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Lexicology is the branch of
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
that analyzes the
lexicon A lexicon is the of a or branch of (such as or ). In , a lexicon is a language's inventory of s. The word ''lexicon'' derives from word (), neuter of () meaning 'of or for words'. Linguistic theories generally regard human languages as c ...

lexicon
of a specific
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
. A word is the smallest meaningful unit of a
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
that can stand on its own, and is made up of small components called
morphemes A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical itemIn lexicography, a lexical item (or lexical unit / LU, lexical entry) is a single word, a part of a word, or a chain of words ( catena) that forms the basic elements of a language's lexicon A l ...
and even smaller elements known as
phonemes In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any partic ...
, or distinguishing sounds. Lexicology examines every feature of a word – including
formation Formation may refer to: Linguistics * Back-formation, the process of creating a new lexeme by removing or affixes * Word formation, the creation of a new word by adding affixes Mathematics and science * Cave formation or speleothem, a secondary m ...
,
spelling Spelling is a set of conventions that regulate the way of using s (writing system) to represent a language in its . In other words, spelling is the rendering of speech sound (phoneme) into writing (grapheme). Spelling is one of the elements of , ...

spelling
,
origin Origin(s) or The Origin may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Comics and manga * , a Wolverine comic book mini-series published by Marvel Comics in 2002 * , a 1999 ''Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' comic book series * , a major ''Judge Dred ...
,
usage The usage of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to in ...
, and
definition A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical ...
. Lexicology also considers the relationships that exist between words. In linguistics, the
lexicon A lexicon is the of a or branch of (such as or ). In , a lexicon is a language's inventory of s. The word ''lexicon'' derives from word (), neuter of () meaning 'of or for words'. Linguistic theories generally regard human languages as c ...

lexicon
of a language is composed of
lexemes A lexeme () is a unit of lexical semantics, lexical meaning that underlies a set of words that are related through inflection. It is a basic abstract unit of meaning, a emic unit, unit of Morphology (linguistics), morphological Semantic analysis ( ...
, which are abstract units of meaning that correspond to a set of related forms of a word. Lexicology looks at how words can be broken down as well as identifies common patterns they follow. Lexicology is associated with
lexicography Lexicography is the study of lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a set of familiar words within a person's language. A vocabulary, usually developed with age, serves as a useful a ...

lexicography
, which is the practice of compiling
dictionaries A dictionary is a listing of lexeme A lexeme () is a unit of lexical meaning that underlies a set of words that are related through inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refe ...

dictionaries
.


Etymology

The term ''lexicology'' derives from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
word λεξικόν ''lexicon'' (neuter of λεξικός ''lexikos'', "of or for words", from λέξις ''lexis'', "speech" or "word") and -λογία ''-logia'', "the study of" (a
suffix In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
derived from λόγος ''
logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...

logos
'', amongst others meaning "learning, reasoning, explanation, subject-matter"). Etymology as a science is actually a focus of lexicology. Since lexicology studies the meaning of words and their semantic relations, it often explores the history and development of a word. Etymologists analyze related languages using the
comparative method In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
, which is a set of techniques that allow linguists to recover the ancestral phonological, morphological, syntactic, etc., components of modern languages by comparing their
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
material. This means many word roots from different branches of the Indo-European
language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions b ...
can be traced back to single words from the
Proto-Indo-European language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
. The
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
, for instance, contains more borrowed words (or loan words) in its
vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed la ...
than native words. Examples include ''parkour'' from
French
French
, ''karaoke'' from
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
, ''coconut'' from
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
, ''mango'' from
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
, etc. A lot of music terminology, like ''piano'', ''solo'', and ''opera'', is borrowed from
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
. These words can be further classified according to the linguistic element that is borrowed: phonemes, morphemes, and semantics.


Approach

General lexicology is the broad study of words regardless of a language's specific properties. It is concerned with linguistic features that are common among all languages, such as phonemes and morphemes. Special lexicology, on the other hand, looks at what a particular language contributes to its vocabulary, such as grammars. Altogether lexicological studies can be approached two ways: # Diachronic or historical lexicology is devoted to the evolution of words and word-formation over time. It investigates the origins of a word and the ways in which its structure, meaning, and usage have since changed. # Synchronic or descriptive lexicology examines the words of a language within a certain time frame. This could be a period during the language's early stages of development, its current state, or any given interval in between. These complementary perspectives were proposed by
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...
linguist
Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 – 22 February 1913) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_typ ...

Ferdinand de Saussure
. Lexicology can have both comparative and contrastive methodologies. Comparative lexicology searches for similar features that are shared among two or more languages. Contrastive lexicology identifies the linguistic characteristics which distinguish between related and unrelated languages.


Semantics

The subfield of semantics that pertains especially to lexicological work is called
lexical semantics Lexical semantics (also known as lexicosemantics), as a subfield of linguistics, linguistic semantics, is the study of word meanings.Pustejovsky, J. (2005) Lexical Semantics: Overview' in Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, second edition, V ...
. In brief, lexical semantics contemplates the significance of words and their meanings through several lenses, including
synonymy A synonym is a word, morpheme, or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, morpheme, or phrase in a given language. For example, in the English language, the words ''begin'', ''start'', ''commence'', and ''initiate'' are all ...
,
antonymy In lexical semantics, opposites are words lying in an inherently incompatible binary relationship. For example, something that is ''long'' entails that it is not ''short''. It is referred to as a 'binary' relationship because there are two members ...
,
hyponymy In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
, and
polysemy Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple related meanings. Polysemy is thus distinct from homonymy—or homophone, homophony—which is an accidental similarity betwee ...
, among others. Semantic analysis of lexical material may involve both the contextualization of the word(s) and
syntactic ambiguity Syntactic ambiguity, also called structural ambiguity, amphiboly or amphibology, is a situation where a sentence may be interpreted in more than one way due to ambiguous sentence structure. Syntactic ambiguity arises not from the range of meani ...
.
Semasiology Semasiology (from el, links=no, σημασία, ', "signification") is a discipline of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods f ...
and
onomasiology Onomasiology (from el, ὀνομάζω ''onomāzο'' 'to name', which in turn is from ὄνομα ''onoma'' 'name') is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communi ...
are relevant linguistic disciplines associated with lexical semantics. A word can have two kinds of meaning: grammatical and lexical. Grammatical meaning refers to a word's function in a language, such as tense or
plurality Plurality may refer to: Voting * Plurality (voting), the most votes for any choice in an election, but not necessarily a majority ** Plurality voting, system in which each voter votes for one candidate and the candidate with a plurality is elected ...

plurality
, which can be deduced from
affixes In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
. Lexical meaning is not limited to a single form of a word, but rather what the word denotes as a base word. For example, the
verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being (''be'', ''exist'', ''stand''). In the usual description of E ...
''to walk'' can become ''walks'', ''walked'', and ''walking –'' each word has a different grammatical meaning, but the same lexical meaning ("to move one's feet at a regular pace").


Phraseology

Another focus of lexicology is
phraseology In linguistics, phraseology is the study of set or fixed expressions, such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and other types of multi-word lexical units (often collectively referred to as ''phrasemes''), in which the component parts of the expression take ...
, which studies multi-word expressions, or
idioms An idiom is a phrase In everyday speech, a phrase is any group of words, often carrying a special idiomatic meaning; in this sense it is synonymous with expression. In Linguistics#Analysis, linguistic analysis, a phrase is a group of words (or pos ...
, like 'raining cats and dogs.' The meaning of the phrase as a whole has a different meaning than each word does on its own and is often unpredictable when considering its components individually. Phraseology examines how and why such meanings exist, and analyzes the laws that govern these word combinations. Idioms and other phraseological units can be classified according to content and/ or meaning. They are difficult to translate word-for-word from one language to another.


Lexicography


Lexicologists

* (October 22, 1898 - January 25, 1990): Spanish poet, literary critic, and
philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and writing, written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics (with especially strong ties to etymology). Philology is more commonly d ...
*
Roland Barthes Roland Gérard Barthes (; ; 12 November 1915 – 26 March 1980) was a French literary theorist Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an a ...

Roland Barthes
(November 12, 1915 - March 25, 1980): French writer, critic, and
semiotician Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes ( semiosis), which are any activity, conduct, or process that involves signs, where a sign is defined as anything that communicates a meaning that is not the sign itself to t ...

semiotician
*
Ghil'ad Zuckermann Ghil'ad Zuckermann ( he, גלעד צוקרמן, ; ) is an Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is a country in W ...
(born June 1, 1971): Israeli linguist and language revivalist


See also

*
Lexicography Lexicography is the study of lexicon A lexicon is the of a or branch of (such as or ). In , a lexicon is a language's inventory of s. The word ''lexicon'' derives from word (), neuter of () meaning 'of or for words'. Linguistic th ...

Lexicography
*
Lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, pra ...

Lexicon
*
Lexeme A lexeme () is a unit of lexical meaning that underlies a set of words that are related through inflection In linguistic morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeolog ...
*
Calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...

Calque
*
Vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed la ...
*
Computational lexicology Computational lexicology is a branch of computational linguistics Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the computational modelling of natural language, as well as the study of appropriate computational approac ...
*
Lexicostatistics Lexicostatistics is a method of comparative linguistics Comparative linguistics, or comparative-historical linguistics (formerly comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages to establish ...
*
Lexical semantics Lexical semantics (also known as lexicosemantics), as a subfield of linguistics, linguistic semantics, is the study of word meanings.Pustejovsky, J. (2005) Lexical Semantics: Overview' in Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, second edition, V ...
*
Lexical analysis In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , ...
* English lexicology and lexicography *
List of lexicographers This list contains people who contributed to the field of lexicography, the theory and practice of compiling dictionaries. __NOTOC__ A * Maulvi Abdul Haq (India/Pakistan, 1872–1961) Baba-e-Urdu, English-Urdu dictionary * Ivar Aasen (Norway, 18 ...
*
List of linguists A linguist in the academic sense is a person who studies natural language (an academic discipline known as linguistics). Ambiguously, the word is sometimes also used to refer to a Polyglot (person), polyglot (one who knows several languages), or a ...
*
Lexical Markup FrameworkLanguage resource management - Lexical markup framework (LMF; ISO 24613:2008), is the ISO International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard-setting body compose ...


References


External links


Societies


Association for Automatic Language Processing (ATALA), Paris, France



Theory

* ttp://www.ciil-ebooks.net/html/lexico/link4.htm Lexicology vs. lexicography – an explanation
Lexicography, lexicology, lexicon theory


Glossary


'L' entries (from lexeme to lexicon) at SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics)'s glossary of linguistic terms


Teaching material


''English and General Historical Lexicology'' (by Joachim Grzega and Marion Schöner


Journals


''Lexis, E-Journal in English Lexicology'' (by Denis Jamet)
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