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经常读一读,英语中就没有难记的单词——A Little Etymology

经常读一读,英语中就没有难记的单词——A Little Etymology

英美一些语言专家在上世纪初对拉丁语的排斥,给他们自己国家的中小学教育带来很大的伤害。到上世纪70年代,他们已经开始反省。现在,英美国家的学生学习古典语言的热情是越来越高。哈佛大学的一次毕业典礼上就有学生用拉丁语演讲。

绝大多数的英语单词和汉字一样,都是由类似于汉语中的偏旁部首一类的构词部件——词根、前缀、后缀构成。您只要能大概地认识一些常用的构成部件,就一定可以在短时间轻松掌握大量的长单词。您很快会发现长单词更容易掌握。这里没有任何东西是要“背”的,您只需要在记忆相关单词时查一下并顺便熟悉一下。最好能经常读一读,真所谓“磨刀不误砍枈功”。坚持下去,您不仅可以轻松记忆大量英语单词,还可以顺便掌握大量的拉丁语、希腊语、法语、德语、意大利语、西班牙语、葡萄牙语、荷兰语等几十种语言中的相关单词。

有很多小朋友感觉英语单词难记、语法复杂,这其实都是误解。复杂只是表面现象。世界上并没有什么复杂的东西。所有的复杂都只是由简单的东西循环、变化而成,宇宙就是如此。我以前对拉丁语也是一窍不通,只是坚持在记忆英语单词时顺便了解一些拉丁语常识,慢慢地就会喜欢上拉丁语。事实上,中小学生需要掌握的英语单词中有很多实际上是源自拉丁语(有些是经由拉丁语引进的希腊语单词,有些是经由法语进入英语)。如果我们不能了解英语单词最基本的构成,匆忙背单词就如同盲人骑瞎马。感觉英语单词难记的学生基本上都是那些不学无术的所谓英语专家的受害者。死记硬背是苦海无边,根本不可能真正解决英语单词问题。希望您坚持每天花上几分钟读一篇我博客里的文章,相信您很快就会喜欢上玩外语。我的体会,学习外语要比玩那些网络游戏有趣而且有益得多。

 

A Little Etymology

Stems, Prefixes, and Affixes

If you recognize the parts, you'll understand the whole: learn the Greek and Latin roots, the prefixes and affixes.

recognize[5rekE^naiz]vt.认可, 承认, 公认, 赏识vi.具结(re+cogn+ize

这个单词由三部分组成:

1、          前缀re-,表“又,再”等,请复习reform, return , respect

2、          词根cogn,源自拉丁语cognēe [逐渐认识]

3、          -ize动词后缀

也就是说,您如果希望记忆recognize这个单词,实际上只需要重点记忆cogn这部分就可以了。建议您先熟悉一下con

con[kCn]vt.记诵, 精读adv.反对地, 反面n.反对票, 反对论, []肺病

con-是源自拉丁语的常用前缀,表“共同,在一起”,相当于英语中的with

掌握了con,再在co后加上g就构成cogn。也可以复习一下signdesign, foreign。这里都用到gn组合。

"As someone trained in foreign languages and theoretical linguistics, I completely agree with the experts quoted in Why your kids should learn Latin. I would add that the study of Ancient Greek stems and affixes is equally valuable.

As a follow-up to this article, I would suggest that you compile a short course on the meanings of Greek and Latin stems and affixes, focusing upon their value as reading aids in English and the Romance languages."
- Anonymous, from Users Feedback

foreign language n.外文,外语

theoretical linguistics 理论语言学

follow-up adj.继续的, 作为重复的

Romance languages 罗曼斯语, 由拉丁语演变而成的语言

 

This feature (from May 1998) is meant to be an introduction to Classical stems and affixes -- not an introduction to linguistics.

be meant to 有意要, 打算

Following the advice of the late William Harris, the major expert quoted in my feature named above, I found the small, but dense 1953 gem, Scientific Terminology, invaluable.

gem[dVem]n.宝石, 珍宝, 精华, 被喜爱的人, 美玉

invaluable[in5vAljuEbl]adj.无价的, 价值无法衡量的(in+valu(e)+able

in-否定前缀,表“不,无”

valuable[5vAljuEbl]adj.贵重的, 有价值的, 颇有价值的(valu(e)+able)

-able形容词后缀

  -Why Study Terminology ([http://www.naturalhealthschool.com/medical-etymology.html#why] - Accessed October 28, 2010). How knowing the etymology of rhinoceros will help you understand your doctor's diagnoses:

"Sometime during the 14th century someone decided to give this mammal its present day name.

mammal[5mAmEl]n.哺乳动物(mam+m+al

-al形容词后缀,但mammal是一个名词

源自 拉丁语 mamma [乳房]

mamma[mE5mB:]n.妈妈, 乳房(mam+m+a

-a表“阴性、单数”后缀

在拉丁语中pater表“父亲”,mater表“母亲”。由于英语中有大量源自拉丁语的单词(据说,在日常英语中占60%以上,在专业英语文章中甚至达90%以上),在这些单词中,与“父”或“母”有关的单词都是使用paterpatri-)和mater(patri-)。如英语单词patriot

patriot[5peitriEt, 5pAt-]n.爱国者(patri+ot

法语 patriote,源自源自 后期拉丁语 patriōa,源自希腊语patrios [自己父亲的]

-ot名词后缀,类似于-er, -er

The characteristic of the animal that struck them the most was the large horn that grew from its nose.

horn[hC:n]n.(牛、羊等的), 喇叭, 触角

The Greek word for nose is rhis, and the combining form (the form that is used when it is combined with other word elements) is rhin-.

ρις  n. nose  希腊语字母ρ在英语中多数改写为rrh

rhinal[5rainl]adj.鼻的, 鼻腔的(rhin+al

rhin-表“鼻”,是希腊语单词ριςnose)的变化。

 

The Greek word for horn is keras.

κέρας  n. horn

keracele[5kerE7si:l]角质瘤(kera+cel+e

 

So this animal was named a "nose-horn animal" or a 'rhinoceros.'"

...

rhinoceros[rai5nCsErEs]n.[]犀牛(rhino+ceros)

rhino- [前缀,表示“鼻子的”]

ceros 源自希腊语keras []-os, -as是希腊语名词后缀

 

"You take a peek in your file and discover that ... [the doctor] wrote 'acute rhinitis' as your diagnosis.

acute[E5kju:t]adj.敏锐的, []急性的, 剧烈

源自拉丁语acūsacuere的过去分词 [使尖锐],源自acus []

acute angle n.锐角

请查一查数学教材,看看什么是“锐角”?

锐角还有一个说法:

a sharp angle n.锐角

 

Now having taken this course, you know that 'acute' just means sudden onset ... and you know that "-itis" simply means an inflammation."

onset[5Cnset]n.攻击, 进攻, 有力的开始, 肇端n.[]发作(on+set

-itis后缀,表“~炎”

rhinitis[rai5naitis]n.[]鼻炎, 鼻粘膜炎(rhin+itis

如果有人把“鼻炎”放在一起并全部拆解各自独立的笔划去“背”,肯定会认为汉语要比英语难学得多。

Root + Suffix=Word

The suffix on please is an e.

please[pli:z]adj.满足的vt.v.使喜欢, ...的意, 使满足, 取悦(pleas+e

-e是后缀,pleas是词根,我以为-as也是后缀。

源自中古英语 plesen-en是日尔曼的动词不定式后缀。现代德语中依然如此。

联想记忆:

plea[pli:]n.恳求, 请求, 辩解, 藉口

源自 古法语 plaisir

pleasure[5pleVE]n.愉快, 快乐, 乐事, 乐趣, 意志, 愿望(pleas+ure

Does that surprise you?

It did me.

But if you look at the word pleas-ure, it makes sense, since removing its suffix leaves the same root as in pleas-e.

-ure名词后缀,表“由……而来”,请复习future, nature, facture, feature

有人说-ture是后缀,但在pleasure中没有t

 

As John Hough, in Scientific Terminology, points out, roots rarely exist alone.

They usually precede suffixes.

precede[pri(:)5si:d]v.领先(), ...之前, 先于(pre+ced+e

pre-表“在……前”

ced表“去”

The same is true of Greek and Latin, even if, when borrowing, we sometimes drop the suffix.

be true of v....适用, 符合于

 

Thus, the word cell in English is really the Latin cella, from which we've dropped the a suffix.

英语单词cell源自拉丁语单词cella

cell[sel]n.单元, 细胞, 蜂房, (尤指监狱或寺院的)单人房间, 电池

中古英语 celle并源自古法语,都源自拉丁语 cella [房间,卧室]

【拉丁语】

cella 1 

cella, cellae

n. f. storeroom, (wine) cellar, larder; temple chamber, sanctuary; room, garret; pen;

cella 2 

cella, cellae

n. f. |cell; monastery;

-a表“阴性、单数”,-ae是其复数

===================

 

Not only do almost all English words contain roots plus suffixes, but, according to Hough, suffixes can't stand alone.

A suffix does not have meaning on its own, but needs to be connected to the root.

后缀本身并没有意思,需要和词根组合在一起才能表达意思。

Suffix - Definition:

A suffix is an inseparable form that cannot be used alone but that carries an indication of quality, action, or relation.

inseparable[in5sepErEbl]adj.不能分的(in+separable

separable[5sepErEbl]adj.可分离的, 可分的(se+par+able)

se-sect-)表“分离”,par-表“部分”

-able形容词后缀

 

When added to a combining form, it makes a complete word and will determine whether the word is a noun, adjective, verb, or adverb....

后缀多数表“词性”。

determine[di5tE:min]v.决定, 确定, 测定, 使下定决心, []使终止(de+term+ine

de- [前缀,表“转移”]

term源自terminus [界限]

Compound Words

A suffix combined with a root is different from a compound word which, in loose English usage, is usually thought of as just another case of root + suffix.

Sometimes two Greek or Latin words are put together to form a compound word.

put together v....加起来, 装配, 使成整体, 整理(思路,意见等)

Often we think of these words as suffixes when they aren't, technically, although they may be thought of as end forms.

End Forms

The following is a chart of some common Greek "end forms."

An example is the word neurology (study of the nervous system) which comes from the Greek neuro- the combining form of the noun neuron (nerve) plus -logy, listed below.

neurology[njuE5rClEdVi]n.神经学, 神经病学(neuro+log+y

neuro-[5njJErEJ; (?@) nJrEJ]表示“神经”之义

-logy表“~学”

如果不用希腊语元素,在纯英语中就要用“study of the nervous system”。

 

We think of these end forms as merely suffixes, but they are fully productive words.

A quick example in English: Backpack and ratpack contain what looks like a suffix (pack), but, as we know, pack is a noun and verb on its own.

 

Greek Word

Ending

Meaning

αλγος

-algia

-pain

βιος

-be

life

κηλη

-cele

tumor

τομος

-ectomy

cut

αιμα

-(a)emia

blood

λογος

-logy

study

ειδος

-oid

form

πολεω

-poesis

make

σκοπεω

-scope

see into

στομα

-stomy

mouth

 

 

(Note: breathing marks are missing. These forms and the other tables are excerpted from Hough's book but have been modified based on corrections submitted by readers.)


And from the Latin, we have:

Latin Word

Ending

Meaning

fugere

-fuge

flee

fugere是一个拉丁语动词,其中的-ere是动词不定式后缀。在变化时去掉-re,余下的fuge-是现在时词根,再加上配合不同性别和数的(计有六种形式)就可以组成拉丁语动词的现在时态。拉丁语中一般可以省略主语,请想一想,为什么?

英语中的refuge就用到fug-

refuge[5refju:dV]n.庇护, 避难, 避难所(re+fug+e

英语中结尾的e的使用是告诉您这里的g读软音[dV]

 

Root + Suffix/Prefix=Word

Prefixes are usually adverbs or prepositions derived from Greek or Latin that can't be used alone in English and appear at the beginnings of words.

前缀通常源自希腊语或拉丁语的副词或介词,在英语中不可以单独使用(这是因为英语中使用自己的介词)。前缀一般表“方向、方式”,如上,下,向上等意思。

 

Suffixes, which appear at the ends of words, aren't usually adverbs or prepositions, but they can't be used alone in English, either.

后缀不是源自副词或介词,但在英语中也不可以单独使用。

While suffixes are often joined to the the end of roots by separate connecting vowels, the transformation of these prepositional and adverbial prefixes is more direct, even though the final letter of the prefix may be changed or eliminated.

even though adv.即使

In 2-letter prefixes, this can be confusing.

 

Among other changes, n can become m or s and a final b or d may be changed to match the first letter of the root.

Think of this confusion as designed to ease pronunciation.

This list won't help you figure out antipasto, but it will prevent you from describing the antonym of precedent as antident or polydent.

antipasto[7An:ti5pB:stEu]n.开胃食物

意大利语,anti- [在…以前]  源自 拉丁语 ante-

pasto [食物,食品]  源自 拉丁语 pastuspāscere的过去分词 []

Note: Greek forms are capitalized, Latin in normal case.

Latin Prefix/ GREEK PREFIX

Meaning

A-, AN-

"alpha privative", a negative

ab-

away from

ad-

to, towards, near

ambi-

both

ANA-

up, back again, throughout, against

ante-

before, in front of

ANTI-

against

APO-

away from

bi-/bis-

twice, double

CATA-

down, across, under

circum-

around

可以理解为circ表圆+um(拉丁语表中性、单数后缀)

circ-是词根,请复习circle, circus

con-

with

contra-

against

先掌握con-再加上tra(o)就可以contra,建议复习一下control

最好把contra(o)-intra(o)-extra(o)-放在一起比较一下。

de-

down, from, away from

DI-

two, twice, double

DIA-

through

dis-

apart, removed

DYS-

hard, difficult, bad

e-, ex- (Lat.)
EC- EX- (GK.)

out of

ECTO-

outside

EXO-

outside, outward

EN-

in

endo-

within

源自 endo [在…内]

epi-

on, upon

extra-

outside, beyond, in addition to

EU-

well, good, easy

HEMI-

half

HYPER-

over, above,

HYPO-

below, under

hy-是用来代替希腊语ύψιλο(upsilon)中的ύ,上面的符号是强送气符号(Spiritus asper),相当于德语中的h

in-

in, into, on
You often see this prefix as im.
Used with verbal roots.

in-

not; occasionally, beyond belief

infra-

below

inter-

between

intro-

within

intus-

within

META-

with, after, beyond

non-

not

OPISTHO-

behind

PALIN-

again

PARA-

along side of, beside

per-

through, thorough, complete

PERI-

around, near

post-

after, behind

pre-

in front of, before

PRO-

before, in front of

PROSO-

onwards, in front

re-

back, again

retro-

backward

semi-

half

sub-

under, below

super-, supra-

above, upper

SYN-

with

trans-

across

ultra-

beyond

Adjective + Root + Suffix=Word

The following tables contain Greek and Latin adjectives in the form used to combine with English words or with other Latin or Greek parts to make English words -- like megalomaniac or macroeconomics, to take examples from the top of the table.

一些希腊语或拉丁语的形容词也作为前缀在英语中参与构词。

megalomaniac[-5meiniAk]adj.[]夸大狂的n.夸大狂患者(megalo+maniac

megalo-[`me^ElEJ]表示“巨大的, 不正常的扩张”之义

mega-表“大”

 

GREEK & Latin

Meaning in English

MEGA-, MEGALO-, MAKRO-; magni-, grandi-

big

MICRO-; parvi-

little

MACRO-, DOLICHO; longi-

long

BRACHY-; brevi-

short

EURY, PLATY-; lati-

wide

STENO-; angusti-

narrow

CYCLO-, GYRO; circuli-

round

quadrati- rectanguli-

square

PACHY-, PYCNO-, STEATO-; crassi-

thick

LEPTO-; tenui-

thin

BARY-; gravi-

heavy

SCLERO-, SCIRRHO-; duri-

hard

MALACO-; molli-

soft

HYGRO-, HYDRO-; humidi-

wet

XERO-; sicci-

dry (Xerox®)

OXY-; acri-

sharp

CRYO- PSYCHRO-; frigidi-

cold

THERMO-; calidi-

hot

DEXIO-; dextri-

right

SCAIO-; scaevo- levi, sinistri-

left

PROSO-, PROTO-; frontali-

front

MESO-; medio-

middle

POLY-; MULTI-

many

OLIGO-; pauci-

few

STHENO-; validi-, potenti-

strong

HYPO-; imi-, intimi-

bottom

PALEO-, ARCHEO-; veteri-, seni-

old

NEO-, CENO-; novi

new

CRYPTO-, CALYPTO-; operti-

hidden

TAUTO-; identi-

same

HOMO-, HOMEO-; simili-

alike

EU-, KALO-, KALLO-; boni-

good

DYS-, CACO-; mali-

bad

CENO-, COELO-; vacuo-

empty

HOLO-; toti-

entirely

IDIO-; proprio-, sui-

one's own

ALLO-; alieni-

another's

GLYCO-; dulci-

sweet

PICRO-; amari-

bitter

ISO-; equi-

equal

HETERO-, ALLO-; vario-

different

Colors

A medical example of a Greek-based color word is erythrokinetics (e·ryth·ro·ki·net·ics), which Your Dictionary Medical Definitions defines as "A study of the kinetics of red blood cells from their generation to destruction."

erythrokinetics[i7riWrEukai5netiks]红细胞动力学, 红细胞动态学(erythro+kine+tic+s)

erythrokinetics  {} : 赤血球回転{せっけっきゅう かいてん}

erythrocyte[i5riWrEusait]n.[]红血球(erythro+cyte

赤血球  [せっけっきゅう]n1. red blood cell

erythrocyte  {} : 赤血球{せっけっきゅう}

 

kinetics[kai5netiks]n.动力学

kinetic[kai5netik]adj.()动的, 动力()的(kine+tic

源自kinein [移动] ,希腊语kinēs

erythroblast[i5riWrEublAst]n.[生理]成红血球细胞, 有核红血球(erythro+blast

red blood cell  n.[] 红血球

kinetics  {} : 《物理》動力学{どうりきがく}、反応速度(論){はんのう そくど(ろん)}

用一个erythrokinetics就可以代替"A study of the kinetics of red blood cells from their generation to destruction",优势是显而易见的。这样的单词一定不可以再拆解成字母去“背”的。不然,您根本找不到“红色”在哪里。

 

GREEK & Latin

Meaning in English

COCCINO-, ERYTHTO-, RHODO-, EO-; purpureo-, rubri-, rufi-, rutuli-, rossi-, roseo-, flammeo-

Reds of various shades

rhodamine[5rEudEmi:n]n.[]玫瑰精, 若丹明(一种红色荧光染料)(rhod+am+ine)

 

CHRYSO-, CIRRHO-; aureo-, flavo-, fulvi-

orange

chryso-[`krIsEJ][前缀 ]表示“金, 金色”之义

 

XANTHO-, OCHREO-; fusci-, luteo-

yellow

CHLORO-; prasini-, viridi-

green

CYANO-, IODO-; ceruleo-, violaceo-

blue

PORPHYRO-; puniceo-, purpureo-

violet

LEUKO-; albo-, argenti-

white

POLIO-, GLAUCO-, AMAURO-; cani-, cinereo-, atri-

gray

MELANO-; nigri-

black

Numerals

Here are more combining forms that are important to know since they are numbers.

If you've ever had trouble remembering whether millimeter or kilometer was closer to an inch, pay attention here.

Note that the milli- is Latin and the kilo- is Greek; the Latin is the smaller unit, and the Greek the larger, so millimeter is a 1000th part of a meter (.0363 of an inch) and the kilometer is 1000 meters (39370 inches).

kilo-[5kIElJ]表示“千”之义

millimeter[5mIlImi:tE(r)]n.毫米(milli+meter)

milli-[5mIlI]表示“千分之一, 毫”之义

kilometer[5kilEmi:tE]n.[]千米, 公里(kilo+meter)

在拉丁语中mill-表“千”,是mīe [一千]的变化。

millennium[mi5leniEm]n.太平盛世, 一千年(mill+enni+um

mill-表“千”,enni-annu-前面加前缀时的变化。

annual[5AnjuEl]n.一年生植物, 年刊, 年鉴adj.一年一次的, 每年的, 一年生的(annu+al)

annu-表“年”,是拉丁语annus(年)的变化。

biannual[bai5AnjuEl]adj.一年二次的(bi+annual

bi-表“二”

biennial[bai5eniEl]n.二年生植物adj.二年生的, 二年一次的(bienni+al

bienni-表“二”,

millennial[mi5leniEl]adj.一千年的, 千福年的(millenni+al

millenni-表“千

 

Some of these numerals are derived from adverbs, most from adjectives.

be derived from 源自于

GREEK & Latin

Meaning in English

SEMI-; hemi-

1/2

HEN- ; uni-

1

sesqui-

1-1/2

sesqui-abbr. 表示“一个半”之义

DYO (DI-, DIS-) ; duo- (bi-, bis-)

2

TRI-; tri-

3

TETRA-, TESSARO- ;quadri-

4

tetra-表示“四”之义,复习一下extra-

PENTA-;quinque

5

HEX, HEXA-;sex-

6

HEPTA-;septem-

7

OCTO-;octo-

8

ENNEA-;novem-

9

DECA-;decem-

10

DODECA-; duodecim

12

HECATONTA-;centi-

100

CHILIO-;milli-

1000

MYRI-, MYRIAD-;

any large or countless number

myriad[5miriEd]n.无数, 无数的人或物, <>一万adj.

无数的, 一万的, 种种的

希腊语 murias  muriad- [一万], 源自 murios [无数的]

Source:
John Hough, Scientific Terminology; New York: Rhinehart & Company, Inc. 1953.

 

 

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