Тлумачний словник

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Task for seminar: scan the material and then do exercises 1 and 2.

You know by now that among multiple functions of the word the main one is to denote, denotational meaning thus being the major semantic characteristic of the word. In this paragraph we shall deal with the foregrounding of this particular function, i.e. with such types of denoting phenomena that create additional expressive, evaluative, subjective connotations. We shall deal in fact with the substitution of the existing names approved by long usage and fixed in dictionaries by new, occasional, individual ones, prompted by the speaker's subjective original view and evaluation of things. This act of name-exchange, of substitution is traditionally referred to as transference, for, indeed, the name of one object is transferred onto another, proceeding from their similarity (of shape, colour, function, etc.), or closeness (of material existence, cause/ effect, instrument/result, part/whole relations, etc.).

Each type of intended substitution results in a stylistic device (SD) called also a trope. The most frequently used, well known and elaborated among them is a metaphor - transference of names based on the associated likeness between two objects, as in the "pancake", or "ball", or "volcano" for the "sun"; "silver dust", "sequins" for "stars"; "vault", "blanket", "veil" for the "sky".

From previous study you know that nomination - the process of naming reality by means of the language - proceeds from choosing one of the features characteristic of the object which is being named, for the representative of the object. The connection between the chosen feature, representing the object, and the word is especially vivid in cases of transparent "inner form" when the name of the object can be easily traced to the name of one of its characteristics. Cf.: "railway", "chairman", "waxen". Thus the semantic structure of a word reflects, to a certain extent, characteristic features of the piece of reality which it denotes (names). So it is only natural that similarity between real objects or phenomena finds its reflection in the semantic structures of words denoting them: both words possess at least one common semantic component. In the above examples with the "sun" this common semantic component is "hot" (hence - "volcano", "pancake" which are also "hot"), or "round" ("ball", "pancake" which are also of round shape).

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The expressiveness of the metaphor is promoted by the implicit simultaneous presence of images of both objects - the one which is actually named and the one which supplies its own "legal" name. So that formally we deal with the name transference based on the similarity of one feature common to two different entities, while in fact each one enters a phrase in the complexity of its other characteristics. The wider is the gap between the associated objects the more striking and unexpected - the more expressive - is the metaphor.

If a metaphor involves likeness between inanimate and animate objects, we deal with personification, as in "the face of London", or "the pain of the ocean".

Metaphor, as all other SDs, is fresh, orginal, genuine, when first used, and trite, hackneyed, stale when often repeated. In the latter case it gradually loses its expressiveness becoming just another entry in the dictionary, as in the "leg of a table" or the "sunrise", thus serving a very important source of enriching the vocabulary of the language.

Metaphor can be expressed by all notional parts of speech, and functions in the sentence as any of its members.

When the speaker (writer) in his desire to present an elaborated image does not limit its creation to a single metaphor but offers a group of them, each supplying another feature of the described phenomenon, this cluster creates a sustained (prolonged) metaphor.

Exercise I. Analyse the given cases of metaphor from all sides mentioned above - semantics, originality, expressiveness, syntactic function, vividness and elaboration of the created image. Pay attention to the manner in which two objects (actions) are identified: with both named or only one - the metaphorized one – presented explicitly:

1. She looked down on Gopher Prairie. The snow stretching without break from street to devouring prairie beyond, wiped out the town's pretence of being a shelter. The houses were black specks on a white sheet. (S.L.)

2. And the skirts! What a sight were those skirts! They were nothing but vast decorated pyramids; on the summit of each was stuck the upper half of a princess. (A.B.)

3. I was staring directly in front of me, at the back of the driver's neck, which was a relief map of boil scars. (S.)

4. She was handsome in a rather leonine way. Where this girl was a lioness, the other was a panther - lithe and quick. (Ch.)

5. His voice was a dagger of corroded brass. (S.L.)

6. Wisdom has reference only to the past. T-he future remains for ever an infinite field for mistakes. You can't know beforehand. (D.H.L.)

7. He felt the first watery eggs of sweat moistening the palms of his hands. (W. S.)

8. At the last moment before the windy collapse of the day, I myself took the road down. (Jn. H.)

9. The man stood there in the middle of the street with the deserted dawnlit boulevard telescoping out behind him. (Т.Н.)

10. Leaving Daniel to his fate, she was conscious of joy springing in her heart. (A.B.)

11. He smelled the ever-beautiful smell of coffee imprisoned in the can. (J. St.)

12. We talked and talked and talked, easily, sympathetically, wedding her experience with my articulation. (Jn.B.)

13. "We need you so much here. It's a dear old town, but it's a rough diamond, and we need you for the polishing, and we're ever so humble...". (S.L.)

14. They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate. (W.G.)

15. Geneva, mother of the Red Cross, hostess of humanitarian congresses for the civilizing of warfare! (J.R.)

Metonymy,another lexical SD, - like metaphor - on losing its originality also becomes instrumental in enriching the vocabulary of the language, though metonymy is created by a different semantic process and is based on contiguity (nearness) of objects or phenomena. Transference of names in metonymy does not involve a necessity for two different words to have a common component in their semantic structures, as is the case of metaphor, but proceeds from the fact that two objects (phenomena) have common grounds of existence in reality. Such words as "cup" and "tea" have no linguistic semantic nearness, but the first one may serve the container of the second, hence - the conversational cliche "Will you have another cup?", which is a case of metonymy, once original, but due to long use, no more accepted as a fresh SD.

"My brass will call your brass," says one of the characters of A. Hailey's Airport to another, meaning "My boss will call your boss." The transference of names is caused by both bosses being officers, wearing uniform caps with brass cockades.

The scope of transference in metonymy is much more limited than that of metaphor, which is quite understandable: the scope of human imagination identifying two objects (phenomena, actions) on the grounds of commonness of one of their innumerable characteristics is boundless while actual relations between objects are more limited. This is why metonymy, on the whole,- is a less frequently observed SD, than metaphor.

Similar to singling out one particular type of metaphor into the self-contained SD of personification, one type of metonymy - namely, the one, which is based on the relations between a part and the whole - is often viewed independently as synecdoche.

As a rule, metonymy is expressed by nouns (less frequently - by substantivized numerals) and is used in syntactical functions characteristic of nouns (subject, object, predicative).

Exercise II. Indicate metonymies, state the type of relations between the object named and the object implied, which they represent, lso pay attention to the degree of their originality, and to their syntactical function:

1. He went about her room, after his introduction, looking at her pictures, her bronzes and clays, asking after the creator of this, the painter of that, where a third thing came from. (Dr.)

2. She wanted to have a lot of children, and she was glad that things were that way, that the Church approved. Then the little girl died. Nancy broke with Rome the day her baby died. It was a secret break, but no Catholic breaks with Rome casually. (J.O'H.)

3. "Evelyn Glasgow, get up out of that chair this minute." The girl looked up from her book. "What's the matter?"

"Your satin. The skirt'll be a mass of wrinkles in the back." (E. F.)

4. Except for a lack of youth, the guests had no common theme, they seemed strangers among strangers; indeed, each face, on entering, had straggled to conceal dismay at seeing others there. (T.C.)

5. She saw around her, clustered about the white tables, multitudes of violently red lips, powdered cheeks, cold, hard eyes, self-possessed arrogant faces, and insolent bosoms. (A.B.)

6. Dinah, a slim, fresh, pale eighteen, was pliant and yet fragile. (С. Н.)

7. The man looked a rather old forty-five, for he was already going grey. (K. P.)

8. The delicatessen owner was a spry and jolly fifty. (T. R.)

9. "It was easier to assume a character without having to tell too many lies and you brought a fresh eye and mind to the job." (P.)

10. "Some remarkable pictures in this room, gentlemen. A Holbein, two Van Dycks and if I am not mistaken, a Velasquez. I am interested in pictures." (Ch.)

11. You have nobody to blame but yourself. The saddest words of tongue or pen. (I.Sh.)

12. For several days he took an hour after his work to make inquiry taking with him some examples of his pen and inks. (Dr.)

13. There you are at your tricks again. The rest of them do earn their bread; you live on my charity. (E.Br.)

14. I crossed a high toll bridge and negotiated a no man's land and came to the place where the Stars and Stripes stood shoulder to shoulder with the Union Jack. (J. St.)

15. The praise was enthusiastic enough to have delighted any common writer who earns his living by his pen. (S.M.)

16. He made his way through the perfume and conversation. (I.Sh.)




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