Comparative Analysis of Material Nouns Semantics in Russian and French Languages
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Abstract: The scope of the study includes material nouns in Russian and French. The author clarifies the concept of material nouns and differentiates them from related phenomena - collective nouns or nouns with a collective meaning. The research methods are presented in stages. The first stage incorporates: selection of material nouns from dictionaries by the stepwise identification method and subdivision of the corpus of material nouns into 11 thematic groups. The second stage includes: analysis of dictionary definitions, component analysis of the semic structure and comparison of the volume of the lexical meaning of equivalent pairs in two languages. The third stage presupposes a study of polysemy in the class of material nouns, design of models of metonymical and metaphorical transfer, and analysis of the productivity of these models in the languages under comparison. The author also reveals the typical patterns of broadening and narrowing of the meaning of material nouns. At the fourth stage, the study analyzes two contrasting and mutually complementary phenomena: the transition of material nouns to other lexico-grammatical classes and the growth of the class of material nouns due to conversion of units of other classes. The author briefly analyzes the functioning of material nouns in literary texts in order to describe occasional authored usage of material nouns to create vivid expressive images. The comparative research has revealed more similarities than differences. Material nouns in the languages under comparison most often have similar lexical meanings and demonstrate similar mechanisms of semantic development. Quantitative differences in the realization of certain models are mainly associated with different approaches to compiling dictionaries of the literary language and, secondly, with the morphological features of the languages under comparison, such as the specific features of substantive derivation, the semantics of the plural, the morphological expression of parts of speech, etc.
Key words: Comparative linguistics; material nouns; polysemy; semantics; semic analysis.
Sokolova, O. L. (2020). Comparative Analysis of Material Nouns Semantics in Russian and French Languages. In Philological Class. 2020. Vol. 25 ⋅ №3. P. 100-107. DOI 10.26170/FK20-03-08.