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Semantic evolution of quantitative words

Semantic evolution of quantitative words
Ольга Шуменко, старший преподаватель, кандидат филологических наук

Сумской государственный университет, Украина

Участник первенства: Национальное первенство по научной аналитике - "Украина";

УДК811. 111’37

The article in question deals with semantic evolution of quantitative words. The attention is being focused on the lexical parallels of the English Numerals. The perspective vectors of further investigation are being considered.

Keywords: quantitative words, counting words, Numerals, dual number, parity.

 

By semantic evolution we understand the modifications which are undergone by quantitative words. They are referring to both discrete and non-discrete denotates. In the article we focus our attention on Numerals, on the one hand, and the words of weight and measure, on the other. The former refer to discrete nouns, the latter – to non-discrete ones. Both realize the quantitative function, which is actualized at different language levels – grammatical, lexical and phraselogical. The idea is that modern counting words were once the words of substance which had been modified with times.

Alongside with Numerals there are English numeric words brace, pair, couple make the study of which is important for understanding the major stages of quantity cognition. In modern English grammar dual number category is absent [2, 27]. Words expressing the concept of the dual number refer to various lexical groups: double - adj.; to double - v.; both – pr.; brace - n., which are simple in their structure.

The word brace is of the Roman origin reflects the role of the hand in the quantitative cognition; it has the meaning of ‘two hands’. Denotative meaning of this word had been connected with the domain ‘yoke of animals’. In semantic structure brace includes the meaning of parity. This word is also used as a component of a quantitative attribute to defined words: - a brace of hundred pounds, a brace of thousands. Word brace is used ironically in expressions: a brace of two, a brace of duke, thirty brace of grouse.

The meaning of parity is worded by couple and pair. The lexeme couple belongs to the Latin words and is associated with the meaning of ‘yoke’ and ‘what unites the two’. With the times, the word came to mean parity, cf.: - a couple of girls, a couple of partners. In agricultural vocabulary brace means ‘sheep with a lamb’. Couple is homonymous in singular and plural forms, cf.: - a twenty couple of dogs, a couple of eggs, three couple of dollars. The word couple refers to objects, people and animals [6].

The word pair is a synonym to couple and nominates a certain correspondence of denotates. Pair correlates with words nominating paired items [5], cf.: - pair of ears, pair of lips, pair of arms, pair of hands, pair of legs, pair of shoes, pair of sleeves, pair of trousers. The word pair has identical singular and plural forms. Couple indicates the number of two referring to goods, animals and people. Pair identifies a specific group, cf.:- We got some eggs - would you like a couple? (Ben Elton, p. 327). A couple of children were playing marbles (Donald E. Westlake, p. 163). She resolved to buy him a new pair of jeans (Jill Mansell, p. 111). Students work alone or in pairs (Linda Warren, p. 174).

Thus, brace, couple and pair are used in English to refer to the dual number, parity, making a set of synonyms in the hyponymic relation to Numeral two. The seme parity is restricted in its usage. Word brace is used basically to nominate two animals in question; pair and couple refer to both - animals and humans; they have a wider range of operation.

The concept of the dual number is categorized in free and stable phrases [1] in the following models: pr. + n. (double love); adj. + n. (both members); v. + adv. (to read twice). Stable combinations resonate the direct meaning of primary expressions of the type two minds are better than one. Expressions of the type two by four illustrate the loss of prior semantic meanings; they refer to indefinite number or small number [4, 37-39]. Some linguistic units work wonders on the verge of syntax and phraseology domains [3].

Word score borrowed from the Scandinavian language nominates a group of sheep counted by 20 pieces. Universally, in all languages one can trace the words of counting the sources of which were motivated by the nature of counted things, their parts – (animals were counted by heads, channels – by springs, trees – by roots, etc. [5, 58-68]. Counting words used to indicate syncretically both the meaning of substances and numerality. Numerals are used in reference to rigorous succession of numbers, counting words are used selectively. Morphologically both groups (Numerals and counting words) come to be alike in their isomorphic aspects relating to their semantic deviations, syntactical functional and pragmatic valuation.

Alongside with the words of parity, there are quantitative units of an indefinite number, cf.: a school of fish, a team of dogs, a bale of cotton, a nest of ducks, a pile of books. Countable nouns of discrete nature correlate with quantifiers – many, (a) few; while uncountable nouns with much, little. This phenomenon goes back to earlier periods of English [4]. They say, words of measure and weight originated from names of somatic nature (nail, foot), tools (pole, chain, rod), land (hide, acre), glassware (pint, ton, gallon). Words of weight and measure came into being later than Numerals and, due to this their primary meaning of substance is kept until now [5, 24-29].

Thus, the quantitative words are of the secondary derivative nature which is proved by their retrospective and perspective vectors of linguistic evolution. Synchronically, at present time their quantitative function is prior. Quantitative words are open in their polyfunctionality of meanings and forms. The question of the epidigmatic status awaits its further exploration.

 

Literature:

  • 1. Apresyan Y.D. Lexical Semantics: Synonymic means of language / Y.D. Apresyan. - Moscow: Nauka, 1974. - 367 p.
  • 2. Arutyunova D. The problem of number / N.D. Arutyunova // Logical Analysis of Language. Quantitative aspect of language - M. Indryk, 2005. - P. 5-21.
  • 3. Zemskaya E.A. Modern Russian. Wordbuilding / E.A. Zemskaya. - M.: Education, 1973. – 304 p.
  • 4. Shvachko S.A. Means of expression of quantity in modern English, Russian and Ukrainian Languages: [monograph] / S. O. Shvachko. - K.: Vishcha Shkola, 1981. - 144 p. 
  • 5. Shvachko S. O. Words of measure and weight: linguistic and cognіtive aspects: [monograph] / S. O. Shvachko. - Sumy: publ. off. Sumy State University, 2008. - 132 p.
  • 6. Shumenko O.A. Characteristics of numeric words / O.A. Shumenko // Sign – Consciousness - Knowledge [sat. of scientific work / ex. ed. V.I. Terkulov]. - Gorlovka: Izd. GGPIIYA, 2011. – Issue 2. - P. 189-193.

Illustrative literature:

  • 7. Elton Ben.Gridlock/Elton Ben.––Great Britain :A Black Swan Book, 1991. –– 448 p.
  • 8. Mansell Jill. Head Our Heels / Mansell Jill. –– London: Headline Book Publishing,
  • 1998. –– 441 p.
  • 9. Warren Linda. All Roads Leads To Texas / Warren Linda. –– Mills & Boon, Super Romance, 2007. –– 376 p.
  • 10. WestlakeDonald E. God Save the Mark / Westlake Donald E. –– Rosetta Books, 2010. –– 272 p.
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Ваша оценка: Нет Средняя: 8.2 (10 голосов)
Комментарии: 21

Назаренко Елена Вячеславовна

Dear Olga, thank you for your interesting investigation and wish you success in further researches! Quantative words play extremely important role in language and speech as well as their evolution and modern changes. It was useful and interesting to read your article and enjoy bright examples. Nazarenko Yelena.

Парзулова, Марияна, Христова

Уважаемая Ольга! Спасибо за великолепный доклад. Язык доступен, много примеров. Исследования, связанные со семантикой будут всегда важными. Желаю успехов в Вашей дальнейшей и плодотворной работе! Марияна Парзулова

Reva Natalia

Dear Olga! Thank you for the profound research and interesting data that are to help many young scientists (and me in particular) with the investigations in the corresponding field. I wish there were more articles of the kind. I await new great works from you.

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much for your comment, dear colleague!

Irina Shipilova

Dear Olga, your article was interested me. It's really exciting to know the origin of some numerals. Thanks to the examples the information is interesting and clear. I'll recommend your article to my colleagues. Good luck in your research work.

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much, dear Irina!

Косых Елена Анатольевна

Уважаемая Ольга! Успехов в подобных исследованиях! Сопоставление и диахронический анализ - всегда актульно и информативно, позволяет демонстрировать различные точки зрения. Несмотря на то, что именно познавательная деятельность человека и отражается в фактах языка, внимание этому уделяется только в последние десятилетия.Удачи! Елена Косых.

Ольга Шуменко

Спасибо большое, уважаемая Елена! Желаю и Вам удачи и успеха!

Залевская Александра Александровна

Dear colleague, your paper on the modification of word meanings is interesting, it demonstrates that modern counting words were once the words of substance. But it is necessary to consult a wider range of dictionaries for additional information. E.g.Webste's Dictionary (Unabridged, 1854) traces the origin of counting words, their possible roots and probable influences that directed change in their form and meaning. I wish you success and good luck! Alexandra Zalevskaya

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much for your comment and advice, dear Alexandra.

Dorda, Vitalii

The paper is fantastic! The examples are fascinating! The structure is perfect! Well done!

Ольга Шуменко

Спасибо!

Жданова Любовь

Автор приводит в статье примеры для подтверждения теоретических концептов. Интересный материал, актуально для исследователей в данной сфере.

Ольга Шуменко

Большое спасибо за Ваш комментарий.

Баласанян Марианна Альбертовна

Спасибо за интересный доклад. Очень актуально, научно обоснованно, теория подтверждается примерами в довольно большом количестве. Еще раз спасибо. Удачи в дальнейшей научной деятельности. С уважением, М.А.Баласанян

Ольга Шуменко

Огромное спасибо Вам, уважаемая Марианна! Мне очень приятно, что моя статья Вас заинтересовала. Желаю и Вам удачи.С уважением Ольга.

hamitouche

Dear Olga, I have familiarized myself with your profound article and must point out that it is highly informative and instructive in its own right. It targets numerous aspects of English and appeals to the audience dealing with the language. Your article is expounded in explicit, distinct and detailed manner to people pertinent/concerned. I would definitely recommend it to others for its discovery and wish to express my sincere gratitude towards your work. Looking forward to seeing many more. Keep it up!

Кобякова Ирина

Уважаемая Ольга! Несомненно, обсуждаемая проблема очень актуальна в настоящее время. С большим интересом ознакомилась с Вашей работой. Статья содержит ценный теоретический материал, буду рекомендовать ее для прочтения своим студентам. Мне было бы любопытно почитать и другие Ваши работы, подкрепленные яркими практическими примерами. C уважением Ирина Кобякова.

Ольга Шуменко

Огромное Вам спасибо, уважаемая Ирина! Для меня очень ценно Ваше мнение. Буду рада нашему сотрудничеству в дальнейшем. С уважением Ольга Шуменко.

Карамалак Ольга Алексеевна

Thank you Olga! That is a very interesting paper devoted to semamntics of quantative words with both diachronic and synchronic approach. What is interesting is that this research touches upon grammatical, lexical, and phraseological levels and also takes into account cognitive aspects of the language.

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much for your comment,Olga!
Комментарии: 21

Назаренко Елена Вячеславовна

Dear Olga, thank you for your interesting investigation and wish you success in further researches! Quantative words play extremely important role in language and speech as well as their evolution and modern changes. It was useful and interesting to read your article and enjoy bright examples. Nazarenko Yelena.

Парзулова, Марияна, Христова

Уважаемая Ольга! Спасибо за великолепный доклад. Язык доступен, много примеров. Исследования, связанные со семантикой будут всегда важными. Желаю успехов в Вашей дальнейшей и плодотворной работе! Марияна Парзулова

Reva Natalia

Dear Olga! Thank you for the profound research and interesting data that are to help many young scientists (and me in particular) with the investigations in the corresponding field. I wish there were more articles of the kind. I await new great works from you.

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much for your comment, dear colleague!

Irina Shipilova

Dear Olga, your article was interested me. It's really exciting to know the origin of some numerals. Thanks to the examples the information is interesting and clear. I'll recommend your article to my colleagues. Good luck in your research work.

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much, dear Irina!

Косых Елена Анатольевна

Уважаемая Ольга! Успехов в подобных исследованиях! Сопоставление и диахронический анализ - всегда актульно и информативно, позволяет демонстрировать различные точки зрения. Несмотря на то, что именно познавательная деятельность человека и отражается в фактах языка, внимание этому уделяется только в последние десятилетия.Удачи! Елена Косых.

Ольга Шуменко

Спасибо большое, уважаемая Елена! Желаю и Вам удачи и успеха!

Залевская Александра Александровна

Dear colleague, your paper on the modification of word meanings is interesting, it demonstrates that modern counting words were once the words of substance. But it is necessary to consult a wider range of dictionaries for additional information. E.g.Webste's Dictionary (Unabridged, 1854) traces the origin of counting words, their possible roots and probable influences that directed change in their form and meaning. I wish you success and good luck! Alexandra Zalevskaya

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much for your comment and advice, dear Alexandra.

Dorda, Vitalii

The paper is fantastic! The examples are fascinating! The structure is perfect! Well done!

Ольга Шуменко

Спасибо!

Жданова Любовь

Автор приводит в статье примеры для подтверждения теоретических концептов. Интересный материал, актуально для исследователей в данной сфере.

Ольга Шуменко

Большое спасибо за Ваш комментарий.

Баласанян Марианна Альбертовна

Спасибо за интересный доклад. Очень актуально, научно обоснованно, теория подтверждается примерами в довольно большом количестве. Еще раз спасибо. Удачи в дальнейшей научной деятельности. С уважением, М.А.Баласанян

Ольга Шуменко

Огромное спасибо Вам, уважаемая Марианна! Мне очень приятно, что моя статья Вас заинтересовала. Желаю и Вам удачи.С уважением Ольга.

hamitouche

Dear Olga, I have familiarized myself with your profound article and must point out that it is highly informative and instructive in its own right. It targets numerous aspects of English and appeals to the audience dealing with the language. Your article is expounded in explicit, distinct and detailed manner to people pertinent/concerned. I would definitely recommend it to others for its discovery and wish to express my sincere gratitude towards your work. Looking forward to seeing many more. Keep it up!

Кобякова Ирина

Уважаемая Ольга! Несомненно, обсуждаемая проблема очень актуальна в настоящее время. С большим интересом ознакомилась с Вашей работой. Статья содержит ценный теоретический материал, буду рекомендовать ее для прочтения своим студентам. Мне было бы любопытно почитать и другие Ваши работы, подкрепленные яркими практическими примерами. C уважением Ирина Кобякова.

Ольга Шуменко

Огромное Вам спасибо, уважаемая Ирина! Для меня очень ценно Ваше мнение. Буду рада нашему сотрудничеству в дальнейшем. С уважением Ольга Шуменко.

Карамалак Ольга Алексеевна

Thank you Olga! That is a very interesting paper devoted to semamntics of quantative words with both diachronic and synchronic approach. What is interesting is that this research touches upon grammatical, lexical, and phraseological levels and also takes into account cognitive aspects of the language.

Ольга Шуменко

Thank you very much for your comment,Olga!
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