The common core of the vocabulary (the basic vocabulary) • • • • stylistically neutral words characterized by high frequency cover the greater portion of every utterance names of things and phenomena of the surrounding nature (sun, moon, water, fire, earth, snow, rain), • names of human beings and of dwelling places, parts of human body (man, woman, mother, father, house, head, hand), The common core of the vocabulary (the basic vocabulary) • names of the main spectral colours and of the processes of life activity (red, green, young, go, come, drive, live, make), etc. • mostly of native origin. • known to all English speaking people. • lack connotations. Stylistically coloured (stylistically marked) words words suitable only on certain definite occasions in specific spheres and suggestive of specific conditions of communication. Functional style is a system of expressive means peculiar to a specific sphere of communication. • Formal • Informal. Informal vocabulary • is used in personal two-way everyday communication, e.g. in dialogues between friends, colleagues, etc. • Informal style is relaxed, familiar and unpretentious. • The choice of words may be determined socially or regionally. Types of informal words • colloquial • slang • dialect words Colloquial words (colloquialisms) are the least exclusive: they are used by everybody, and their sphere of communication is comparatively wide • literary • familiar • low colloquial words Literary colloquial words • are used by educated people in the course of ordinary conversation or when writing letters to intimate friends. • are used by English and American writers to create an intimate, warm and informal atmosphere. • E.g. pal, chum (friend); girl (woman of any age); bite, snack (meal), etc. • Shortenings: E.g. pram (perambulator), exam, fridge, flu, etc. • Phrasal verbs: put up, make out, do away, turn in, etc. Familiar colloquial words • are used mostly by the young and semi-educated. • are more emotional, free and careless than literary colloquial. • are characterised by a great number of jocular or ironical expressions and nonce-words. • E.g. doc (for doctor), ta-ta (for good-bye), to kid smb. (to tease smb.), to pick smb. up (to make a quick and easy acquaintance), shut up, beat it (go away), etc. Low colloquial words • illiterate popular speech. • contains more vulgar words, and sometimes also elements of dialect. Dialectal words • Dialect is a regional or social variety of a language characterized by its own phonological, syntactic, and lexical properties. • Standard English is the English language as it is written and spoken by literate people in both formal and informal usage and that is universally current while incorporating regional differences. Dialectal words • are constantly being incorporated into colloquial speech and slang. • can be transferred into the common stock and even into formal speech. E.g. car, trolley, tram • regional differences in lexical items: E.g. a sandwich on a large roll with a variety of meats and cheeses: a grinder, a sub, a hero, or a poor boy (USA). a carbonated soft drink: soda, pop, tonic, soda pop (USA). Slang • a variety of vocabulary strata that consists either of newly coined words and phrases or of current words employed in special meaning • expressive, mostly ironical words serving to create fresh names for some things that are frequent topics of discourse. • sound somewhat vulgar, cynical and harsh, aiming to ridicule the object of speech. • E.g. slang words denoting money: beans, brass, dough, chink, wads • head: attic, brain-pan, hat peg, nut, upper storey • drunk: boozy, cock-eyed, high, soaked, tight Slang • Slang words accepted into literary vocabulary: bet, bore, chap, donkey, fun, humbug, mob, odd, pinch, shabby, etc. • Most slang terms disappear from use within a generation or so. • Slang is mostly used by the young and uneducated. • Reasons for using slang: to be picturesque, striking, modern, different from others. • Slang is a sign of group identity. • The form of any particular slang will differ according to the interests of the group that employs it. Formal words • used in formal situations: monologues addressed by one person to many, and often prepared in advance. • precise • elaborate • national, i.e. not limited socially or geographically. Types of formal words • learned words • archaic and obsolete words • professional terminology Learned words • Words of scientific prose: e.g. approximate, feasible, heterogeneous, homogeneous, indicate, initial, miscellaneous, respectively, etc. • Officialese (official, bureaucratic language): e.g. assist (help), endeavor (try), proceed (go), approximately (about), sufficient (enough), attired (dressed), inquire (ask), etc. Learned words • Literary (mostly polysyllabic words borrowed from the Romance languages): e.g. solitude, sentiment, fascination, fastidiousness, delusion, elusive, etc. • Modes of poetic diction: e.g. array (убор, наряд); brine (морская вода, слезы); steed (конь); behold (узреть); hearken (прислушиваться); murky (темный); uncouth (странный). Poetic words have a lofty, highflown, sometimes archaic colouring. Professional terminology • Term is a word or a word-group which is specifically employed by a particular branch of science, technology, trade or the arts to convey a concept peculiar to this particular activity. E.g. bilingual, interdental, labialization, palatalization, etc. (theoretical phonetics). • An “ideal” term is monosemantic, possesses no synonyms • a term may become substituted by another term or determinologized Archaic and obsolete words • Archaic words are words that were common some time ago but have been ousted from the language by their modern synonyms and are no longer used in neutral or colloquial intercourse. E.g. thou (ты), hereby (настоящим), damsel (девица), errant (странствующий), woe (горе), etc. • Obsolete words are words which have completely gone out of use and are no longer understood by the present generation. E.g. whilom (formerly), wight (fellow), anon (at once), etc. • Historisms are words denoting objects and phenomena, which are things of the past and no longer exist. E.g. brougham, berlin , hansom, phaeton, etc.