Статья 'Употребление прилагательных как средства изменения временного континуума в рамках художественного текста' - журнал 'Litera' - NotaBene.ru
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The use of adjectives as a means of changing the time continuum within a literary text

Gurkova Anastasiia Vladimirovna

Teacher, Department of English, State University of Humanities and Technology

142600, Russia, Moscow region, Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Zelenaya str., 22

avgurkova@yandex.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.10.68684

EDN:

XCSWGP

Received:

07-10-2023


Published:

14-10-2023


Abstract: The subject of the study is the exaggeration and understatement of time in modern English literary text through the use of adjectives. The object of the study are adjectives, which are presented as a means of depicting an exaggerated and understated time continuum. The author examines in detail the semantics of such lexemes as brief, quick, fleeting, ancient and slow. Particular attention is paid to their changes within the framework of combinations with other lexical units, during which time periods are stretched or narrowed. In this work, the author implemented the following methods: the method of component analysis, the method of contextual analysis, the method of linguostylistic analysis. The main conclusion of the study is the identification of the lexemes brief, quick, fleeting, ancient and slow as indicators of exaggeration and understatement of time within the English literary text of the fantastic genre. The use of the analyzed lexemes in different forms of degree of comparison of adjectives, as well as as part of comparative phrases, is noted. The above lexemes can express the speed of actions performed, and the time spent by the heroes is either deliberately drawn out or passes instantly. Also, hyperbolic time can be a way of reflecting the authenticity of the existence of peoples and the world as a whole. It is worth noting that some author's neologisms were identified.


Keywords:

exaggeration of time, understatement of time, adjective, dictema, continuum, context, hyperbolization, author's neologism, non-dictionary phrases, time category

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Time is a multidimensional and universal category. The study of time has been going on for many centuries by philosophers, linguists and scientists of various branches of sciences, such as cultural studies, psychology, physics, natural science, etc. [20]. Time is a complex and very complex category. Time is an integral part of the scientific and linguistic picture of the world [1-8, 11-14, 16-21]. "The word is able to preserve the cultural memory of the past, representing, first of all, the specifics of this past" [17, p. 143].

Let's turn to the semantics of time. The explanatory dictionary of Dal V.I. offers the following meaning: the duration of being; the space in being; the sequence of existence; the continuation of cases, events; days after days and centuries after centuries; the sequential course of days after days. [16]

The following values are recorded in the dictionary of Ozhegov S.I.:

– one of the forms (along with space) of the existence of infinitely evolving matter is the sequential change of its phenomena and states. There is no movement of matter outside of time and space,

– duration, the duration of something, measured in seconds, minutes, hours. [16]

Meanwhile , the following meanings of this category are presented in English - language dictionaries:

1. the part of existence that is measured in minutes, days, years, etc., or this process is considered as a whole (the part of existence measured in minutes, days, years, etc., or this process considered as a whole – hereafter the author's translation.);

2. the system of recording hours used in different parts of the world (the system of recording working hours used in different parts of the world);

3. a particular point of the day, year, etc. that is suitable for a particular activity, or at which something is expected to happen (a certain time of the day, year, etc., suitable for a certain activity or at which something is expected to happen.);

4. a period in history [22, 23, 25].

Thus, we can conclude that time and space are indivisible and interdependent. Time is a form of existence of matter, but it can be measured by specific quantities. "Lexemes denoting a time continuum, being part of dictionary and author's phrases, can both exaggerate and downplay time intervals." [9, p. 108]

The purpose of this study is to identify a list of adjectives that can be used as an exaggeration and understatement of time on the example of the works of J. Martin “Fire and Blood" and J. Rowling's “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".

In this work, we have implemented the following methods:

· component analysis method,

· contextual analysis method,

· the method of linguistic and stylistic analysis.

The relevance of this study is due to the identification of dictionary phrases, new lexical combinations, as well as author's neologisms that contribute to the development of the language through their systematic use.

The adjective fleeting can act as a lexical indicator of the understatement of time in order to express the speed of the actions performed by the hero. Let's turn to the example:

But James merely laughed, permitted his mother to kiss him, gave his father a fleeting hug, then leapt on to the rapidly filling train. They saw him wave, then sprint away up the corridor to find his friends. [26] (But James just laughed, let his mother kiss him, briefly hugged his father, and then jumped into the rapidly filling train. They saw him wave and then run down the corridor in search of his friends.)

Within the framework of the above dictem [3], we see an understatement of the time for which the character says goodbye to his parents, namely, hugs his father fleetingly. This is expressed by the phrase give his father a fleeting hug, in which the use of the fleeting lexeme in combination with the noun hug expresses haste as a significant characteristic of the action. It is worth noting that an indefinite article is used before the phrase. Such use of the phrase a fleeting hug is not noted in the dictionary of collocations of the English language [24], which makes it an author's neologism.

The adjective fleeting can also act as a definition to nouns that denote "look", for example, the lexeme glance. In this case, the time it takes to implement the proposed action is significantly reduced, which makes such a phrase a way of depicting the hero's attitude to something or someone. Consider an example:

There are only three, Arya thought. Polliver gave her a fleeting glance and the boy beside him never looked at her at all, but the third one gazed long and hard. He was a man of middling height and build, with a face so ordinary that it was hard to say how old he was [24]. (There are only three of them, Arya thought. Polliver glanced at her with a fleeting glance, and the boy next to him did not look at her at all, and the third looked long and intently. He was a man of average height and build, with a face so ordinary that it was hard to tell how old he was.)

The above example demonstrates a deliberate understatement of time by using the phrase a fleeting glance. Such an image of a fleeting glance shows a pronounced difference between the level of interest of the three characters. Moreover, we can assume that the phrase a fleeting glance indicates to the reader a difference in attitude to Aria, since it is the juxtaposition of three actions expressed in different time intervals that explicates the individuality of each of the three characters. Note that the phrase a fleeting glance is a dictionary case of the use of the specified adjective.

In addition to the adjective fleeting, we can single out another lexeme, which is quite often used as a way of intentionally understating time, namely quick. For example:

‘I told you at The Burrow, I’ve had the essentials packed for days, you know, in case we needed to make a quick get a way [26]. (I told you at the Burrow that I've had all the necessary things packed up for a few days in case we need to escape quickly.)

The transience of the inevitable departure is conveyed through the adjective quick, which reinforces the obvious need for the heroes to be in a different place in a fairly short period of time. Thus, we see an understatement of the time for moving in space, which is indicated by the quick token used as a definition to the noun get a way. Note that the phrase also includes the indefinite article a. This expression a quick get a way is not recorded in the dictionary of compatibility, therefore we can mark it as an author's neologism.

The adjective quick can demonstrate the speed of movement of fantastic creatures within the framework of a fiction text of a fantasy genre in order not only to describe these most fictional creatures, but also to endow them with unique abilities to confirm the existence of magic on the pages of a work of fiction. Consider an example:

Drogon moved quicker than a striking cobra. Flame roared from his mouth, orange and scarlet and black, searing the meat before it began to fall [24]. (Drogon moved faster than the attacking cobra. Flames burst out of his mouth, orange, scarlet and black, scorching the meat before it started to fall.)

In this dicteme, the lexeme quicker stands in the comparative degree of adjectives, since the dragon is compared with the cobra, namely, the time for which they produce the same action is analyzed. The demonstration of deliberately understated tense by means of the adjective quick in this context is also carried out using the verb moved, which indicates a specific action. Such an image of time can be noted as a way of endowing creatures of the works of the fantastic genre with special characteristics that are fundamentally important within a given context. Thus, the phrase moved faster than acts as a way of downplaying time, which demonstrates rapid movement in space.

Let's consider another adjective that can express a deliberately understated period of time when demonstrating feelings that replace each other, namely brief.

Harry had given a cry of pain: his scar had burned again as something flashed across his mind like a bright light on water. He saw a large shadow and felt a fury that was not his own pound through his body, violent and brief as an electric shock [26].  (Harry screamed in pain: his scar lit up again as something flashed through his mind like a bright light on water. He saw a large shadow and felt a rage that was not his own, piercing his body, strong and brief, like an electric shock.)

This context contains the phrase brief as an electric shock, which shows that the adjective brief acts as a means of downplaying the time continuum, namely the time interval within which there is a sharp change of feelings experienced by the protagonist. This token is part of the comparative construction, as indicated by the as token and the subsequent comparison. We see that the adjective is used in the positive degree of comparison of adjectives. The sudden pain and anger that the hero experiences when things happen to him becomes possible to convey with the help of a brief as part of a comparative construction. Thus, the brief token acts as an indicator of deliberate understatement of time.

Consider the use of the same token in the literary text of another author, who used it to express both the duration and quality of service of a member of the Royal Guard.

My duty, now Once he learned to write with his left hand, that is. The White Book was well behind. The deaths of Ser Mandon Moore and Ser Preston Greenfield needed to be entered, and the brief bloody Kingsguard service of Sandor Clegane as well. New pages must be started for Ser Balon Swann, Ser Osmund Kettleblack, and the Knight of Flowers. I will need to summon a septon to draw their shields [24]. (My duty now. Once he learned to write with his left hand, that is. The White Paper has lagged far behind. It was necessary to mention the deaths of Ser Mandon Moore and Ser Preston Greenfield, as well as the brief bloody service of Sandor Clegane in the Royal Guard. It is necessary to open new pages for Ser Balon Swann, Ser Osmund Kettleblack and the Knight of Flowers. I'll need to summon a septon to expose their shields.)

The proposed dicteme demonstrates that the brief lexeme can act as one of the defining adjectives that characterizes a character. Brief expresses a very short service of the hero. It is worth noting that on the other hand, it is the use of the adjective brief that is an obvious way to strengthen the adjective bloody. It is worth noting that before the phrase the brief bloody Kings guard service of Sandor Clegane there is a definite article the, which indicates a specific action. This combination of the adjective brief as the definition of the noun service is not a fixed case in the dictionary.

Adjectives, forming combinations with other parts of speech, can act as a way of exaggerating time periods that indicate, for example, the antiquity of objects existing within the fantastic world in order to confirm their reality of being in the universe invented by the author. Consider an example:

Scrimgeour now pulled out of the bag a small book that looked as ancient as the copy of Secrets of the Darkest Art upstairs. Its binding was stained and peeling in places [26].  (Scrimgeour pulled out of his bag a small book that looked as ancient as the copy of Secrets of the Darkest Art upstairs. The binding was stained and peeling in places.)

In the above example, the ancient lexeme is used in the comparative construction as ancient as the copy of Secrets of the Darkest Art, which demonstrates a deliberate hyperbolization of the time continuum aimed at describing ancient objects. Note that this method of exaggerating time by means of comparative construction is one of the most common. However, the adjective ancient, despite its semantics, is rarely used by authors as an indicator of an exaggerated time continuum. The phrase as ancient as the copy of Secrets of the Darkest Art is a confirmation not only of the long-standing existence of magic in the world of magic, but also proof of the existence of the author's fantastic universe as a whole. This effect is achieved by deliberately exaggerating the time continuum.

Attempts to substantiate the long-standing existence of worlds occur not only through the description of objects, but also peoples. Let's turn to the example:

And some had skins of the same amber hue as Kraznysmo Nakloz, and the bristly red-black hair that marked the ancient folk of Ghis, who named themselves the harpy’s sons. They sell even their own kind. It should not have surprised her. The Dothraki did the same, when khalasar met khalasar in the sea of grass [24]. (And some had skin of the same amber hue as Kraznismo Nakloz, and bristly red-black hair, which distinguished the ancient people of Gis, who called themselves the sons of the harpy. They even sell their own kind. It shouldn't have surprised her. The Dothraki did the same when Khalasar met Khalasar in the grass sea.)

In this dicteme, the ancient lexeme is used as a definition for the noun folk. Moreover, the composition of this phrase includes the definite article the – it indicates a specific group of people. In this passage, the adjective ancient is a way of exaggerating the time continuum to give a whole nation specific characteristics on the one hand, and to prove the existence of a fantastic world through the people on the other. The lexical index of the hyperbolized tense ancient in combination with the noun folk is not recorded in the collocation dictionary, which means it is an author's neologism.

Hyperbozized time through the use of the ancient lexeme can also express the rebirth of once existing places into legends. Let's turn to the example:

“The Horn of Winter is an ancient legend. Does the King-beyond-theWall truly believe that such a thing exists?"[24] ("The Winter Horn is an ancient legend. Does the King behind the Wall really believe that such a thing exists?)

The phrase an ancient legend demonstrates the absence of the physical existence of a place due to its transition into the concept of a legend. The phrase an ancient legend also indicates the long life of the world in which the action takes place, since the adjective ancient significantly stretches the time boundaries.

Adjectives denoting the slowing down of any processes can also be a way of demonstrating deliberate exaggeration of time. Such adjectives include slow. Consider an example:

He felt as though he were sitting in an examination with a question he ought to have been able to answer in front of him, his brain slow and unresponsive [26].  (It seemed to him that he was sitting on an exam, and there was a question in front of him that he had to answer, his brain was slow and did not answer.)

Within this context, we see that the speed of the thought process is deliberately slowed down with the help of the slow token, which expresses the excited state of the hero.

This effect is achieved through the use of the phrase brain slow, which is not a dictionary case of use.

However, the adjective slow can be a way of depicting not the actual flow of time, but the inner feeling of the passage of time by the hero. For example:

The rest of the day seemed to creep by as slow as a worm in molasses. Tyrion climbed to thecastle library and tried to distract himself with Beldecar’s History of the Rhoynish Wars, but he could hardly see the elephants for imagining Shae’s smile. Come the afternoon, he put the book aside and called for a bath[24]. (The rest of the day seemed to fly by slowly, like a worm in molasses. Tyrion climbed into the castle library and tried to distract himself with Beldekar's History of the Rhoyne Wars, but he could barely see the elephants because he imagined Shai's smile. Let's sit down, he put down the book and called to take a bath.)

The slow token expresses the slow passage of time, which demonstrates the phrase as slow as a worm. The adjective slow is part of the comparative turnover, which enhances the slow passage of time. It is worth noting that the grammatical construction as...as it is one of the most frequently used forms of expression of hyperbolized time. Thus, the slow token stretches the time continuum within which the hero's day takes place.

Thus, the adjectives brief, quick, fleeting are indicators of the understatement of time in a literary text and can express the speed of action, an instant glance, the degree of interest, the transience of inevitable events, the speed of movement of fantastic creatures in space, and also be a defining characteristic of the hero.

The adjectives ancient and slow demonstrate a hyperbolized time continuum aimed at depicting ancient objects, peoples or places within the fantastic world, the existence of the fantastic world as a whole.

From a grammatical point of view, adjectives are used both in a positive degree of comparison and are part of comparative turns. The use of dictionary phrases is noted. The author's neologisms have also found their application in the text of the fantasy genre in order to depict an exaggerated and understated time.

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The article presented for consideration "The use of adjectives as a means of changing the time continuum within the framework of a literary text", proposed for publication in the journal "Litera", is undoubtedly relevant, due to the author's appeal to the realization of the phenomenon of "time" in fiction. The relevance of this study is due to the identification of dictionary phrases, new lexical combinations, as well as author's neologisms that contribute to the development of language through their systematic use. The purpose of this study is to identify a list of adjectives that can be used as an exaggeration and understatement of time based on the material of the works of J. Martin “Fire and Blood" and J. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". It should be noted that there is a relatively small number of studies on this topic in Russian linguistics. The article is innovative, one of the first in Russian linguistics devoted to the study of such issues. The article presents a research methodology, the choice of which is quite adequate to the goals and objectives of the work. The author turns, among other things, to various methods to confirm the hypothesis put forward. The main methodology was: the method of component analysis, the method of contextual analysis, the method of linguistic stylistic analysis. Theoretical fabrications are illustrated with language examples, as well as convincing data obtained by statistical methods or corpus analysis. This work was done professionally, in compliance with the basic canons of scientific research. The research was carried out in line with modern scientific approaches, the work consists of an introduction containing the formulation of the problem, the main part, traditionally beginning with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, a research and a final one, which presents the conclusions obtained by the author. It should be noted that the conclusion requires strengthening, it does not fully reflect the tasks set by the author and does not contain prospects for further research in line with the stated issues. The bibliography of the article contains 26 sources, among which works are presented in both Russian and foreign languages. Unfortunately, the article does not contain references to the fundamental works of Russian researchers, such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. The comments made are not significant and do not detract from the overall positive impression of the reviewed work. Typos, spelling and syntactic errors, inaccuracies in the text of the work were not found. In general, it should be noted that the article is written in a simple, understandable language for the reader. The work is innovative, representing the author's vision of solving the issue under consideration and may have a logical continuation in further research. The practical significance of the research lies in the possibility of using its results in the teaching of university courses on the stylistics of the English language, literary theory, as well as courses on interdisciplinary research on the relationship between language and society. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and graduate students of specialized universities. The article "The use of adjectives as a means of changing the time continuum within the framework of a literary text" can be recommended for publication in a scientific journal.
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