordinate, clause

- dependent, subordinate, clause

(1.5.2) Phrase

- a couple with a relation based on domination x but: one member does not need to govern the other

- phrasal grammar founded by N. Chomsky

- immediate constituent analysis (Structuralism): sentence made up by NP – MOD/AUX (NEG) – VP, other phrases of lower rank AJP, AdvP, PP

(1.5.3) Syntagma

- a couple within a sentence with a relation based on domination, one clausal constituent governs the other

(1.5.4) Sentence Member (= Sentence Element)

- sentence function

- obligatory sentence members: subject => no subjectless clauses in E (unlike in CZ)

- non-obligatory (= facultative) sentence elements: all the others

(1.6) Lexicology

- conc. with the vocabulary (= lexis)

- describes the vocabulary and establ. a system

- lexicology: an open system with a number of subsystems

- grammar and pronunciation: closed systems

(1.6.1) Concepts of Lexicology

- vocabulary always refers to sth existing

- the extralinguistic reality = things, people or ideas, its main feature is vagueness

- reality processed in its essential features by human consciousness as a concept

- concept (= denotation) = a unit of thinking, an abstraction forming the nucleus of the lexical meaning (= the cognitive meaning)

- concept (pojem): a term from psychology x meaning (význam): a linguistic term

- notion (představa): a term from psychology, more subjective than concept (a child's notion of water is different from a scientist's notion x their concept basically the same)

- NO direct relationship btw the word and the item of extralinguistic reality, btw the form and its content (= meaning): words do not name (nepojmenovávají) or signify (neznamenají) objects, they only refer to them

- the naming of an object based on convention = arbitrary naming

(1.6.2) Units of Lexicology

- lexeme = a lexical unit or lexical item

(a) the word realised by several morphological words (do, does, did, done, doing as five "versions" of the one verb do)

(b) the word composite in structure (throw out, stamp collector, take part), word-formation clusters and phrasal clusters as know a thing or two, be in the know, etc.

- word: as an element of speech language-specific (Latin amaverunt = two or three words in E they loved, they have loved)

(a) phonological words

(b) orthographic words (before the rules of spelling became stabilised, merry was also spelled myry, myrie, murie, mery)

(a) full word = content word

(b) grammatical (= function, structure, form) word: AUX, COP, CONJ, DET, PRON, particle

(1.7) Semantics

- conc. with the meaning of words, the relationship btw their meanings and the way such meanings are combined to give the meaning of sentences

(1.7.1) Disciplines Analysing the Meaning

- semantics: more or less synonymous with semasiology

- semasiology: proceeds from word to concept (dictionaries)

- onomasiology: proceeds from concept to word (thesauruses)

- semiotics: studies and analyses signs (= sth that stand for sth else) and symbols (= partly arbitrary signs accepted by society; cross = suffering and Christianity) as part of communication

(1.7.2) Components of Meaning

- denotation (= cognitive meaning): a finite set of discrete features of meaning

- connotation

(a) expressivity: an affective element

(b) stylistic value: neutral, poetic, formal, informal, slang, taboo, technical

(c) associations: reminders of other meaning

- collocability: semantic and syntactic cohesiveness, the way the words are linked

- inner form: the word-structure

- integration in the lexical subsystem

(1.7.3) Analysis into Semantic Elements

(a) encyclopaedic approach: distinguishes btw the centre and the periphery only (E – E dictionary)

(b) semantic analysis: decomposition into semantic elements > s. components > semantic features > classification semes etc. (concrete or abstract? if concrete, individual or mass? if individual, animate or inanimate? etc.)

- structural semantics: conc. with the language as a structure to be analysed => conc. with the semantic analysis

- sememe: a semantic unit; a set of meanings of a polysemantic word or a single meaning with a monosemantic word

- seme: the smallest basic semantic unit; an abstraction of semantic components constituting the meaning


Cruttenden, Alan, ed. Gimson's Pronunciation of English. London: Edward Arnold, 1998.

Dušková, Libuše, et al. Mluvnice současné angličtiny na pozadí češtiny. Praha: Academia, 2003.

Ladefoged, Peter. A Course in Phonetics. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993.

Peprník, Jaroslav. English Lexicology. Olomouc: FF UP, 2003.

Svoboda, Aleš, and Mária Opělová Károlyová. A Brief Survey of the English Morphology. Ostrava: Ostravská univerzita, 1993.

Other Sources

Grygová, Bronislava. Přednášky: Úvod do studia jazyka. LS 2002/03.

Peprník, Jaroslav. Přednášky: Lexikologie 1. ZS 2004/05.

Šimáčková, Šárka. Přednášky a semináře: Fonetika. ZS 2002/03.

Veselovská, Ludmila. Přednášky a semináře: Morfologie 2. ZS 2003/04.

Veselovská, Ludmila. Přednášky a semináře: Syntax 1 a 2. ZS a LS 2003/04.


© 2008-2015 Všechna práva vyhrazena.