IMPLICIT POTENTIAL OF LINGUISTIC SIGN

Abstract


The article deals with the investigation of “colour” semantics as an implicit potential of linguistic sign. The meaning structure of the analyzed lexemes is studied with the help of contextual method; the conclusions are supported by the association dictionaries data. The studied semantics of the lexemes, which are not referred to the traditional colour terms, allowed us to conclude that colour terms implicit potential, being a non-marked part of a semantic content of the word, is inferred from and defined by context, revealing itself as latent, mediating factor.

Implicitness, as a way of knowledge existence, is present in the semantic text space, to be more exact, in the semantic structure of its components (behind-text - before- text - subtext - context). Different stylistic devices and figures of speech (including, for example, metaphor, epithet, metonymy, comparison (see: [8]) are referred to signal signs of implicit information which actualize the hidden meaning. But if to take into account the fact that text category of implicitness (along with informativity, intentionality, etc.) contains all sorts of implicit information, it can be implemented in a wide range of linguistic signs. I.V. Arnold, who understood textual interpretation as additional meaning, implied by correlation of appositional text units, pointed out that text implicitness can be based on paradigmatic or syntagmatic relationships of a word [1. Pp. 85-86]. Within the framework of this approach the category of implicitness is interpreted by F. Rast’e who supposes that the interpretant can be any semiotic unit, whether it is a unit of content plane or expression plane [11].To the linguistic signs, which contain implicit semantics arising from the explicitly expressed elements, we refer adjectives which implicitly convey the guessed colour information. The purpose of the article is, on the material of different genre systems, todescribe the semantics of some linguistic signs, which, in addition to direct ‘non-colour’ meanings are able to convey in the context some additional spectral meanings. Despite the interest to the given topic (see, e.g., V.K. Kharchenko), the semantics of the words such as буйный, пышный, нарядный, унылый, etc. has not been considered from this point of view.It is well known that colour terms are referred to a separate lexico-semantic group containing the reference to colour properly. The material of the investigation and association dictionaries data [12; 17] show that not only colour terms contain the colour seme: it is contained in the structure of meaning of adjectives which are not traditionally referred to colour terms.If we consider that the word meaning is revealed in the context, then it is the context that reveals the implicit potential of the linguistic sign, and respectively foregrounds “colour” semes of a number of lexemes, including adjectives буйный, пышный, глухой, холодный, спелый, свежий etc. In particular, the word буйный in the meaning ‘exuberant’, ‘magnificent’, ‘thick’ [15 (1). P. 122] is able to realize the meaning of ‘multi-colored’ in the examples such asЯвлялись перед ним напудренные маркизы… усатые лица недавних героев, с буйным огнем в глазах… (I. Goncharov); Ночи тогда синие, синие, холодновато-росные, обиль- ные, буйные… (B. Pilnyak); С первого же шага буйные травы охватили нас со всех сторон. Они были так высоки и так густы, что человек в них казался утонувшим (V. Arsenyev).In fact, the basic meanings of the lexeme under analysis turn into semantic derivatives which have developed “colour” semantics of the given language sign.Colour term feature, as it is proved by data based on contextual method of investigation, is acquired by such lexemes as угрюмый, унылый. In addition to the fixed meanings ‘grim’ and ‘unattractive’ [15 (4). P. 462; 499] respectively, the lexemes угрюмый and унылый in the context stand for the devices of “guessed” colour meanings close to ‘grey’ and ‘black’, cf.:… надвигаясь, громадными клубами вздымался угрюмый мрак (I. Turgenev); Унылая пора! Очей очарованье! / Приятна мне твоя прощальная краса (A. Pushkin) - lines which have become set expressions: Унылая пора! Очей очарованье! [3. P. 514]).Certainly, the context allows us to “revive” the implicit semantics of words, which is out of syntagmatics is in a latent state, and as a result, is not fixed by lexicographical sources.The meaning structure of the adjective густой ‘low permeable’, ‘thick’ [15 (1). P. 358] can also be completed by spectral meanings. For example:Поднялся густой черный столб дыма… [10. P. 34]; Высокий русый парень с лихо зачесанным, серым от пыли чубом, с густым румянцем на смуглых щеках… нехотя от- ветил (M. Sholokhov); … густые сумерки выпадают, как стена черного снегопада… (A. Ilichevskiy).In fact, the implicit meanings result from the interrelation of text appositional units, on the basis of background knowledge and context environment.In its turn, the semantic structure of the lexeme глухой ‘muted’ [15 (1). P. 318] in some particular environment can correlate with the colour meaning ‘black’ (notcoincidentally some lexicographic sources fix the word глухой with the meaning ‘rich in colour, concentration’, ‘dark’, ‘low permeable’; see: [4. P. 210]), cf.:Для ликованья все ушли из дома, / оставив мне два фонаря во мгле / по сторонамглухого водоема (B. Akhmadulina).Certainly, in any syntagm (including глухой водоем) the meanings “show agreement with each other moving from the union of substance to the “unity of substance”, “synthetical judgments’” (said by А.А. Potebnya)» [6. P. 116]. Therefore, the description of water sources with the help of the word глухой could be determined by their semantic similarity, ascending to the finite connection of the lexeme to the primitive “ву ‘вода’: ву > вг[h]а > уха (в > у; ~ вуха [insert у]) > вуха (prosthesis) > глуха (usage of a stop to strengthen в in л)” [7. P. 264]. The presence of a spectral meaning component, to the point of view of modern etymologists, is encouraged by the semantic development of adjective глухой: “‘quiet’ > ‘not clear’ > ‘dark’ > ‘vague’» [7. С. 264], and as a result, the lexeme глухой has become synonymic to the colour term черный within similar contexts, cf.:… когда-то и он, Григорий, пахал зябь в глухой осенней степи, смотрел по ночам на мерцающее звездами черное небо […] (М. Sholokhov); Над черной степью жила и вла- ствовала одна старая, пережившая века песня (М. Sholokhov).“Colour” meaning, in some particular context environment, can be observed in the adjective холодный:Мы бродим по перелеску, кругом желтое золото, алость сентябрьская, ручей журчит во мхах, и такой - даже на вид холодный, хоть и солнце в нем отражается (Z. Gippius).It should be admitted that the notion of “cold” for the reason of finite closeness to archetypical implication ‘darkness’ is understood through the prism of colour and hue features ‘black’, ‘dark’. Cf. in this regard the usage of speech actualisator холод combined with adjectives темный and черный:А я иду (сначала боком), - / о, поскорей бы, поскорей! - / Над темным холодом, над бойким / озябшим холодом пескарей (B. Akhmadulina); Калужниц больше черный холод, / Иди, позвал тебя Рогволод (V. Khlebnikov).In fact, the notions “cold” and “darkness” are merged, the sense ‘cold’ means ‘gloom’ on the finite level, it could be determined by the factor of ‘darkness’ and is its analog (‘darkness’ ~ ‘cold’), that was pointed by, for example, N.Y. Marr [9. P. 219] andN.A. Lutsenko [7. P. 9].The adjective голый with basic meaning ‘unvegetated’ [15 (1). P. 329] can also acquire colour semantics. The concept of black colour being on the periphery of semantic content of the word голый, is realized, for example, in:А зимою лес и вовсе стоит пустой, голый, скованный мертвой тишиной (M. Sholokhov).It is significant that the implicitness of the word голый is revealed as a latent mediating factor which determines the connections within the associative field of words. Thus, according to the data of associative dictionaries Russian linguoculture native speakers to the word-stimulus лес give the responses-reactions темный, голый; see, for example [17].Сf. metaphorical голые вершины, wich colour semantics is derived from the following context:… устремленные ввысь голые вершины пирамидальных тополей, покрытые попо- нами лошади у коновязи - все это было освещено призрачным голубым светом полу- ночи (М. Sholokhov).Concerning the lexemes горячий and спелый, having the meanings ‘hot’, ‘scotching’ [15 (1). P. 337] and ‘ripen’ [15 (4). P. 220] respectively, they can in the context implicitly convey some additional spectral semantics close to ‘yellow’. The given implicit potential as a probable part of the mentioned meaning is implemented, for example:Не успел я отойти двух верст, как уже полились… сперва алые, потом красные, зо- лотые потоки молодого горячего света… (I. Turgenev); Вижу я, будто стою я в поле, а кругом рожь, такая высокая, спелая, как золотая (I. Turgenev)the same about the adjectives свежий, робкий and нежный, which basic meanings (‘which has not lost its natural healthy colour’ for the word свежий [15 (4). P. 39], ‘timid’ for the lexeme робкий [15 (3). P. 720] and ‘with pleasant colouring’ for adjective нежный [15 (2). P. 443]) in some particular contexts can be completed by a probable sense ‘pale-pink’ For example:Лицо его румяное, свежее, нахальное, принадлежало к числу лиц, которые… часто нравятся женщинам (I. Turgenev); Занимавшийся день был так слаб, неумел, неказист. / Цвет - был меньше, чем розовый: родом из робких, не резких (B. Akhmadulina); … она ему очень нравилась: ее белое, нежное лицо, черные брови, карие глаза, темно-русые волосы вились по плечам [14. P. 537].Certainly, colour implicit potential of the given adjectives is derived from explicit meanings of language elements, by means of the existing associate connections between them, acting as semantic content periphery of the mentioned lexemes.In the area of light colour significance there is also the adjective легкий, which having the meanings ‘minor’, ‘not big’, ‘weak’ (according to the size, power, intensity) [15 (2).169] in this or that context can acquire the semantics of a blue colour, cf.:Цвет небосклона, легкий, бледно-лиловый, не изменяется во весь день… (I. Turgenev).Meanwhile, the adjective радостный, without any fixed colour seme in defining dictionaries (see, for example: [15 (3). P. 581]), in some definite lexeme environment is able to be comprehended as ‘light’, ‘yellow’, cf.:Покойся, милый прах, до радостного утра [3. P. 382]; Григорий переводил взгляд… на убегающую куда-то вперед светло-желтую, радостную полоску света (M. Sholokhov).The same is about the word нарядный, which except the meanings ‘beautiful’, ‘festive’ [15 (2). P. 392], in the context conveys some non-specific spectral semantics ‘multicolored’; for example:… на окраине неба голубой нарядной бабочкой трепещет в недвижимом потоке По- лярная звезда (М. Sholokhov).“Colour” semantics of the mentioned words is “hidden” in their meaning content and is implemented in some specific lexeme environment. V. V. Vinogradov wrote that “regardless of its current use the word is present in the conscious with all its meanings, hidden and probable, ready to come to the surface on the first occasion” [5. P. 21]. In various contexts even a monosemantic word will have a bit different shade of meaning,e. the word will cover with its meaning the notional sphere which borders cannot be strictly defined.Taking into account the above mentioned information, to the words that can be considered as colour terms with implicit contextual meaning should be also referred some other lexical units, contextually acquiring the spectral meanings. Such adjectives in their basic meaning do not have any color information, but it is hidden and is realized in a specific context. We mean here the adjectives дневной, утренний, солнечный, лунный, закатный, осенний, безоблачный, беззвездный, хмурый, пасмурный, туманный, те- нистый, полярный, мертвецкий, etc. The adjectives дневной, утренний, солнечный, лунный in word-combinations such as дневной свет, утренняя тень, солнечный свет, лунный свет are comprehended as contextual synonyms of colour terms белый and желтый, cf.:В хате изжелта-синий, почти дневной свет (М. Sholokhov); От сарая падала на зем- лю рыхлая утренняя тень (М. Sholokhov); Наталья… глядела на залитую солнечным светом меловую гору, на выгоревшие бурые отроги (М. Sholokhov); Каждый вечер в лунном свете / торжествует мощь моя (B. Okudzhava)(in the minds of Russian ethnic culture speakers the term “light” correlates with the colour and, as a consequence, evokes associations-reactions белый, светлый, дневной, солнечный, лунный; see, for example: [17]).In their turn the adjectives закатный and осенний have implicit meanings close to ‘red’, ‘yellow’, and create a non-marked part of their semantics:Голубоватый иней… отливал радугой под лучами закатного солнца (М. Sholokhov); Лапы их розовели в воде, оранжево-красные, похожие на зажженные морозом осенние листья (М. Sholokhov).As for the lexeme безоблачный, the given adjective, having the direct meanings ‘not covered by clouds’, ‘clear’, has a “hidden” semantics ‘blue’. For example:… день, подсиненный безоблачным небом, тоже весел и хорош… (М. Sholokhov).In Russian linguoculture the words беззвездный, хмурый, пасмурный, туманный, тенистый, полярный, мертвецкий contain a probable semantic part ‘black’, ‘grey’, ‘slate-grey’, ‘blue’, cf.:… в серой беззвездной ночи замаячили всадники… (М. Sholokhov); В разрыв траги- ческой культуры, / Где бездна гибельна (без дна!), - / Я, ахнув, рухнул в сумрак хмурый (А. Beliy); Не расцвел - и отцвел / в утре пасмурных дней (poet.) [3. P. 318]; …Григорий увидел… пасмурный просвет уходящей к Дону степи - за ним… (М. Sholokhov); В синю далюшку туманну погляжу [13. P. 122]; Хороши также летние туманные дни, хотя охот- ники их не любят (I. Turgenev); Твоя тенистая чащоба / всегда темна, но пред жарой /зачем потупился смущенно / влюбленный зонтик кружевной (B. Akhmadulina); Воды (стальная полоса / Мертвецкого оттенка) / Держусь, как нотного листка - / Певица, края стенки (M. Tsvetaeva).Certainly, these words with implicit spectral semantics give the realities depicted some figurativeness and poetry. However, they are not referred to occasional meanings that are conditioned by “the author’s own experiences, his perception of the world”, as some linguists suppose [2]. The meaning structure of these lexemes has implicit colour component that native speakers use in narration. Moreover, the mentioned adjectives as the components of certain word-combinations quite regularly convey some spectral meanings, regardless of genre, trend and author’s idiostyle.All things considered, colour terms implicitness reveals itself as a latent and potential feature of the linguistic sign and is defined by context. “Colour” semantics of such lexemes acts as a non-marked part and is on the periphery of their content structure. Meanwhile, the analyzed lexemes are not the only words with such characteristics. There are also other words which implicit potential that will be studied in our future articles.

I A Gerasimenko

Humanities and Education Academy (Academic Branch) of V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University in Yalta

Sevastopolskaya str., 2-A, Yalta, Crimea, 298635

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