The article reports on the conception of compiling “A Linguoculturological Dictionary of English Literary Names”. Unlike the approach consisting in country-through-language studies, addressed mainly to description of semantic characteristics of culturally marked vocabulary and provision for encyclopedic information about it, a linguoculturological analysis is also intended to demonstrate some specific features of functioning the given vocabulary in language and speech, these features being determined by the content of vocabulary units. These names are enriched with such a content which brings them to the level of culturally significant names, i.e., the anthroponyms “filled” with linguocultural information, becoming part of the English language speakers’ background knowledge. They are involved in the processes of metaphorization, used in proverbs and sayings, serve as a basis for the formation of different types of onomastic vocabulary and, finally, become symbolic names isolated from their characters and used beyond a literary work, acquiring additional cultural, historical and pragmatic values. The linguoculturological dictionary in question aims to reveal the content of culturally significant English literary names, demonstrate their functioning beyond a literary work in a new round of usage as well as familiarize English learners with them and help to understand their meanings. The structuring of the dictionary entries offered with a lot of illustrations allows to broaden the traditional lexicographical description of the above vocabulary.
Keywords: Culturally significant namelinguoculturological dictionaryliterary nameliterary workname contentsymbolic name
Lexicographic description of culturally marked onomastic vocabulary originates from country-through-language studies related mainly to Vereschagin and Kostomarov (2005) who point out that proper names have clear national and cultural semantics because their group and individual meanings derive directly from history and culture of a nation – a native speaker. The dictionaries and reference books describing cultural realia and such names in the context of country-through-language studies began to appear.
When a new multidisciplinary science within linguistics-linguoculturology had emerged, some linguoculturological dictionaries were written. Linguoculturology studies the interaction of language and culture, links our knowledge of language to our knowledge of man – a native speaker and the specific features of reflection of culturally significant phenomena in his/her consciousness and linguistic competence (Komova, 2003). Unlike the approach of country-through-language studies, addressed mainly at description of semantic characteristics of culturally marked vocabulary and provision for encyclopedic information about it, a linguoculturological analysis is also intended to demonstrate some specific features of functioning the given vocabulary in language and speech, these features being determined by the content of vocabulary units. The authors of the first linguoculturological dictionary “Russian Cultural Space” note that the conceptions of country-through-language studies are more oriented towards a historical plane of background knowledge than towards a synchronic-functional embodiment of cultural “part of meaning” in language entity. A linguoculturological analysis consists in extraction of true cultural values from an image (Brileva et al., 2004).
The dictionary of English literary names in question is based on the principles of linguoculturology. Literary names defined as characters’ names in works of literature (novels, plays, etc.) serve as one of the most important means of creating a figurative texture of a literary work and conveying an author’s message. These names contain a considerable volume of information, the decoding of which is very important for revealing and understanding the main ideas and aesthetic content of a literary work, various associative bonds, motivations and hidden meanings. The personal names taken as a whole create an anthroponymic space and a specific semiotic system of a literary text. Their elements interact not only with each other, but with some other language material as well, which offers an opportunity to bring to light the relationships and bonds among the characters of a literary work, the system, functioning and dynamics of certain literary images, etc. A specific arrangement of characters’ names is traced in a work of literature, and, in addition to functions of nomination, identification and distinction, they also perform certain artistic and stylistic ones. Names play a particular part, helping an author express his/her creative individuality and manner, principles and beliefs as well as the attitude to the realities of life. If a writer chooses a name for a character appropriately and it matches some specific features of national anthroponymicon, such a name acquires certain semantic and stylistic significance and makes a deep emotional and artistic impression on both a given character’s image and a literary work as a whole. According to Kukharenko (1988), a proper name “entering” a literary text is semantically deficient, but when “leaving” it, a proper name becomes semantically enriched and acts as a signal arousing a wide set of certain associative meanings.
The dictionary in question contains English literary names which developed additional meanings and are regularly used in the function of secondary nomination. These names are enriched with such content which brings them to the level of culturally significant names, i.e., the anthroponyms “filled” with linguocultural information, becoming part of the English language speakers’ background knowledge. They are involved in the processes of metaphorization, used in proverbs and sayings, serve as a basis for the formation of different types of onomastic vocabulary and, finally, become symbolic names isolated from their characters and used beyond a literary work, acquiring additional cultural, historical and pragmatic values. Culturally significant names representing the English language cultural space fit directly into speech communication and become discourse elements, obtaining new meanings and associations.
Purpose of the Study
The present linguoculturological dictionary aims to reveal the content of culturally significant literary names being used as encoded linguocultural texts, describe the specific features of the functioning of such names in the English language discourse as well as familiarize English learners with them and help to understand their meanings. This content includes, in the broad sense, the whole set of language, cultural, historical, social, pragmatic and other connotations (Garagulya, 2018).
The literary name data come from British and American works of fiction, onomastic and encyclopedic dictionaries as well as reference books. Hand searches of the names under study that were available at the time of writing this article were conducted. Each literary name was analysed in terms of its structure, etymology, content, meaning, cultural significance and associations. The descriptive, comparative, semiotic, linguoculturological and stylistic methods of research were applied.
The dictionary contains 160 characters’ names. The following factors were taken into account in full to include the literary names in the dictionary corpus:
widespread occurrence of a name among British and American linguoculture bearers;
emergence of a metaphorical meaning or an associative one in a name;
use of a name in the process of categorizing derivation;
involvement of a name in the process of transonymization – the transfer of a proper name from one class of name to another;
regular use of a name.
At its fullest, the dictionary entry consists of six items: 1. Headword. 2. Functional and etymological characteristics of the literary name. 3. Literary names having a figurative meaning. 4. Fixed phrases. 5. Derivative names. 6. Transonymized names.
While among us, she amused herself with a number of supposed fits, hallucinations, caperings, warblings and the like, nothing being lacking to the impersonation but Ophelia’s wild flowers entwined in her hair; but she did well enough without them, as she managed to deceive, not only the worthy Mrs. Moodie…; but also several of my colleagues… (Atwood, 1997, p. 71).
The following categories of derivative name forms have been singled out:
At the back of the dictionary there is a list of name entries and an index enabling readers to discover the information required. The dictionary is also supplemented with the lists of scientific, lexicographical, reference and illustrative sources.
In closing, we would like to emphasize that the structuring of the dictionary entries offered with a lot of illustrations allows one to reveal the content of culturally significant literary names, demonstrate their functioning beyond a literary work in a new round of real usage and broaden the traditional lexicographical description of the above vocabulary. The work on publication of “A Linguoculturological Dictionary of English Literary Names”, addressed at philology undergraduate, postgraduate and research students, university and college teachers as well as a wide readership interested in the English language and onomastic problems, is nearing the stage of completion.
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27 February 2021
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National interest, national identity, national security, public organizations, linguocultural identity, linguistic worldview
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Garagulya, S. I., Nikitina, M. Y., Besedina, T. V., Svezhentseva, I. B., & Zhenikhova, L. A. (2021). English Literary Names In A Linguoculturological Dictionary. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), National Interest, National Identity and National Security, vol 102. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 305-312). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.39