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Анар Балтаева (Астана, Казахстан)

Comparison of languages has always been in focus in the scientific world. The very first comparative works appeared in the 19th century written by the representatives of such scientific linguistic schools as F.F. Fortunatov’s and I.A. Baudouin de Courtenay’s. The relative researches of that time were done only in grammar. The linguists of that century mainly considered morphological, phonetic and syntactical systems of languages usually leaving out the lexical one. This happened for a long time.

But at the end of the 20th century together with the establishment of functional and anthropocentric approach towards language linguists began to realize the necessity of studying a word as a language unit expressing non-linguistic reality.

The following 21st century has been marked by the development of the anthropocentric paradigm in modern linguistics. It is out of question that any language should be considered and studied in close connection with a man – a real user of language. Language is a particular way of keeping and passing information, it is a means of accumulation and transmission of cultural values, and it plays a significant part in categorizing items and things of real life, in getting and forming structures of knowledge and their representation in human mind being a great force and stimulus of world cognition. Language helps to understand national mindset and to learn all the peculiarities of culture.

National peculiarities of man’s perception of the world, various ways of thinking and interpretation of the linguistic and non-linguistic reality and specific features of linguistic cognition of the world can be more clearly highlighted by comparison of lexical units of different languages as lexical units are the means by which a man tries to pass knowledge, experience and attitude. Thus, motivated lexical units are worth studying in the aspect of language user’s awareness.

There are three general approaches applied in the researches concerning motivation of words. They are word-formation, onomasiological and semasiological. Under the word-formation approach the research is focused on regularities in combination of motivated words and word forming affix (usually suffix) which define tendencies of word formation of different lexical groups. The onomasiological approach in its turn is directed to find out principles and regularities of naming words. Under the semasiological approach a motivated word is regarded as a unit of lexical semantic level of language and is studied from the semantic point of view, i.e. semantic structure, peculiarities and systemic relations. In contradistinction to the above-mentioned approaches this one provides the study of motivated word not only as a unit of lexical system of language but also as unit of metalinguistic awareness of a man.

The research of metalinguistic awareness of a man is reasonable to conduct in terms of comparative motivology - science of studying motivation of words (the technique of motivated comparative analysis) as the main goal of comparative motivology is the study of motivated lexical layer of language from the point of view of native speaker in the aspect of understanding and interpreting language units.

The comparative aspect of motivology appeared due to scientific works on comparative lexicology (I.V.Arnold, V.G. Gak), on semasiology (A.I.Gudavichus), and on onomasiology (M.M.Ginatullin, I.V.Blinova).

V.G. Gak was the first to carry out the fundamental analysis of semantics of the Russian and French languages. A.I.Gudavichus in his works presented the concept of comparative semasiology comparing the Russian and Lithuanian languages. He regarded the study of semantics of lexical units in comparison could help to expose features of world reflection in this or that language.

Motivated comparative concept is partially presented in M.M.Ginatullin’s ideas (principles, ways and means of naming birds in the Russian, Kazakh and English languages) as well as in V.K.Pavel’s (comparison of names of birds, mushrooms, plants, domestic appliances, colours in dialects of the Moldavian language) and in S.G.Shafikov’s (structural semantic parameters of giving names in the Russian and English languages).

Comparative motivology that took its origin in Descriptive is one of the youngest and most perspective sciences of modern linguistics.

Nowadays on the basis of theory of motivation such lexical groups as names of birds in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish (works of A.D.Adilova), names of birds in Russian and French (works of I.E.Kozlova), names of birds and plants of Slavic group of languages (Russian, Polish and Bulgarian) and of Turkic (Kazakh and Tatar) (works of A.D.Zhakupova-Adilova), names of domestic appliances of Russian and German (works of N.A.Chizhik) have been considered and compared. The mentioned researches mostly took into consideration different non-cognate languages, i.e. genetically different in origin with different structures. The principles and aspects of comparative analysis of lexical motivation together with techniques of comparative motivated analysis have been studied and developed in these works; lexical thematic groups have been investigated from the position of their motivational potential; the results of lexicographical records of the obtained data have been shown.

It should be noted that the results of all studies are the treasury of the actual and theoretical material, but at the same time, there is a need to study the phenomenon of motivation of new lexical thematic groups.

Lexical units of such thematic groups as mushrooms, trees, shrubs and dwarf shrubs of English – the representative of the German group of languages, Russian - the representative of the Slavic group and Kazakh the representative of the Turkic group ​​have been comprehensively analyzed for the first time in the motivational and comparative aspect. Names of mushrooms, trees, shrubs and dwarf shrubs presenting a certain semantic field are directly related to the world of man. This vocabulary is nationally specific; it is associated with the culture of the people and reflects the features inherent in the national awareness. The analysis of the lexical group increases scientific interest in the study of language as the means of transmission of culture and intercultural communication.

The description of metalinguistic awareness in the comparative aspect was carried out on the basis of 100 names of mushrooms, trees, shrubs and dwarf shrubs of the Russian language, 61 items of the Kazakh language and 49 of English.

The statements of metalinguistic awareness given by the native speakers of the compared languages ​​(English, Russian and Kazakh) in the course of the directed psycholinguistic experiment held in the period from February 2011 to March 2012 have been used as the main source of the study.

The analysis of the statements has been carried in terms of content and actualization of motivational relations.

The main goal of the study has been to investigate general and specific features of the phenomenon of motivated words in English (American-English), Russian and Kazakh.

The leading methods of the study are the methods of scientific description and comparative analysis, which provide the comprehensive analysis of vocabulary of the compared languages ​​in synchrony.

The hypothesis of the study is that the mechanism of motivational reflection is universal for different lexical thematic groups and languages.

The results of the study contribute to the further development of the theory of motivation, expanding the range of compared languages.

The data obtained by comparing the lexical units of thematic groups of flora -mushrooms, trees, shrubs and dwarf shrubs – of Russian, Kazakh and English complement the current understanding of the specificity of the formation of motivated vocabulary.

Despite the fact that in recent years, many linguists have been mostly involved in research in the field of comparative motivology, some fragments of comparing lexical units from the perspective of the theory of motivation need further development and expansion. The question of specific features of metalinguistic awareness dependent on different national mindset of native speakers of the compared languages hasn’t been thoroughly considered and developed yet.

Main points and conclusions of the research can be applied in the study of world outlook through the Russian, Kazakh, and English languages and in the consideration of national specific features of the compared languages.

The practical value of the work includes the ability to use the research results in lexicography in compiling dictionaries, and in the learning and teaching process in preparation and development of elective courses on the theory and practice of intercultural communication, on the study of language and culture, on interpretation of texts, and also lexicology.

This study promotes the development of theoretical and practical base for compilation of trilingual dictionary of lexical units of flora.


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