Stylistic classification of the English vocabulary: barbarisms, terms, slang, jargonisms, professionalisms, dialectal words


In the vocabulary of the English language there is a considerable layer of words called barbarisms. These are words of foreign origin which have not entirely been assimilated into the English lan­guage. The role foreign borrowings played in the development of the English literary language is well known, and the great majority of these borrowed words now form part of the rank and file of the English vocabulary.chic (=stylish); bon mot (=a clever witty saying); en passant (— in passing); infinitum (= to infinity) and many other words and phrases.

Barbarisms are words which have already become facts of the English language. Foreign words, though used for certain stylistic purposes, do not belong to the English vocabulary. Barbarisms are generally given in the body of the dictionary.

There are foreign words in the English vocabulary which fulfil a terminological function.

Term .This sensitivity to alteration is mainly due to the necessity of re­flecting in language the cognitive process maintained by scholars in analysing different concepts and phenomena. One of the most characte­ristic features of aterm is its direct relevance to the system or set of terms used in a particular science, discipline or art, i.e. to its nomenclature.

When a term is used otfr mind immediately associates it with a cer­tain nomenclature. A term is directly connected with the concept it de­notes. A term, unlike other words, directs the mind to the essential vquality of the thing, phenomenon or action as seen by the scientist in the light of his own conceptualization.

Terms are mostly and predominantly used in special works dealing with the notions of some branch of science. Therefore it may be said that they belong to the style of language of science. But their use is not con­fined to this style. They may as well appear in other styles—in newspa­per style, in publicistic and practically in all other existing styles of language.

Such terms as 'loan', 'rate of interest', and the phrase 'to secure for money' are widely known financial terms

Slang seems to mean everything that is below the standard of usage of present-day English. This is probably due to the uncertainty of the concept itself. No one has yet given a more or less satisfactory definition of the term.

The "New Oxford English Dictionary" defines slang as follows:

"a) the special vocabulary used by any set of persons of a low or disreputable character; language of a low and vulgar type. (Now merged in c. /cant/)', b) the cant or jargon of a certain class or period; c) language of a highly colloquial type considered as below the level of standard educated speech, and consisting either of new words or of current words employed in some special sense."

As is seen from these quotations slang is represented both as a spe­cial vocabulary and as a special language. Tin-fish - подводная лодка.

In the non-literary vocabulary of the English language there is a group of words that are called jargonisms. Jargon is a recognized term for a group of words that exists in almost every language and whose aim is to preserve secrecy within one or another social group. Jargonisms are generally old words with entirely new meanings imposed on them. The traditional meaning of the words is immaterial, only the new, improvised meaning is of importance. Most of the Jargonisms of any language, and of the English language too, are absolutely incompre­hensible to those outside the social group which has invented them. Grease- в криминале деньги. Loaf – голова. nutty = pleasing

Professionalisms, as the term itself signifies, are the words used in a definite trade, profession or calling by people connect­ed by common interests both at work and at home. They commonly designate some working process or implement of labour. Professional­isms are correlated to terms. Terms, as has already been indicated, are coined to nominate new concepts that appear in the process of, and as a result of, technical progress and the development of science.

Professional words name anew already-existing concepts, tools or instruments, and have the typical properties of a special code. The main feature of a professionalism is its technicality.

piper (=a specialist who decorates pastry with the use of a cream-pipe); a midder case (=a midwifery case)

This group of words is obviously opposed to the other groups of the non-literary English vocabulary and therefore its stylistic, func­tions can be more or less clearly defined. Dialectal words are those which in the process of integration of the English national lan­guage remained beyond its literary boundaries, and their use is gener­ally confined to a definite locality. We exclude here what are called social dialects or even the still looser application of the term as in ex­pressions like poetical dialect or styles as dialects.

Among other dialects used for stylistic purposes in literature is the southern dialect (in particular that of Somersetshire). This dialect has a phonetic peculiarity that distinguishes it from other dialects, viz. initial [si and [f] are voiced, and are written in the direct speech of char­acters as [z] and M, for example: 'volk (folk), 'vound (found), 'zee (see), 'zinking (sinking).

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