ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?

Factors Facilitating the Typological Study of Lexicon



The lexical level, like any other level of language stratification, is naturally represented by some characteristic constantsand their peculiar features as well. The principal constantsof this language level in the contrasted languages are the following:

1. Words, their semantic classes and word-forming means as well as their structural models and stylistic peculiarities of use.

2. The second object of contrasting alongside of separate words and their classes present the lexico-semantic groups (LSGs) of words which are pertained to the contrasted languages.

3. The third group of lexical units contrasted at this level are stable and idiomatic expressions which are also of universal nature, though they always have some national peculiarities in every single language.


It must be emphasised that regular lexemes and lexical units, despite their seemingly chaotic mass of different words and stable expressions are, like units of other language levels, systemically arranged. The systemic organisation of lexicon is conditioned in all languages by lingual as well as by extralingual factors which are of universal nature. Among the extralingual factors, predetermining the systemic organisation of lexicon, the following should be pointed out as most important: a) the physical and mental factors; b) the environmental factors; c) the social (суспільні) factors.

A. It is only due to the physical needs of human beings, and to a great extent due to the needs of all living beings in general that all languages have a great number of common notions of actions designated by such verbs as live, eat, drink, think, sleep, wake, walk, run, jump, love, merry, die, etc. And it is only due to the common mental activity of man that every single language of the world has the notions designated by such words as speak, think, ask, answer, decide, realise, imagine, understand and many others. Likewise only due to the unique natural environment of human beings all languages have acquired a large number of common notions designated by words which reflect the multitudes of objects and phenomena surrounding every human being on the globe such as the sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, the sky, thunder, lightning, rain, as well as various species of plants, trees, fruits, colours, and living beings like fish, insects, mice, cats, dogs, etc.

An equally important role in the formation of a mostly common lexicon in all languages is played by the social factor. The latter involves various social phenomena as well as relationships and activities of man. These come to being and become obvious already at the family level involving the relationships and having their expression in such words as mother, father, child, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, etc. All words and combinations of words designating the many notions, which appear due to the above-mentioned principles, constitute a large typologically common class of words referred to as universal lexicon. Here naturally belong many other groups of words as, for example, those expressing deictic notions (pronouns, adverbial and adverbially expressed feelings, exclamations, specific national culturally biased notions).


Apart from this, all developed languages of the world have some other common layers of lexicon which came to being under the influence of different social, economic, historical and other extralingual factors. These layers form dialectal, professional, poetic, archaic, slang, international, specifically national, etc. lexicons. Each of them has its distinctive typologically characteristic features of isomorphic nature in common. Thus, the functioning of dialectal lexicons in any language is restricted to a definite historically destined territory (cf. the Scottish dialect, London cockney or the Western Ukrainian dialects, etc.).

Quite opposite by their nature, which is also a universal peculiarity property, are different international elements (words, phrases and sometimes separate sentences) which split in all languages in two typologically distinct subgroups: 1) genuine internationalisms having a common linguistic form, a common source of origin and identical lexical meaning (cf.: parliament, poet, theatre, molecule, theorem, forum, history, waltz, sword of Damocles, to pass the Rubicon, Pandora's box, etc.) and 2) lexical loan internationalisms which have the same lexical meaning but exist only in national lingual forms. These are usually terms like specific gravity/weight питома вага, the law of gravitation закон земного тяжіння, agreement (gram.) узгодження, the composite sentence складне речення, case відмінок, addition додавання, subtraction віднімання, division ділення, etc.

In contrast to internationalisms there exists one more (already mentioned above ) and typologically relevant group of lexis comprising the units of nationally specific lexicon (both words and different collocations) such as the English farthing, shilling, dollar, Chartist, haggis, Yorkshire pudding, to cut off with a shilling, to accept the Chiltern Hundreds, etc.). Many such or the like nationally specific or culturally biased elements, as they are often called today, exist in Ukrainian and naturally in other languages. Cf. кутя, вареники, думи, бандурист, кобзар, запорожець, ставати на рушник, "Ще не вмерла Україна ", козацькому роду нема переводу, герої Крутів, січовики, etc.

Closely related to the group of specifically national notions are also many words presenting in Ukrainian the so-called "kids" language. The


latter involves mostly tender disyllabic words (usually diminutive nouns and verbs) predominantly used when addressing directly or indirectly one's own or somebody else's kids who can already understand their parents or other persons' speech but are still unable to form coherent phrases or sentences themselves. The most often used all over Ukraine tender kids' words involve mostly the following parts of speech:

/. Nouns: биць/биця (male, calf), киця (cat or kitten), бася (goat), миня (cow, calf), кося (horse or foal, colt), куця/паця (pig or piglet), гав-гав/цюця (dog, puppy), ґуля/гулі (pigeon(s)), гуся (goose), тася (duck or duckling), тютя (usually hen or cock and some times any other domestic bird), etc.

2. Members of family: неня/мама (mummy), тато (daddy), буня/ бабуня (grannie), дядя (uncle), діда (grandfather), няня (nurse), доця (daughter), etc.

3. Parts of human body: вусьо (ear), нозя (legfoot), руця (hand), оцьо/оці (eye, eyes).

4. Other nouns denoting different objects or phenomena: буцьо (ap ple), лозя (spoon), кика (meat), папа (bread), кетя (sweety), моня (milk), льоля (shirt, dress), дюдя (cold weather), люля (cot, cradle, bed), ляля (kid, doll), квітя (flower), цяця (any toy), сося (soother, baby's dummy), пуся (comforter), циця (mother's breast), коко (egg), вува (wolf or anything to scare the child), цьомати (to kiss) and a few others.

B. The linguistic principles of typological classification of lexicon are based in all languages on the following distinguishing features of words: a) on their common lexico-grammatical nature; b) on their belonging to a common lexico-semantic group; c) on their peculiar stylistic function and meaning; d) on their denotative or connotative (or both) meanings, etc.

Thus, in accordance with their most general implicit lexico-grammatical meaning all words are grouped in any living or dead language of the world into a) notionals and b) functionals.

The notionals (повнозначні слова) serve in all languages as principal means of nomination. They also constitute the bulk of words in English and Ukrainian and any other language's lexicon. Apart from their often complicated semantic structure they have different morphological, syn-


tactic and stylistic features of their own. These are not of equal importance in the contrasted languages, however. In English, for example, it is not always possible to say for sure, what part of speech such words as blue, hand, house or even man belong to. Each of them may be a verb (to blue smth, to man ships, to hand smth. over); a noun: (the blue of the sky, the man, two hands) or an adjective (the blue sky), or even have an adverbial meaning (cf. to see blue), etc.

It is mostly not so in Ukrainian, whose words, when even out of a microtext, clearly display their lexico-grammatical nature (cf. хліб, синій, синь, праця, небо, ясний, добре, синити, чоловік/людина, рука, будинок, синіти), etc.

The often indistinct lexico-grammatical meaning of many English notionals does not in the least discard the existence of isomorphic lexico-grammatical classes of them in the contrasted languages. Moreover, both contrasted languages have an isomorphic or even a universal peculiarity of expressing the most general implicit meanings of substantivity, verbiality, deictic properties, adverbiality, etc. thus representing nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals, verbs, adverbs and statives that are parts of speech performing the same functions in English and Ukrainian sentences. The notion of the parts of speech, therefore, belongs to the universal ones.

As to functionals, they are common in English and Ukrainian with the exception of the articles the and a/аn. Namely: prepositions прийменники, conjunctions сполучники, particles частки, interjections вигуки, modal words and modal phrases модальні слова та модальні вирази.

Common therefore are 12 lexico-gramrnatical classes of words each of which has mostly the same properties in the contrasted languages.

The second isomorphic class of words distinguished on linguistic principles represents practically common in the contrasted languages lexico-semantic groups of words (the LSGs). Words of a LSG may often have a regular synonymic relationship in English and Ukrainian. For example, the notion of "dwelling" unites the following row of nouns denoting different kinds of shelter: dug-out (печера, землянка), shanty (халупа), mud-house (глинянка), cabin (хатина), house, cottage, bungalow, villa, palace, apartment, etc. There may also be dwellings characteris-


tic of some ethnic groups, such as wigwam or tepee of the North American Indians or igloo of the indigenous people in Greenland.

Common lexico-semantic groups can be observed among English and Ukrainian adjectives denoting dimension (cf. big, large, great, huge, gigantic, enormous, small, tiny, etc.). Similarly in Ukrainian: великий, здоровий, гігантський, малий, невеликий, дрібний, манюнький, манюсінький, манюпусінький, etc. Or adjectives denoting beauty (beautiful, nice, handsome, pretty, smart, good-looking, etc.). Similarly in Ukrainian: гарний, красивий, вродливий, миловидний, файний (діал.). Adjectives denoting colours: red, yellow, green, blue, pink, brown, azure, orange, violet, white, black, gray, hazel, etc. Or in Ukrainian: червоний, жовтий, зелений, синій, голубий, бурий, коричневий, оранжевий, etc. Common are also verbal LSGs, for example: verbs of saying (say, tell, converse, talk, speak, retort) and in Ukrainian: говорити, розмовляти, балакати, відмовляти, шептатися, заперечувати, etc. Verbs denoting mental or physical perceptions (comprehend, understand, know, like, think; see, hear, taste, feel, touch). They are mostly the same in Ukrainian: розуміти, знати, думати, вважати, гадати, бачити, чути, відчувати, смакувати, торкатися; verbs denoting motion with or without the help of a vehicle (cf. jump, walk, roam, move, wave, wander, paddle, bicycle, etc.). These verbs have equivalents in Ukrainian: стрибати, ходити, блукати, швендяти, лазити, веслувати, плавати, їхати (на возі, машині, поїздом), летіти літаком/гелікоптером and others.

Apart from the above-mentioned there can be singled out several other isomorphic/common LSGs in the contrasted languages. Cf. adjectives denoting age (young, old, middle-aged, green молодий, старий, підстаркуватий, середнього/старшого віку, молодий та зелений, etc.); adverbs denoting quickness/manner: quickly, swiftly, momentally, etc. швидко, хутко, вмить, миттєво, etc.

Separate LSGs are formed by functionals. Thus, among prepositional LSGs there may be local prepositions (on, in, at, over, above, under, below, behind, на, під, коло, поруч, позад, біля, etc.); prepositions denoting direction (to, into, from, towards, up, down, у, в, з, вгору, вниз, від, до etc.). Similar LSGs exist also among the English conjunc-


tions, particles and other parts of speech which have their corresponding equivalents in Ukrainian and in other languages.





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