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Logical basis for semantic analysis of lexis: logical oppositions.

Oppositions usu. link 2 objects with one presupposing the other. Opposition is based on the notion which is present in both its members. Opposition appears between 2 units when there is 1 common (integral) and at least 1 differential feature / property between them. There are the following logical oppositions: of identity, inclusion, intersection, exclusion.

1. If sets of objects M & N (res. contents of lexical units) which can be distinguished from the whole set of objects U (which unites all sets of certain sphere of objects) are equal, they are called identical (). Such units which have identical meaning and the same lexical combinability form in the language zero opposition and semantically equivalent distribution. Here belong full synonyms: recently lately, now at present; phonetical morphological, lexical morphological and grammatical morphological variants of words: prefixes in, -il, -im, -ir, /m ndi/ /m ndei/, /ofn/ /oft n/; historic historical; learnt learned, formulae formulas. Both the content and distribution (valency) of lexical units can be represented by 2 circles which fully coincide. In content aspect it is an opposition with the same component composition: car automobile <a, b, c, d> ( a vehicle with internal combustion engine used to transport people or cargoes) .

2. If set, say M, is included into the other N, they form the opposition of inclusion (conjunction ). It is revealed in hyponyms and hyperyms: flower tulip, animal elephant, science mathematics. The meaning of hyponyms (species names) are richer than that of hyperyms (generic names), therefore the semantic content of the 1st is represented by a larger circle. Thus, the meaning of the word tulip includes the meaning of the generic name flower + differential feature(s) which distinguish it from other flowers: spring bulb plant, with bell-shaped flower. Such units having / lacking one or other semantic feature form privative opposition. In such opposition its 1st member has and the other member lacks a certain feature. The 1st member is called marked, the other non-marked. Semantically marked members cover less number of objects than a non-marked one. They have a lesser / limited distribution than their non-marked counterparts. Lexical distribution of the non-marked member of the privative opposition includes the distribution of the marked member. In all contexts where one comes across the word tulip it is possible to use the hyperym flower, but not often vice versa. E.g., in those cases when in the word nominating generic notion a seme which is absent in the hyponym is actualized, These flowers blossom in autumn, but not Tulips blossom in autumn. Thus, there is an inverted dependence b/w the content of meaning of lexical units and their distribution.

3. In opposition of intersection sets M & N reveal both the common (same) elements and non-common elements because none of them fully includes the other: This opposition is revealed in semantically close words, synonyms friend companion, antonyms high low, co-hyponyms to flow to fly, in some types f polysemy: earth surface, soil. The common lexical components of these units are: close person, height, to move, land; each of them belongs to their universal set U (archseme). The additional differential features (semes) are: friend close by spirit, companion who shares in the work; to flow to move over the water, to fly to move in the sky, etc. Such relations form equipollent oppositions. Both members of such oppositions are logically equal, i.e. they are neither the 2 levels of any feature nor the negation or affirmation of this feature.

The distribution of members of equipollent opposition partially coincides intersect because of their, e.g.: close friend, companion. In other contexts only 1 member can be used, e.g.: to flow in the boat, to fly on board the airplane. Members of this opposition reveal the contrastive distribution.

4. In opposition of exclusion (disjunction) sets M & N are divided because they do not have the common elements. Even between the most distant words one can find the common feature, at least the same grammatical category. The value of such opposition for semantic analysis is not big. It is revealed in polysemantic words with distant meanings, e.g.: spirit: soul(1) and alcohol(12) and in homonyms: sound-2 phoneme, sound-5 narrow passage of water. Elements of disjunctive opposition are in complementary distribution b/c they do not have common contexts. The most interest arise the oppositions which reveal both common and different feature, i.e. privative and equipollent. Zero (identical) oppositions are important while establishing content identity b/w units, disjunctive for component analysis.


8. Semantic Classification of Phraseological Units

Phraseological units are at least two words with stable relations and particular meaning. They can be determined according to the following criteria:

- combination of at least two words;

- fixed word order;

- semantic unity (all words are semantically bound);

- completeness of meaning;

- ability to substitute words;

- reproductivity ();

- historical background.

Semantic classification of phraseological units belongs to Russian lexicologist V. V. Vinogradov and corresponds to semantic classification of Charle Balli. It is grounded on the semantic links

between the components of a phraseologism. According to this classification three main groups of phraseological units are distinguished. They are:

- set phrases, or collocations;

- phraseological unities;

- idioms, or phraseological fusions.

Set phrases / collocations ( ) are based on the limited variability of their components ( ) in verbal phrases, e.g.: to do business (not to make business), to make friends (not to do friends)', in attributive phrases, e.g.: sore throat, deep gratitude, pure soul, close friendship-, in adverbial phrases, e.g.: at your convenience, on no account, at full length, at one stroke; in pleonasms. e.g.: free and easy, fair and square, odds and ends, stocks and stones', in phrases formed by the contrast of alternatives, e.g.: heads or tails, neck or nothing, hit or miss; in phrases with archaic words, e.g.: in his behoof

- "in his interests" (behoof- book, "benefir, profit"), not a whit - " ", in days of yore - "long ago" (yore - poet, ""), to shake off the yoke - " ", to leave in the lurch - " ", rank andfile.

Next two groups of phraseological units are based on the degree of bound meaning ( ).

Phraseological unities (. ) are stock-phrases in which the meaning of the whole phrase is not equal to the meanings of their components, but the figurative meaning is rather apparent, e.g.: fall ill, make money, make both ends meet, take the habit.

Fixed comparative phrases are also attributed to this group. They are of two semantic types: patterns of likeness and patterns of degree.

Patterns of likeness: as busy as a bee; like herrings in a barrel; sing like a lark; sleep like a baby. There are also comparative phrases based on the antiplirasis where the 1 component neutralizes its primary denotative meaning, and, thus, makes it opposite in general meaning: as welcome as snow in harvest, as clear as mud.

Patterns of degree: better than nothing, worse than anything; hot as fire; happy as a king, hungry as a wolf, old as hell.

N. Raevska also includes proverbs and proverbial sayings (in other terminology phraseological expressions) to the class of phraseological unities. Proverbs are utterances often have metaphoric

meaning and can include elements of implicit information, e.g.: East or west, home is best; Birds offeather flock together, Let sleeping dogs lie; Let bygones be bygones. Proverbs are often elliptical in their structure, e.g.: No pains, no gains; No sweet without some sweat; All covet, all lose. Some proverbs may bear the same idea embodied in different linguistic form in different languages. Conf.: E. Call a spade a spade, Sp. Call bread bread and wine wine, Ukr. . , Lat In the land of the blind a one- eyed man is the king, Korean Where there are no tigers, a wild cat is very self-important.

Phraseological fusions / idioms / idiomatic phrases (. ) are defined as nominative or syntactic constructions whose meaning cannot be derived from the meanings of the words combined in them, e.g.: to mind one's p's and q's - , ; a nice kettle of fish - ; once in a blue moon - . The meaning of idioms usually have historical background. Thus, to mind one's p's and q's is supposed to be connected with observing rules in writing; a nice kettle of fish was used ironically by Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding to mock at the gentry who organized picnics on the bank of the river Tweed. They called them a kettle offish. Maybe the fish was burnt, or someone forgot the salt, or the kettle was overturned.


9.Referential Grammatical Categories.

In the view of dialectical unity of language and thought the nature of linguistic categories can be conceived only in their correlation with conceptual and objective categories that represent a triad: "objective - conceptual - lingual" realities.


Category is a form of thinking that represents universal features and relations of the objective reality, general regularities of the development of all material, natural and spiritual phenomena. Aristotle differentiated 10 objective categories: substance, quantity, quality, relations, place, time, location, state, action and subjection to action.

The most general notions reflecting the most general properties of phenomena are referred to as "logical" or "conceptual categories" in logic. They are: subject ('), object ('), predicate (), temporality (), aspectuality (), diminutivity (), topicality (), mediality (), instrumentality (), possessivity (), reflexivity (), ingrcssiveness (), definiteness (), quantitiveness ().

The most general meanings rendered by language and expressed by systematic correlations of word-forms are interpreted as "grammatical categories" in linguistics. They are the categories of tense, mood, voice, aspect, person, number, gender, case. Classes of words or parts of speech are characterized by expressing these categories.

There are grammatical categories that correlate with objective ones. They are called referential because they have their objective referents. The correlation is not direct but via the conceptual categories. Such grammatical categories as tense, aspect and number are referential because they correlate with definite objective categories. The correlation can be illustrated by the following triangle


The grammatical category of tense expresses some aspects of the conceptual category of temporality. Temporality is the conceptual reflection of objective time, and time is the objective referent of the grammatical category of tense. Thus, the correlation of referential grammatical categories with objective phenomena is indirect and intermediate.

For further reading: .. : , pp. 156-163.


10. Semantic aspect of sentence: actual division| semantic roles

Actual Division of the Sentence

Actual division of the sentence is based on considering the sentence parts from the point of view of their informative role. The main components of the actual division of the sentence are theme and rheme. The theme expresses the staring point of communication, i.e. it denotes an object or phenomenon about which something is reported (already known information). The rheme expresses the basic informative part of the communication (new information). Between the theme and the rheme there are intermediary, transitional parts of various informative value.

The theme may or may not coincide with the subject and the rheme may or may not coincide with the predicate of the sentence.

E.g.: Max bounded forward.(rheme)

Again Charlie is being too clever\ (tr.el.) (rheme)

Her advice can't be of any help to us.(rheme) (tr.el.)

In the I sentence the rheme coincides with the predicative group. In the 2nd sentence the adverb again is a transitional element, the rheme is rendered by the predicative too clever. In the 3,u sentence the object to ms is a transitional element, while the informative peak (the rheme) is expressed by the predicative of any help.

E.g.: Mary is fond of poetry, not Tim. (rheme) (theme) (tr. el.)

The actual division in which the rheme is expressed by the subject is referred to as "inverted".

The functional purpose of the actual division is to reveal the meaningful center of the utterance (its rheme) in distinction to the starting point of its content (the theme).

Semantic Roles of the Sentence Members

Semantic units which are the language correlants of the participants of the situation are called semantic roles / actants / cases. The main carriers of the role meanings are nominative groups. A set of semantic meanings with an action expressed by a finite verb is a language semantic model of the physical situation. A set of semantic roles given by its meaning is a role structure of the verb. Thus, the role structure of the verb to show comprises: agent, beneficient and patient, e.g.:

They showed him the jewels.

(agent) (beneficient) (patient)

Semantic basis of the structural scheme of the sentence is represented by its semantic configuration (minimum of semantic roles + action meaning). For the sentence They showed him the jewels the semantic configuration is {ihey - agent, him - beneficient, the jewels - patient}.

Semantic configuration is a semantic minimum of the sentence. But the sentence role structure can include such roles that can be more tthan this semantic minimum, e.g.: They showed him the jewels at night in a small cafe. This sentence besides agent, beneficient and patient comprises also temporative and locative.

The inventory of all semantic roles are not determined yet in full but here are some of them.

The agent () denotes animate (alive) object performing a purposeful action which is conveyed by a finite verb. On the surface structure of the sentence agent is represented by a subject or prepositional object: / read the book. The book was read by me.

The beneficiant () denotes an animate object who takes advantage of the action conveyed by a finite verb.

The nominative () denotes an object (either animate or inanimate) from whom/which an action originates. This action is neither purposeful nor intentional, e.g.: He hesitated. My head ached. In the sentence in passive voice the nominative is represented by an object with prepositions by or with: He was killed by a fly-wheel. The ground was covered with snow. The predicate with the nominative as a subject can neither form the Continuous Tenses nor be used in the Imperative Mood, e.g.: to hit, to like, except some verbs which can also perform an action, e.g.: to surprise - in the meaning "" is not an action verb: You surprise me\ in the meaning " " is an action verb: The detachment surpised the enemy, to forget. I forgot about it (non-action, the meaning " "), Forgot about this! (action, the meaning ", "). Some verbs that cannot denote action in affirmative fonn in the Imperative Mood but can be used as action verbs in negative form, e.g.: Don 7 tremble\

The patient () denotes an object of the action (both animate or inanimate). In the sentence it can be realized by the object, e.g.: The dog bit his master, or by the subject, e.g.: The pla\> was well staged. Sentences with the nominative subject, the patient as an object and tire predicate expressed by a non-action verb, e.g.: The carpets should match the curtains, permit the coincidence of both roles in the position of a subject, e.g.: The carpets and the curtains should match.

This lies in the nature of the nominative and the patient lacking active paticipation in the action.

The factitive () is a semantic role denoting the result of the action. Cf. The boy dug the ground and The boy dug a hole. In the Is* case the object is subjected to action, in the 2nd it is the result of the action.

The instrument () occurs only in the role structures with the agent, e.g.: She opened the door with the key.

The locative () is a semantic role denoting the spatial meaning; statal verbs operate with the locative of place, e.g.: He lay on the grass; dynamic verbs operate with the locative of transition / movement, e.g.: An apple fell to the ground.



11. The composite sentence as a polypredicative unit.

The composite sentence is formed by two or more predicative lines. It expresses a complicated act of thought, two or more intellectual efforts closely combined with one another. The composite sentence reflects two or more elementary situational events viewed as a unity. Each predicative unit makes up a clause that corresponds to a serapate sentence, e.g.:

When I sat down to dinner I looked for an opportunity to slip in casually the information I had by accident run across the Driffields; but news travelledfast in Blackstable.

The cited composite sentence includes 4 clauses related on different semantic grounds. They are the following:

1.I sat down to dinner.

2.I looked for an opportunity to slip in casually the information.

3.I had by accident run across the Driffields.

4.News travelled fast in Blackstable.

The correspondence of a predicative clause to a separate sentence is self-evident but the correspondence of a sequence of logically connected events is not. By means of re-arrangement of utterances we make them into a more or less explanatory situational sequence:

1.I ran by accident across the Driffields.

2. Later 1 sat down to dinner.

3. While participating in the general conversation. I looked for an opportunity to slip in casually the information about meeting them.

4. News travels fast in Blackstable.

Logical difference between the composite sentence and its de- compositional presentation is the following. The purpose of the composite sentence is to inform about a certain fact from the point of view of the speaker; the predicative structures represent the sequence of events in their natural temporal succession.

As it is well known, the use of composite sentences, especially long and logically intricate, is characteristic for literary written speech. This is motivated by three reasons: the needs of expression, the possibility of production, and the conditions of perception.

Needs of expression. The composite sentence answers the special needs of written mode. It is a type of speech which deals with lengthy reasonings, descriptions, narrations, logical premises, inferences, cross-references, and parenthetical comments. Only the composite sentence can fulfil these semantic requirements.

Possibility of production. In writing it is actually possible to produce long composite sentences because they are open to various alterations. Writing allows corrections of slips and errors, shortening and expanding, recomposing of the text, re-arrangement and reformulation of one's ideas; in short, they can be prepared. Written speech is always carefully composed in advance for future use of the reader.

Conditions of perception. Written text allows the reader to go back to its beginning and re-read it with much care for complete understanding. Thus, the length limit imposed on the sentence by the reader's immediate (operative) memory can be neglectcd. The length of the written sentence is regulated by the optimal logical balance and stylistic value.

Composite sentences display two principal types of constructions: hypotaxis (subordination) and parataxis (co-ordination). Both types are equally represented in the colloquial speech too. They can be traced back to the early stages of language development, to Hie times when English had no writing. Illustrations can be found in the OE epic poem Beowulf (7th c. A.D.). The text of the poem shows all the basic forms of sentence composition including presentation of the reported speech, connections of sentences on various nominal principles (objective, subjective, predicative, attributive), connections of clauses on adverbial principles (temporal, local, conditional, causal etc.).

By parataxis (co-ordination) we mean the relations of units of syntactically equal rank. Distinctive feature of clauses in co-ordination is a potantiaJ possibility for any of them to take either the copulative conjunction and the adversative conjunction but, e.g.:

The game gave horrors, so I could never play it. > The game gave horrors, and I could never play it.

The excuse was plausible, only it was too good enough. > The excuse was plausible, but it was too good enough.

The means of combining clauses into polypredicative sentence are divided into syndetic (conjunctional) and asyndetic (non- conjunctional).

According to the traditional view, all composite sentences are classed into compound (based on coordination relations) and complex (based on subordination relations). Syndetic and asyndetic relations arc displayed by both types of clause connection.

By hypotaxis (subordination) we mean the relations of units of syntactically unequal rank, one being categorally dominated by the other. In terms of positional structure it means that one of the clauses(subordinate) is placed in a notional posion of the other (principal). A subclause, however important, is naturally supplementary to the principal clause.

According to their notional position in a complex sentence subclauses are divided into clauses of primary notional position: subject, predicative, object clauses, and secondary notional position: attributive, adverbial clauses. The compound sentence is derived from two or more simple sentences that lose their independent status and become coordinate clauses - parts of a compound unity. The 1st clause is "leading" (the leader clause), the successive ones are "sequential". Syndectical coonection in the compound sentence is expressed by the co-ordinating connectors, or co-ordinators, which are divided into conjunctive {and, but, or, nor, neither, for, either...or, neither...nor, etc.) and adverbial co-ordinators (then, yet, so, thus, consequently, nevertheless, however).

Besides the classical types of co-ordination and subordination of clauses, there is one more construction in which a connection of the polypredicative unit is loose, placing the clause into a detached position. This detached clause is presented as an afterthought, e.g.:I did not like to be seen with a person whom my parents would not approve; so I asked him to go first, as he would go more quickly than I.

Date: 2015-04-20; view: 1304

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