Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972


Pyataeva N.V. 1
1 Sterlitamak Branch of Bashkir State University
The article is in the context of classic trends of modern Slavic studies – historical lexicology of Slavic languages – and is devoted to the description of diachronic lexical system of the Russian language from Proto-Slavic to modern state, based on a study of genetically and semantically close vocabulary combined in derivational, root and etymological nests. The author proves the possibility and necessity of a new complex lexical unit – lexical-semantic paradigm, which includes etymological nests, related by common origin and semantic interaction components.
lexical-semantic system
historical lexicology
root and etymological nests
lexical-semantic paradigm
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In modern lexicology lexical nests (LN) are recognized as main complex (backbone) units of the lexical-semantic system of the language. Units and categories, not only of the lexical-semantic, and grammatical level of language: morphemic, derivational, morphological and syntactic are closely «intertwined» and constantly interact in the structure and semantics of its component lexemes. As a result of this interaction important thing for the semantic and structural transformations, very important for lexical nests take place. And they can lead to the splitting and destruction of the once unified nest. The study of linguistic and extra-linguistic factors determining the formation, operation and decay of lexical nests is the most important task of diachronic word formation, which recognized as the most productive and encouraging the study of lexical nests throughout the history of the language. This approach allows us to identify the features of formation and functioning of LN, the specifics of the relationships between words within the nest, to set the static and dynamics in the studied nests, see the prospect of motion of investigated facts to a modern state. The study of semantic changes of words of the nest in their historical development helps to clarify the conditions of rupture of word-formation bond and converting derivational (DN) or root nest (RN) into the etymological (EN).

In the interpretation of modern etymologists EN includes «all genetically related words, regardless of the degree of transparency of these bonds at the current level» [4, p. 24]. Consequently, EN – is hierarchically organized according to the principle of derivational nest group of words of related languages (in the broadest sense) or one language (in the narrow sense), including all ever existed throughout the history of the given languages (or the given language) reflexes certain reconstructed for Proto-basis root, relative to which the possible assumption of the genetic community. In other words, the words which lost their semantic commonality, form different derivational nests at a certain level of language development and are included in one EN. For example, disuse of the word имати ‘take, miss’ in the ancient language led to the formation of the modern Russian literary language of a multitude of independent DN-headed once prefixes derived from the verb – внимать, вынимать, занимать, изымать, нанимать, отнимать, поднимать, понимать, принимать, приятный, снимать, унимать and others, which form a single root -им-//-ним- bound around RN. Considering that the old Russian verbs имати and имти (modern иметь) are derivatives of the Proto-Slavic root words *eti//*jьmati (имати ‘take, miss’, имти ‘enjoy what is taken under control’), word-forming derivatives of these verbs form one EN, originating from the Indo-European root *jьm-.

Thus, reconstruction of EN, always involves reconstruction by various means (explanation of semantic differences, phonological identification, etc.)of lost derivational relations of words or groups of words, cf. such deetimological pairs as belonging to the above mentioned EN tokens иметь, изящный, паук, приятель, необъятный, leading its origin from the Proto-Slavic root *em-, described by the author in the master’s and doctoral theses and subsequent Pub of replication [7].

Monitoring of the development of synonymous LN *em- ‘to take, to have’ и *ber- ‘to take’ in the history of the Russian language we have allowed to develop in a concrete material reconstruction technique of EN. It comprises the following operations:

1) sample of data of the studied roots from etymological dictionaries of the Russian language, the definition of their semantics, phonetic variants and corresponding in related Slavic languages;

2) analysis of derivational nests presented in modern derivational and morphemic dictionary, in order to identify the most productive way for their derivation and most frequently used phonetic variants;

3) addressing to the explanatory dictionaries of modern Russian literary language for the purpose of a semantic description of the components of word-building nests;

4) sample of the idiomatic and dialectal dictionaries to supplement composition etymological nests with everyday colloquial words and obsolete because it is known that in the national dialects «vintage effects and special features of a particular language, dating back to earlier periods of its development, are often more accurately reflected or even better saved than in the contemporary literary variety of the language» [2, p. 46];

5) sample from historical dictionaries of the Russian language and etymological dictionaries of Slavic languages for the purpose of reconstruction of the EN staff for earlier periods of development of the Russian language: Proto-Slavic, Old Russian of XI–XIV centuries, Russian of the end of XIV–XVII centuries, XVIII – beginning of XIX cs.;

6) recovery of derivational nests with the test applied to the roots of the Proto-Slavic and ancient Russian state, in accordance with the relationships of formative derivative and semantic motivation within nests of words;

7) addressing to data of intelligent, historical and etymological dictionaries of related Slavic languages to replenish EN with words that have undergone significant changes in their phonetic, semantic and word-formation structure and were not included in the analyzed DN at modern level;

8) reconstruction by the method of filling the «empty cells» which were uncommitted by Historical Dictionaries of lexemes by comparing identical in structure elements derivational nest (derivational pairs or chains), belonging to the studied root groups, as in accordance with the basic rule of etymological analysis, the explained word has to be considered as a member of a certain word-formation series, forming a particular regular model, thus in the etymological analysis it should be considered that the word as a certain structural whole is a member of the word-forming system of the language in general and it always appears in the language (if not borrowed from the outside) as a unit of a specific word-formation type, belonging to a certain lingvochronological level.

Analysis of EN in general, in all the diversity of its constituent words of derivational relations, very relevant from the point of view of studying the typology of breaks of derivational relations, transforming the DN into the etymological. The causes of these gaps and their reflection in the formative structure of the dispersed parts of the same DN is very diverse. It was noted by many etymologists [3, 6, 9] that this gap is almost never full during the decay of a single DN into several separate groups of words after deetimologizatsii (i.e. phonetic transformations and/or semantic changes) – the former unity never disappears without a trace. The presence of former word-building links from some time independent groups of words indicate the formation of derivatives, the external shape of which follows the phonetic form of one group and the meaning of «borrows» from another separated group of words. For example: on the origin of the word изящный it connected with the Slavic verb *jьzeti (cf. Old Slavic изъти ‘to extract, to remove, to take out’, Russian изъять), which in turn is derived from the Proto-Slavic prefixes the root-word of Indo-European origin *jeti (*jьmo), indicating the effect of familiarizing object ‘to take, to seize’. The basis *jьz-e-t-j-ьn- with an unusual combination -tj- instead -t- was formed under the influence of forms of present participles ending in -e-t-j- : -o-t-j-. Thus, the model of the semantics of the word изящный ‘graceful’ in the history of the Russian language can be represented as follows:

‘to take, to seize’ (имати // ти // няти)>

‘to take out of anything, to select’ (изъти // изъяти)>

‘chosen’ (изты // изъятыи)>

‘constituting an exception, extraordinary, i.e., so that you can select, highlight out of a number of these by special, exclusive features’ (изъты // изъятыи – substantivized form)>

‘characterized by proportionality refined form that meets the requirements of fine artistic taste’ (изячьныи // изящный)>

‘that corresponds to the idea of subtle beauty that embodies the beauty’ (изяществие // изящество).

Moreover, this semantic model can be considered as a language universal, at least for a number of Indo-European languages, cf. the Latin eximius ‘excellent; exceptive’, formed from eximo < ex-em-o ‘take out’, from here exemplum ‘sample’; French elegant ‘elegant’ from the Latin. eligo < e(x) + lego ‘kick, I choose’.

Alike forms chronologically preceded by dissociation of etymologically related lexical groups. This fact again leads to the conclusion about the need of dynamic study the semantics of the entire array of genetically close vocabulary component of the EN, especially that the very formulation and consideration of deetimologization is the proof of the close connection diachronic and synchronic aspects in the study of lexical nests. As a result of deetimologization the nests, which united lexical units on the basis of word-building relationships undergo changes that lead, on the one hand, to the complete disintegration of the DN and its conversion into RN or, on the other hand, to the loss from the DN of individual members which continue in the future independent development or exhaust in a passive vocabulary of the language.

Dynamic (synchronous-diachronic) approach to the study of the semantic structure of the entire LN enables to trace its operation in the history of the language and explain many of the facts of its current state. In this regard, one cannot but quote the article L.A. Sergeeva: «Within the cognitive approach semantic fields are not sufficiently comprehensive to describe the mental lexicon, it is necessary to use a larger associations of words, reflecting, in addition to community different types of things, and thesaurus link words, showing different patterns of cognitive processing of data on the real world and mental world of man» [8, с. 150].

Indeed, in the historical development of the vocabulary of the language it can be found even larger system formations than EN. Thus, in the course of study of Slavonic and Old Russian lexical semantics nests *em- and *ber- ‘to take’ was an association of their meanings with the semantics of lexical nests *do- (давать, дать) and *nesti (to carry). Semantic variety formed by the vertices of these lexical nests, we called the lexical-semantic paradigm (LSP). Supporting words of this series (давать > дать > брать > взять > иметь > нес- ти > давать) are combined by the sequence of meanings they express, containing common Semes: ‘to attach the object’ and ‘action of the subject, aimed at the object to attach’. Semantic intersection of these lexemes is due to the syncretism of ancient roots, which they ascend:

– i.-e. *do- has the meaning ‘to give’, ‘to take’, ‘to bear’ (cf. manifestation of communication meanings ‘to give’ and ‘to take’ in the Bulgarian idiomatic combination имам вземане – даване ‘have common business with someone’);

– i.-e. *bher- ‘to bear’ (here later бремя, беремя, беременная) in Slavonic develops ‘to take’, becoming synonymous with i.-e. *em- ‘to take’;

– i.-e. *em- ‘to take’ later it acquires the meaning ‘to have’, existing in parallel with the original throughout history of the Russian and related Slavic languages.

The relationship between the concepts of ‘to grab’ and ‘to have’ is seen in a variety of languages with very different initial roots: German haben ‘to have’ is related to the Latin capere ‘to suffice’; Russian иметь and Russian dialectal имать ‘to take, to snap, to catch’; Lithuanian tureti ‘to have’ and tverti ‘to suffice’, and the Latin verb itself, indicating the ‘to grab’ in the same way is connected with the verb ‘to have’. In other words ‘to have’ is the result of ’grasping’.

This semantic syncretism can be explained by the fact that “language was born not out of the need to give things names, but from the need to refer things to somebody’s team, to impose on them his or her” brand. «The first word did not mean things, but their attitude, real or imaginary, to the team. Naming was an act of some kind of “assignment”. “Not only the tools and products were assigned, but also such distant and inaccessible things like the sky and the sun. Cf, for example, in Zulu i-zulu ‘Zulu’ and i-zulu ‘sky’” [1, р. 235]. Thus the vocabulary comes to the fore in the cognitive aspect of the language, the vocabulary is its being passed through the public consciousness. As social relations, relations of people to each other impose certain imprint on the formation and the work of consciousness. The subject of consciousness is not an individual act, but the staff, and everything around is realized and evaluated in terms of collective interests. This can explain the origin of our paradigm, the key verbs of which indicate actions that are perceived not by themselves, but in the circle of people: one conveys something else to the property, the other, in turn, assigns the item to the property, or carries it and gives it to someone else, etc.

The intersection of the meanings in the reflexes of key words of the lexical-semantic paradigm can be observed in modern Slavic languages. Thus, the presence of additional Seme ‘to bear’ is marked in the root meaning of the verb group *em-:

сняться ‘leave any place, going on a journey’, colloquial. ‘To go, to go in any direction’, ie «to carry yourself in any direction»;

донять ‘to reach, to get to someone’, as well as in the semantics of the verbs belonging to the lexical nests *em- and *ber- in the related Slavic languages:

Bulgarian добера се ‘to reach’, емна, поема ‘to go somewhere else’;

Polish dobrac sie ‘to get’, przebrac sie ‘to get’, zabrac sie ‘to gather, to go, to get out’.

Cf as a manifestation of the semantics in ‘moving in space’ in the modern DN with the vertex нести:

вознестись stylistically high ‘to climb up’,

донестись stylistically colloquial ‘to fast connections’,

нестись ‘to move very fast, to move, to race’,

перенестись stylistically colloquial ‘to cross fast, to move, to fly through anything, anywhere; come tearing’;

пронестись ‘to speed’,

унестись ‘to leave quickly, to dash away’,

and also forms a non-reflexive донести ‘to deliver quickly’, нести ‘to move swiftly, to rush’.

Besides semantic syncretism, the existence of such a lexical-semantic paradigm is due to well-known in the comparative grammar of Slavic and other Indo-European languages paradigmatic phenomenon Suppletion described by O.N. Trubachev: “i.-e. *bher- ‘to bear’ acted in the durative-present function, while in functions of other verb tenses it was filled by a very special etymological basics – i.-e. *(e)nek-, *t(e)l-, including etymologically obscure cases: Greek ‘I carry, wear’, Latin fero ‘I carry, I wear’, perfect form tuli < ancient Latin tulo, tulere ‘to wear, to bring’ (original ‘to lift, to withstand the severity’)” [10: с. 321]. Similarly, the written history sees some facts of destruction, leveling of suppletive when lexical independence of stems becomes predominant over their grammatical relations. So, *bher- and *(e)nek- in Slavic languages are completely separate lexemes with specific meanings *berQ, *bьrati ‘to take’ and *nesti ‘to bear’, and only the old verbal nominal derivatives like *berme ‘the burden’, show that the Slavic languages preserve the memory of old suppletive relationship, cf Serbo-Croatian nesti, nesem ‘to carry, bear’ and zanijeti ‘to pregnant’. It is in the latter form that distinctive preservation of linguistic fact of great antiquity is occurred.

Thus, the ratio of the components of our semantic lexical-semantic paradigm can be presented as a scheme:

дать // давать (action verb, donativ verb) >

брать // взять (familiarizing object verb)>

иметь (verb of possession, possessive verb)>

нести (verb of movement in space) > давать // дать

In view of modern cognitive approaches to semantics, it can be stated that the lexical-semantic paradigm is a transmission image of the chart – get – possession, which is a semantic universal and its specific lexical and grammatical expression in a particular language is an indicator of the national language picture of the world.

Consideration of the changes that occur in the process of development of lexica system of the language makes lexical-semantic paradigm an important object of historical lexicology. It is in large lexical associations that we can identify and track communication and interactions between words and their intensification or weakening, changing of fields using words of that language, their functional stratification, that is, all the changes that occur in the lexical system. One way to solve the problem is to create a complete and systematic essay of Russian historical lexicology considering the dynamics of the whole complex of lexical nests in the whole period of their existence as part of the LSP, because linguists have long noted that words with similar meanings had similar semantic history. From this it follows that the study of lexical nests and then larger associations (LSP) is actual both in a synchronous and diachronic aspects. In the synchronous aspect lexical system can be studied in order to describe it in relation to any specified period of historical language development, in diachronic – in order to reproduce the development process of this system, from the ancient era to the modern state.

In the light of the above, it should be stressed that history of language vocabulary as a whole, history of LN of every single word is related not only to the external history of the people, but also with the history of his thought. On the other hand, by their organization lexical nests show one of the fragments of a language picture of the world, as the underlying derivation and semantic development of a LN direct (denotative) meaning of top-word, assumes the function of the linguistic representation of some fragment of the subject-conceptual field of the reality that in general is peculiarly dismembered by a certain set of lexical units and their word-building bonds in the structure of the LN.

In conclusion, we emphasize: due to the fact that word formation is a means of linguistic conceptualization of the picture of the world, its main structural component of the lexical nest is not only classification unit, but a unit of language consciousness and communication, so that we come to understanding of a language picture of the world not as a single, easy to analyze the vocabulary fragment, but as a comprehensive Synergy-cal picture, as a holistic picture language of everything that exists in and around us. Such understanding requires the term picture of the world, for which is the idea of language ability by its own means to present all that exists as an entity, accommodating in a single visual space and this space combined.

Taking into account the opinion of V.B. Kasevich [5] that language evolves slowly, and it is natural to expect that its semantics to a greater extent reflects those vestigial ideas and knowledge, that picture of the world that was peculiar to this ethnic group at a sufficiently early stage of its development, and should be recognized as a diachronic approach to the study of the lexical-semantic language system is more efficient and productive, and comprehensive study of genetic and semantically similar lexical highly complex associations on the axis of successive levels lingvochronological accordance with the spirit of understanding of dynamic picture of the world. Studying and describing lexical nests in diachrony, you can overcome the barrier of «fear» to the volatile mobile zones occurring in the language system in the process of its development and changes, as in the nest with its strict organization in accordance with the principles of the semantic motivation and formative pro-derivatives not only already established («standing») token, and the newly formed, and stretching into the passive vocabulary («mobile zone») find their certain place. Thus, the study of etymological nests and lexical-semantic paradigms«reconciled», find their equally important and complementary use of the two linguistic paradigm – system centric and anthropocentric.