Interrelation of Etymological and Stylistic Characteristics of Words.


The term loan-word is equivalent to borrowing. By translation-loans we indicate borrowings of a special kind. They are not taken into the vocabulary of another language more or less in the same phonemic shape in which they have been functioning in their own language, but undergo the process of translation. It is quite obvious that it is only compound words (i. e. words of two or more stems) which can be subjected to such an operation, each stem being translated separately: masterpiece (from Germ. Meisterstuck), wonder child (from Germ. Wunderkind), first dancer (from Ital. prima-ballerina), collective farm (from R. xo), five-year plan (from R. ). The Russian was borrowed twice, by way of translation-loan (collective farm) and by way of direct borrowing (kolkhoz). During the 2nd World War the German word Blitzkrieg was also borrowed into English in two different forms: the translation-loan lightning-war and the direct borrowings blitzkrieg and blitz.

In general, we should not be misled into thinking that all short common words are native, and that only three- and four-syllable words came from foreign sources. Words like very, air, hour, cry, oil, cat, pay, box, face, poor, dress are of foreign origin despite their native appearance and common use. So it would be correct to state that, though native words prevail in the basic vocabulary, this stratum also comprises a considerable number of old borrowings, which have become so fully adapted to the English language system that they are practically indistinguishable from the native stock.

The stylistic classification of borrowed words is represented by two groups: learned words and terminology. In these strata the foreign element dominates the native.

Comparing the expressive and stylistic value of the French and the English words in such synonymic pairs as to begin - to commence, to wish - to desire, happiness - felicity, we can see thatthe French word is usually more formal, more refined. This is also obvious if we regard certain pairs within which a native word may be compared with its Latin synonym: motherly maternal, fatherly paternal, childish infantile, daughterly filial, etc. Motherly love seems much warmer than maternal feelings which sounds dutiful but cold. The word childish is associated with all the wonder and vivid poetry of the earliest human age whereas infantile is quite dry. You may speak about childish games and childish charm, but about infantile diseases, whereas infantile mind implies criticism.

A similar pair of words sunny solar cannot even be regarded as synonyms though semantically they both pertain to the sun. A fine day can be described as sunny, butit cannot be characterized by the word solar which is used in highly formal terminological senses (e. g. solar energy). The same is true about handy manual, toothy (e. g. a toothy grin) dental (term again), nosy (e. g. a nosy kind of person) - nasal (e. g. nasal sounds, voice).


  1. Analyze the meanings of the italicized words. Identify the result of the changes of the connotational aspect of lexical meaning in the given words.
  3. Characteristics and features of scientific and technical texts
  4. Compare the meanings of the given words. Define what semantic features are shared by all the members of the group and what semantic properties distinguish them from each other.
  5. LECTURE 1. Contrastive Stylistic as a Linguistic Discipline
  6. LECTURE3.2. Text stylistics as branch of functional stylistics. Subject, tasks.
  7. National Character of Stylistic Systems
  8. Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices
  9. Problems of phonostylistics
  10. Read the text about Parliamentary monarchy. Guess the meaning of underlined words.
  11. Rendering of stylistic meaning in translation

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