V. V. Mykhaylenko
Bukovyna State University of Finance and Economics
Стаття присвячена впливу дискурсу (художнього, економічного та архітектурного) на семантику лексичних одиниць. При взаємодії семантики лексеми та дискурсу відбуваються певні пересуви у структурі лексичного значення складової дискурсу. Лексеми ceiling і floor змінюють позиції компонентів у структурі свого значення, функціонуючі у трьох типах дискурсу.
Ключові слова: лексема , компонент значення, семантичний пересув, дискурс, компонентна структура, міжкультурна комунікація, концепт.
Статья посвящена влиянию типа дискурса (художественного, взаимодействии семантики лексемы и дискурса происходят определённые сдвиги в структуре лексического значения составных дискурса. Лексемы ceiling и floor меняют позиции компонентов в структуре своего значения, функционируя в трёх типах дискурса.
Ключевые слова: лексема, компонент значения, семантический сдвиг, дискурс, компонентная структура, межкультурная коммуникация, концепт.
The paper is focused on the influence of the discourse (fiction, economics, architecture) upon the semantics of lexical units. The correlation of semantics of lexemes and discourse causes definite shifts in the meaning structure of lexemes as constituents of discourse. The lexemes ceiling and floor reshuffle the positions of their components while functioning in the three types of discourse.
Key words: lexeme, component of lexical meaning, semantic shift, discourse, component structure, cross-cultural communication, concept.
Globalization, democratization, rapidly changing technology continually transform our complex and interconnected world, demanding of each of us to respond to new challenges and opportunities. Therefore, the problems of language and society, language and culture, language and personality [1, 64-72] came back at the end of the XX-th century after being ousted by structural linguistics. Until now language philosophy and linguistics tended to analyze linguistic competence as the speakers’ ability to use and understand single sentences without much taking into consideration their ability to contribute to conversations. Similarly, speech act theory tends to study isolated illocutionary acts performed by using sentences in single contexts of utterance. However, it is clear that speech acts are seldom performed alone in the use of language. On the contrary, speakers perform their illocutionary acts within entire discourses where they are most often in verbal interaction with other speakers who reply to them and perform in turn their own speech acts with the collective intention of conducting a certain type of conversation. Above all, the use of language is a social form of linguistic behaviour. It consists, in general, of ordered sequences of utterances made by several speakers who tend by their verbal interactions to achieve common goals such as discussing news, coordinating their joint action, negotiating or more simply exchanging greetings. Could we enrich current speech act theory so as to develop a more general but equally powerful theory of discourse ? Could we make a reasoned typology of conversations and analyze adequately their conditions of success
The language study began to answer the questions how to represent the world view and the correlation of speaker and language. Due to the scientific paradigm change «from the language structure to the language for the speaker’s needs” the human comes to the centre of the language study. We investigate the language to reveal the human’s ability to express his/her relationships with the society and the world. Consequently, language must be explored in the framework of human sciences –psycho-linguistics, cognitive psychology, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, ethnic linguistics which correlating can develop new trends in language studies [2, 20-25]. In the process of cross-cultural communication the universal cognitive features of discourse generating and interpreting are employed as well as the culturally specific ones referring to ethnic cultural characteristics of an individual language and society, for example, presuppositions based on the traditions and beliefs in the way of life, categorizing the worldview, architectural style and economic order [4,35-58].
A discourse is where language is used which relates to particular social practices. Discourse analysis – the study of spoken and written language in its social and psychological context. They shape attitudes, behaviour and power relations of the people involved. Some types of discourses are: general; racial; political; medical; economic; environmental and law/ legal. Discourse may be understood in a few different ways. For one, it may simply refer to the manner in which individuals and groups communicate. On a deeper level, it may symbolize the systems of thoughts and beliefs that determine how individuals understand and interpret the world. Due to the social political order in the country discourses may differentiate between two major types: authoritative (e.g.: news articles without comment section and in political speeches and tv interviews in which there is no interactivity) and democratic (e.g.: a politician’s blog open for comments or tv discussions in which the reporter is knowledgeable). The first type can be described as one-way communication. The participants build they can be also divided into discourse instead of only asking and answering. This is two-way communication. People notice patterns and we interpret the world in light of archetypes, repetitions, and symbols.
We seek to increase our understanding of diverse cultures, expand our competence in various languages, and investigate the impact of as well as the creative potential contained in established and emerging languages for specific purpose. It may promote our multilingual proficiency and intercultural understanding. While communication may be recognized as a universal phenomenon, distinctions—ranging from word-order to naming—undoubtedly remain as they help to define culture and develop language. Yet, little is understood about the similarities and differences in languages around the world.
The goal of this paper is to examine semantics of two lexemes: ceiling and floor functioning in professional (economic) discourse (ED) from cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspectives. The adjective Cross-cultural in the research title is not just limited to national contexts but also includes a cross-disciplinary perspectives. Comparisons and parallels are established with three written discourses: General (GD), Architecture (AD), and Economics (ED) . General or National discourse refers to forms of communication that occur at a national level, though it can also be used to indicate topics and subjects that are considered of national importance. Verbal forms of expression can range from face-to-face contact between individuals at a national political debate, to large-scale events like rallies. There are additional forms of verbal communication that take place on television, such as news broadcasts and press conferences that provide information and outlets for ideas. The research methodologies used in the studies are varied from the componential analysis to discourse analysis and they offer an overview of the diversity and richness of approaches to various registers of discourse [3, 3-10]. It is hoped that the paper appeals not only to students but also to confirmed scholars interested in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural aspects of ED. It will also be of interest to language teachers or teachers who are involved with e.g. international students (economics majors) and academic mobility.
Let’s begin with the lexeme ceiling which developed from Middle English celing celen; the first known use was in 1535. The lexical meaning of ceiling includes 5 components:1. a. The upper interior surface of a room; b. Material used to cover this surface; 2. Something resembling a ceiling: a ceiling of leaves over the arbor; 3. An upper limit, especially as set by regulation: wage and price ceilings; 4. a. The highest altitude under particular weather conditions from which the ground is still visible; b. The altitude of the lowest layer of clouds; c. Absolute ceiling; 5. Nautical The planking applied to the interior framework of a ship.
Thus in the first dictionary entry the components – upper interior of the room, the material of the upper interior of the room, like a ceiling (metaphoric usage), upper point on the scale, upper point in geography, and the planking of the interior framework of a ship. Then we shall compare the given components with the ones in the Merriam Webster Dictionary: ceiling -1.a. the overhead inside lining of a room; b. material used to ceil a wall or roof of a room; 2.something thought of as an overhanging shelter or a lofty canopy (a ceiling of stars); 3.a. the height above the ground from which prominent objects on the ground can be seen and identified; b. the height above the ground of the base of the lowest layer of clouds when over half of the sky is obscured; 4.a. absolute ceiling; b.service ceiling; 5. An upper usually prescribed limit (a ceiling on prices, rents, and wages). Both sets coincide, the nautical component is not revealed, though it can join the first component. However three differential features are observed in both sets of GD. The dominant component in the lexical meaning of ceiling must be “roof”, therefore the lexeme ceiling reveals the dominant component “roof” in the General discourse.
When functioning in the discourse the lexeme “ceiling” reveals the dominant component “the top interior finish of a room which hides the structure and support of the roof”. In AD ceilings can be painted, stuccoed, carved, or covered with tin plate, gold, or sculpture. Consequently, this dominant component refers the lexeme ceiling to the Architecture/Construction discourse.
The lexeme “ceiling” used in the Economics discourse realizes the dominant component “the maximum level permissible in a financial transaction”. Ceiling refers to the highest point on the price scale, the maximum interest rate, or the largest of some other factor involved in a transaction, for example: the interest rate ceiling on a credit card is the highest interest rate that could be charged for purchases, cash advances, penalty APR, etc. An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) might include an interest rate ceiling; the maximum interest that the mortgagor would be allowed to pay. Ceilings are intended to keep prices, interest rates, rents, charges, debts and other financial transactions under certain levels. Examples include bond issuers who may cap the amount of interest they would be willing to pay; investors who attach a price ceiling or limit to a position order; maximum rents allowable for certain properties; or debt ceilings, the amount of debt above which an entity can no longer borrow, as issued by local, state or federal governments.
The componential analysis of the lexical meaning revealed the component “highest component” as the dominant one for three types of discourse. We suppose that this component can help verbalize the concept of “highest point” in the Anglophone world view.
The lexeme “floor” developed from O. Eng. flor, a word common to many Teutonic languages, cf.: Dutch vloer, and Ger. Flur, a field, in the feminine, and a floor, masculine), with the meaning “the lower horizontal surface of a room”. The lexeme “floor” can express the opposite of “ceiling” in the Anglophone world view and it can actualize the components of : a. The surface of a room on which one stands; b. The lower or supporting surface of a structure; 2. a. A story or level of a building; b. The occupants of such a story: The entire floor complained about the noise; 3. a. A level surface or area used for a specified purpose: a dance floor; a threshing floor; b. Basketball The court viewed as the playing area for taking free throws, in contrast to the foul line; 4. The surface of a structure on which vehicles travel; 5. a. The part of a legislative chamber or meeting hall where members are seated and from which they speak; b. The right to address an assembly, as granted under parliamentary procedure; c. The body of assembly members: a motion from the floor; 6. The part of a room or building where the principal business or work takes place, especially; a. The area of an exchange where securities are traded; b. The part of a retail store in which merchandise is displayed and sales are made; c. The area of a factory where the product is manufactured or assembled; 7. The ground or lowermost surface, as of a forest or ocean; 8. A lower limit or base: a pricing floor; a bidding floor (The Free Dictionary). The component “surface” or “area” takes the dominant position in the lexical meaning structure of “floor” when functioning in GD.
Let’s compare the definition selected from The Free Dictionary with the other one from Merriam Webster “floor”:1.the level base of a room; 2.a . the lower inside surface of a hollow structure (as a cave or bodily part); b.a. ground surface ; 3. a. a structure dividing a building into stories; also : story; b. the occupants of such a floor; 4. the surface of a structure on which one travels ; 5.a. a main level space (as in a stock exchange or legislative chamber) distinguished from a platform or gallery; b. the specially prepared or marked area on which indoor sports events take place; c. the members of an assembly ; d. the right to address an assembly ; 6. a lower limit : base. Here one can see the dominant component “surface/platform” In GD the component “level base of a room” is a differentiative one; in AD it is “a platform structure dividing a building into stories”.
The lexeme floor in Architecture Discourse reveals the component “the first structure built on top of the foundation” (In platform framing, the first structure built on top of the foundation is the first floor; this floor is used as a platform on which to fabricate the first tier of stud walls).
In the conceptual system of “Economics” the lexeme “floor” retains the component “low level/limit” which is the opposite of the “level/limit” – high. Thus then given opposition “low(-est) : high(-est) remains the constant value in the individual as well as the societal world view. This thesis is proved by a semantic representation of the concept “limit” in the discourse registers under study. Cf. the definition of ‘floor’: the lowest acceptable limit as restricted by controlling parties. Floors can be established for a number of factors, including prices, wages, interest rates, underwriting standards and bonds. Some types of floors, such as underwriting floors, act as mere guidelines while others, such as price and wage floors, are regulatory constraints that restrict the natural behavior of free markets. A price floor is the lowest price that a government allows a good to be sold for. In the absence of a price floor, the free market equilibrium price might be lower. Minimum wage is an example of a wage floor (Investopedia).
Though the component “flatness” (General Discourse) in the meaning of the lexeme ”floor” is not realized in the Economics Discourse, wherein the component “value” is revealed. In Architecture Discourse “the lexeme “floor” has the dominant semantic component – “ground base/ platform”. However in the three discourses under study the lexeme ”floor” realizes the component “lowest limit”. In Economic Discourse it loses the component “flatness” , instead it actualizes the component “point” likewise the lexeme “ceiling” also actualizes the component “point” which is located on the vertical scale: “the lowest point (floor) the highest point (ceiling)”.
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