The article identifies and systematizes universal / unique polysemy models that are characteristic of physical verbal predicates in unrelated / non-related languages: Russian, English, Tatar. Based on the comparative analysis of the semantic structures of the sounding and melting verbs, the degree of productivity of the semantic shift models was determined, cases of similarities and differences of these models were identified. Moreover, the focus is also on metaphorical and metonymic transfers as the main types of secondary nomination, reflecting the cognitive mechanisms of association of concepts. Using the methods of linguistic and cognitive semantics, as well as semantic typology, the most productive polysemy models for correlative physical verbal predicates were identified in three named languages: “physical process → emotional sphere”, “physical process → physical action”, “physical process → physiological sphere”, etc. Compared with the unique models of metaphorical and metonymic transfers, there is a limited number of universal polysemy models: “physical process → social sphere”, “physical process → speech sphere”, “physical process → emotional sphere”, etc. It was also revealed that the set of metaphorical models is wider than the list of metonymic ones, however, the former are represented by a larger number of lexical units. The laws of semantic derivation of physical verbal predicates are anthropocentric, since the derived meanings of these units are associated with the nomination of various aspects of human life: social, psychological, physiological, speech, etc.
Keywords: Polysemymetaphormetonymyverbunrelated languagessemantic universals
As research experience shows, the statement that words with similar meanings have a similar seismological history can be attributed to the phenomena of genetically and typologically different languages. This can be proven on the semantic development of correlative verbal predicates in languages of different systems, including Indo-European and Turkic. The proximity and identity of the semantic dynamics of verb lexemes is due to the fundamental similarity of the categorial components of meanings of these units. Moreover, there is a regularity of semantic processes and their verbalized results. The semantic potential of the verb in both Indo-European and Turkic languages is realized at two levels: lexical-semantic (word-building paradigms and nests) and purely semantic (a systemic polysemy objectified in the intra-word paradigm of a polysemous word). Our focus is the second level, the degree of productivity of semantic transition models characteristic of correlative verbs, types of relations between their derived meanings in three languages.
It is necessary to identify and systematize patterns of regular polysemy in unrelated multistructured languages, since the results can solve a number of urgent problems of the polysemy theory posed in linguistic semantics (Fillmore & Atkins, 2000; Klein & Murphy, 2001; Murphy, 2010), cognitive semantics (Beretta et al., 2005; Haser, 2000; Kiseleva & Todosienko, 2019), semantic typology (Koch, 2001; Zaliznyak, 2013), linguo-pragmatics (Peregrin, 2003), linguistic universology, etc. The issues include: dependence of semantic innovations on linguistic / extralinguistic factors (psychological, sociocultural, etc.); definition or specification of absolute and probabilistic (statistical) semantic universals; the regular nature of the semantic dynamics of lexemes related to certain denotative spheres; the rate of semantic changes in the lexemes of one group in different historical periods, etc. One of the most important problems is the identification of universal and unique models of semantic derivation in genetically and typologically distant languages, which allows us to identify general and ethnospecific aspects of secondary nomination, its dependence on cognitive factors characteristic of native speakers.
The focus of the study is regular polysemy models of physical verbal predicates in three languages: Russian, English, and Tatar. All these languages have a wide semantic potential, demonstrating the laws of development of figurative meanings in the direction from concrete to abstract. In addition, it is relevant to compare the semantic structures of the physical predicates in three languages and determine semantic spheres associated with the derived meanings of these units.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the work is to compare semantic structures of physical verbal predicates in the Russian, English and Tatar languages, identify their universal and unique polysemy models. The focus is also on such types of secondary nomination as metaphor and metonymy.
The study was carried out by using the “Systematic semantic dictionary of the Russian language” by Vasiliev (2009); for Russian physical verbs, English and Tatar analogues are provided. The analysis of linguistic units is based on a number of research methods: 1) the methods of contrastive linguistics, in particular the identification of interlingual lexical correspondences and their subsequent seminal analysis; 2) methods of linguistic semantics, including the method of semantic field aimed at identifying the relationship and interdependence of the meanings of lexemes belonging to the same conceptual field; 3) the methods of cognitive linguistics, including modeling the relationship of the main and derived meanings of a conceptual metaphor (Lakoff, Johnson, 1980); 4) the methods of semantic typology, in particular the identification of a set of semantic transitions, according to which the structure of a polysemant can be schematically represented as a system of unidirectional relationships of its individual meanings
The universality / uniqueness of polysemy models in Russian, English and Tatar languages was revealed on the physical verbs related to the semantic groups “Sounding” and “Melting”. We identified the following models of semantic derivation, characteristic of the verbs of sounding.
I. Metaphorical models:
1.1. “Physical process → social sphere”. For example, the Tatar verb
2.1. “Physical process → social sphere”. The Russian verb
2.2. "The physical process → the emotional sphere." When transferred to the specified sphere, the Russian verb develops the secondary meaning
2.3. “Physical process → physical action.” This polysemy model is represented primarily in English. The verb
2.4. “Physical process → speech sphere”. The Russian verb
2.5. “Physical process → movement”. The English predicate
2.6. “Physical process → physiological sphere”. An example is the English verb
II. Metonymic models:
1.1. “Physical process → physical process”: the Tatar verb
1.2. “Physical process → speech sphere”. The Russian verb
2.1. “Physical process → physical process”. As a result of semantic derivation, the verbs
2.2. “Physical process → speech sphere”. When transferred to this sphere, the English verb
2.3. «Физический процесс → физическое действие». Английский глагол
2.4. “Physical process → physiological sphere”. The verb
Let us consider the verb predicates belonging to the group “Melting”.
I. Metaphorical models:
1.1. "The physical process → the emotional sphere." There are similar metaphorical meanings characteristic of the Tatar verb
2.1. “Physical process → physical process”. The Russian verbs
2.2. “Physical process → physical action.” The Russian verbs
2.3. “Physical process → physiological sphere”. As a result of the semantic derivation, the verbs
II. Metonymic models:
1.1. “Physical process → physical state”. The English verb
1.2. “Physical process → physical action.” The English verb
1.3. “Physical process → physical state”. The Tatar verb
The analysis shows that Russian, English and Tatar physical verbs have both universal and unique models of polysemy, but the number of the first ones is rather limited (in particular, such models as “physical process → social sphere”, “ physical process → speech sphere ”,“ physical process → emotional sphere ”and some others). Complete synonymization of the semantic structures of these verbs, i.e. the parallel development of a similar set of secondary meanings is not not fixed. Verb predicates have the greatest semantic potential, they have a simple form and indicate phenomena and processes that are relevant to everyday experience. It was established that metaphorical and metonymic polysemy models often coincide (for example, “physical process → social sphere”, “physical process → speech sphere”), which confirms the thesis about the close relationship between metaphorical and metonymic processes of the secondary nomination. At the same time, the qualitative content of metaphorical and metonymic models is different. In addition, the set of metaphorical transfer models is wider; they reflect the principle of anthropocentrism, since they are related to semantic spheres primarily associated with various aspects of human life: psychological (emotional), social, speech, physiological, etc.
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31 October 2020
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation
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Kiseleva, L. A., Ibragimova, V. L., & Todosienko, Z. V. (2020). Universal And Unique Polysemy Models Of Verbs Of Unrelated Languages. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 549-554). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.73