Phraseologically bound (idioms)



This meaning is realized only in phrases.

The word combination is literal in meaning, because its degree of idiomatic is low it is called phraseological unit.

It should be mentioned in this connection that the term idiom is polysemantic. In the first place it refers to ‘ready-made’ sequences which function as a single unit. Idioms are word-combinations or multi-word units (British tradition) which reveal in their semantic and syntactic structure the specific and ‘peculiar’ properties of a given language. In this broad meaning stands for both habitual and restricted collocation and what is in Russian tradition has been described as «фразеологическая единица».

Idioms can be opaque, semi opaque and transparent.

To kick the bucket = to die. This idiom is opaque. To pass the buck = to pass the responsibility. This idiom is semi opaque. To see the light= to understand. This idiom is transparent.

Pecularities of American English

Source – Antrushinaand Arnold

It’s quite true that the vocabulary used by American speakers, has distinctive features of its own. There are whole groups of words which belong to American vocabulary exclusively and constitute its specific feature. These words are callesAmericanisms. The first English immigrants arrived in America at the beginning of the 17th century in search for better life and it’s but natural that they spoke English in its 17th century form. Now we have so-called historical Americanisms. For example such words as fall(BrE autumn), to guess (with meaning ‘think’), sick(BrE ill) are used in their old meanings in American usage whereas in British English their meanings have changed. The second group of Americanisms are proper Americanisms.They are not likely to discover in British vocabulary. The oldest of these were formed by the first immigrants to the American continent and mostly reflected their attempts to cope with their new environment. So they needed new words to describe new things. Backwoods(‘wooded, unhabitated districts’, лесная глушь), cold snap(‘a sudden frost), egg-plant(‘a plant with edible fruit’, баклажан BrE aubergine – пришлопозжевбританский, черезфранцузский, поэтомудругоесловодляэтогорастения),blue-grass(‘a sort of grass peculiar to North America’(мятлик по-русски, травкатакая), cat-fish (‘called so because of spines likened to a cat’s claws’, cом), etc. From the point of the “building materials” we see that these are all familiarly English, although the words themselves cannot be found in the vocabulary of British English. Later proper Americanisms are represented by names of objects which are called differently in the United States and in England: BrE chemist’s – AmE drug store/druggist’s, BrE sweets – AmE candy, BrE luggage – AmE baggage, BrE underground – AmE subway, BrE lift – AmE elevator, BrE railway – AmE railroad, BrE car – AmE automobile, etc. Also American English has borrowings which reflects the historical contacts of the Americans with other nations on the American continent. These are, for instance, Spanish borrowings (ranch, sombrero, canyon), Negro borrowings (banjoбанджо (муз. инструмент) and, especially, Indian borrowings (wigwam, squaw индианка, canoe, moccasin, tomahawk, etc). There are also some translation-loans of Indian origin: pale-face (white people), war path, war paintбоевая раскраска, pipe of peace, fire-water. These words are used metaphorically in both American and British modern communication. For example, a woman who is too heavily made up (накрашена) may be said to wear war paint. Many names of places, rivers, lakes and states(toponyms) are of Indian origin – Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky. Another group is American shortenings. Shortening is a productive way of word-building typical of both British and American English. But this word structure seems to be especially characteristic for American word-building. The following shortenings were produced on American soil, yet most of them are used both in American and British English: movies, talkies, auto, gym(gymnasium), dorm (dormitory), mo (for moment ‘just a mo’), circs(circumstances), etc. (they are all informal).

The American spelling is in some respects simpler than its British counterpart, in other respects just different. The suffix -our is spelled -or, so that armor and humor are the American variants of armour and humour.Altho stands for although and thru for through.(Arnold)

The grammatical system of both varieties is actually the same with very few exceptions.

All this bring us to the inevitable conclusion that the language spoken in the USA is in all essential features, identical with that spoken in Great Britain. The grammar systems are fully identical. The American vocabulary is marked by certain peculiarities which are not sufficiently numerous or pronounced to justify the claims that there exists an independent American language. It’s just a regional variety of English as well as, for example, Australian or Canadian English.


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