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English versus Slavic

Lexicon in a Morphological and Semantic Perspective

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Edited By Ewa Konieczna and Robert Kiełtyka

This book offers a collection of papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of theoretical and contrastive linguistics. The contributions are devoted to current developments in morphological and semantic theorizing. The contrastive analyses conducted by the authors examine the structure of English and selected Slavic languages.

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The Semantics and Morphology of Identity Enhancement in the Lexicons of Bulgarian and English (Alexandra Bagasheva)

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Alexandra Bagasheva

The Semantics and Morphology of Identity Enhancement in the Lexicons of Bulgarian and English

Abstract: The chapter focuses on a constructional contrastive analysis of the encoding of identity enhancement within intensification in the derived lexicons of English and Bulgarian. Intensification is conceived of as a broad category encompassing identity enhancement which branches into two subcategories – prototypicality and identity specification. The array of analysed constructions includes binominals, diminutives (including reduplicated diminutives), elative compounds, ideophones, reduplicatives, rhyming compounds, and Yiddish pattern compounds. The basic differences in the constructicons of Bulgarian and English lie in the relative distribution and specialization of the different morphological means for simultaneously encoding enhanced identity and evaluative stance. Most conspicuous are the absences of comparable constructions in the two languages, such as no deverbal ideophones in English and no Yiddish type compound in Bulgarian, a single total reduplication construction in English compared to three subconstructions in Bulgarian. More subtle are the differences in the productivity of the various constructions as displayed by the number of instantiations. Along this criterion, the slightly greater diversity of certain constructions in Bulgarian is contravened by the much greater productivity of all extant constructions in English.

Key words: intensification, iconicity, constructional contrastive analysis, Bulgarian, English

1. Introduction

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