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English Words : Structure, History, Usage - Francis Katamba

English Words

Structure, History, Usage

Hardcover Published: 2nd December 2004
ISBN: 9780415298926
Number Of Pages: 352

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How do we find the right word for the job? Where does that word come from? Why do we spell it like that? And how do we know what it means?
Words are all around us - we use them every day to communicate our joys, fears, hopes, opinions, wishes and demands - but we don't often think about them too deeply. In this highly accessible introduction to English words, the reader will discover what the study of words can tell them about the extraordinary richness and complexity of our daily vocabulary and about the nature of language in general.
Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, the book covers a wide range of topics, including the structure of words, the meaning of words, how their spelling relates to pronunciation, how new words are manufactured or imported from other languages, and how the meaning of words changes with the passage of time. It also investigates how the mind deals with words by highlighting the amazing intellectual feat performed routinely when the right word is retrieved from the mental dictionary. This revised and expanded second edition brings the study of words right up to date with coverage of text messaging and email and includes new material on psycholinguistics and word meaning.
With lively examples from a range of sources - encompassing poetry, jokes, journalism, advertising and cliches - and including practical exercises and a fully comprehensive glossary, English Words is an entertaining introduction to the study of words and will be of interest to anyone who uses them.

Industry Reviews

""Katamba brings words to life. So relaxed is his style that English Words often reads like a leisurely chat with an old friend. But don't be fooled...the data is used expertly to introduce a wide range of lexical issues and to provide deceptively sophisticated insights into morphology, semantics and phonology."
-Steven Jones, University of Manchester, UK
"Anyone who has an interest in the systematic study of words will find this book entertaining and serious at the same time. In an age of the World Wide Web and mobile technologies, this revised edition rightly addresses the impact on the lexicon from electronic-mediated communication. The student of language will find the challenging exercises, the hyperlinks and the various well-chosen examples particularly stimulating for understanding the nature of language."
-Vincent Ooi, National University of Singapore

Preface to the first edition
Preface to the second edition
Key to symbols used
The nature and internal structure of words
Why study words?
Overview of coming chapters
What is a word?
Words are like liquorice allsorts
Words as vocabulary items
Grammatical words
Summary Exercises
Close encounters of a morphemic kind
The quest for verbal atoms
Close morphological encounters: zooming in on morphemes
Morphemes and their disguises
Allomorphs: morph families
The right mask
Phonologically conditioned allomorphs
Phonology in the back seat: lexical and grammatical conditioning
Madness without method: suppletion
Freedom and bondage
Sound symbolism: phonaesthemes and onomatopoeia
Summary Exercises
Building words
Words and jigsaws
Know the pieces of the jigsaw
Roots are the core
Affixes are for appending
The main types of word-building: inflection and derivation
Derivation: fabricating words
Affixation: prefixes and suffixes
Compound parade
Wishy-washy and razzle-dazzle words
Listing and institutionalisation
Keeping tabs on idioms
Clitics Exercises
Words in a wider context
A lexicon with layers
The nature of the lexicon
Morphological information in the lexicon
Syntactic information in the lexicon
Does it ring true? (phonological information)
Rendezvous with lexical phonology and morphology
Neutral and non-neutral affixes
The lexicon is like a layered cake
Productivity, the time-warp and cranberries
Peeping beyond the lexicon
Base driven stratification
Summary Exercises
Word meaning
Introducing meaning
Sense and componential analysis
Semantic relations
Homophones and homonyms
Semantic fields
Semantic prototypes : the birdiness rankings
Beyond the lexicon
Summary Exercises
A changing expanding lexicon
A lexical mosaic: sources of English vocabulary
The nature of borrowing
Direct and indirect borrowing
Loanwords and loanshifts
Likely loans
Why borrow?
The grass is ever greener on the other side
Nativisation of loanwords
Effects of borrowing
Scandinavian loanwords
The French influence
The Norman French legacy
French words in modern English
Words from other modern European languages
Loanwords from non-European languages
The Germanic inheritance
Summary Exercises
Words galore: innovation and change
A verbal bonanza
Rhyming slang
Cliches and catch-phrases
A rose by any other name
Semantic widening
Semantic narrowing
Going up and down in the world
Loss account
Lexical revivals
Fads and copycat formations
Geek-speak: internet slang and jargon
Summary Exercises
Should English be spelt as she is spoke?
Writing systems
Is the English orthography mad?
The apparent madness in the English spelling system
There is a method in the madness: spelling rules and pronunciation
Is a for apple? Why vowel letters pinch like ill-fitting shoes
Morphological signposts in the spelling
Lexical signposting in the spelling
Spelling reform
Is speech degenerate writing?
Email and text messaging: imo email & txt r gr8
Summary Exercises
Modelling the mental lexicon
Speech recognition
A mind full of words
Types of lexical information
The organisation of th
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415298926
ISBN-10: 041529892X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 2nd December 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 14.61  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition