The English Economic Term ‘Human Capital’ and Its Semantic Field in Scientific Discourse

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Recently, human capital (HC) has acquired special relevance in response to digital economy development. A semantic study of HC is significant for its linguistic description and practical purposes of teaching business English to students, specializing in economics and management. The aims of the research were to analyze dictionary definitions, compare them with contextual interpretations, and identify syntagmatic relations and lexical collocability of the term HC in scientific discourse. 340 article titles and their abstracts from 18 journals on economics and management served as the material for the research. The methods included continuous sampling, analysis of contextual relations, semantic classification, and componential analysis. The results of definition analysis showed that HC has intangible components of meaning and partly overlaps with resources , in opposition to capital which has monetary nature. Contextual interpretations disclose more semantic aspects of HC. Monetary relations and production factors make it closer to capital . Considerable attention is paid to HC formation and measurement. Terms, related to HC, embrace a wide variety of phenomena from almost all functional areas of business, which indicate the importance of HC for sustainable development, increasing profit and competitiveness. Semantic classification of collocations shows that HC is considered at the personal, organizational and national levels. The most frequent syntagmatic sequences include HC+N , N+Prep.+HC , and Adj.+HC . Objective valency type: V+HC is more common than subjective: HC+V . The most frequent collocations are HC accumulation , HC investments , and the role of HC .

About the authors

Yulia A Filyasova

Saint-Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics

Author for correspondence.

Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Pedagogy, Psychology and Translation Studies

Saint-Petersburg, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2019 Filyasova Y.A.

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