Semantic Shifts Displayed by Adjectives Accompanying Abstract Nouns

Tatiana Sallier


The research is devoted to semantic changes undergone by adjectives accompanying abstract nouns in English and Russian. The article is aimed at proving that such adjectives lose their concrete lexical meaning and become intensifiers, that is undergo delexicalization. The nouns themselves serve as units of both lexical and syntactic context suppressing the elements of concrete meaning and enhancing the intensifying meaning. As a result of this process, synonymous relationship develops between adjectives which are not synonyms in other contexts. The process runs parallel in the two languages, with similar lexical sources, which makes it possible to assume that it is part of a general trend of semantic evolution from concrete to more abstract meanings.

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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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