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  1. Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 773

    The rules of arranging English vocabularies

    Hello Everyone,

    It is known that prefix, suffix and etyma play a very important role in the formation of English vocabularies. Once the commonly used prefix, suffix and etyma are remembered,it is much easier for one to master the vast numbers of new words!

    I would like to know here whether some innovative theories about the formations of English vocabularies have been raised. In some books about how to recite words published in mainland China, it is mentioned that individual English letters have their independent meaning and are even suggestive to the actual objects, for example: 's' are like "snake" ,"silk"..., 'w' looks like 'wave',... Are such theory popular in the academic realm of English speaking countries?

    And there is a popular lore in China that Chinese are created by a God called 'Cang Jie'. Are similar legend available in English speaking countries. I myself do believe that language are created by our ancestors to better communicate and it can be speculated that certain laws were applied to create these words! It must have the reason or origin why an a common round red fruit is spelled as "apple" not "ellpa' or something like that. Revealing or discover such rules will make it easier for us to learn English words!

    Therefore, I hope more posts about arrangement or laws of vocabularies will seen here!



  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 64,266

    Re: The rules of arranging English vocabularies

    1 To a certain extent- knopwing the common suffixes and prefixes is undoubtedly useful, but tere are problems, like the negative prefix, where there are a number of possibilities and few rules governing their use.
    2 'S' make sugest a snake, but it doesn't suggest a sandwich, shop, etc. I really don't think there's much to be gained from going down this path as a theory, though it may well be possible to make some mnemonics to assist Chinese learners. Language is widely regarded as arbitrary here, so there's no real reason why we say 'apple'. You can explain it through the development of the language and the family it belongs to, but the fact that the first people chose 'apple' is regarded as an arbitrary choice.

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