“READING” VAGUE QUANTIFIERS
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.
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