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Functional Semantics of Existence in R. Asprins Discourse

The aim of this article is to investigate the peculiarities of semantic functioning of the concept existence in the discourse of R. Asprin. Robert Lynn Asprin (born St. Johns, Michigan, June 28, 1946) is an American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his humorous series. From the componential analysis of the lexeme be, which represents the concept we find about 14 its constituents. We examine occurences of the constituents of the semantic field Existence in R. Asprins Discourse.

The lexeme exist has 26 usages in the works of Robert Asprin, making 0.4 % of the whole number of occurances of the constituents of existence in R. Asprins discourse. In the majority of sentences exist is used with the meaning be present, so we may consider it the most characteristic for this word:

The flame disappeared as suddenly as it had come, leaving only the smoldering corpse as evidence it had existed at all.

"Well, a dimension is another world, actually one of several worlds, existing simultaneously with this one, but on different planes. Follow me?"

Our problem with teaching you non-mechanical magic is that you don't believe in it! I mean, you know that it exists and all, but you don't believe that you can do it.

But also there is an interesting occurrence of this component of the concept existence with the meaning have purpose of, as in the following:

These were not the hands of a rough laborer, or even a fighter. They existed to do one thing: to handle a deck of cards.

Among most often used components of the semantic field of Existence in Robert Asprins discourse are the following:

- seem with a total number of 913 occurances, making 14 % of the whole number of occurances of the constituents of existence in R. Asprins discourse used to denote some uncertainty of inner and outer qualities of the heroes, e.g.:

It seems that, while they still wanted our money, the Deveels weren't eager to prolong contact with us.

"Yeah. It seemed like a logical extension of bein' a schoolteacher... only without the parents to worry about."

- come constituent with 1726 wordusage (26%), employed in most cases to represent movement of the characters in the universe, e.g.:

I didn't come in here to pick a fight with you or to try to bribe you or anyone on your force for special considerations.

"It's just that usually, when we've taken one of your wayward lambs into custody and called out to your base to ask someone to come pick him up, he's ended up sleeping it off in one of our cells.

It is also used sometimes for intensification of the action e.g.:

"Come on, Bombast, you know the difference. Is one of them a woman . . . fairly short?"

You're part of the company now, and anyone who wants to get at you is going to have to come through all of us.

look is the most often used constituent with 1726 wordusage (26%), used to represent the authors worldview by the characres and to reflect the appearance of the heroes:

"Isstvan?" I said, doing my best to look puzzled.

"For a moment there in the firelight you looked different. In fact...."

"Well, get some sleep now, kid. Like I said before, tomorrow's going to be a busy day, and all of a sudden it looks like it's going to be even busier."

Other often used constituent is happen 332 occuranced (5%) which reproduces change in the lives of the characters of R. Asprins discourse, e.g.:

The only way things could be worse would be if the situation became permanent, which could happen if Aahz decided to return to Klah without me.

"The reason I stopped here in the first place is I wondered if you knew what happened to that tent."

"WHAT happened?" I demanded of Aahz.

"What do you think happened toFrumple?"

Along with verbal realization of Existence, we next investigate it with the help of nouns. From the componential analysis of the lexeme Existence and study of the constituents in Robert Asprins discourse we may see the following:

Constituents existence, life and presence are used more often than other constituents, which leads to conclusion that they are more important than others for the reflection of Existence in Robert Asprins discourse, e.g.:

- existence with 16 wordusage, 3% of the whole number of occurances of the constituents of existence in R. Asprins discourse, e.g.:

"Every minute you two are here you're threatening my existence."

I have another demon friend named Tananda (yes, I have a lot of demon friends these days) whose hello hugs are high points in my existence.

Well, I guess I'm trying to say that I think you're focusing too much on the existence of the question.

- life most often used lexeme (426 wordusage, 86%), e.g.:

When I first joined the force, I thought there was nothing better I could do with my life than to spend it protecting innocent citizens... and I still believe that.

What I got was high-powered sales pitches and lectures on "the layman's need for magikal assistance in his day-to-day life".

The phrase "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" was almost a cliche across the dimensions.

- Another widely used constituent is presence (51 wordusage, 10%):

"I should have known!" he snarled, without so much as a nod to acknowledge my presence.

Occasional snickers erupted, and more than a few speculative glances were directed his way . . . and there was obvious nudging with elbows as his presence was noted.

There is a case when nouns and verbs representing Existence occur in the same sentence:

In contrast, Luanna always seemed very shy and hesitant in my presence.

Other components are not so often used in R. Aprins discourse, which means that they are less important for the representation of the concept Existence in authors view.



1.     .. . ϳ . .: (-), 2002. 368.

2.     . . . : , - 512 .

3.     .. // . III- . .1. -, 2001. - 120.

4.     Asprin, Robert ANOTHER FINE MYTH Electronic library, 152p.

5.     Asprin, Robert Myth-ion Improbable Electronic library, 92p.