Vol 11, No 1 (2020)


A Cognitive Linguistic Study of Comparative Set Phrases in Russian and Swedish

Alyoshin A.S., Zinovieva E.I.


This paper examines the linguistic-cognitive potential of comparative set phrases based on the material of two languages. The originality of the study lies in the consideration of two groups of phraseological units (fixed comparisons and paremias that explicitly or implicitly verbalize comparisons) and the identification of similarities and differences both between these groups in each language and individually between Russian and Swedish. The object of study was Russian and Swedish fixed comparisons characterizing a smart and stupid person, as well as comparative paremia, expressing the opposition ‘intelligencestupidity’. The aim of the study was to identify common and culturally conditioned mental attitudes and standards of comparison. The sources of material for study included dictionaries of Russian fixed comparisons, Vladimir Dal’s collection of proverbs, a phraseological dictionary of the Swedish language and dictionaries of Swedish proverbs. A thematic classification is offered of the standards of fixed comparisons with the bases ‘stupid’ and ‘smart’ in both languages. Structural models of the paremias of the thematic group ‘intelligence-stupidity’, expressing a comparison in both languages, are highlighted; mental attitudes verbalized by these units are described. The study found that the Russian language has a closer relationship between units within set comparisons and comparative paremias than in Swedish. In both languages, zoonyms are the predominant thematic group of standards. The differences include the presence in the Russian units of standards related to the household sphere and mythologems. Swedish comparative paremias are structurally different from Russian ones. While Russian paremias express the ideas that an excessively direct and simple person is stupid; a stupid person is like a child; and it is useless to teach a person stupid by nature, Swedish units offer a logical and philosophical comparison of intelligence and stupidity. The culture-specific components of Russian paremias include a large body of household vocabulary while words denoting old measures of weight serve the same function in Swedish.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):7-21
pages 7-21 views

The Temporal and Chroonological Distance in Translations of Holy Writ: to Preserve or to Eliminate?

Khukhuni G.T., Valuitseva I.I., Osipova A.A.


The present paper deals with some cases of the modernization of the Bible texts, especially created in the second part of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries (although the elements of the latter may be found in earlier versions including those with the unofficial status of “national Bibles”). The expansion of modernization is usually connected with E. Nida`s theory of the dynamic / functional equivalence; at the same moment its direct influence is obvious enough. The actuality of the theme for the theory and practice of translation is caused by the following factors: 1. the richness and variety of the Bible translations, the history of which counts more than two thousand ears; 2. the necessity to take into account the referential part of the text on one hand, and its pragmatic and appellative functions on the other; that may lead to the collision between them when the translator has to choose the strategy and tactics of his work; 1. the acceptance of the text as “inspired by God” among the believers, that may provoke a negative relation towards some moments, which are treated as the divergence from the source text or even its distortion. The paper is based on the representative sample taken from Bible translations (both “traditional” and modern) in Russian, English and German. The corresponding variants, as well as their estimation in special and popular works are analyzed. The authors give an attempt to define some features that give the possibility to treat the text as modernized one. Although the said method is used quite often as the means to reach the adequacy of translation, the question of its limits is controversial enough.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):22-35
pages 22-35 views

Lexical Means of Verbalization of Uncertainty in the Arabic language on the example of Modern Best Sellers

Denisenko V.N., Kalinina N.S.


The article studies the peculiarities of verbalizing the category of ambiguity on the material of English literary texts translated into Arabic. Seven texts of writers-postmodernist - J. Barnes, 1. McCarthy, I. McEwan, D. Lodge, D. Mitchell, were chosen to be analyzed. The subject of the category of ambiguity research is both logic and philosophical, and linguistic. Lexemes denoting ambiguity are described in terms of their belonging to semantic (thematic) fields, including their contrastive and stylistic properties. There are involved proper lexical units denoting ambiguity, and contextual, occasional means, while their dictionary definitions do not reveal the semes of ambiguity. The study deals with the role and functions of nominative units reflecting ambiguity and uncertainty of the world contemporary literary discourse through translation into Arabic. The methodology is based on the functional interaction of lexis and grammar as one of the systemic linguistics principles. The study conclusions proceed from the provision on the Arabic language to demonstrate the system of various lexical means to express the ambiguity category, and their determinant to be implied in paradigmatic relations of language system, and syntagmatic relations between textual semantic units which both explain grammar structure of language and the nature of semantic correlations in its lexical subsystem. The authors draw a conclusion that both English and Arabic languages possess universal extralinguistic meaning of nominative ambiguity, while the semantic field nucleus fulfils the crucial function to select and assort proper means and units to realize the ambiguity category in texts. Differentiation of ambiguity nominations according to their application is not homogeneous due to lexical nominations making up the main means to realize ambiguity principle as both semantic and grammatical category. In course of studying the topic issue it seems adequate to study the topic of ambiguity conceptualization in languages of different structure and arrange the means to verbalize the ambiguity concept using the method of systemic comparison.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):36-47
pages 36-47 views

On the Cognitive-semantic Approach to the Study of Modern Chinese Language

Demidova T.V., Soloveva T.M., Barov S.A.


The article makes an attempt to comprehend the cognitive-semantic approach to the Chinese language in the framework of its teaching and study in higher education, taking into account features contrasting to the Russian language. The main theoretical postulates of the Chinese language-study were formulated by the Russian sinologists in line with formal structural paradigms based on materials of Western languages and their level of language organization. This approach is reflected in most Chinese language textbooks. In this regard, the Chinese language is taught according to the patterns of teaching Western languages. This approach does not allow to fully master the language, as it does not take into account the semantic and cognitive disproportion of the basic units of languages. The basic unit of the Russian language is the word as its nominative and at the same time the main speech unit. In the Chinese language, according to our observations and analysis of the relevant literature, this role belongs mainly to a more fractional substantive unit, which in the dictionary, in the nomination, acts as the main unit of the language division of the world, and in speech can also act as a simple word and as part of more complex formation - words or phrases. In writing, this unit is presented in the form of a «zi» hieroglyph, figuratively or otherwise denoting certain objects of reality and conceptualizing them, which allows us to consider these «zi» as expressors of minimal concepts of Chinese linguistic thinking. For the first time in Russian linguistics, the article addresses issues related to these basic units in connection with teaching issues. At the present stage, there are practically no textbooks or techniques aimed at mastering these specific Chinese language units. The authors make an attempt to attract the attention of sinologists to this problem and to reconsider the existing views in a new cognitive-semantic vein. In this context, the necessity of reorienting teaching that reproduces the methodological and linguistic orientations applied in relation to the study of Indo-European languages to methodological orientations corresponding to the essential characteristics of the Chinese language as consistently isolated in type and specifically orientational in terms of mental and cultural grounds is substantiated. In this regard, there marked relevant issues are there proposed some ways to resolve them.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):48-63
pages 48-63 views

Alice from the Tales of L. Carroll as a Character and Linguistic Personality

Ryadchikova E.N., Kadilina O.A., Balian A.M.


The relevance of this work is determined by the importance of studying the problem of the child’s linguistic personality as a fiction character in a linguistic-pragmatic manner, from the writer’s linguistic personality intentions and characteristics perspective, and insufficient linguistic aspect knowledge of Lewis Carroll’s works about Alice’s adventures. The work substantiates the following: as opposed to the fact that, due to ontological characteristics, individual mental, psychological and physical development and personality growth, the degree of their language acquisition and communicative skills, primary school age children are usually weak or average linguistic personalities, while fiction characters of this age are able to meet the parameters of a strong linguistic personality. It has been established that the preferred, highly appreciated by L. Carroll qualities of a seven-year-old English girl are as follows: high level of cognitive-speech development, speech-cognitive processes, vocabulary, ability to communicate, reflect, draw conclusions, evaluate and express one's opinion in words, intelligence superior to the development of an average child of this age, as well as Alice’s internal qualities, manifested in her speech activity, taking into account not only speech peculiarities, but also themes and stylistics, communicational strategies and tactics, pragmatics, perception adequacy and the interlocutor’s speech understanding, influencing the opponent with the paralinguistic methods, psycho-emotional background of communication. These qualities make it possible to characterize a given linguistic personality of a literary character as strong. A number of Alice's qualities allow her to be considered as a national-cultural English type of personality.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):64-77
pages 64-77 views


An analytical study of word-order patterns in Standard Arabic simple sentence

Ghomri T., Souadkia M.


The main focus of the study is to analyze the simple sentence structure and its word-order patterns of Standard Arabic syntactically. Main methods concern description and comparison of word-order patterns observed. Primarily the current study deals with some differentiations of the terms on sentence types and word-order patterns described by both medieval grammarians and modern linguists. Moreover, the so called Sībawayhian theory of ʿamil’ also provides some explanations of sentence structures and word-order patterns in Standard Arabic. Simple sentences are highlighted to examine the occasions for using different patterns and where they are commonly found, along with examples to facilitate the explanation and use of these patterns. It is essential to point out that Standard Arabic is considered to be a language with a flexible word-order, which is why there exist word-order patterns of both VOS and SVO languages, though the latter is more frequently used.
RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):78-91
pages 78-91 views

Semantic Anglicisms in French Internet Forum

Lunkova L.N., Bukina L.M.


Semantic assimilation is a many-sided and a multidimensional phenomenon assuming a number of analysis approaches. The article is a study of the semantic borrowing process due to either graphical or phonetic identity of lexical units. It discusses general semantic transformations of the English language borrowings alongside with the examples of semantic anglicisms in the French Internet discourse. The global tendency is that the French language is daily receipting quite a number of English words the Internet discourse being one of the leading media. To specify the borrowing patterns in the French language at the semantic level the net forum genre is chosen as a specific combination of oral and written speech features giving a most outstanding and evident picture of all linguistic tendencies. The work is an attempt to define what a semantic anglicism is and what linguistic mechanisms are involved in the process when French lexemes undergo semantic transformations due to their either graphical or phonetic likeness to English ones. The research topicality is conditioned by the nature of the global Internet discourse itself the latter being the speech type abundant in all kinds of borrowings anglicisms in particular. The research background is the legal French policy to defend the national language and the French linguists struggle against anglicisms overwhelming penetration into French. The analysis is also held through experimental French native speakers interviewing for the excessive use of English words and its expediency. The research methods are structural-semantic, comparative, statistical. The units under study are English language semantic borrowings in the French internet forum held by native French language speakers.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):92-101
pages 92-101 views

Functioning of Paired Naming in the Modern Russian language

Pimenova M.V., Lianlian W.


The article is devoted to the functioning of paired names in modern Russian language - insufficiently studied stable combinations such as небо и земля, печки-лавочки, хлеб-соль, ни ответа ни привета . These units express a single, undifferentiated meaning, consist of two components connected by a compositional connection that belong to one part of speech (most often in paired names are nouns combinations, although there are also adverbs, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, numerals, interjections, onomatopes, prepositions and particles). Structural-semantic model, which is built on paired naming dates back to the ancient period of the language, however, continues to be used in XX-XXI centuries. The purpose of this article is consideration of features of the semantics and structure of the paired naming by the material from the resource "National corpus of the russian language". In addition, their frequency is presented in newspaper and oral speech, in parallel texts and poetic discourse, as well as in accentological and educational materials.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):102-119
pages 102-119 views

A Linguistic Analysis of Petroleum-Related English Research Article Titles

Filyasova Y.A.


Research article titles constitute a special type of text - concise, clear, and informative. The specificity of article titles is determined by a number of factors such as the object of research, the author’s personal style, academic tradition, the field of study among them. Today, article titles from different scientific areas are in the focus of scientific attention. This article presents the results of a linguistic analysis aimed at determining similarities and differences of research article titles from journals on petroleum science. The theoretical value has the descriptive analysis of technical article titles which can further be compared with titles from other areas of research. According to the obtained results, the titles were 15 words on average. The overwhelming majority (98%) of the titles had a nominative character; 2% were subject-predicate sentences, mainly, interrogative. Words were seven characters long, on average. Nouns, function words and adjectives were the most frequently occurred word classes; on the contrary, numerals, adverbs and verbs - the least frequent words. The most common punctuation marks were hyphens, commas, and colons, indicating the complexity of technical terms, enumeration and elaboration of the object of research and geography of petroleum sites. Names of petroleum reservoirs, formations and basins with their location specification, multisyllabic professional terms and abbreviations, constituting 30% of the article titles’ lengths on the average, can be considered special features of article titles on petroleum science. For this reason, a long title is typical of petroleum-related research articles. Additionally, more articles were devoted to richer petroleum reserves.

RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics. 2020;11(1):120-134
pages 120-134 views

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