• V. V. Mykhaylenko
Keywords: adjective, lexical semantics, contextual semantics, discourse register, distribution, function, shift, cultural linguistics


The present paper is focuced on non-numerical nominations represented by the Q-adjectives of the “little” / “small” type in the dictionary entries and discourse continuum. The research is based on an analysis of the linguistic data retrieved from the British National Corpus, it is proposed that the conceptualisations of a small value in the Modern English discourse can be traced back to the language community tradition to assess the environment in terms “little: much / many”. The indefinite numeral adjectives give a non-identified information about a noun. We have retrieved all the instances of value use which sharing the common component of number from the thesaurus to compile our own corpus of small/little values which is in the focus of our exploration. Gliozzo (2004) considers a semantic domain to be associated to a particular domain of specific terms belonging to it, which is characterized by a set of domain words whose main property is to co-occur in texts. The matter is that the given two units in specific contexts can actualize various grades of their littleness / smallness. Koczy (2017) points out that the given units – used in the contexts – are able to transmit some cultural features of the English interlocutors. In fact, a word meaning is established only by the network of relations among the terms of its field. Accordingly, the contexts may reveal some periphery or implicit components and cause some shifts in the word semantic structure. Miller and Leacock (2000) define two types of context: (i) the local context which we would refer to the area of the lexical-grammatical distribution and (ii) the topical context which we would refer to the area of the semantic cohesionof discourse. A major aim of the corpus-linguistic approach is to identify association patterns in corpora. Alternatively, it might be argued that the large individual differences emerged because each person developed his or her own strategy for coping with the unnatural task of using nonnumerical value in a situation involving precise nomonations.


1. Armstrong N. Culture and translation / ed. F. Sharifian. The Routledge handbook of language and culture. London : Routledge, 2015. P. 181–195.
2. Bartmiński Jerzy. Aspects of cognitive ethnolinguistics. Sheffield : Equinox, 2009. 256 p.
3. Boas F. Handbook of American Indian languages. Vol. I–II. Washinton, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Bureau Bulletin, 1911. 1069 p. P. 40.
4. Dash Niladri Sekhar. Role of context in word sense disambiguation. Indian Linguistics. 2005. Vol. 66 (1–4). P. 159–175.
5. Dekker Paul J.E. Dynamic semantics. Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy. Berlin : Springer, 2012. 128 p.
6. Duranti A. Language as culture in US anthropology: Three paradigms. Current Anthropology. 2003. Vol. 44 (3). P. 323–347.
7. Eglin P. Language, culture, and interaction / ed. F. Sharifian. London : Routledge, 2015. P. 141–153.
8. Egre P., Klinedinst N. Vagueness and language Use. London : McMillan, 2011. 319 p.
9. Gliozzo A., Strapparava C., Dagan A. Unsupervised and supervised exploitation of semantic domains in lexical disambiguation. Computer Speech and Language. 2004. Vol. 18 (3). P. 275–299.
10. Gries Stefan Th. What is corpus linguistics? Language and linguistics Compass. 2009. Vol. 3.10.1111.1749–818. x.2009.00149.x. P. 1–17.
11. Jensen K. E. Corpora and cultural cognition: How corpus-linguistic methodology can contribute to cultural linguistics / ed. F. Sharifian. Singapore : Springer, 2017. P. 477–505.
12. Kadmon, Nirit, Landman, Fred. Polarity sensitive Any and Free Choice. Linguistics and Philosophy. 1993. Vol. 16 (4). P. 353–422.
13. Kerre E.E., Cock M.De. Linguistic modifiers: an overview. Fuzzy logic and soft computing. ASIS. 1999. Vol. 6. P. 69–85.
14. Kóczy Baranyiné J. Cultural conceptualisations of river in Hungarian folk songs / ed. F. Sharifian. Singapore : Springer Nature, 2017. P. 223–245.
15. Kuz’min V.B. A parametric approach to description of linguistic values of variables and hedges. Fuzzy Sets and Systems. 1981. Vol. 6. Issue 1. P. 27–41.
16. Lappin Shalom. An intensional parametric semantics for vague quantifiers. Linguistics and Philosophy. 2000. Vol. 23 (6). P. 599–620.
17. Leavitt John. Ethnosemantics / ed. F. Sharifian. London : Routledge. 2015. P. 51–65.
18. Miller G.A., Leacock C. Lexical representations for sentence processing. / ed. Y. Ravin, C. Leacock. Polysemy: Theoretical & computational approaches. New York : OUP, 2000. P. 151–160.
19. Mykhaylenko Valery. Conceptual analysis: componential analysis. Науковий вісник Чернівецького національного університету імені Юрія Федьковича. Германська філологія. 2014. № 720. С. 77–86.
20. Risager K. Linguaculture : The language-culture nexus in transnational perspective / ed. F. Sharifian. London : Routledge. 2015. P. 87–99.
21. Sharifian Farzad. Cultural conceptualisations and language. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia : Benjamins, 2017. 171 p.
22. Solt Stephanie. The semantics of adjectives of quantity: PhD. Dissertation. The City University of New York. 2009. 289 p.
23. Measuring the vague meanings of probability terms / Thomas S. Wallsten et al. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 1986. Vol. 115. № 4. P. 348–365.
24. Wierzbicka Anna. English: meaning and culture. Oxford : OUP, 2006. 363 p.
25. Wright C. On the coherence of vague predicates. Synthese. 1987. № 30. P. 325–366.
26. Zimmer A.C. Verbal vs. numerical processing of subjective probabilities / ed. R.W. Scholz. Amsterdam : North-Holland, 1983. P. 159–182.
How to Cite
Mykhaylenko, V. V. (2020). “READING” VAGUE QUANTIFIERS. Bulletin of Zaporizhzhia National University. Philological Sciences, 1(1), 186-192. https://doi.org/10.26661/2414-9594-2020-1-1-27