«Features of the formation of the semantic field "politics" in French and English» или «Особенности формирования семантического поля "политика"

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1.1 The word “politics”: historical and etymological aspects
The word “politics” appeared in the Antiquity and comes from a Greek lexeme “polis”, which means “city-state”. Polis was a unique society, center of cultural, trade and scientific life. During process of historical development the differentiation of the forms of government in ancient polices has occurred, but in every society there was a common element – free participation of all citizens in the decision-making.
Historically, appearing of first polices became the result of decomposition of a tribal system. Appearing of the first polices goes to ancient Greece approx. 800 B. C. The golden age of ancient city refers to V century B. C. [24, p. 35]. Semantic field of the concept suffered under influence of historical processes.
Plato understand phenomenon of polis as a large family in which every person becomes as integrative, inalienable part of policy-state. Aristotle refers polis to political formation, in which a man realizes himself. Political man (politics) realizes himself in the political sphere. Thus, politics becomes a kind of individual labor, natural sphere of life, the search for the best life. Individual in the Aristotle’s conception is perceived as a “political man”, a free citizen, endowed with rights and duties.


Humanization of scientific thinking has led to the appearance and rapid development of the branches of sciences studying in details all aspects of human existence. Actuality of these sciences in the modern world is based on the understanding that in most cases the person does not deal with the real world but with its representation, created mainly by means of linguistic resources. The great philosopher Martin Heidegger argued that language is the "home of life", believing that language does not only reflect, but creates a reality in which a man lives. Of course, the reality will be quite different for members of different ethnic groups, because the language is a reflection of material culture, beliefs, traditions, customs of the nation and their history. According to the definition, given by modern Russian researcher V. A. Maslova: "language is both an instrument of creation, development, storage (in the frames of the text) of culture, and it is an inherited part of it, because the language means creation of a real, objectively existing discourses of material and spiritual culture" [22, p. 27].
At the beginning of the third millennium the global society found itself in a situation where the state and possible ways of further development of politics becomes one of the most widely discussed scientific problems. In the most general form politics "is the practice and theory of influencing other people". However, the given definition ignores the numerous connotations, associative row formed in the modern civilization model, which acts as a reviewer of phenomenon of politics. Moreover, the definition leaves beyond attention the differences between semantical structure of the concept in the different languages, including French and English.

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Absence of the conceptual component can be explained by the specifics of the functional sphere of analyzed discourses, presented in the mass media, with their striving to maximal objectivity eliminating or minimizing the usage of evaluative connotations.Authors of English-speaking political discourses appeal to the associative level of the concept “politics”, aimed mainly at the emotional impact on the recipients, at exploitation of the risomatic potential of associative thinking, motivation to realization of certain actions, creating a positive or negative image of political realities, political parties, political events. The phenomenon “politics” in English-speaking texts is often associated with the phenomenon “democracy”. It is worth mentioning that the category of democracy is more restricted than the category of politics: totalitarian states do not accept democratic principles, but implement policy, thus, on the imaginable level metaphorical assimilation of the concept “politics” to the phenomenon “democracy” is released. The results of investigation can be presented in the graphical form:Diagram 1. Representation of the components of the concept "politics" within the modern English-speaking political discoursesThus, on the basis of the analysis we can conclude that in modern English political discourses the concept “politics” is represented by its basic and associative levels. Etymological semantical level is not represented, that fact indicates that the semantical field of the concept became an integrative part of conceptospheres of the most world’s cultural models, and adequate interpretation of the concept does not require a return to the past, etymological origin of the term. Constructing the basic and associative semantical levels is realized by the verbalizing of imaginable and cognitive components. As it was mentioned in the theoretical part of the investigation, the concept is an abstract mental entity that materializes in terms on different language levels: words, phrases, phrases, sentences, stable combinations, text, etc. These units are interconnected by semantic relations, reflecting the conceptual content. The collection of such language units forms the semantic field of the concept. In an analysis of synonymous row of the investigated concept in English, we have identified the following synonyms: government, campaigning, civics, electioneering, legislature, polity, statecraft, stateship, diplomacy [3]. The general semantics of the nouns may be lead to the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area.For the better understanding of its commonsense notion naming units that form synonymic row of the concept “politics” were analyzed. Naming unit “government” (n.) means the governing body of a nation, state, or community; relation between a governed and a governing world. In the modern English political discourses the term is used for definition of the institutions, structures, realizing the government of a state and a system of interrelations between power institutions and society. For example: ... and I think about the extraordinary role that American universities have played and can play, in bringing students to the United States and sending American students abroad, in helping to lay some of the foundations for democracy and for the people-to-people contacts that really the U.S. Government can only do … (1)Notion “campaigning” means work in an organized and active way toward a particular goal, typically a political or social one. The term effectively operates in different social spheres; it becomes a political reality under influence of contextual surrounding:Even if none of those Democrats were to announce candidacies this fall, some party officials and strategists suggested that Mr. Biden could be laying the groundwork for an 11th-hour rescue mission during the winter primaries if Mrs. Clinton’s campaign began to implode (Why Al Gore won't endorse Hillary Clinton// Politico. 11.17.2015).Notion “legislature” denotes “the legislative body of a country or state”:If so the referendum legislation will have to be bounced back to the Lords by the Commons (PM spells out the EU question: But critics warn wording favours staying in Europe// The Daily Mail. 27.05. 2015)The term used for representing a separate aspect of politics cannot present the whole semantical field if the word appeals to associative thinking of the potential recipient. Nomination “polity” used within the political discourses with the meaning “a form or process of civil government or constitution”. Nominative unit “statecraft” denotes “the skillful management of state affairs; statesmanship”, may serve as a full synonym of the word “politics” in its understanding as the art of government. For example:Rubio: 'Iran uses terrorism as a tool of statecraft' (Rubio: 'Iran uses terrorism as a tool of statecraft'// BBC. 5. 12. 2013)The word “stateship” has no definitions in the modern English dictionaries, but its semantics is clear, formed by semantics of its components. The term is widely functions in the modern political discourses, for example:"I think that what Hillary Clinton's secretary of stateship has done is lay the foundations, set out the tramlines for a modern role for the world's superpower in a world where there are other veto powers," says Miliband, referring to rising powers such as Brazil and Turkey, who have or want more of a say in how the world is run (Hillary Clinton: A long journey// BBC. 1.02.2013)Notion “diplomacy” means “the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country's representatives abroad”, for example: For it was there, behind a row of corporate boxes, that the new foreign affairs minister, Stephen Smith, spent much of the three sessions manipulating the keypad of his Blackberry and making calls on his mobile phone in a spot of “boundary diplomacy” (Boundary diplomacy// BBC. 18. 01. 2008).Thus, the general mental category of human society, including the concept “politics”, is represented in concept-universals, which represents the ethno-cultural features of mentality. Synonymic row of the concept “politics” reflects the invariant properties of a particular linguistic-cultural community. Semantic field, represented in the synonyms, forms the mental core of world view, its dictionary definitions, phraseology, associative and synonyms rows.Verbalization of the concept within English-speaking political discourses is released through usage of numerous linguistic means of different language levels. Representation of the concept on the prosodic level involves intonation clearance, hesitations, interruptions, etc. On the lexical level it is worth to denote the numerous cases of rethinking of the original semantical meaning of the lexemes, for example: despite a swing to the SNP of 24%.The original semantics of the lexeme “a swing to” is reconsidered; word becomes a referent of political activity.Among the most effective stylistic means of representation of the concept is a usage of numerous epithets: an ideological struggle, a hopeful ideology, young democracies. The dominant stylistic device of the representation of the basic concepts within the discourses is a metaphor. The metaphor becomes a key category in the understanding of the processes of creative thinking and learning of conceptual systems.As denotes N. D. Arutyunova, “the metaphor is considered as the key to understanding of the foundations of thinking and the processes of creating not only a nationally-specific vision of the world, but its universal image” [13, p. 6]. As examples of the metaphorical rethinking within the political discourses may serve the next ones:despite a swing to the SNP of 24%. The original detonate of the lexeme “swings” is far from political sphere but in the last years it effectively operates in the political discourses for nomination of the certain democratic procedures, which form the concept “politics”.Among other stylistic devices worth naming is the usage of numerous phraseologisms within the discourse, for example:Lord Ashdown said he would "publicly eat his hat" if predictions the party would lose 47 seats were correct;and face furious criticism over his U-turn on tuition fees;freedom and democracy take root in the Middle East. On the syntactical level concept “politics” in the discourse is actualized by means of expressive syntax, including rhetorical questions, exclamatory sentences, and so on.Thus, on the basis of the investigation of the features of semantic field of the concept “politics” in the English-speaking political discourses we can make a conclusion that modern politicians appeal to the basic and associative levels of the term. As a rule, the concept is represented due to nomination of the political institutions, procedures, realities. In the English-speaking texts the concept “politics” often approaches the concept “democracy”. The fact of such approaching can be explained by the unique character of the historical development of English-speaking countries, forming of phenomenon of “democracy” as the optimal way of running a country. Synonymous row of the investigated concept includes the following synonyms: government, campaigning, civics, electioneering, legislature, polity, statecraft, stateship, diplomacy [3]. The terms can complete the original semantic field of the concept “politics”. Verbalization of the concept within English-speaking political discourses is released through usage of numerous linguistic means of different language levels, including prosodics, lexical, syntactical, phraseological, stylistic, etc. 2.2 FEATURES OF THE FORMATION OF THE SEMANTIC FIELD OF THE CONCEPT “POLITICS” IN FRENCH A concept as a component of our national consciousness and our knowledge about the surrounding world [16, p. 33] is constructed on the basis of lexicographical interpretations and information about the compatibility of words the text, is realized in the discursive content of lexical units, set phrases, the system of metaphors and stable comparisons. In French the term “politique” denotes a person, who can govern a state; science about governing by a country; “personne habile à gouverner. Science, art de gouverner un État”. The term within discourse may serve as a noun or as an adjective. When the lexeme is used as an adjective, its meaning approaches the English word “governmental”. Thus, the denotative field of the French concept is more complex, more different. The term may denote not only activity as in English, but a person as well as characteristics of activity or a person. Complex semantical denotative field may be explained due the great influence of the French Revolution, its dominating ideas, freedom, liberty on the formation of the concept.According to the semantical structure of the concept, presented in the theoretical chapter of investigation, we can distinguish etymological, basic and associative levels. In the frames of research it is appropriate to analyze the national features of the formation of the semantical field of the concept “politics” in French at different conceptual levels. The material of the study is the modern political discourses, politician’s speeches and official documents, represented in the leading mass-media. Analyzed units represented in the Appendix 2. The results of investigation can be presented in the next table:Table 3. Representation of semantical levels and components of the concept "politics" in French political discourselevelscomponentscognitiveimaginableevaluativeetymologicalles nazisJuifs à fuir;basicLes opposants;exploitants;le juge;de gendarmes;manifestants;organisateurs;François Hollande;Ancien ministre du Pétrole;Kadhafi;Choukri Ghanem;autorités autrichiennes;le Parti de la liberté de Jörg Haider;organisation d'extrême droite;Choukri Ghanem;Muammar Kadhafi;spécialiste de la Libye;consultant auprès du gouvernement actuel;Mobilisés;le projet;le palais de justice;par cette audience;première association d'opposants;à l'astreinte;anciens propriétaires ou locataires;l'expropriation du tribunal de grande instance de Nantes, statuant en référé (procédure d'urgence);expulsion immediate;séquestre de leurs biens et cheptels;Mise en délibéré;menacées d'expulsion;scandé plusieurs centaines d'opposants;le début de l'audience;decision;Travaux interrompus depuis;L'annonce;des indemnités d'expropriation;règlement effectué;les détenteurs sont tenus de quitter les lieux dans le délai d'un mois;être procédé à l'expulsion des occupants;de l'expropriation;de geler les expulsions;les procédures d'appel«trahi» son engagement;régime libyenassociativele Printemps arabedéclaration d'utilité publiqueForming the semantical field of the concept “politics” due to constructing the etymological level is released as well by appealing to a Bible myth, expressive mythological narration about Exodus.It’s worth to mentioning, that the percentage of discourses appealing to the etymological level composes 4%. Construction of the basic levels is realized by represented of the imaginable component of the concept naming the realities, institutions, procedures, etc. of political life. It should be added that in French political discourses is registed more numerous usage of the referents of the social, political institutions, procedures, for example: le palais de justice, séquestre de leurs biens et cheptels, d'expulsion and so on. On the contrary to English-speaking texts, the French discourses represent of the concept «politics» by description of elections, creation of the positive or negative image of certain political parties or political figures. In the other words, French politicians go out beyond the frames of the concept “democracy” as it is fixed in the English texts. Formation of cognitive component of the basic level of the concept is realized due the usage of numerous naming of the “personne habile à gouverner”. The percentage of the discourses, based on the cognitive component, composes 36% of the analyzed texts. Appealing to the imaginable and evaluative components is fixed in the 52% and 4% of the analyzed discourses correspondingly. Authors of French political discourses appeal to the associative level of the concept “politics”, aimed mainly at the emotional impact on the recipients, at exploitation of the risomatic potential of associative thinking, motivation to realization of certain actions, discussing of the most actual problems and questions of political and social life. French politicians often appeal to such associative categories as tolerance, liberty, security and others, having positive connotations.This feature of French political discourses may be explained by great influence of the French Revolution, it dominated ideas, freedom, liberty, the key historical experience, that influenced the modern semantical field of the concept “politics” [14]. We cannot name France a motherland of democracy, but its current understanding as a freedom, safety, liberty and tolerance is formed, undoubtedly, under the influence of the Revolution ideas. Appealing to the associative level that is realized due to representation of behavioral norms and values, that cause certain associations (cognitive level) constitutes - 2%; creation of cultural accepted imagines (imaginable level) is fixed in 2% on analyzed discourses. The results of investigation can be presented in the graphical form:Diagram 2. Representation of the components of the concept "politics" within the modern French political discoursesThus, on the basis of the comparative analysis of the modern political discourses in English and French we can conclude that in modern English political discourses the concept “politics” is represented by its basic and associative levels. French political figures as well appeals to the etymological level, including Bible, mythological images. On the basic level English politicians represent the concept “politics” by description of modern political institutions, procedures etc. Within French political discourses the representation of the basic level of the concept “politics” is realized as though description of the imaginable components, description of the political institutions, procedures, referents of the political activity, direct nomination.Received results allow to make a conclusion, that the representation of the concept “politics” in the French texts is more complex, more many-sided. In English discourses the concept “politics” approaches the concept “democracy”, English politicians often limit representation of the concept by description of the democratic procedures, while French political figures represent all sides of the phenomenon. The concept “politics” materializes in terms of different language levels: words, phrases, phrases, sentences, stable combinations, text, etc. In an analysis of synonymous row of the investigated concept in French, we have identified the following synonyms: ambassade, avisé, civil, démocratie, diplomate, diplomatie, gouvernement, négociateur, police, public, social [10]. Nomination “ambassade” denotes “députation envoyée à un État”, reflects one of the most important aspects of the concept “politics”, its international character, for example:Dans le cadre de ses études, la jeune femme effectuait un stage l'automne dernier aux services culturels de l'ambassade de France aux États-Unis (Une première à Sciences Po: une étudiante koweïtienne est renvoyée pour antisémitisme// Le Point. 12.01.2016)The usage of the lexeme may denote a building, person, who realizes diplomatic activity, and phenomenon of international political activity. In the context the aspects of meaning as building and political phenomenon are synthesized, composed an integrated unique.A la suite de son incarcération, le ministère français des Affaires étrangères avait indiqué que l'ambassade lui apportait "la protection consulaire habituelle". Le consul de France au Bangladesh lui avait rendu visite fin décembre (L'humanitaire français détenu au Bangladesh devrait être libéré// Le Point. 12.01.2016)In the context the semantical meaning of the lexeme is limited by understanding of the term as a political phenomenon, that underlines the international character of politics. Notion “civil” has a row of semantic connotations, inextricably linked with the concept “politics”. Taking into account widespread of democracy as the foreground form of political government in most world’s countries, the concept “civil” as basic characteristics of democracy becomes one of the most actual terms of the modern political discourses. Nomination means “Relatif à l’ensemble des citoyens d’un État. Personne qui n’est pas militaire”. The different aspects of the concept in one form or another are represented in the political texts, for example:De même, des incertitudes subsistent sur l'état civil, les adresses et l'identification des personnes redevables de la taxe d'habitation, et sur l'évaluation des valeurs locatives, qui « font peser le risque d'un contentieux de masse en matière d'impôts locaux», estime la Cour (Départementalisation de Mayotte: une bombe à retardement, selon la Cour des comptes// Le Point. 13.01.2016)In the example lexeme is a part of settled expression, referent of the reality of the political activity, institutional political government that improves widespread of the word, its great wordcreating potential. The semantical meaning of the term goes far beyond the one fixed in the dictionary. Les jihadistes de l'EI, dont l'organisation occupe de larges pans de territoires en Syrie et en Irak, pourraient vouloir "effrayer" les civils qui se trouvaient au consulat pour demander des visas pakistanais, "car l'EI ne veut pas que la population fuie les régions qu'il contrôle", ajoute-t-il. (L'EI revendique sa première attaque contre l'Etat pakistanais// Le Point. 13.01.

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