SEMANTIC SPACE OF ADJECTIVE MAGNUS IN “AENEID” BY VIRGIL

  • M. Y. Petryshyn
Keywords: Latin, seme, semantic structures, large size, parametric adjective

Abstract

The aim of the article is to describe the semantic and syntagmatic features of the adjective magnus denoting a large overall size in Latin of the classical period. The following methods of linguistic analysis are used in the article to achieve the aim: descriptive method, methods of distributive, contextual and component analysis. Identifying the directions of development of the semantic space of the adjective magnus in Virgil’s heroic epic allows us to determine parametric features relevant to the ancient Romans, to trace the transition from the primary parametric feature to abstract values based on the evaluative element in the semantics of the analyzed adjective to find out the main trends in the formation of linguistic picture of the world of the ancient Romans and the reasons that determine them. In Latin, adjective magnus has a branched semantic structure, because ancient people constantly encountered the concept of size in everyday life, assessing the parameters of their opponents, the animals they hunted, as well as the size of the objects around them. In Virgil’s Aeneid the adjective magnus enters into syntagmatic connections with specific nouns to denote objects of life, body parts, structures, spatial and temporal concepts and lexical units of abstract semantics. Acting as a contextual partner of nouns of a specific semantics, magnus not only denotes the general large size of objects, but also additionally emphasizes its parametric features, namely: length, height, width and depth. Analysis of the semantic space of the adjective showed that the concept of large size in the minds of the ancient Romans evoked an association with other aspects of life. It was used to express the emotional state and social status of man, the formation of a linguistic model of time and number. The derived meanings of the adjective arise mainly from metonymic and metaphorical processes and are associated with the replacement of seme ‘size’ by semes ‘time’, ‘quantity’, ‘significance’ and ‘influence’. The development of nonperceptual meanings on the basis of specific spatial representations is an evidence of the deep archaic vocabulary denoting size. The expansion of the semantic scope of the adjective is due to the historical development of the lexical unit, increasing the range of objects and phenomena that can be determined by this adjective, the peculiarity of the mentality of the ancient Romans, figurative thinking and the influence of the author’s worldview.

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Published
2020-12-21
How to Cite
Petryshyn, M. Y. (2020). SEMANTIC SPACE OF ADJECTIVE MAGNUS IN “AENEID” BY VIRGIL. Bulletin of Zaporizhzhia National University. Philological Sciences, 1(1), 200-205. https://doi.org/10.26661/2414-9594-2020-1-1-29