Social limitations in semantics and in the compatibility of...

Social constraints in semantics and in the compatibility of linguistic units

In linguistic descriptions, the facts of social marking of the form of linguistic units have long been noted: miners say coal mining, sailors - a compass, police officers and investigators - convicted for theft and agitation, etc. More recently, sociolinguists have drawn attention to the fact that social differences between people are manifested not only in how they pronounce the same words, but also more deeply. For example, these differences can be embedded in the meaning of the language unit or in the rules of its compatibility with other units. Thus, speech can go not only that social factors determine the functioning and development of language, but also that they are components of the content structure of the linguistic sign.

Social components in the semantics of a word

In each language there is a vocabulary that denotes different relations between people - interpersonal and institutional (that is realized in a hierarchical social structure - family, production group, sports team, military unit, etc.), and relations between the individual and society. The lexical meanings of such words contain indications of the nature of such relations, which in the most crude form can be divided into the relations of subordination (or dependence) and the relation of equality.

Let's consider this phenomenon on two groups of examples - predicates that denote asymmetric relations or relations of subordination (dependence):

1) Arrest, audience, favor, order, rule, recover, rule, power, impute, head, prohibit, reprimand, evict, expel, anger, dabble, bestow, diktat, dictatorship, bait, roll (under arrest) , zyknut, banish, inspect, punish, punish, cassation, cashing, sending, commanding, horse riding, advising, controlling, confiscating, peaceing, supervising, laying down, appointing, hugging, notation, obliging, shouting, guardianship, patronage, recall ), to remove (from work), subordinate, allow , Protection, patronize pardon, pardon, permit, scold, auditing, lead, displace, citing tyrannize, examine, etc. These words indicate situations in which the social role of the first member (semantic entity or the Agent) . Above social role of the second participant (addressee or counterparty). If we designate

the social role of the symbol P, then the relations described by these predicates can be schematically denoted as P (X) & gt; P (Y);

2) appeal, appeal, beg, cry out (seva forgiveness), procure, anger, rude, dare, report (in the context of type: report to the authorities), ask, seek, consult, pray, disrespect, disobey, obedience, obey, surrender, obey, contradict, argue, report, report, cut (truth in eyes), obey, be examined, etc. The social role of the first participant in the situation is below. the social role of the second; schematically: P (X) & lt; P (10 -

The meanings of words that call asymmetric role relations will be called socially oriented, unlike socially non-oriented values ​​inherent in words such as friends, partner, classmate, co-worker, neighbor, collaborate, etc. Socially non-oriented values ​​do not contain any indications of equality of social roles performed by participants in situations denoted by words with such meanings; therefore they are not considered further.

The semantic structure of words denoting socially-oriented relations contains at least two actors - the subject and the addressee: who commands who, who sends out someone, who appeals to whom, who prefers to whom, etc. In addition to the actants of the subject and the addressee, there may be other semantic components in the meanings of these words, for example, the actants of the content (the Commander ordered us to attack), the motivation (Petya was punished for poor progress), the starting point (They were evicted from the apartment), the end point (Dekabrist Lunin sent to hard labor), etc.

Some of the words denoting socially-oriented relationships indicate certain social functions of persons between whom these relations are established. So, the commander must command, the soldier must obey, the un-adult son must obey the parents and should not disobey them, etc. The component of lexical meanings of verbs to command, obey, obey, disobey, indicating the inequality of the statuses of participants in the relevant situation, is quite obvious here. It seems to lie on the surface. In other cases, such a component can only be detected by means of a semantic analysis.

Thus, the verb of favor means not just "showing affection for someone" or "experiencing, showing kindness to someone, disposition", as interpreted by this word in the dictionary, ed. DN Ushakov and in a small academic dictionary. In these interpretations, an essential condition is missed: the status of the one who shows favor is higher than the status of the one to whom favor is addressed. If this condition is disregarded, then, following the above interpretations, we must admit, in particular, phrases like: * The mathematics teacher favors his colleagues (the situation of equal statuses of the subject and the addressee) or * The pupil favors the principal of the school (situation, reverse "normal: the status of the benevolent object is below the destination status.)

In the situation described by the verb to be angry, the subject is conceived as a person who is revered, authoritative, having great power in a given social hierarchy. Compare:

And seeing that, Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich Furious with anger, stamped on the ground And frowned black brows ...

M. TO). Lermontov

It is impossible to use the verb to be angry in situations with an equal, and especially with the "reverse" the status of the subject and the addressee: * The goods are angry with me; * The footman was angry with the master for the reprimand that he gave to him.

Considering these two clearly obsolete verbs - to favor and be angry - may suggest that the social component of lexical meaning, indicating the inequality of the status of the subject and the addressee of the action (or relationship), is characteristic only of book and obsolete words. But it's not.

For example, it is quite modern and even conversational in its stylistic coloring, the verb is crocked - it is normally used to describe relationships in which the subject has a higher status than the addressee. You can say: The mother cursed her son for deuces, but you can not: * The son-schoolboy cursed mother for the fact that she came late from work or * Subordinated cried the boss for being rude.

The verb accept - take in one of its meanings describes the situation in which the receiving person has a higher status than what is accepted: Yesterday the French president received the US ambassador and had a long conversation with him, Today the mayor does not accept visitors.

Incorrect use of this verb if the condition on the asymmetry of social statuses is violated: * The ambassador of France received the US president; * Director of the plant did not receive the Minister.

Verbs are rude and insolent, close to each other in meaning, designate the relationship in which the subject is in a lower status than the addressee. True, the verb can be rude to two types of status (or role) relationships between participants in the situation he calls: most often the status (role) of the subject is lower than the status (role) of the addressee, but it is possible to use it in a situation where their statuses (roles) are equal. Compare these examples:

Do not be rude to your father! (appeal to a teenager);

The boy is poorly educated, rude to teachers;

We are friends with you, and you do not want to talk to me normally: you are always angry, rude.

If the relationship between the participants in the situation is such that the status (role) of the subject is higher than the addressee's status (role), then this verb can not be used: * The father is rude to his son, * The teacher is rude to the students.

Note that the turn to be coarse, which seems to be a complete synonym of the verb to be rude, can be used for any status (or role) relationship between the subject and the addressee of this action: The Boy

Rude with parents and friends: The teacher is rude to the students (with their colleagues, the director).

An important component of the meaning of the verb is that it is a verbal action: roughness is expressed in words, intonations, gestures accompanying the speech, etc.

In contrast, the content of an action denoted by a verb is not so much verbal rudeness as an irreverent attitude that can be expressed and non-verbal. Compare this example: Although the young officer spoke quietly and politely, everyone understood that he was bold to the general.

The verb is more likely to be rude than to be rude, it is oriented to expressing asymmetrical relations between participants in the situation that he designates: usually the younger ones are jerking the elder (often this difference is also affected by the difference in social status or social roles). Phrases like: Kolya, why do you bother the teacher? The boy pestered his father and did not even apologize - they are normal, correct, and phrases like: * The teacher constantly dared her students (the status of the subject is higher than the addressee's status) or * The boy keeps his comrades (the statuses of the subject and the addressee are equal) - are perceived as abnormal, incorrect. The phrase "being cocky" behaves exactly the same way, cf .: * The teacher is impudent with the disciples, * The boy is bold with his comrades.

On these examples, we are convinced that in the description of semantics (in interpretation) of words denoting asymmetric relations between people, it is necessary to include a social component that indicates the inequality of statuses (or the asymmetry of social roles) of participants called the word of the situation. This social component is the presupposition of the lexical meaning of predicates, which denote asymmetric relations between people: when using such predicates with negation, the social component is not (not subject to negation), unlike assertion (the affirmative part of lexical meaning) with which negation interacts. For example, in the sentence: The boss does not like the employee at all - the fact that the status of the superior is higher than the employee's status is not denied, we deny only the special relationship between the first and the second.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)