Presentation on theme: "On Two Russian Constructions: What Else If Not Synonyms? Nezrin Samedova, Azerbaijan University of Languages."— Presentation transcript:
On Two Russian Constructions: What Else If Not Synonyms? Nezrin Samedova, Azerbaijan University of Languages
NACHAT’ + INF vs. the perfective construction STAT’ + INF
They substitute each other. However, their meanings are not completely identical. The question is: What is their semantic singularity? There is no unanimously accepted answer to the question.
We have investigated the problem using the method of system analysis [ Ломтев 1976 ]
1.Both constructions have the meaning of the beginning (initiality). 2.Both are translated into English as to begin+INF. 3.Both are widely used. 4.The areas of their usage fully coincide. 5.The main components of both are perfective, whereas only imperfectives are permitted as their non-main components.
It is clear, however, that the semantic identity of these constructions cannot be absolute.
Indeed, STAT’ + INF is used much more frequently than NACHAT’ + INF, cf. Russian National Corpus. Hence, we can apply the Kruszewski – Kuriłowicz rule.
The Kruszewski – Kuriłowicz rule: the linguistic unit that is used more frequently is semantically simpler than the linguistic unit used less frequently (the principle of economy)
Therefore, we can state that STAT’ + INF is semantically simpler than NACHAT’ + INF.
The comparison NACHAT’ vs. NACHINAT’ enables to state: the construction NACHAT’ + INF has the following semantic structure (we ignore irrelevant details)
1.the non-aspectual meaning of a non-homogeneous process (initiality) -and correspondingly – 2. the aspectual meaning of the final moment (perfectivity); 3. the non-aspectual meaning of the process inherent in an infinitive.
If to use the metaphor of line for interpreting the concept of a process and the metaphor of point to interpret the concept of perfectivity, we can illustrate the meaning of NACHAT’ + INF: initiality a process ───────────── perfectivity (Both metaphors possess a specific cognitive content)
As regards STAT’ + INF, we face a paradox.
On the one hand, the meaning of its components contains three elements in total. Two of them belong to the verb STAT’: -the non-aspectual meaning of a process, - perfectivity. One belongs to the infinitive: - the non-aspectual meaning of a process.
On the other hand, the meaning of STAT’ + INF contains fewer than three elements, for it is simpler than the meaning of NACHAT’ + INF.
G.S. Samedov has solved the paradox: Two meanings of a process merge. Thus, STAT’ + INF has the meaning of a syncretic process.
The merger is possible because the nature of the initiality possessed by STAT’ + INF is different from the one characterizing NACHAT’ + INF. It is like a point.
In other words, the initiality attributing to the verb STAT’ is punctual. It is the meaning of the initial moment. That is why it does not prevent the meanings of a process from amalgamating:
Initiality (punctual) ────────────────────────── a syncretic process Thus, the meaning of the perfective construction STAT’ + INF indeed contains two elements.
Thus, the paradox is solved if to differentiate two types of initiality: linear and punctual. The nature of punctual initiality is aspectual. It is perfectivity. Linear initiality is non-aspectual.
Besides being a special interest for languages that have the category of aspect, the analysis enables to make the following fundamental conclusion.
Linguistics does need the concept of synonymy. As to the nature of the phenomenon, the analyzed case has shed new light on it.