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Сравнительно-историческое и типологическое языкознание

Formation of gender-based lexemes through productive ways of wordformation

Автор: Миликова Мафтуна Акмалжановна, студентка Узбекского Государственного университета мировых языков

Научный консультант: Абдувахабова Махина Азатовна


As Ginzburg overstated that wordformation was the process of creating new words from the material available in the language after certain structural and semantic formulas and patterns [1, 27]. “Wordformation is that branch of the science of language which the patterns on which a language forms new lexical units, including words” [2].

The scholar Grigoryan [3] considered that the category of gender was formed through different ways: a) affixation and composition; b) suppletive way (mother/father, boy/girl, stallion/mare). But in accordance with results of our investigation based on folkloristic materials we conclude that morphological indicator of gender category consists of special suffixes, and this indicator is formed by means of articles, demonstrative pronouns and other syntactic indicators. Grammatical category of gender initially should be formed through morphemic way (affixation). There are few suffixes with gender indicator; majority of them are borrowed from Germanic languages. Many scientists overstate that the feminine gender category is formed from masculine gender category while adding morphemes like –ess, -ine,–ette, -ix, -ienne, -euse, -ina; for instance: mistress, empress, duchess, baroness, lassie, pythoness, ogress, executrix, heroine.

These derivatives especially form professional nominatives, the matter in which feminine gender category is formed by means of masculine one bore gender asymmetry which is the focus of attention in feministic linguistics. There exist some exceptional moments dealing with backformation, for example, in pair widower (m) – widow (f) the feminine form appeared firstly, them masculine variant was formed from its opposition. Whether the majority of lexemes are formed from masculine gender, there might be noticed a significant expansion of womanish social status through these derivations, for instance: porter– portress, emperor– empress, shepherd– shepherdess. However, some feministic forms indicate that is acquired behind husband: abbot–abbess, duke–duchess, count - countess, baron– baroness, master- mistress. From the viewpoints of feministic linguistics, it is difficult to accept such examples like negro - negress, author– authoress it is not easy, because distribution of the same color nation into man and woman forms; or despite of the existence of majority woman writers, people are trying to divide into sexual forms is hardly assured phenomena. On account of emerging such examples, so-called sexist language appeared, the aim of which was to keep the neutral position of two sexes into language, too: steward≠stewardess→ flight attendant.

Conversion is a very productive way of forming new words in Modern English. The term ‘conversion’ was first used by Sweet in his book “New English Grammar” in 1892. Conversion is also defined as a shift from one part of speech to another. The most common types of conversion are the creation of verbs from nouns and the formation of nouns from verbs: a) verbs converted from nouns: a butcher- to butcher, a dust-to dust, a man-to man; a father-to father; b) nouns converted from verbs: to flirt-a flirt, to scold-a scold.

Combinability of roots into the second lexeme is called syntactic way of forming new words, that is to say compounding. Buranov [4] mentioned that the gender indicator (word expressing category of gender) joined the neutral words, for instance, the gender indicator -woman took preposition (peasant woman), girl, -miss, -wife, she-, female, hen, -maid, -mother, lady, -daughter, -sister, -widow, -nurse take both pre- and post-positions (sexton’s wife, she- eagle, female eagle, eagle-hen, maid servant, bitch wolf, granddaughter, grass-widow). Indicators like bitch, tabby, pussy, jenny, nanny, doe, cow while taking pre- and post-position form lexemes including the branch of fauna (she- eagle, female eagle, eagle-hen, bitch wolf, tomcat, tabby cat, pussy cat, jenny ass, billy goat, and nanny goat, elk cow). Grigoryan [3] considers that gender components like tom-, billy-, jack- belonged to male names and formed lexemes with male-based indicator. Sometimes syntactic way of femininity is formed by neutral word: eagle owl. There might be some exceptions with root morpheme (without any indicators) which has its own masculine prototype: horse (f) ≠ he- horse, studhorse (m).

During analysis we found some samples on sexist language: chairman→chairperson, watchman→guard, longshoreman→longshore worker, the common man →ordinary people, mankind →humanity, forefather →ancestor, ladylike→well mannered, housewife →homemaker.

Soundinterchange was a productive way of wordformation in old English and it is an important subject matter for a diachronic study of the English language. Soundinterchange has lost its productivity in Modern English and no new words can be formed by means of it. Affixation on the contrary was productive in Old English and is still one of the most productive ways of wordformation in Modern English.



1. Гинзбург Р.З. и Хидекель С.С. Английская лексикология в выдержках и извлечениях, Москва: Высшая школа, 1999.

2. Marchard H. The categories and types of present-day English wordformation, Weisbaden, 1960.

3. Григорян А.А. Гендерная маркированность имен существительных в современном английском языке, Москва, 2001.

4. Бўронов Ж.Б. Инглиз ва ўзбек тиллари қиёсий грамматикаси, Тошкент, 1973.

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