Научная статья на тему 'The concept of pain in the Russian, English and French languages'

The concept of pain in the Russian, English and French languages Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание»

Ключевые слова

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию, автор научной работы — Grebneva Anastasiya Vladislavovna

The article investigates the concept of pain in the Russian, English and French languages. The author identifies and analyzes the semantic zones, acting as a source for the vocabulary of pain. Operation of verbs of pain is examined in written speech. The dictionaries of English and French serve as material for analysis. The author also explores the predicates and control of pain verbs and compares the methods for their formation.

Текст научной работы на тему «The concept of pain in the Russian, English and French languages»

Гребнева Анастасия Владиславовна


Статья посвящена исследованию концепта боли в русском, английском и французском языках. Автор выделяет и анализирует семантические зоны, выступающие в качестве источников для лексики боли. Рассматривается функционирование глаголов боли в языке в письменной речи. Материалом для анализа выступают словари английского и французского языков. Автор также исследует предикаты и управление глаголов боли и сравнивает способы их формирования. Адрес статьи: www.gramota.net/materials/272017/5-1/21.html


Филологические науки. Вопросы теории и практики

Тамбов: Грамота, 2017. № 5(71): в 3-х ч. Ч. 1. C. 81-83. ISSN 1997-2911.

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УДК 811

The article investigates the concept of pain in the Russian, English and French languages. The author identifies and analyzes the semantic zones, acting as a source for the vocabulary ofpain. Operation of verbs ofpain is examined in written speech. The dictionaries of English and French serve as material for analysis. The author also explores the predicates and control ofpain verbs and compares the methods for their formation.

Key words and phrases: concept; pain; different types of pain; predicates; language fields; pain verb; verbs of burning; emotional and mental pain.

Grebneva Anastasiya Vladislavovna

Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow grebneva02.93@mail.ru


Pain has at times been considered purely as a physiological phenomenon. But pain is a complex phenomenon that involves psychophysiological, personal, cultural and social potential of person. Today this concept attracts researchers and scientists of various disciplines, such as medicine, psychology, pedagogy and linguistics. In this article, the concept of pain is considered from linguistic point of view. First and foremost it is worth noting that the lexical specific of pain is unique and very extensive, as its main content is realized due to metaphors from other lexical fields. It is important to mention that the predicates of verbs may be used for designation of pain or functional loss only in the specific structures which are particular to each language. And in case of painful constructions the morphological and syntactic features of predicate use represent the basic parameters, which define the context.

During the study of the Russian, English and French languages it can be stated that there are only a few verbs of pain. The verbs describing pain are scarce in Russian, English and French. For example, the Russian language has the verb болеть and English has ache, hurt, and pain. At the same time the amount of lexical area is quite extensive. But whole vocabulary of pain is borrowed from other language fields - sound field, motion field. For example, in the Russian language the verb гудеть is classified as a verb of sounding, but moreover it is used as a pain verb «голова гудит; ноги гудят» [1, с. 78]. The French language has compound basic pain predicates, which involves two nouns in the formation of painful combinations.

It can be identified 5 groups of verbs in the Russian language, acting as sources for the pain vocabulary:

The first group consists of the verbs associated with burning idea. This group is represented by predicates гореть, жечь, печь. These verbs are often associated with exposure to the sun: e.g., глаза жжет, голову печет.

The second group combines the verbs correlated with the idea of destruction or deformation of the object: резать, колоть, тянуть, раскалываться: for instance, сердце колет, спину тянет [3, с. 269].

The verbs of sound compose the third group. In the Russian language the verb ныть belongs to this class. This pain verb has broad compatibility, for example ноги ноют, сердце ноет.

The fourth group includes the verbs of motion: крутить, кружиться: e.g., живот крутит, голова кружится.

The verbs of fifth group typologically more rarely become sources of pain predicates. This class of verbs takes a special place in the predicates area of unpleasant physiological sensations. The verbs describe the functionality loss. These verbs don't express painful condition of any part of the body, but rather a malfunction, e.g. нос заложен, рука онемела [4, с. 68].

In English there are actually only three basic verbs, which express pain semantics in its literal meaning - to hurt, to ache, to pain. The English language, like Russian, borrows the verbs from other semantic fields to express more detailed contracting. The main borrowing verbs in English are the verbs of burning (to burn, to sear), the verbs of sound (to buzz, to click), the verbs of motion (to surge, to run), the verbs of tool's impact (to cane, to prickle) and soft deformation (to pull, to press). The material for this part of work was provided by dictionary AB-BYYLingvo 12 and the British National Corpus.

In English, there are a few verbs of burning, meaning in a figurative sense the state of physiological body disorders: to burn, to sear, to roast, to scorch, to flare, to broil, to parch. For the verb to burn the denotation of pain is a part of the dictionary meaning. It is significant that its compatibility is wider than the compatibility of Russian verb гореть in the same sense. The verb to sear is used more or less stable in the pain sense. For other verbs pain metaphor is possible only in a very specific context.

There are three variants of situations, when physiological indisposition can be described by the verb to burn [5, с. 9]. Firstly, the verb to burn describes the obtaining of skin burn under the influence of objects emitting heat (such as the sun, candle or hot air, etc.). For example, I burn quite easily [7].

Another meaning of the verb to burn associates with skin or mucous membrane burn by aggressive environment (cold, acid, alcohol, dust, smoke, etc.). This sense is transmitted by the transitive or intransitive constructions. In the case of the transitional use the paradigmatic verb restrictions occur in the inadmissibility of the passive voice. Hostile environment plays the role of the subject, the part of the body acts as a direct object [5, с. 11]. For example, chili peppers burn your mouth [6].

Finally, the verb to burn can transmit the feeling of temperature rise of the whole body or body parts because of the disease (fever, cold, influenza, etc.) [5, с. 15]. Intransitive phrasal verb to burn up is used only in the active


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voice in the progressive aspect. A person experiencing discomfort plays the role of the subject: "A mother feels a child's forehead—you 're burning up! You have a fever!" [6].

Besides to the meanings of 'physiological disorder', to burn can be used for denotation of unpleasant emotional and mental states. The verb expresses this semantics with the help of two stable structures: be burned by; ears / cheeks / heart burn. For instance, love has burned him many times; he has been burned by a bad business deal; my heart burns with love.

The verb to sear is another verb of burning, which can mean physical discomfort in a figurative sense. This verb describes situations where man with a heat source or the heat source itself suddenly expose living tissue to processing of high temperature. The verb to sear is always transitive: "It is a sad thing for a man to bleed to death, because he has not fortitude enough to sear the wound, or even to stitch it up" [7].

As well the verb to sear can describe sudden severe pain: "Philpott stopped abruptly as a crushing pain seared through his chest, radiating out to his neck, jaw and arms" [Ibidem].

As distinct from to burn the verb to sear doesn't have stable constructions with the meaning "emotional and mental pain", but there is the idiom to be seared into one's brain, which may express the state of anxiety or discomfort of some thought: "The image was seared into his brain" [Ibidem].

In addition, the verb to sear can describe vivid emotions (both positive and negative), its suddenness and degree of impact for human are comparable with the suddenness and intensity of pain caused by heat: "His touch on her bare skin seared like a brand' [6].

Another metaphorical verb, which is worthy of attention, is to sting. In contrast to the Russian language, the English verb to sting has the meaning 'to introduce the poison' and besides another more powerful sense: 'to pierce with a sting'. It is exactly this sense that provides broad opportunities for metaphorical use of the verb to sting in pain semantics [1, c. 79]. Most of painful sensations described by this verb are caused by aggressive environment - caustic liquids or odors: "This antiseptic stings a little", "Chopping onions makes my eyes sting" [6].

Another group of metaphorical use of this verb is associated with unpleasant painful sensations caused by bad weather: heavy rain, wind: "My bare feet felt like blocks of ice in the mud, and the rain was stinging my face " [Ibidem].

The metaphorical use of the verb to sting is possible not only to describe the physiological discomfort, but also to describe the emotions. Mostly the verb is used with a noun 'words' in the position of the subject and means offence caused by the words: "My father usually didn't let criticism from the media affect him very much, but those words stung him " [7].

The second meaning of the verb to sting in the emotional-mental sphere is connected with the idea of an impulse to action. It should be noted that in these cases, the model of the verb to sting changes and acquires a new argument, introduced by the preposition into: "... and it seemed as if they had been stung into action by the criticism leveled at them" [Ibidem].

So two English verbs associated with burning or heating and one verb associated with aggressive impact were examined. All of them are used to indicate different types of pain, emotional and mental sensations. It should be noted that the metaphorical using of these verbs may impose restrictions on their temporary paradigm or control model. Examination of the metaphorical using makes it possible to understand what the component of original semantics was the base for metaphorical transfer. And this contributes to the clarification of the basic values of verbs.

In French, the basic pain predicates are compound. It means, that one of two nouns with a value of 'pain' involves in their formation. It can be the word mal, which operates in painful combinations with the verbs avoir and faire. Or it can be a noun douleur, which is used mainly with verbs sentir and éprouver. The material of electronic dictionaries "Trésor de la langue française" [9] and "Dictionnaire de l'Académie francaise" [8] was used for examples.

Mal is characterized by a fairly wide semantics. It can mean everything that causes physical or mental suffering. The idea of physical suffering corresponds to the meaning of pain. In conjunction with the verb avoir the noun mal performs as part of the construction where the experiencer takes the position of the subject, and a part of the body is encoded by locative group with prepositions dans or à, for example, j'ai mal à la tête.

The predicate faire mal correlates with the semantics of pain or suffering infliction. It is used as a part of sentence, where an incentive of pain or demonstrative pronoun ça takes the position of the subject: "La lumière me fait mal aux yeux" [9].

Unlike the noun mal, who may represent any cause of suffering and does not correspond with the idea of health disorders out of context, the noun douleur primarily associates with the concept of physical pain. That word does duty for terminological meaning in medical discourse, e. g. : douleurs abdominales, douleurs articulaires and so on. Collocating with verbs sentir/ éprouver and some of their synonyms douleur operates in sentences where experiencer takes the position of the subject, and a part of the body is surrounded by locative prepositional group, e.g.: je sens une douleur dans les jambs [8].

Having considered the concept of pain in Russian, English and French, it can be concluded that the concept core of pain is formed differently. In the Russian and English language it is formed metaphorically. The verbs of burning and appropriate verbs are one of the most stable metaphors sources for borrowing in the area of pain sensations. In French the concept of pain forms by the predicative nominative manner, with the assistance of two nouns mal and douleur.

In terms of three languages it also fell into place that there are defined set of semantic roles of pain verbs and several constructions of pain. Generally, the following semantic roles are marked out: 1) a part of the body experiencing pain; 2) a person experiencing pain; 3) the cause of the pain. The availability of different structures of pain can be due to the existence of more than one predicate of pain (in particular, these predicates can be linked by derivational relation, e.g. in the Russian language болит and больно). However, different structures can be characterized the same verb, in other words, the verb can have several control models (e.g. in English the verb to sting and to sting into).


1. Бонч-Осмоловская А. А., Рахилина Е. В., Резникова Т. И. Концептуализация боли в русском языке: типологическая перспектива // Компьютерная лингвистика и интеллектуальные технологии: Труды международной конференции «Диалог 2007» (Бекасово, 30 мая - 3 июня 2007 г.) / под ред. Л. Л. Иомдина, Н. И. Лауфер, А. С. Нариньяни, В. П. Селегея. М.: Изд-во РГГУ, 2007. С. 76-82.

2. Концепт боль в типологическом освещении / ред. В. М. Брицын, Е. В. Рахилина, Т. И. Резникова, Г. М. Яворская. К.: Видавничий Дiм Дмитра Бураго, 2009. 424 с.

3. Кустова Г. И. Типы производных значений и механизмы языкового расширения. М.: Языки славянской культуры, 2004. 472 с.

4. Рахилина Е. В., Прокофьева И. А. Родственные языки как объект лексической типологии: русские и польские глаголы вращения // Вопросы языкознания. 2004. № 1. С. 60-78.

5. Резникова Т. И., Бонч-Осмоловская А. А., Рахилина Е. В. Глаголы боли в свете грамматических конструкций // Научно-техническая информация. Серия 2: Информационные процессы и системы. 2008. № 4. С. 7-15.

6. ABBYYLingvo 12 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: https://www.lingvolive.com/ru-ru (дата обращения: 21.02.2017).

7. British National Corpus [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/ (дата обращения: 21.02.2017).

8. Dictionnaire de l'Académie francaise [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://atilf.atilf.fr/academie9.htm (дата обращения: 25.02.2017).

9. Trésor de la langue française [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://atilf.atilf.fr/ (дата обращения: 25.02.2017).


Гребнева Анастасия Владиславовна

Российский университет дружбы народов, г. Москва grebneva02.93@mail. ru

Статья посвящена исследованию концепта боли в русском, английском и французском языках. Автор выделяет и анализирует семантические зоны, выступающие в качестве источников для лексики боли. Рассматривается функционирование глаголов боли в языке в письменной речи. Материалом для анализа выступают словари английского и французского языков. Автор также исследует предикаты и управление глаголов боли и сравнивает способы их формирования.

Ключевые слова и фразы: концепт; боль; различные виды боли; предикаты; языковые поля; глаголы боли; глаголы горения; эмоциональная боль.

УДК 81.373.49

В статье впервые предпринята попытка исследования сложных слов с иноязычным компонентом -гейт в эвфемистической функции. В соответствии со сферами употребления (личной и социальной) выявлены тематические группы эвфемизмов, пополняющиеся за счёт композитов такого типа: политические эвфемизмы; эвфемизмы из области спорта; обозначения событий, связанных с нарушением морально-этических норм. Охарактеризован прагматический потенциал гейт-производных в качестве эвфемистических субститутов.

Ключевые слова и фразы: сложные слова с компонентом -гейт; эвфемизмы; заменяющие смягчающие наименования; тематические группы эвфемизмов; прагматический потенциал эвфемизмов.

Гурова Ирина Владимировна

Самарский государственный социально-педагогический университет gurovaiv2009@yandex. гы


Изучение эвфемизмов - слов или выражений, которые служат в определённых условиях для замены таких обозначений, которые представляются говорящему нежелательными, не вполне вежливыми, слишком резкими, употребляющихся в разных сферах русской речи [20, с. 3], - признаётся одним из актуальных направлений исследований в современной русистике.

Проблема эвфемии в период конца XX - начала XXI в. характеризуется в двух аспектах: во-первых, в плане её научного освоения языковедами (предложены различные классификации эвфемизмов [11; 13; 14; 21]; исследованы способы образования эвфемистических наименований [22]; проведена лексикографическая работа [9; 11; 20]); во-вторых, с точки зрения её состава в русском дискурсе (появление новых тематических групп; значительное расширение уже существующих групп за счет процессов глобализации и демократизации русского языка [8]).

Названные тенденции связаны с активизацией заимствований, ростом аналитизма в русском языке, приводящими к экспансии новообразований бинарной структуры. Эвфемистические функции сложных слов, словосложение как способ эвфемизации становились предметом глубокого изучения в германистике [4; 16]. В русистике же эта проблема ещё требует всестороннего анализа (заметим, что весомым вкладом в её решение стала работа Е. П. Сеничкиной и Р. И. Тихоновой [23]).