Part I. Semantic Conversives in Competence and Performance:
1.1. The Overview of Semantic Conversives
1.2. Classification of Semantic Conversives:
1.2.1. Classification of Semantic Conversives According to their Morphological Features
1.2.2. Classification of Semantic Conversives According to Their Semantic Features
1.2.3. Quasi Conversives
1.3. Componential Analysis of Semantic Conversives:
1.3.1. “To sell” – Semantic Structure in the Language System
1.3.2. “To buy” - Semantic Structure in the Language System
Part II. The Overview of Semantic Changes:
2.1. Classification of Semantic Changes According to the Logical Relations Between Successive Meanings
2.2. Etymology and Cultural Traces Implied by Semantic Changes
2.3. Hermann Paul’s Assumptions:
2.3.1. The Process of Isolation
2.3.2. Special Factors
2.4. General Assumptions
Part III. Diachrony of Semantic Conversives:
3.1. Text / Discourse Definition
3.2. Diachronic Aspects of Semantic Conversives Development
3.3. Diachrony of the Conversive Pairs “to give : to take” and “to sell : to buy”:
3.3.1. Semantic Structure of the Old English “ãyfan” and the Middle English “yiven”
3.3.2. The Functioning of the Verbs with the Meaning of “to take” in Anglo-Saxon and Middle English
3.3.3. Diachrony of the Semantics of the Verb “to sell”
3.3.4. Evolution of the Semantic Conversive “to buy”
Supplement 1. The Semantic Structure of the Conversive “To Sell”
Supplement 2. The Semantic Structure of the Conversive “To Buy”
Supplement 3. Extracts from “Beowulf” Containing the Verb “to sell”
Supplement 4. Extracts from “Beowulf” Containing the Verb “to buy”
The language is a phenomenon which can be represented as a system of systems. Semantics can also be presented as a system of subsystems. Besides, all the languages fall under the influence of semantic changes. History of the language deals with the descriptive analysis of the changes that took place during the latter’s development. For example, the history of the English language traces the changes that occurred in one of the dialects of Primitive West Germanic during the last 1500 years. More specifically, historic semantics is the study of the semantic diachronic changes that took place in the word stock of a certain language during a certain period of time.
Thus, the objective of this paper is the study of semantic conversives in English competence and performance and examining of the changes in their semantic structure that occurred from the Old English period and later on.
With the exception of the units, "conversive by themselves" (that are further analyzed in the present thesis), conversion occupies a definite place among the types of the lexical semantic correlations: it is characterized by the equipollent opposition of the units (that are differentiated by "converse" sememes), their contrastive distribution, and the conversives' ability of being used in the same context (cf. to win/to lose (a game), to sell/to buy a house, etc).
The topicality of this paper is determined by the following factors:
Semantic conversives expressing "oppositions of meaning" is one of the most important semantic correlations in the lexical system of the language. It can lay the basis of organizing some lexical units into a semantic field and can be successfully implemented in the translation theory (especially concerning lexical and grammatical transformations in the translation process).
Semantic changes that took place in the lexical conversives’ structure can give us a glimpse of the world outlook of primitive Germans and can enable us to clarify their causes and results.
The inadequacy of studies of conversive correlation and conversives functions in the discourse.
A tendency of complementary examination of conversives (as well as other lexical "oppositions".
A necessity of developing a contemporary linguistic theory, in which semantics (and, particularly, types of semantic fields correlation) can play a crucial role.
The research is based on theoretical postulates of the linguistic and historic semantics, semasiology and semantic fields theory, primarily - ones of the Moscow Semantic School formulated by Yu.Apresyan, I.Melchuk, L.Novikov, A.Ufimtseva, V.Levytskyi and others.
The scientific significance of the investigation lies in the use of reliable methods of analysis (such as component and contextual analysis) and the broad scope of the lexicographic and theoretical sources, the analysis of texts of Old English, Middle English and New English periods dated from IIV c. AD (“Beowulf”) to XIX c. (“Don Juan” by G. Byron).