Axiological-semantic retrospective of obsolete lexical borrowings (based on the novel “Peter I” by A. N. Tolstoy)

Abstract: 

The article explores semantic discursive transformations of obsolete loanwords in fictional-historical discourse. As a scientific hypothesis of the research, we assume that there exist interactions between two factors: external (cognitive communicative demands) and internal (laws of self-management of lexical-semantic subsystem of the language). The analysis of the semantic dynamics of obsolete vocabulary is based on the methodological doctrine of modern linguistic cognitology, according to which cognitive discursive practice is the main driver of the axiological development of the language lexical-semantic subsystem. The cognitive functional approach to the text analysis of the historical novel allows us to determine several factors, causing the semantic dynamics of loanwords, which become obsolete. One of these factors is an interaction between the semantics of obsolete borrowed lexical units and native lexicon under conditions of specific historic cultural context and varying discursive situation. The second factor of diachronic changes in loanword semantics is the interaction of explicit (denotative) and implicit (associative semantic) semes. The third factor, which actualizes the diachronic processes in loanword semantics, is the development of denotative features reflected in the significate of the lexical meaning. Such development initiates contensional variations of the semantic structure of the foreign lexical unit and involves its intensional meaning, i.e. a constant nucleus of the lexical meaning. Contension and intension of the loanword meaning vary according to discursive cognitive changes in the linguistic consciousness of the modern recipient. The forth factor, causing the borrowed lexicon to become obsolete, is information, which is extracted from all the elements of the discursive activity.

Key words: 

obsolete loanwords, predicate concept, semantic element of discourse, connotation, communicative event.

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