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ТОП 10 на сайтеПриготовление дезинфицирующих растворов различной концентрации
Техника нижней прямой подачи мяча.
Франко-прусская война (причины и последствия)
Организация работы процедурного кабинета
Смысловое и механическое запоминание, их место и роль в усвоении знаний
Коммуникативные барьеры и пути их преодоления
Обработка изделий медицинского назначения многократного применения
Образцы текста публицистического стиля
Четыре типа изменения баланса
Задачи с ответами для Всероссийской олимпиады по праву
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ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?
Влияние общества на человека
Приготовление дезинфицирующих растворов различной концентрации
Практические работы по географии для 6 класса
Организация работы процедурного кабинета
Изменения в неживой природе осенью
Уборка процедурного кабинета
Сольфеджио. Все правила по сольфеджио
Балочные системы. Определение реакций опор и моментов защемления
MEANING FROM A STYLISTIC POINT OF VIEW
Stylistics is a domain where meaning assumes paramount importance.. This is so because the term 'meaning' is applied not only to words, word-combinations, sentences but also to the manner of expression into which the matter is cast.
"The linguistic term т eani ng has been “defined in so many ways that there appears an urgent need to clarify it; particularly in view of the fact that in so many lexical, grammatical and phonetic SDs this category is treated differently. It has already been mentioned that a stylistic device is mainly realized when a twofold application of meaning is apparent.
At some period in the development of a certain trend in linguistic theory in America, viz. descriptive linguistics, meaning was excluded from observations in language science; it was considered an extra-linguistic category.
The tendency was so strong that R. Jakobson proposed the term "semantic invariant" as a substitute for 'meaning'. "If, however, you dislike the word meaning because it is too ambiguous," writes R. Jakobson, "then let us simply deal with semantic invariants, no less important for linguistic analysis than the phonemic invariants."1
But this tendency has been ruled out by later research in language data. One of the prominent American scientists, Wallace L. Chafe, is right when he states that "...the data of meaning are both accessible to linguistic explanation and crucial to the investigation of language structure — in certain ways more 'crucial than the data of sound to which linguistic,studies have given such unbalanced attention."2
The problem of meaning in general linguistics deals mainly with such aspects of the term as the interrelation between meaning and concept, meaning and sign, meaning and referent. The general tendency is to regard meaning as something stable at a given period of time. This is reasonable, otherwise no dictionary would be able to cope with the problem of defining the meaning of words. Moreover, no communication would be possible.
In stylistics meaning is also viewed as a category which is able to acquire meariingsjnrposed on the words by the context. That is why such "meanings are called contextual meanings. This category also takes under observation meanings which have fallen out of use.
In stylistics it is important to discriminate shades or nuances of meaning, to atomize the meaning, the component parts of which are now called the semes^ i.e. the smallest units of which meaning of a Word consists. "A proper concern for meanings," writes W. Chafe, "should lead to a situation where, in the training of linguists, practice in the discrimination of concepts will be given at least as much time in the curriculum as practice in the discrimination of sounds."3
It will be shown later, in the analysis of SDs, how important it is to discriminate between the meanings of a given word or construction in order to adequately comprehend the idea and purport of a passage and of a complete work.
It is now common knowledge that lexical meaning Differs from gram- , matical meaning in more than one way. L e x i cat meaning refers the mind to some concrete concept, phenomenon, or thing of objective reality, whether real or imaginary. Lexical meaning is thus a means by which a word-fprm is made to express a definite concept.
G г а т m_a t i с a I meaning refers our mind to relations between words or to some forms of-words or constructions bearing upon their structural functions in the language-as-a-system. Grammatical meaning can thus be adequately called "structural meaning".,
There are no words which are deprived of grammatical meaning inasmuch as all words belong to some system and consequently have their
olace in the system, and also inasmuch as they always function in speech displaying their functional properties. It is the same with sentences. Every sentence has its own independent structural meaning. This structural meaning may in some cases be influenced or affected by the lexical meanings of the components or by intonation. In the sentence 'I shall never go to that place again1, we have a number of words with lexical meanings (never, go, place, again) and words with only grammatical meaning (/, shall, that) and also the meaning of the whole sentence, which is defined as a structure in statement form.
But each of the meanings, being closely interwoven and interdependent, can none the less be regarded as relatively autonomous and therefore be analyzed separately.
It is significant that words acquire different status when analyzed in isolation or in the sentence. This double aspect causes in the long run the growth of the semantic structure of a word, especially when the two aspects frequently interweave.
Words can be classed according to different principles: morphological "(parts of ispech), semantic (synonyms, antonyms, thematic), stylis-lic (see classification on p. 72), and other types of classification. In each of these classifications lexical or/and grammatical meanings assume different manifestations. In a morphological classification words are grouped according to their grammatical meanings; in a semantic classification, according to their logical (referential) meanings, in a stylistic classification, according to their stylistic meaning.
Lexical meanings are closely related to concepts. They are sometimes identified with concepts. But concept is a purely logical category, whereas meaning is a linguistic one. In linguistics it is necessary to view meaning as the representation of a concept through one of its properties. Concept, as is known, is versatile; it is characterized by a number of properties. Meaning takes one of these properties and makes it represent the concept as a whole. Therefore meaning in reference to concept becomes, as it were, a kind of metonymy. This statement is significant inasmuch as it will further explain the stylistic function of certain meanings. One and the same concept can be represented in a number of linguistic manifestations (meanings) but, paradoxal though it may sound, each manifestation causes a slight (and sometimes considerable) modification of the concept, in other words, discloses latent or unknown properties^ of the concept.
"The variability of meanings," writes R. Jakobson, "their manifold and far-reaching figurative shifts, and an incalculable aptitude for multiple paraphrases are just those properties of natural language which induce its creativity and endow not only poetic but even scientific activities with a continuously inventive sweep. Here the indefiniteness and creative power appear to be wholly interrelated."1
The inner property of language, which may be defined as self-generating, is apparent in meaning. It follows then that the creativity of
guistics in Relation to Other Sciences.— In: "Selected-Works".
language so often referred to in this work, lies in this particular category of language science — meaning.
The variability of "meanings caused by the multifarious practical application of the basic (fundamental) meaning when .used in speech has led to the birth of a notion known as polysemanticism. This is a linguistic category which contains a great degree of ambiguity. On the one hand, we perceive meaning as a representation of a definite concept by means of a word. On the other hand, we state that the same concept may be expressed by different meanings all belonging to the same word.
Still more confusing is the well-recognized fact that different concepts may be expressed by one and the same word. But such is the very nature of language, where contradiction, ambiguity and uncertainty run parallel with rigidity, strictness and conformity to standard requirements of grammatical acceptability.
S. D. Katznelson remarks in this connection that "a lexical meaning may... conflict with the basic functional meaning of its class remaining, however, within its own class."1
The ability of a word to be polysemantic, i.e. to comprise several lexical meanings, becomes a crucial issue for stylistic studies. It must be clearly understood that the multitude of meanings that a word may have is not limited by dictionaries where this multitude has already been recognized and fixed. Some meanings, which for the time being have not as yet been recognized as legitimate members of the semantic structure of the given word, may, in the course of time, through frequent use become such and subsequently become fixed in dictionaries. Convincing proof of this are the so-called addenda to new editions of dictionaries where new meanings are presented as already recognized facts of language.
A stylistic approach to the issue in question takes into consideration the fact that every word, no^matter how rich in meanings it may be, leaves the door open for nЈw shades and nuances and even for independent meanings. True, such meanings are not always easily accepted as normal. Moreover, many of them are rejected both by scholars and the people and therefore are not recognized as facts of language. Such meanings become obscure in the family of lexical meanings of a word; they can only be traced back to the original use. However, some of these meanings are occasionally re-established in the vocabulary at a later time.
Lexical meaning, be it repeated, is a conventional category. Very frequently it does not reflect the properties of tiie thing or the phenomenon it refers to. However, some meanings are said to be motivated, i.e. they point to some quality or feature of the object. The conventional character of meaning can best be illustrated by the following example. In Russian the word * белье' is a general term denoting all kinds of articles made from flax: underwear, household articles, shirts and so on. The origin of the word is белый (white). In English this concept is denoted by the word 'linen', wrhich is the name of the material (Latin linutn —
* Кацнельсон С. Д. Типология языка и речевое мышление. Л., 1972, с. 154. 60
flax) from which the articles mentioned were made. In German the same concept is 'die Wasche', i.e. something that can be washed, a process, not the material, not the colour. The concept from which all meanings branch off is known as the inner form of the word.
So we see that different properties, essential, non-essential, optional and even accidental may be taken to name the object. The chosen property in the course of time loses its semantic significance and dependence on the inner form andlhe word begins to function in the language as a generic term, a sign for various objects.
Here we approach the theory of signs, which is so important in understanding the relative 'character of language units and their functioning.
By a sign, generally speaking, we understand one material object capable of denoting another object or idea. The essential property of a sign is its relatively conventional character. A sign does not possess the properties of the object it denotes. It is made to denote another object by its very nature. In other words, people impose on certain objects the quality to denote other objects. Thus, a flag is the sign of a nation (state), a cross is the sign of Christianity, a plain gold ring is the sign of marriage, a uniform is the sign of a definite calling or profession, a crown is the sign of monarchy. These are sign-symbols. There are also signs which are not material objects.
The science that deals with the general theory of signs is called s e-mio-t i с s. It embraces different systems of signs,— traffic signs, communication between different species of living beings, etc.
The following is a widely recognized definition of a sign:
"A sign is a material, sensuously perceived object (phenomenon, action) appearing in the process of cognition and communication in the capacity of a representative (substitute) of another object (or objects) and used for receiving, storing, recasting and transforming information about this object."1
Signs are generally used in a definite system showing the interrelations and interdependence of the components of the system. This system is called а с о d e. Thus we speak of a language code whichuconsists of different signs—lexical, phonetic, morphological, syntactical and stylistic. Every code is easily recognized by its users, they understand the-nature, meaning, significance and interrelation of the signs comprising the given code. Moreover, the user of the code must be well aware of possible obstacles in deciphering the meaning of different signs.
This presupposes a preliminary knowledge not only of the basic meanings of the signs in question but also the derivative meanings and the minimum of semes of each meaning.
One of the essential features of a sign, as has been stated above, is HS conventional, arbitrary character. However, the language system, unlike other semiotic systems, has the following distinctive feature: navmg once been established and having been in circulation for some Period of time, it becomes resistant to substitutions. No effort to replace a sound, pr a morpheme, or a word, not to mention a structural pattern,
has been successful. If an innovation is forced by reiterated usage into the-language-as-a-system it inevitably undergoes a certain modification of its meaning (ideographic or stylistic).
It will be noticed here that we often speak of signs and meanings, having in mind words. To clear up possible ambiguity let us make it clear that words are units of language which can be compared to signs, for they are materialized manifestations of ideas, things, phenomena, events, actions, properties and other concepts, whereas meanings are ' the products of our mental decisions. The materialized manifestations of words take the-form either of a chain of vowel and consonant sounds (sound waves) or of a chain of graphical signs which are the interpretation of these sounds. Meanings are not material phenomena. That is why we frequently meet the definition of the word as having a twofold nature: material and spiritual. The form of the word which, as has been stated above, also contains meaning differs from the word only in one respect, viz. it is not independent, in other words, it cannot be used autonomously. It is always a part of a word.
For example, the word spirit is a self-sustained unit. But the suffix -at in spiritual is not so, though it possesses both material form and a meaning (grammatical: a unit that can form an adjective).
This contradictory nature of a word is the source by which its semantic wholeness,-on the one hand, and its diversity on the other, is caused. The study of how words gradually develop, change and lose their meaning and acquire new ones is the subject of lexicology and lexicography.
A word can be defined as a unit of language functioning within the sentence or within a part ofit which by its sound or graphical form expresses a concrete or abstract notion or a grammatical ...notion through "one of its meanings and which is capable of enriching its semantic structure by acquiring new meanings and losing old ones.
To expjain the sernantic structure of a word is not an easy task. Only lexicographers know how difficult it is. This difficulty is mainly caused by the very nature of the word. It may in some circumstances reveal such overtones of meaning as are not elements of the code.
The following analogy will not come amiss. There are in nature sounds that we do not hear, there is light that we do not see, and heat that we do not feel. Special apparatus is necessary to detect these phenomena. Almost the same cart be .said about almost every language sign: sound, morpheme, word, sentence, stylistic device. These signs can bring to life subtleties of meaning which, are passed unnoticed by the untrained mind and which can be detected only through the employment of a special method, called supralinear analysis. This method requires some faith in intuition. Most scholars, however, rely on well-verified facts to the detriment of the evidence of the senses.x Max Born, the physicist, gives a well verified example. He says that if we speak of vacillations and waves in space, we necessarily presuppose the existence
f the object to which the verb Vacillate' refers. * It will be a violation of this well-established law if we use a verb not having in mind (explicitly or implicitly) the object to which it refers.
We have dealt at some length with such concepts as meaning and sign because these are the crucial issues of stylistics. Nothing can ever be achieved in stylistic studies without a thorough understanding of these highly complicated notions.
There is a difference in the treatment of the potentialities of language signs in grammar, phonetics and lexicology, on the one hand, and in stylistics, on the other. In stylistics we take it for granted that a word has an almost unlimited potentiality of acquiring new meanings, whereas in lexicology this potentiality is restricted to semantic and grammatical acceptability. In stylistics the intuitive, and therefore to a very great extent subjective, perception of meaning in words is raised to the level of actuality. The issue touched upon here is the well-known contradistinction between the scientific (abstract), intellectually precise perception of world phenomena and the sensory, intuitive, vague and uncertain impressions of an artistic perception of these same phenomena. Max Born has it somewhat differently: "The representatives of one group do not want to reject or to sacrifice the idea of the absolute and therefore remain faithful to everything subjective. They create a picture of the world which is not the result of a systemic method; but of the unexplained activity of religious, artistic or poetic expressions of other people. Here reign religious zeal, aspirations to brotherhood, and often fanaticism, intolerance and the suppression of intellect... The representatives of the opposing group, on the contrary, reject the idea of the absolute. They discover frequently with horror that inner feelings cannot be expressed in comprehensible forms." 2
Leaving aside the rather ambiguous pronouncement concerning the aspirations of those who adhere to the idea of the absolute, we cannot but admit that those who reject the intuitive in the analysis of language phenomena are prone to suppress everything which arises from a sensory perception of language- in- act ion, thus overlooking the fact that the intuitive is in the long run the result of accumulated social experience.
It is of paramount importance in stylistics to bear in mind that concepts of pbjective reality have different degrees of abstractness. This is adequately manifested in language. Adjectives are more abstract in meaning than nouns. Adverbs may be considered more abstract than adjectives inasmuch as they usually characterize an abstract notion, action or state. Conjunctions and prepositions have a still higher degree oi abstractness because it is not objects as such lhat they indicate, but tne correlation of the concepts involved. Therefore we may consider conJunctions and prepositions, and some auxiliary words as well, to be °n the borderline between lexical and grammatical categories, or in errns of meaning, having a grammatical meaning which suppresses the ie*ical meaning.
Within the grammatical classes of words there are also different degrees of abstractness. Nouns, as is known, are divided into two large classes, abstract and concrete. But this division does not correspond to the actual difference in the degree of abstractness. This will be explained later when we come to illustrate abstractness and concreteness.
A word, as is known, generalizes. Consequently, a word will always denote a concept, no matter whether it names a definite object or em-braces all the objects of a given kind.
The problem of abstractness, and especially the degree of abstractness, is of vital importance in stylistics in more than one respect. Stylistics deSls not only with the aesthetic and emotional impact of the language. It also studies the means of producing impressions in our mind. Impression is the first and rudimentary stage of concept. But the concept through a reverse process may build another kind of impression. Impressions that are secondary to concepts, in other words, which have been born by concepts, are called i т a g e r y.
Imagery is mainly produced by the interplay of different meanings. Concrete objects are easily perceived by the senses. Abstract notions are perceived by the mind. When an abstract notion is by the force of the mind represented through a concrete object, an image is the result. Imagery may be built on the interrelation of two abstract notions or two concrete objects or an abstract and a concrete one.
Three types of meaning can be distinguished, which we shall call logical, emotive and nominal respectively.
Logic a I mean ( n g is the precise naming of a feature of the idea, phenomenon or'object, the name by which we recognize the whole of the concept. This meaning is also synonymously called referential meaning or direct meaning. We shall use the terms logical and referential as being most adequate for our purpose.
Referential meanings are liable to change. As a result the referential meanings of one word may denote different concepts. It is therefore necessary tb distinguish between primary and secondary referential, or logical, meaning.
Thus, the, adverb inwardly has the primary logical meaning of * internally', or^within'. Its secondary logical meanings are: 'towards the centre', 'mentally', 'secretly', which are to some extent derived from the primary meaning.1 Some dictionaries give a very extended list of primary and secondary logical meanings, and it is essential for stylistic purposes to distinguish them, as some stylistic devices are built on the interplay of primary and secondary logical meanings.
All the meanings fixed by authoritative English and American dictionaries comprise what is called the semantic structure of t he w о r d. The meanings that are to be found in speech or writing and which are accidental should not be regarded as components of the semantic structure of the word. They may be transitory, inasmuch as they depend on the context. They are contextual meanings.
1 Such meanings are therefore also called derivative meanings.
Let us compare the meanings of the word presence in the following two sentences.
"The governer said that he would not allow the presence of federal troops on the soil of his State."
"...the General has been faced with the problem of the country's presence on foreign soil, the stubborn resistance of officers and officials..." .'
In the first sentence the word presence merely means '...the state of being present', whereas in the second sentence the meaning of the word expands into '...occupation', i. e. the seizure and control of an area, especially foreign territory, by* military forces.
The first meaning is the dictionary meaning of the word. The second meaning is a coni^duaLxme. ItJHiyes only injthe givenjext and disappears if the contextls~altered. However, wffiere"are^(Iefmife reasons to assume that a number of derivative meanings are given place in dictionaries on the basis of contextual meanings. When the two meanings clearly co-exist in the utterance, we say there is an interaction of dictionary and contex- ^ tual meanings. When only one meaning is perceived by the reader, we are с sure to find this meaning in dictionaries as a derivative one.
Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether there is a simultaneous materialization of two dictionary logical meanings or an interplay of a dictionary and a contextual meaning. The difficulty is caused, on the one hand, by insufficient objective criteria of what should be fixed in , dictionaries as already established language facts and, on the other hand, by deliberate political, aesthetic, moral and other considerations on the part of the compilers of the dictionaries.
Thus, in Byron's use of the word arise in the line "Awake, ye sons of Spain, awake, arise\" the word arise has the long-established meaning of 'revolt'. It is not contextual any longer. But no English or American dictionary fixes this particular meaning in the semantic structure of the word, and it is left to the ability of the attentive reader to supply the obvious meaning. •'"•"".
The same can be said about the word appeasement. There is an impp-cit^difference in the treatment of the semantic structure of this word in British and American dictionaries. In no British dictionary will you find the new derivative meaning, viz. 'a sacrifice of moral principle in order to avert aggression'. Some modern American dictionaries include this meaning in the semantic structure of the word 'appeasement7. The reason for the difference is apparent—the British prime minister Chamberlain in 1938 played an ignoble role in Munich, sacrificing Czechoslovakia to Hitler's greed. The new meaning that was attached to the word (in connection with this historical event) cannot now be removed from its semantic structure.
A dictionary meaning is materialized in the context; a contextual
meaning is born in the context. However, dictionaries, though the only
enable sources of information regarding the meanings of a given word,
PPly very diverse and even contradictory principles in ascertaining
e general acceptability and recognition of some of the shades of meaning з x.
which are in process of being shaped as independent meanings. Thus, to excuse oneself in the meaning of 'to leave', as in 'Soames excused himself directly after dinner* (Galsworthy); or the meaning of a thought = ^ little' as in * A thought more fashionably than usual' (Galsworthy) are fixed -as separate meanings in some modern British and American dictionaries, but are neglected in others.
Every word possesses an enormous potentiality for generating new meanings. This power is often under-estimated by scholars who regard a word as a unit complete in itself and acknowledge a new-born meaning only when it has firmly asserted itself in language and become accepted by the majority of the language community. But not to see the latent possibilities of a word is not to understand the true nature of this unit of language.
The potentiality of words can also be noted in regard to emotive me an ing. Emotive meaning also materializes a concept in the word, but, unlike logical meaning, emotive meaning has reference not directly ""to things or phenomena of objective reality, but to the feelings and emotions of the speaker towards these things or to his emotions as such. Therefore the emotive meaning bears reference to things, phenomena or * ideas through a kind of evaluation of thejji. For example:
I feel so darned lonely. (Graham Green, "The Quiet American".) He classified him as a man of monstrous selfishness; he did
not want to see that knife descend, but he felt it for one great
fleeting instant. (London)
The italicized words have no logical meaning, only^emotive meaning. Their function is to reveal the subjective, evaluating attitude of the writer to the things or events spoken of. Men-of-letters themselves are well aware that words may reveal a subjective evaluation and sometimes use it for definite stylistic effects, thus calling the attention of the reader to the meaning of such words, "Thus, for example, in the following passage from "The Man of Property" by Galsworthy:
"She was not a flirt, not even a coquette—words dear to the heart of his generation, which loved to define things by a good, broad, inadequate word—but she was dangerous."
Here the words 'flift' and ^coquette' retain some of their logical mean-., ing. They mean a person (particularly a girl) who endeavours to attract the opposite sex, who toys with her admirers. But both words have acquired an additional significance,'viz. a derogatory shade of meaning. This shade may grow into an independent meaning and in this case will be fixed in dictionaries as having a special emotive meaning, as, for example, have the words fabulous, terrifying, stunning, spectacular, swell, top, smart, cute, massive and the like.
Жапу words acquire an emotive meaning only in a definite context. In that casejve say that the word has a cjni t e*x t и a I e т о t i v e meaning.
Stephen Ullmann holds that
"Only the context can show whether a word should be taken as a purely objective expression, or whether it is primarily designed to convey and arouse emotions. This is obvious in the case of words like liberty, and justice, which are frequently charged with emotional implications. But even colourless everyday terms may, in freak contexts, acquire unexpected emotional overtones, as, for instance, 'wall' in this passage- from a Midsummer Night's Dream:
'And thou, О wall, О sweet, О lovely wall, ...Thanks, courteous wall... О wicked wall.'"1 Ullmann's point of view is only partly true. There are, of course, words which, as we have pointed out, may acquire emotive meaning in a context. Ordinarily though, and particularly when taken as isolated lexical units, they can hardly be said to possess emotive meaning. But Ullmann's opinion that only the context can inject emotive meaning into words, contradicts the facts. In the vocabulary of almost any European language there are words which are undoubtedly bearers of emotive meaning. These are interjections, oaths or swear-words, exclamatory^ words (variants of interjectioris)^ЈZg^
intensifying adjectives some of which have already been mentioned: ThH^ emotive meaning of some"orTKese classes of words is so strong that it suppresses the co-listing logical meaning, as, for example, in stunning and smart. It is significant that these words are explained in dictionaries by means of synonymous words charged with strong emotional implications, i.e. words that direct the mind not to objective things, ideas or phenomena but to the feelings. Thus, the word smart is explained in | "The Penguin English Dictionary" thus: "stinging, pungent, keen; vigorous, brisk; clever, intelligent; impertinent; shrewd; witty; spruce, neat, gay, fashionable!"2
Other classes of words with emotive meaning have entirely lost their logical meaning and function in the. language as interjections. Such words as alas, oh, ah, pooh, darn, gosh and the like have practically no logical meaning at all; words like the devil, Christ, God, goodness graci-ows^etc., are frequently used only in their emotive meaning. The same сапТэе said about The words bloody, damn and other expletives.
Contrary To Stephen Ullmann, we think that emotive meaning is inherent in a definite group of words and adherent to many words denoting emotions and feelings even when taken out of the context.
Ullmann's example of the word wall as bearing strong emotive meaning does not stand scrutiny. He overlooks thЈ*real bearers of emotive meaning, viz. the words preceding or following it: 0, sweet, lovely (these three words are repeated several times), courteous, wicked. It goes without saying that these words strongly colour3 the word wall, but nq emotive meaning as a counterpart of logical meaning can be observed here.* Colon ring is a loose term. It is used here as a synonym to contextual emotive meaning. But it may be used further on when wewant to point out the effect on the utterance as a whole of a word with a strong emotive meaning.
JEmotive meaning of wordsplays jn impprtant role in stylistics. Therefore It should never be underrated. A very Keen eye or' ear "will-always distinguish elements of emotive meaning. ^Emotional colouring may be regarded as a rudimentary stage of emotive" meaning: This js generally fixed as an independent meaning in good dictionaries. Anything recognizable as having a-strong impact on our senses may be considered as having emotive meaning, either dictionary or contextual. "" And finally we come to nominal meaning. There are words which, while expressing concepts, indicate a particular object out of a class. In other words, these units of the language serve the purpose of Singling out one definite and singular object but of a whole class of sim-'ilar objects. These^ words are classified in grammars as proper nouns. The nature of these words can be understood if we have a clear idea of the difference between the two main aspects of a word: "nomination" and "signification". These aspects are also called "reference" and "signification" or "denotation" and "connotation". The difference can roughly be illustrated by the following example.
Let us take the word table. The first thing that appears in our mind is the general notion deprived of any concrete features or properties. This is the signification. But by the word table we may also denote a definite table. In this case we use a definite article and the meaning becomes nominating. But we may also fix a definite name to the object which we want to be recognized as a unique object because of its peculiar properties. In this way proper names appear. Their function is not to single out one of the objects of the class for one particular occasion, as in the
д case with the use of the definite article, but to make it the bearer of the properties which our mind Has attached to it. Thus nominal meaning is a derivative logical meaning. To distinguish nominal meaning from logical meaning the former is designated by a capital letter. Such words as .Smith* Longfellow, Everest, Black Sea, Thames, Byron are said to fiave nominal meaning. The logical meaning from which they originate may in tHe course of time be forgotten and therefore not easily traced back. Most proper names have nominal meanings which may be regarded as homonyms of common nouns with their logical or emotive meanings, as Hope, Browning, Taylor, Scotland, Black, Chandler, Chester (from the Latin word castra—'camp'). Hence logical meanings which nominate an object, at the same time signify the whole class of these objects. Nominal "meanings which nominate an object are deprived of the latter function UЈЈ2^^ It must be remembered, however, tEIFThe nbmmarmeaning will always be secondary to the logical mean-
The process of development of meaning may go still further. A nominal mejjimgmav assume a logical meaning due to certain external cir-cumsf ances7THe"FesuItlslhat a logical meaning takes its origin in a norn-rnah*TreHTnng;r Some feature of a person which has made him or her no-TiceaBTFarid which is recognized by the community is made the basis for the new logical meaning. Thus dunce (a dullard, a stupid person) is derived from the personal name, Duns Scotus, a medieval scholastic; hooligan (a ruffian) is probably derived from the name of a rowdy farn-
cf the Irish name Houligan, in a comic song popular about 1885; 1 n//frefuse to do business with, combine together against a person by к skins off all relations with him). The verb boycott was first used in 1ЯЯО to describe the action of the Land League towards Captain Boycott, Irish landlord. The^nominal meanings of these words have now faded аП av and we perceive only" l>ne[thelogica[ meaning: But sometimes the ^ress"o! "'Ш^11Гп^11Ж1пЯ'11п1в;апш^ to" a worcTwith a logical meaning Fkes place, as it were, before our eyes. This is done for purely stylistic purposes arid is regarded as a special stylistic device (see p. 164).
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