The Russian prefix o-/ob- As an implementation of three motion models [РУССКАЯ ПРИСТАВКА О-/ОБ- КАК РЕАЛИЗАЦИЯ ТРЕХ МОДЕЛЕЙ ДВИЖЕНИЯ]

The article used the prefix o-/ob- as an example to test the hypothesis that the semantics of prefixes should be generated by a cognitive matrix in the form of motion models formed on the basis of the experience and assessment of spatial movement. The materials used in the research include lexical entries of the verb oboyti [go round], the semantics of the prefix o-/ob- described in Russian Grammar (1980) and in the works by G.A. Volokhina, Z.D. Popova, E.R. Dobrushina, A.D. Koshelev, and examples from the Russian National Corpus. The main method of research is deductive. The study revealed that three motion models were constructed by selecting three kinds of movement represented by the verb oboyti. The implementation of motion models is considered as an intellectual operation to integrate various objects into a certain model thus constructing their interrelation and determining the nature of changes. The particular meanings of the prefix o-/ob- generated by a certain variation of the implementation of each of the three motion models are analyzed. Model I. A moving element makes a motion around the reference object. I-A. No contact between the WHO-element and the WHAT-reference object, the meanings ‘circumvent’ and ‘avoid, escape’ are generated. I-B. The WHO-reference object is behind the WHO-moving element, the meanings ‘excel’ and ‘intentionally leave somebody aside’ are generated. I-C. No contact of the WHAT-moving element and the WHO-reference object. The circumvention can be regarded as luck or bad luck. I-D. No necessary contact with the reference object, the meaning of an error is generated. Model II. Going around the reference object. II-A. The WHO-moving element moves around the WHO-reference object. The metaphorical shift suggests examining the object from all angles → a comprehensive idea of the object. II-B. The WHO/WHAT-moving element goes around the WHO-reference object. The meaning ‘to harm or act to please somebody else or derive some benefit from it’ is generated. Model III. Going around without the reference object. III-A. The correlation “circle – aggregate” is actualized. The motion implies a comprehensive contact with some multitude. When an aggregate is understood as ‘unshared’, the movement transforms the object in whole. III-B. The circle means a figure with a core in the middle and periphery in the circumference. Moving suggests a contact with the periphery. III-C. The circle means a three-dimensional sphere. Moving in all directions until the sphere is formed correlates with the idea of a maximum. Therefore, it has been proved that the semantics of the prefix o-/ob- can be explained by the implementation of motion models, and correlations between “moving around the circle” or the shape of a “circle” with the ideas of “uselessness”, “comprehensiveness”, “aggregate”, “periphery”, “maximality” are certain mental constants for the Russian linguistic consciousness. © 2019 Tomsk State University. All rights reserved.

Tomsk State University
  • 1 RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Cognitive matrix; Correlation; Implementation; Metaphor; Motion model; Polysemy of prefixes; Variation
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