Tài liệu Connotative meaning in samuel taylor coleridge's poem the rime of the ancient mariner = nghĩa biểu cảm trong bài thơ the rime of the ancient mariner của tác giả samuel taylor coleridge

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Graduation thesis Vinh university department of foreign language ----------------- NguyÔn ThÞ HËu Connotative meaning in samuel taylor coleridge's poem: The Rime Of the Ancient Mariner (NghÜa biÓu c¶m trong bµi th¬ The rime of the ancient mariner cña t¸c gi¶ Samuel Taylor Coleridge) Graduation thesis Field: Literature Vinh, May-2007 NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 1 Graduation thesis Vinh university department of foreign language ----------------- Connotative meaning in samuel taylor coleridge's poem: The Rime Of the Ancient Mariner (NghÜa biÓu c¶m trong bµi th¬ The rime of the ancient mariner cña t¸c gi¶ Samuel Taylor Coleridge) Graduation thesis Field: Literature Student: NguyÔn ThÞ HËu Class: 44B2 English Supervisor: Phan V©n H¬ng NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 2 Graduation thesis Vinh, May-2007 Acknowledgements First of all, I would like to thank the Directorial Board of the Foreign Language Department that awarded me the opportunity to do this thesis. I would like to express my deep gratitude and faithful thanks to Mrs Phan V©n H¬ng-my supervisor who helped me and supported me enthusiastically during my writing. My sincere thanks also go to Mr. TrÇn Ngäc Tëng, M.A for his comprehensive lessons on English literature and his valuable suggestions concerning my study. I would like to express my indebtedness to all the teachers of Foreign Language Department for giving me useful lessons during the time I study here. I am also very grateful to my family and classmates for their help and encouragement during the process of writing this thesis. Vinh, May-2007 NguyÔn thÞ hËu NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 3 Graduation thesis Table of contents Pag es Acknowledgements Table of contents Part a. introduction 1. Rationale 2. Aims of the study 3. Scope of the study 4. Methods of the study 5. Design of the study Part b. Contents Chapter I. Theoretical Background 1.1. Word and meaning 1.1.1. Definitions of word 1.1.2. Definitions of meaning 1.2. Word meaning NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 4 Graduation thesis 1.2.1. Lexical and grammartical meaning 1.2.2. Denotation and Connotation Chapter II. English Literature in 19th century 2.1. Historical background 2.1.1. The American Revolution 2.1.2. The French Revolution 2.1.3. The "Holy Alliance" 2.1.4. Industrial Revolution 2.2. Features of English literature in 19th century 2.2.1. Meanings of "Romanticism" 2.2.2. Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetry Chapter III. Connotative meaning in Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 3.1. A brief introduction to the poem 3.1.1. Characters 3.1.2. Short summary 3.2. Major themes 3.2.1. The natural world 3.2.2. The religion 3.3. Connotative meaning in the poem 3.3.1. Connotative meaning of natural symbols 3.3.2. Connotative meaning of religious symbols Part C. Conclusion 1. Summary of the study 2. Suggessions for further studies References Appendix NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 5 Graduation thesis NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 6 Graduation thesis Part a: Introduction 1. Rationale As we know, English is used the most widely over the world. As a result, many students seek more chances to access this international language. For the purpose of communication, the English vocabulary is always one of the main concerns of learners as it is considered the first condition to understand other aspects of English language. The English language has a huge store of words that presents in many forms both in written and also spoken ones, for example: books, newspapers, magazines...or daily conversation. There are many researchers, many linguists studying about English words such as: Arnold, Lyrons, Palmer and some Vietnamese authors as Hoµng TÊt Trêng, NguyÔn Hoµ...They discuss various issues concerning words and word meaning such as definitions, word formation, denotation and connotation. However, English words and their meanings in literature are not easy to analyze and understand at all. Furthermore, as a student of English, I find that students of English mainly focus on the English grammar or the theory related to the English words without paying attention to how words are used and their meanings are NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 1 Graduation thesis conveyed. Therefore, the chance for a profound comprehension of a poem is limited and Vietnamese students encounter many difficulties in fully understanding a literary work. What is more, while studying literature, I was attracted by the poem The rime of the ancient mariner written in the 19th century by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. For all the above-mentioned reasons, we find it useful to apply theoretical issues about the English word to interpret a specific literary work. Thus, we decide to carry out the study entitled: "Connotative meaning in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". I hope the study can partly help students of English understand more about the content of the poem, especially the non-literal meanings of words used in the poem. The poem has seven parts but due to the small scale of the study, we only deal with some typical examples of connotative meaning of words emerging in some parts of the poem. 2. Aims of the study The study aims to: - To study the features of English literature in the 19th century. - To give an example of how theoretical knowledge of words can be useful to the study of English. NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 2 Graduation thesis - To show how words are used in The rime of the ancient mariner with their non-literal meanings so as to achieve a better understanding of the poem. - To raise an awareness of the importance of nonliteral meaning of words used in communication. 3. Scope of the study It is impossible to study connotative meaning of all the words used in the poem. Within the scope of a graduation paper, we focus only on connotative meaning of words denoting certain natural and religious symbols emerging in the poem. 4. Methods of the study - Consulting my supervisor and teachers for instructions and advices. - Searching and studying reference documents related to the graduation thesis to set up a theoretical backgound for the study. - Studying historical background of the poem and discussing effects of major historical events on the poem. - Studying the poem to identify symbols and images to be analysed in the study. - Consulting and choose good ideas that are useful for the study. - Using analytic method to describe and explain the use of symbols and images in the poem. NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 3 Graduation thesis - Qualitative method is employed to analyze connotative meaning of words denoting certain symbols and images emerging in the poem. 5. Design of the study Part A: Introduction 1. Rationale 2. Aims of the study 3. Scope of the study 4. Methods of the study 5. Design of the study Part B: Contents Chapter I: Theoretical Background Chapter II: English literature in the 19th century Chapter III: Connotative meaning in Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part C: Conclusion 1. Summary of the study 2. Suggessions for further studies References Appendix Part b: contents Chapter I: Theoretical background NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 4 Graduation thesis 1.1 Word and Meaning 1.1.1 Definitions of word Word is a familiar term in linguistics. However, it is not easy at all to define exactly what a word is. There are many different definitions of word proposed by famous linguists. The word is one of the basic units of language consisting of both form and content. According to Arnold (1986: 28), the word is considered to be "composed of one or more morphemes, each consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representations". He gives further explanation that morphemes are meaningful units combining within words. Different from words that can be used as a complete utterance, these parts of words can not be used independently. Following the definition, a new word is formed when an affix is added. For example, play and player are two different words. The element "-er" is a meaningful unit but can not be used in isolation whereas the word player can be. As Bloomfield (1933: 178, quoted in Jackson and Amveia), a word is a "minimal free form". The word has meaning and can occur in isolation. However, the word is not divided into smaller elements which can occur alone and also have meaning. According to Bloomfield, there are two forms of words: free and bound forms. For example, NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 5 Graduation thesis the words table and people stay alone so they are free whereas the words teacher and running are bound form. In the grammatical approach, the word is defined in terms of two criteria "positional mobility" and "uninterruptability" (Arnold, 1986: 29). By "positional mobility" is meant that the order of words in the sentence may be changed. For example, in the following sentence: She said every thing naturally There are several ways of reordering the words without removing or disrupting any morphemes: Naturally she said every thing Or: She said naturally every thing The criterion "uninterruptability" refers to the stability of the component morphemes within words. It is explained that the order of the smaller elements remains consistent and no element can be added. For example, the word impossibility has three morphemes "im-; possible; -ity" with a rigid combination. Thus, these elements can not be reordered into "possibilityim" or "imbilytypossible". Lyons (1969: 203, quoted in Arnold, 1986: 29) summarizes that "one of the characteristics of the word is that it tends to be internally stable (in terms of the order of the component morphemes) but possitionally mobile (permutable with other words in the same sentence)" In the semantic point of view, Stephen Ullmann (1957: 30) states that words "will fall into a certain number NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 6 Graduation thesis of meaningful segments which are ultimately composed of meaningful units". (quoted in Arnold, 1986: 29) Words are also considered in terms of orthography. As Palmer (cited in Hoµng TÊt Trêng, 1993:11), 'a word is marked if not by "spaces" or "pauses", at least by some features of the sound system of the language'. According to the definition, a word is, in writing, often regarded as an item bounded by spaces. However, the definition is not easy enough to realize what the word is. For example, in some cases, especially rapidly spoken English, we often meet difficulties in realizing word because we sometimes can hardly find stress and juncture. Hoµng TÊt Trêng (1993, p.11) gives an example: We might say "watcha gone do" for what in writing would appear "what are you going to do?" A question is that "watcha" is one or three words and "gone" is one or two? For Hoµng TÊt Trêng (1993:11), a word is a dialectical unity of form and content, independent unit of language to form a sentence by itself. Similarly, NguyÔn Hoµ (2004: 67) states that words are regarded as smallest indivisible meaningful units of a language which can operate independently. Sentences are made up of words and the meaning of a sentence is the combination of meaning of words. 1.1.2 Definitions of meaning NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 7 Graduation thesis When discussing the word, it is unavoidable to talk about meaning. Therefore the question "What is meaning?" is put forward. As we have discussed above, the word is the fundamental unit of language and a word is a dialectical unity of form and content. According to Arnold (1986: 30), the form is the expression in spoken or written form which can create a specific meaning and the content is what the speaker wants to convey to his listeners. Arnold (1986: 38) adds that the content in speech reflects the relationship between language and thought, word and thought and between language and society in which human consciousness is one of the most important points. It comprises not only mental activities but emotions, volition, etc...as well. The definition of meaning is varied from different authors. According to F. de Saussure (Arnold, 1986: 38), meaning is considered to be the relation between the object or notion named and the name itself whereas Bloomfield defines the meaning as "the situation in which the word is uttered". Although many authors give many different ideas about the meaning, this term is still not understood fully because meaning is so "many-faced" Delahunty and Garvey in Language, Grammar, and Communication (1994) give meaning as follow: NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 8 some popular views of Graduation thesis Firstly, meaning is essentially subjective. It is explained that when speaking a word, the speaker knows clearly what he wants to convey or the content he intends to express to his listeners. Secondly, much communication is actually miscommunication. It can be understood that in a conversation, the speakers and hearers often discuss and give their ideas about the topic they are talking and then come to an associated "approximate consensus on the notions with their words". Delahunty and Garvey assume that "the meaning of a word is the image it prompts in the minds of its users". Thirdly, meaning is a single phenomenon. This view assumes that there are many different types of communication in the society. It is illustrated from two points: First, not only words but sentences have meaning; Second, meaning can be expressed directly (literally) and indirectly (nonliterally) exemplified in these situations: My bicycle is broken down (1) This sentence states an affair that the bicycle is broken down. We can understand the meaning of word bicycle and broken down and the relationship between them. Teacher: You are late Student: My bicycle is broken down (2) In this situation, the meaning of the sentence "My bicycle is broken down" is above its literal meaning. This sentence NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 9 Graduation thesis can be understood as a the student's explaination and excuse for his being late. In general, ideas around the definitions of meaning are expressed in various way. One of the most general opinions is Jakobson's pun (quoted in Arnold, 1986: 38): "linguistics without meaning is meaningless". 1.2. Word Meaning In the previous parts we have mentioned definitions of the word. The word has both form and content. When dealing with words, we can focus either on the form or on the meaning. Arnold (1986: 38) described four most types of complexity of the word meaning: Firstly, every word combines lexical and grammatical meaning. For example, words such as friend, relatives, father...have individual lexical meaning and grammatical meaning realized as to be parts of speech of Nouns. Secondly, many words not only have denotational but connotational meaning expressing the attitude of the speaker. For example, words such as dad, father... Thirdly, "the denotational meaning is segmented into semantic components or semes". For example, father is a male parent. Fourthly, a word may be polysemantic, it may have several meanings, all interconnected and forming its NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 10 Graduation thesis semantic structure. For example, father may mean male parent, an ancestor, a founder or leader, a priest. The complexity of the word meaning is manifold. In this study, we only deal with in more details the first and the second ones in the next parts. 1.2.1. Lexical and grammatical meaning There are two kinds of word meaning: grammatical meaning and lexical meaning. "Lexical meaning is the realization of concept or emotion" (Hoµng TÊt Trêng, 1993: 53). Realization means the image of what is mentioned to. For example, for the first time we hear or see the word field, we think of a picture of image of a large field with many kinds of plants. In this case, our concept is realized and therefore the lexical meaning of word field is the realization of our concept. "Grammatical meaning is what unites words with different lexical meanings" (Hoµng TÊt Trêng, 1993: 53). In a set of different words with their own lexical meanings, the words share a common grammatical feature, such as parts of speech or tense of sentences. There are cases in which the same lexical meaning is shared by different grammatical form of one word. Ex: Or tall - taller - tallest (1) do - did - done - does (2) NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 11 Graduation thesis These words do not change their lexical meaning despite different forms of grammar. In (1), they are the inflectional forms of the adjective - the base form, comparative form, superlative form. In (2), they are the inflectional forms of the verb - the base form, past tense form, present participle form, third person singular present tense form. There are cases in which the same grammatical meaning may be shared by different words. Ex: Or education, graduation, advertisement student, professor, teacher These words have the same grammatical form (all of them are Nouns) but their lexical meanings are different. Based on the grammatical and lexical meaning of a word, Hoµng TÊt Trêng (1993: 53) points out two kinds of word: notional words and functional words. He states the words denoting objects, actions or qualities...are called notional words whose lexical meaning is clear. For example, the nouns as table, picture; the verbs as to play, to go; the adjectives as beautiful, good...And the words whose "prevailing meaning" is grammatical are called functional words. They are particles, articles, prepositions. For example, the, a, an, behind. There is always a close relation between the grammar and lexis. The grammar and vocabulary are complementary. A grammatical structure is a rule in which lexical items are put together to form phrases, clauses and NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 12 Graduation thesis sentences. Once the rule is broken, the sentences will be ungrammatical. Ex: Yesterday, he not goes to school However, there are cases, the sentences are grammatically correct but the vocabulary does not follow right order, the sentences will become meaningless. Ex: Grass eats buffaloes This shows that the grammaticality is closely related to meaningfulness. To an extent, the lexis is very essential to form a meaningful sentence. In communication, speakers use words to convey the meaning they want to express. The words (or phrases) need to be put together in a certain rule of grammatical structures. NguyÔn Hßa (2004) states that "the grammar reflects the way in which the lexicon operates as means of communication and as an instrument of thought" (p.55). In short, a sentence is correct if it is put in a correct grammatical structure and the vocabulary makes it meaningful. The relationship between the grammar and vocabulary is presented in a sentence. The lexical meaning of a word depends on the part of speech to which the word belongs. There is often the combination between words in the sentence and every word that operates its function. The word combination "form larger units expressing various relationships and constitute the linguistic context in which a specific word operates" (Jackson and Amveia, 2000: 57). Words are arranged in NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 13 Graduation thesis certain patterns conveying the relations between the things for which they stand; therefore each word has both lexical and grammatical meaning. For example, head of the company (1) And to head a company (2) Head in (1) is a noun and means the leader; head in (2) is a verb and means to control. Any language has a great number of words. The words and their lexical meanings have a much "lower probability of occurrence" than grammatical meanings and that explains why they "carry the great amount of information and contribute to the content of the sentence". Arnold (1986) states "all grammatical meanings have a lexical counterpart that expresses the same concept". For instance, the concept of futurity may be lexically expressed in the words future, tomorrow, by and by, time to come or grammatically, in the verbal forms shall come and will come. He adds that the grammatical meaning is more abstract and more generalized than the lexical meaning because words belong to different groups, classes and parts of speech and each of word has individual meanings. In summary, each word combines both the grammatical and lexical meaning. In this study, we only focus on the latter. There are two types of lexical meaning: Direct meaning and Indirect meaning. NguyÔn ThÞ HËu-44B2 14
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