Lexis examples Characteristics with types and features


The lexicon is the set of words that make up a language and that are also part of its dictionary. This changes from region to region, and even within themselves, because words created by the inhabitants themselves are always being added, who give them their own meaning according to their needs. Lexis and its features types examples

What we know as the Spanish lexicon, comes mostly from transformations of the language of the Romans, Latin. Throughout time, the Spanish language was also influenced by Greek, Arabic and Celtic words, just to name a few.

Technical words that some professionals have, depending on their area, are also considered lexicon. For example, a lawyer has his own linguistic terms on legal and legal concepts. We know these as “technicalities.”

The languages ​​are adjusted to the situations, customs and experiences of those who speak to them. So, we could say that languages ​​are constantly changing and are subject to those who use them. To know the lexicon of a certain population, you must learn to use it and know its rules.

Lexicon concept

The lexicon is the vocabulary of a language. It is part of a territory or a specific activity. It is made up of words contained in the dictionary that represents said language, and at the same time it can include internal modifications, according to the activities and customs of each province, city or town.

In general, we will find a formal way of the lexicon of each language, which is dominated by the whole of society and institutionally accepted. However, we will also find an informal side of the language, with distinctive own words for a group of people from a community, social class or region.

It is also considered lexicon to the terms of a specific professional field or activity that is carried out. These technical words are mastered by a certain group of people who are dedicated to studying and working in that particular area.

It is common that new words continue to appear, according to the idioms of the regions. Over time, many words have been added, created by speakers, or taken from external languages. In turn, each term that makes up a language is influenced by the new generations.

Characteristics of lexical units

Lexical units are all the words that allow communication between two people. Each of the words is a lexical unit. Generally, these units have 3 types of lexical features, which we can define as:

1-Formal features

They are the main characteristics about the type of word. They also show the information of the syntactic content they have and the type of alteration that the word in question has.

  • Examples

– If it is a verb (to be, pray, go).

– From a noun (table, school, house).

– From a pronoun (yo, tù, èl).

2-Semantic features

These traits or qualities are constituted by the data that has a lexical unit (word). In addition, they contain the essential properties of that word. Lexis and its features types examples

  • Examples

– The cow is a vertebrate, at the same time it is a farm animal.

– Ringo Starr is a member of the Beatles. But at the same time in a name.

– Spring is a season of the year. But at the same time it is a name.

3-Phonological features

As its name implies, it refers to the sound qualities of each word. It is a very broad field of study, but simple. It involves each letter that makes up our vocabulary.

  • Example

The letter “s” will sound louder in a word if it comes before a “p” than an “m”. This is the case with:

– E sp erar.

– E sm erar.

Lexicon types

Types of lexicon according to origin and diffusion

  • Active

The lexicon of this type is made up of a large number of frequently used words. Therefore, it is easily understood, as it is the most widely spoken. It is commonly called “productive language.”

  • passive

This type of lexicon is less common, as it is rarely used. Despite this, it has words that are easily understood, and it does not require any specialized knowledge to understand.

  • Patrimonial

They are words of a particular language, they are part of its heritage. They can also be foreign words, words adopted from some other language and that end up being part of the recipient.

  • Dialect

It is the characteristic lexicon of a particular region. It is about the one that is properly discussed in the place.

  • Cultisms

They are the words of colloquial use. In some cases they are vulgar, depending on the grammatical register.

  • Jargon

They are variations of the standard language, which change according to the environment (age, profession, social class). Among the most common jargons, we can highlight:

Social jargon

Here we can find a set of variations that identify a group of people and that differentiate them from others. Among them we have: young people, athletes, computer scientists, just to name a few.

Professional jargon

As the name implies, they are for professional use. Technical words typical of a particular profession are used. Such as philosophers, mathematicians, sailors, scientists, among others.

Lexicon types according to function

Depending on their function, there can be two types:

  • Lexical Categories

These allow the creation of new words (by composition, derivation, among others) to give qualities or name new objects. That is why it is said that they are open class, as there is no limit on inventory. These types of words have referential meaning, and they describe properties, processes or actions.

Among this group we can find:


– The  adjectives .

– The  verbs .

– Adverbs.

Ways to create words

The words that make up the lexical category can be put together to form new words. For this, the following forms are used: Lexis and its features types examples

– Composition (linguistics).

Derivation (linguistic).

– Parasynthesis.

  • Functional categories

This type is used for the connection in sentences, for that reason it is said that they are words with a strictly grammatical function. Unlike the previous one, this one has a closed catalog, and no more elements are allowed in this class. Among them we can highlight:

– Conjunctions.

– The auxiliaries.

– The articles.

Lexical examples

1-Technical lexicon in legal matters

  • Abrogate : nullify a regulation or a law.
  • Expendable goods : are those goods that disappear after use, or are damaged over time.
  • Costs : it refers to the expenses that occur in the process of processing a lawsuit. It also applies to the expenses of legal procedures.

2-Computer technical lexicon

  • Chat : refers to the conversation that takes place by any cybernetic means.
  • Encrypt : this is the process that allows data to be protected by means of a special encryption.
  • Handheld : This is a minicomputer. It is so small that it can be carried in the palm of your hand.

3-From Latin American social jargon

  • Corduroy : make reference to the friend. It is widely used throughout the territory.
  • Jeva : refers to a girlfriend or partner. It is also widely used, although in more informal social strata.
  • Perol : is synonymous with the word “thing”. This word is used to designate any object. Example: “Pass me that pot”, referring to a chair. Lexis and its features types examples

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