Pecularities of the implicit opposition based on the modern enlgish, german, russian and ukrainian languages

Study of implicitly presented contrasts of contractile features at different intervals of time. Investigation of the main models of the propositional characteristics, namely attributive, actuality, predicate and syrorconstant opposite structures.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид статья
Язык английский
Дата добавления 12.07.2018
Размер файла 17,0 K

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Pecularities of the implicit opposition based on the modern enlgish, german, russian and ukrainian languages

Статтю присвячено вивченню імпліцитно представленого протиставлення контрадикторних ознак у різних проміжках часу. Протиставлення ознак може бути виражено імпліцитно та експліцитно. У даному дослідженні розглядаються приклади імпліцитно вираженого протиставлення. Аналізуються контрадикторне та контрарне поняття. У результаті аналізу виділяються основні моделі пропозиційних характеристик, а саме атрибутивні, актантні, предикатні та сирконстантні протиставні конструкції. Дані проведеного дослідження дозволяють зробити висновки, що продуктивність протиставних конструкцій не залежить від генетичного походження мови.

Ключові слова: імпліцитне протиставлення, експліцитне протиставлення, контрадикторне поняття, контрарне поняття, пропозиція.

Although many scientists paid a lot of attention to such a language phenomenon as an opposition, the issue of the expression of this phenomenon at the deep syntactic level has not been still revealed. As it is known the opposition can be expressed both explicitly and implicitly. The research deals with the propositions with the implicitly expressed component of the opposition construction. In contrast to the explicit information the implicit one is concealed, not expressed by means of words and its sense derives from the meanings of the language units under the impact of certain situation. The propositions of such type involve a comparison of phenomena opposing one of them to implicitly expressed consequence from another one. Usually two inconsistent features are opposed, and each of them refers to the same referent; this type of opposition occurs because explicitly expressed thought of comparison has implicit opposite implication. By these opposite constructions one feature is expressed explicitly and another one can be reconstructed based on the semantic analysis of the proposition.

K. Dolinin states that implication is based on “contextual links or interaction of the part and the entire” and draws attention to the semantic elements which “are not expressed by the language means and results from the explicitly expressed elements in their interaction” (Dolinin, 76). L. Kardash thinks that “implicit opposition is a complicated phenomenon created by deriving the opposition sentence from another sentence where one or another fact of reality is reflected. The implicitly expressed opposition aims at the language competence of the recipient and consideration of subtextual, contextual and different discursive features of the expression” (Kardash, 194). According to L. Brusenskaia, G. Havrilova and N. Malycheva implication “foresees that the fact that has been meant is a known one and that is why it can be unspoken” (Brusenskaia, Havrilova, Malycheva, 34). Ch. Fillmore takes implication as “a presence of certain conditions required for the expression” and as “a fund of general knowledge of a speaker and a hearer” (Fillmore, 56).

A phenomenon of opposition remains an object of the research of many scientists and is always actual as it exists in all languages. Traditionally, in research dealing with the opposition a lot of attention is paid to the study of explicit and implicit expression of opposition based only on one language, thus implicit opposition in comparative aspect remains unconsidered by the researchers.

The objective of the paper is to analyze the peculiarities of the expression of the implicit opposition of the contradictory features at different times.

The following tasks are specified for fulfillment of the objective: 1) to analyze the definition of implication; 2) to outline the difference between contrary and contradictory features of the phenomena; 3) to define models of the implementation of the implicit oppositions in English, German, Russian and Ukrainian. propositional predicate language

In logic “implication is a conditional statement that is a logical operation that combines two statements in one composite statement due to the logical links which usually in the language corresponds to the conjunction “if..., then...” (A - ” B), that is if A then B (or A causes B)” [Lisochenko, 9]. Implication is “a content of the thought which is much broader than its expression in the language units. This is a saving method of the reflection of the extralinguistic content where “mentioning only one of the elements is enough to imagine the whole situation” (Lisochenko, 9). According to V. Bagdasarian, implication exists not on the top but at the back of the expression as a low, concealed layer of the content, it is “something dependent, derivative” (Bagdasarian, 6). The research is based on the definition of implication given by O. M. Martyniuk: “implication is a non-verbal information that reveals within the relation of thinking and language as an indirect way of the expression of thought and separates because of the link of explicit meanings of the language units with the context, background (encyclopedic) knowledge of communicators and occurs under the certain conditions of communication” (Martyniuk, 439).

According to the logical laws there are two types of the opposition relations: contradictory (inconsistent) and contrary (opposed) opposition. Opposed (contrary) notions are “inconsistent notions which include the third, middle notion and although they deny each other they carry something positive instead of denied in the discordant notion” (Kondakov, 487). Inconsistent (contradictory) notions are “such inconsistent notions which do not include the middle, third notion and exclude each other” (Kondakov, 487).

This research considers implicitly expressed opposition of contradictory features of the compared phenomena. As a result of the research the following groups of this type of opposition have been singled out:

Attributive opposition of appearance represents opposition based on the look of a person. For example, rus.: Лицо у ней теперь было не насмешливое, как в подвале, а словно бы искаженное страданием), но все равно невыносимо красивое (Akunin Borys “Liubovnik smerti”). The analysis of the proposition allows to reconstruct an additional content of the statement, implicitly expressed information: Лицо у ней теперь было не насмешливое, как в подвале (i.e. in the basement it was `насмешливое'), а словно бы искаженное страданием), но все равно невыносимо красивое. Two contradictory features are opposed in this proposition: implicitly expressed `насмешливое' and explicitly expressed `не насмешливое' towards one referent. Their reference to the same referent is possible due to their time difference. The expression of the features occurs at different times and it is indicated by the locative element of the proposition `не как в подвале' and identifier of a later point in time - an adverb of time `теперь'.

Attributive oppositions of the internal state reflect oppositions of the emotions of a referent at different times. For example: ger.: Ich kann nicht mehr so frohlich und unbeschwert wie fruher sein (А. F. Morland «Dann sturzte die Welt fur sie ein»). In the stated proposition, only two features are represented explicitly `nicht mehr frohlich und unbeschwert' but the consequence from the known information `wie fruher sein' allows to reconstruct the implicitly expressed information: before she was `frohlich' and `unbeschwert'. The presence of these features in different periods of time is shown by the adverb of time `fruher'.

Actant oppositions state the presence of one referent in one period and absence of the same referent in another period. For example: rus.: Я сегодня без огнестрельного оружия, - спокойно ответил инженер (Akunin Borys “Liubovnik smerti”). The opposition of the features of one referent has been observed in the proposition. These features are contradictory `без огнестрельного оружия' - `с огнестрельного оружием'. The feature `с оружием' is not expressed explicitly but derives from the adverb of time `сегодня', that is `Я сегодня без огнестрельного оружия, а вчера я был с огнестрельным оружием'. Ukr.: Литиме своє холодне світло місяць, стоятиме ялина, розкидавши в боки свої широкі лапи-гілки, - все буде таким, як є зараз, за винятком того, що все це існуватиме вже без неї (Svitlana Talan “Koly ty poruch”). In this proposition the adverb `вже' indicates that there is implicitly expressed feature which is opposed to the explicitly expressed one `без неї' - `з нею'.

Predicative oppositions represent opposition of one state of the referent in one period to the opposed state in another period:

Predicative oppositions of the internal state represent oppositions of two inconsistent actions associated with the emotional state of the person at different times. For example: ger.: Hatte ich sagen sollen, ich liebe dich nicht mehr, empfinde nur noch Mitleid fur dich? (А. F. Morland «Dann sturzte die Welt fur sie ein»). The use of the adverb in a comparative form `mehr' and the negative particle `nicht' indicates that before the referent `liebte sie' and at the moment this feature is not relevant, i.e. the referent cannot be characterized by that feature as he `liebe dich nicht mehr'. Eng.: I felt tears rising, but they were rising around the solid security of my decision, and they didn't overwhelm me as they had before (Heather Wardell “Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo”). In this example one feature is expressed explicitly `didn't overwhelm' and another one is implicit `overwhelmed'. The speaker wants to stress that in the past the tears overwhelmed her and it does not happen anymore. And the adverb of time `before' shows the time difference and relevance of the features.

Predicative oppositions of mental capabilities reflect oppositions of the true real feature to inconsistent unreal feature at the moment of speaking. For example: rus.: Вот я вам расскажу, как ее добывал, тогда поймете (Boris Akunin “Liubovnik Smerti”). The feature поймете is opposed to the feature `не понимаете' which is not expressed explicitly although derives logically from the context. It means that at the present moment nobody understands the speaker and by restoring the missed out component the following opposition occurs: поймете, meaning `не понимаете сейчас'.

Predicative oppositions of physical capacities aim at representing capability or incability of the person to carry out an action. For example: ger.: Ich werde vielleicht, vielleicht wieder gehen konnen! (A. F. Morland «Dann sturzte die Welt fur sie ein»). In this example only one feature `werde gehen konnen' is expressed explicitly in the form of the future tense, thus this feature is unreal at the present moment. But the use of the adverb `wieder' is an indicative of implicit consequence `kann nicht gehen' from the explicit expressed feature `werde gehen konnen'. Thus, the real feature is opposed to the unreal one due to the denial of implicitly expressed real feature and statement of unreal one. Eng.: It's just Kegan I can't work with, at least not any more (Heather Wardell “Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo”). In the proposition the use of the adverb `any more' and the negative particle `not' indicates that the opposition is expressed implicitly. Therefore it means that the object could have worked with this person before and at the present moment it cannot.

Circonstant oppositions of degree actualize comparison of the degree of the feature expression. Ger.: Kann ich mir einen besseren Lehrmeister wunschen?, sagte Barbara, und sie dachte, dass sie sich noch nie im Leben trotz ihres Gebrechens so grofiartig gefuhlt hatte (А. F. Morland «Dann sturzte die Welt fur sie ein»). In the stated proposition, only one feature is represented explicitly `so grofiartig', but the consequence from the first part of the proposition: `Kann ich mir einen besseren Lehrmeister wunschen?' allows to reconstruct the implicitly expressed information: thanks to such a teacher she has felt so wonderful for the first time in her life. Rus.: Может, завтра всё не так страшно покажется (Boris Akunin “Liubovnik Smerti”), as explicitly expressed feature `не так страшно' refers to the future as indicated by the adverb of time `завтра' and future form of the verb it can be concluded that at the present moment the referent has an opposite feature `scared'. Ukr.: Він зрозумів, що тепер йому жити буде ще важче, ніж було досі (Svitlana Talan “Koly ty poruch”). In this example the implicit feature in positive form of the adverb `важко' is opposed to the feature in the large degree, expressed by the superlative degree of the adverb `важче'. The adverb of time `досі' and the use of the verbs in different tenses (`буде' - future tense, `було' - past tense) show that the referent had these features at different times.

The quantitative indicators of implementation of the implicit oppositions in English, German, Russian and Ukrainian have been represented in the Table 1.

Table 1.

Quantitative indicators of the implicit oppositions of the contradictory features in English, German, Russian and










32 (17,7%)

73 (27,5%)





13 (5%)

7 (32%)


184 (100%)

131 (72,3%)

159 (60%)




18 (10%)

20 (7,5%)

15 (68%)

Total (%)

184 (100%)

181 (100%)

265 (100%)

22 (100%)

As a result of the research it has been concluded that at the semantic-syntactic level opposition is realized in four models: attributive opposition constructions, actant opposition constructions, predicative and circonstant opposition constructions of the degree. The most productive is predicative oppositions and less frequently opposition is implemented in actant models. The actant type of the oppositions is represented only by data of the Slavic languages but it cannot show essential difference of the properties of the language means between the Slavic and Germanic languages. Neither in Ukrainian nor in Russian there are objective reasons for the lack of actant oppositions, the models of this type will be correct in terms of grammar and pragmatics and that is why the properties of the languages in whole cannot be the reason of their absence. It should be noted that one of the indicators of the quantitative difference is a subject of the plot of the data for study. The paper deals with two Germanic and two Slavic languages which were supposed to have similar quantitative indicators but the results of the research have shown the opposite, thus, for instance, the English language has more similarities in quantitative indicators with the Russian language than with the German language. Consequently, the productivity of the opposition constructions does not depend on the genetic origin of the language.

The perspective of the research is to define and to study the models of proposition characteristics of the explicitly expressed opposition of the contradictory features at different times. The attention will be paid to the explicitly expressed opposition and peculiarities of its expression based on the languages under the study.

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