How we learn vocabulary ? and How children learn to mean?

When learning new words, Adults tend to associate those words with previous words they already know such as associating sponsorship with donation and grant but adults go further, they associate other characteristics with new words. An example would be cows: Cows go moo, give milk, live on a farm, are big. Expanding your vocabulary expands a persons’ precision  when describing a certain item or event. Dictionaries  are important in every adults life because they offer assistance in making decisions involving what words to use. Synonyms are very difficult to use because no two words have the exact same meaning thus it is important to choice a person’s words carefully. Antonyms also have many issues. Yes there are complete opposites such as being single v. being married, big and small, light and dark but most words do not have an antonyms such as Tuesday or furniture. 

Children learn from what is around them such as the people around them, food, toys, and body parts. Since children do not yet understand the complexity of words yet, they can use the words they know as guidelines. An example would be for a ball a child might call it a moon because of its round shape. Children will also not realize the difference between names and items. An example would be if a child did not know that their dogs name was not dog and other families had pets that were also called dogs. of course children are young and still developing so they will mix up words and sentence structures. When thinking about the formation of sentences and language is a whole , Language is very broad and complex.


How we analyse meaning?

Language is a network of systematic relationships between units of meaning. Many words can be composed of one unit of word for example walk, walking, and walked all have different meanings but all consist of the word WALK. The term word is useless for the study of idioms. For example the phrase KICKING THE BUCKET does not literally mean what society takes it to mean which is death. The base of the english language is on the concept of lexemes being organized into different fields. Vocabulary can be divided into six main areas.abstract relations, space, matter, intellect, volition and affection. Lexemes are a system that groups words that are in the same area of study unlike the dictionary which groups alphabetically, lexemes are more suitable in finding a word according to its context. Collocation is the act of using particular words together. This act directly correlates with the use of lexemes. Collocation differ from language to language. Each having different phrases for different things. Words also share relationships, an example would be a synonymy , which is the relationship between words that have meanings that are alike. Another relationship is a hyponymy, which is a grouping of related objects that equal the value of another object. For example a rose is a hyponym of a flower. Finally the last sense relationship is a antonymy, which is the opposite of a word. For example the antonym of nice is mean.


How we mean?

Language is used to convey meaning.  Although language can be used for deception. One would will have multiple meanings. Unlike many other languages  , English occasionally offers two or more meanings per a word. An example would be “mean”. First mean could be defined as to act as a symbol of. An example would be “In this article, the color red means anger”. Another definition of mean could be acting in a selfish way towards a person. An example would be “Shelly pushed Jane down the stairs. Why is Shelly acting so mean?”. The is also a very prevalent connection between words and sounds. Although not many words in English convey the sounds the action is making. Another way English is different from other languages is that english does not have words to describe carefully different relationships between family members. Other languages such as chinese and spanish have words for mother’s sister and father’s sister. Overall many english words do not correlate with other languages. Experiences also do not define words, however they are more productive than references. The best way to understand a word is to experience it and put the word into context.


Cutting it out

Many words in society today are just cut off. This might be because it rolls of the tongue easier or people are just getting lazier. A back formation is cutting out the suffix of a word for instance donates from donation. Is the word donation to formal? Is that why we cut the word to donate? Even in formal education, the word transcript is used instead of transcription. Both have the same meaning, which is a student’s academic record. Back formation is also very popular in pop culture. An example would be Mr. Self Destruct by Nine inch Nails. Instead of it being Mr. Self Destruction it is shortened, this may be because it is simpler to sing and it is easier to rhyme with. Aphaeresis is another type of word that has been cut. Aphaeresis is when a letter or syllable is removed from the front of the word. An example would be about and ’bout. A typical saying is “It’s ’bout time”. The shortening of the words can be because too much emotion can be used to say the word and it is quicker to say ‘bout then about. The final example of a word being cut off is a aphesis which is when an unaccented syllable is cut from the front of the word. An example would be esquire and squire. In the novel, Don Quixote called on his “squire” Sancho Panza, to aid him in his quest. The reason it may be cut shorter is because it is simpler to call a person a squire because the s-sound and the qu-sound roll off the tongue easier than the es-sound and qu- sound.Image


So, here I am at Hofstra, and I am blogging…..


I am certainly not the a strong writer and I hope to improve in the near future. I can honestly say that I am a little nervous about writing a blog. First, it is very public. Not only can my classmates see this but so can the whole world. That gives me a little anxiety. Second, I am very fearful that my writing will not match up to my peers. Yes, I do know that this is not a competitive  It is for expression but I feel that everyone is competitive because it is our primal side coming out. In my little world at hofstra there are so many things to blog about. I have great friends and a great community. I am currently in greek life ,an alpha theta beta sister. I am enjoying it very much. Being a hofstra student has many great advantages such as fall festival. Durning fall festival, my sorority AOB teamed up with PIKE to build a Jurassic Park themed float from recycled materials and even had a working moveable dinosaur. This year many acts such as Kesha and Sugar Ray made an appearance.   


Meaningful Words

Words have a great impact on our lives. Words effect how we communicate to one another. Words are the bases of modern society. They affect every aspect of our lives. Words are there to label product so that we know that rat poison is not the same as jellybeans. Words help communicate between individuals in society. Words express feeling in conversations, poems, art, songs and much more. They offer a way to express our inner thoughts and for others to understand them. Words no matter the language they are spoken in offer a sense of culture. What may mean one thing in one culture could translate into another totally different definition. For example in English (bi) usually means two. It can be (bi)partisan, (bi)sexual, (bi)cyclist and many more but in Khmer bi means rice. Sounds are nothing unless meaning is given to them. Meaning give words a purpose. Every word in every language is beautiful. Each word offers meaning. Words affect the way we feel. The words ”No” and “Yes” are far apart, when it comes to meaning but they are close when it come to the weight that they carry. If a women or man is ever put in an uncomfortable situation the words yes and no are lifesaving. They also can carry emotional weight.  For example, when a man/women asks another man/women to marry them, the words yes and no have a big impact on the person emotional, physically and finically. In certain situations, words can make a bigger impact then some actions.



The SAT’s in my option are not a good measurement of a persons ability to function on a collegiate level. The SAT’s are usually taken after months of intense preparation, which usually involve memorization of a definition but not the ability to confidently use said word in a sentence. In regards to the SAT involving international students, the standardized testing system should be adjusted to accommodate second language speakers. As a language, English is a very difficult one to master. There are a number of words in the English language that are homonym. Homonyms are when words with the same spelling have different meanings. An example would be tear. One meaning would be to have a “tear”, which would be caused by emotional feelings leading to crying. Another meaning is to “tear”, which is when a person rips up an object, most likely a paper substance. Another example would be pound. Pound could mean a unit of currency, a place of abandoned animals, a weight, and a strong force making contact. The reason that I think the SAT’s should accommodate international and English as a second language speakers is because English itself is very difficult and native English speakers have a difficulty mastering the language when they have 17-18 years of knowledge, while many foreign students only have a few months to a few years to prepare. Many who speak the native language of English have difficulties scoring high marks. English and ESL students are expected to know words that are not commonly used in the English vocabulary of an average American while under time constraints. Overall I think that there needs to be another option for college entrance besides a unified test that does not adjust to particular situations.