Vocab for classics 1100

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Stonecakes
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Vocab for classics 1100
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2011-05-03 13:23:52
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Latin Greek elements English
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A semester's worth of vocabulary from Classics 1100
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  1. COGNATES
    • “two or more words in different
    • languages which have the same root”

    –e.g. mother/madre/mère/moeder
  2. DERIVATIVE
    • a word borrowed from another word or
    • root, usually from another language”

    –e.g. Lat. rivus(“river bank”) > rival
  3. DOUBLETS
    • two words of the same language which are
    • derived from the same original word,”e.g.

    –Lat. fragilis(“breakable”): fragile/frail

    • –Lat. amator(“lover”):
    • amatory/amateur

    • –Grk. gramma(“sign”):
    • grammar/glamour
  4. ASSIMILATION
    • “the process by which adjacent sounds
    • (usually consonants) acquire similar or identical characteristics,”e.g.

    •in-+ literate >

    • •ob-+
    • press >

    • –the
    • reason for this is to ease pronunciation
  5. EUPHONY
    • “the
    • tendency toward greater ease of pronunciation resulting in combinative changes,
    • largely due to speed and economy of utterance”

    • –e.g. ad-+
    • -literation> alliteration

    Illiterateoppress
  6. VOWEL GRADATION
    • “a change
    • in the internal vowel of a base, often when the base is prefixed,”e.g. •re-+ CAPT-+ -ion >•in-+ HAB-+ -it(e) + -ion >•the
    • reason for this is that the lack of stress on the BASE leads to a weakening of
    • its sound–but vowel gradation can occur for other reasons•POND-(“heavy”), e.g. ponderous•vs. PEND-(“hang”), e.g. pendant
    • reception inhibition
  7. ACRONYM
    • “an abbreviation that spells a word or pronounceable
    • unit,”e.g.–zip (code):–yuppie: –scuba: –nimby: –snafu: –posh: Zone Improvement PlanYoung Urban ProfessionalSelf-Contained Underwater
    • Breathing ApparatusNot In My Back YardSituation Normal All Fouled UpPort Out,
    • Starboard Home
  8. BACK FORMATION
    • the creation of simpler forms
    • from more complex forms, usually by the removal of an affix,”e.g.

    –reune< reunion

    –surveil< surveillance

    –lase/lasing < laser
  9. HYBRID
    • a
    • word composed of elements drawn from different
    • languages”–off-color:–superman:–ultrafast: –teledata: –audiophile:
    • –microprocessor: •why are there hybrids? –why are there morons?
    • English/LatinLatin/EnglishLatin/EnglishGreek/LatinLatin/GreekGreek/Latin
  10. SUBSTANTIVE
    • an
    • adjective which functions as a noun, without changing the form of the word,”
    • e.g. a deductible

    • –the
    • good, the bad and the ugly

    • –a
    • heavy, a stiff, a moderate

    • –the
    • Aggies, Big Blue, the Longhorns, the Trojans

    • –trojans,
    • rubbers, prophylactics
  11. DISSIMILATION
    • the process by which two
    • similar or identical sounds diverge or become unlike, usually in order to
    • facilitate pronunciation,”e.g. meridiem(< *medi-diem)

    • –the most common form of
    • dissimilation occurs with l/r, e.g. -arvs. -al suffixes

    • •familiar
    • < famili-al, cf. general

    • •lunar
    • < lun-al, cf. renal

    –also, -iety< *-iity

    • •piety, society, anxiety,
    • notoriety, sobriety, propriety, variety, satiety
  12. PARTICIPLE
    • an adjective formed from a
    • verb, in English usually by adding -ing(present) or -ed (past) to a verb
    • base,”e.g. preserving, preserved

    • •n.b. Latin -t(um) is cognate
    • with English -ed

    • –-t(um) accounts for the
    • frequency of two forms of a base

    • •e.g. TEN-/TENT-(present/past);
    • REG-/RECT-
  13. SEMANTIC CHANGE
    the modification of meaning in a word”

    –sema(Greek): “significance, meaning”

    • •basic
    • process: similitude >metaphor >new meaning

    • –see
    • Ayers, p.76

    • –e.g.
    • carrothead, egghead, meathead
  14. METAPHOR
    • “an implied comparison between
    • two things,”e.g. “All the world’s a stage…”

    • –the armof a chair, the buttof
    • a rifle, a ship plowingthrough waves, head over heels
  15. SPECIALIZATION:
    • the process by which the meaning of a
    • word moves from a more general to a more specific sense,”e.g.

    –RADIC-: “root”>“one type of root, radish”

    • –RAP-:
    • “seize, pillage”> “seize a woman by
    • force, rape”

    • –VOT-:
    • “wish, prayer”>“wish of a
    • council, vote”

    • –LIQUOR-:
    • “fluid”>“alcoholic drink,
    • liquor/liqueur”
  16. GENERALIZATION
    • the process by which the
    • meaning of a word moves from a more specific to a more general sense,”e.g.

    • –TREMENDUS: “dreadful, to be
    • trembled at”> “awesome, huge, amazing, very good, tremendous”

    • –COMOEDIA: “party-song, ribald
    • verse”> “humorous drama, anything funny or comical”

    • –TRIUMPHUS: “Roman parade in
    • honor of a victorious general”> “military conquest, any sort of triumph”
  17. FUNCTIONAL CHANGE
    • the process by which a word takes on a
    • new usage as a different part of speech, without a change in form or the
    • addition of a suffix”

    •vs. participles: verbs >adjectives, with the addition of a suffix

    • –e.g.
    • what’s in(or out): preposition >adjective

    • –to
    • outsomeone: preposition >verb

    • –prosand
    • cons: (Latin) prefix/preposition >noun

    • –to while away
    • the time: conjunction >verb

    • –to
    • firmup: adjective >verb

    • –to
    • blackout: adjective >verb
  18. DEGENERATION
    • “the process by which a word comes to mean
    • something more objectionable or contemptible than it did before,” e.g.
    • intercourse (< “between + run/go”)

    – monster:

    • Lat. monstrum (“omen, marvel”)

    • > “a horrific thing, a cruel person”

    – rococo:

    • Fr. roche, rocaille (“rock,
    • rock-work”)

    • > “florid and tasteless”
  19. ELEVATION
    • the process by which a word comes to mean
    • something more pleasant or lofty than it did before”

    • eutopia: orig. utopia (“no-place”)


    • from Thomas Moore’s satire Utopia

    • > “an idyllic locale” (lit. “good-place”)

    • for u- prefix, cf. uchronia (“no-time”), a novel
    • about an imaginary historical period, e.g. Hitler winning WWII

    – angel: orig. “messenger” (Greek angelos)

    • > “a heavenly herald, a savior”
  20. CONCRETE-TO-ABSTRACT
    • :“the process by which a word which is concrete
    • in meaning comes to have an abstract sense, without the addition of a suffix”

    • –e.g., the association of a particular type of
    • sensitivity with a part of the body:

    • •ear(hearing): She’s got a good “ear”for music.

    • •eye(seeing): The tennis player has a good
    • “eye”for the ball.

    • •hand(control of an instrument): Rembrandt’s
    • “hand”was clearly evident in the painting.

    • •lip(sassy speech): Don’t give me any more
    • “lip”! Just do your homework

  21. ABSTRACT-TO-CONCRETE
    • :“the
    • process by which a word which is abstract in meaning comes to have a concrete
    • sense, without the addition of a suffix”

    • –a
    • very common type of
    • change!

    • •because people find it easier on the whole to
    • speak about concrete things rather than intangible abstracts

    • •also, when we need to create an abstract noun,
    • we have many abstract noun-forming suffixes at our disposal, e.g.

    • –Latin: -imony (matrimony), -ity (propensity)

    • –English: -hood (childhood), -dom (freedom)

    • •but the reverse is less true: we have far fewer
    • concrete noun-forming suffixes (“the result of,”“the product of”)

  22. HYPERBOLE:
    • exaggeration”

    • –literally in
    • Greek “over-throw”

    • –often used for
    • emphasis or humorous effect

    • •i.e. it’s not
    • meant to be taken literally but to get attention

    • –hyperbole is a
    • natural extension of human exuberance and love of comedy

    • •works on the
    • same principle as the rule that “bigger is better”

    • •in this case, a
    • point becomes clearer and more interesting when it is overstated
  23. WEAKENING
    • The process
    • by which a word with a stronger sense acquires a weaker one–the constant
    • fireworks in language can lead to boredom
    • that boredom
    • then creates a need for even more extreme languag–and that new
    • extreme language suggests that the older, now less extreme language is merely
    • the normal or unexaggerated way of saying something •this is why
    • certain Latin prefixes came to represent mere intensification (ad-, con-, de-,
    • ex-, etc. they were
    • stronger forms that were “weakened”in later Latin
    • mortify:
    • originally, “kill”(lit., “make dead”)
    • •>“humiliate, shame, embarrass”
    • –unique: originally, “being one of a kind,
    • standing as the only example of something”(from UN-, “one”) “very different,
    • special”–atom: originally, “a thing that is
    • unsplittable”(lit. “not-split”)
    • “a thing that is
    • very small” thus, “splitting the atom”is technically an oxmoron
  24. EUPHEMISM
    • “the act of replacing a word which is more

    • disagreeable or unpleasant with one that is less so”

    • – also, “the more pleasant word which replaces the less

    • pleasant one”

    • • n.b. “a euphemism”: example of
    • abstract-to-concrete change
  25. CIRCUMLOCUTION
    • “an
    • indirect or lengthy way of

    • expressing
    • a simple or concrete idea”

    • n.b. the point of circumlocution is to avoid the obvious

    • or
    • literal, often to cover up or disguise a truth

    • e.g. from psychology: “His family is dysfunctional.”

    • – from sports: “He was a little
    • shaken up on the play.”
  26. FOLK ETYMOLOGY
    • the
    • process by which a word changes form through a mistaken assimilation of that
    • word to another word or form which it resembles”

    • –also
    • called paronomasia (“mistaken word creation”)

    • •this
    • is also the technical term for punning

    • –folk
    • etymology is the product of misunderstanding

    • •i.e.
    • basic human ignorance, especially of history

    • –e.g.
    • momento, for memento

    • •a
    • confusion of the Latin word memento(“remember!”) with the word “moment”(“importance, turning point”)

    • –as in “the moment of truth”or “of great
    • moment”; cf. momentous
  27. CLIP
    • “a
    • word which has lost its initial or final part (or both) but retains the same
    • general meaning,”e.g.

    • –computer
    • terminology

    • •boot
    • <“bootstrapping program”or
    • “bootstrap loader”

    • –a program which loads the rest of the operating
    • system

    • –n.b. a metaphor from skiing

    • –medicine

    • •prep <prepare (e.g. for surgery)

    • •doc <doctor

    • •premie<premature baby
  28. BLEND
    • a
    • word formed by combining two other words such that a part of each remains and
    • the meaning of the new word suggests both of its constituent members,”e.g.

    • –herstory=her +history: “the study of
    • the past focusing on issues relating to women’s lives and concerns”

    • –affluenza=affluent +influenza: “an unnatural
    • interest in making and keeping wealth”

    • •also,
    • called “portmanteau words”

    • –portmanteau:
    • a steamer trunk that opens like a book

    • –phrase
    • coined by Lewis Carroll

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