Филологические науки/ 3.Теоретические и методологические проблемы исследования языка.
Karaganda state university,
Uses of Syntactic Synonyms in English
The notion of synonymy in the language is derived from lexicology, where this linguistic phenomenon was studied in detail. However, recently this term has been used in phonetics, grammar and syntax. Though, the term syntactic synonymy was accepted in linguistic literature, it is interpreted differently.
The investigations were made in the works of such scholars as E.I. Shendels,
E.M. Galkina-Fedoruk, G.I. Richter, A.I. Gvozdev, I.M. Kovtunova,
V.P. Suchotin, V.N. Yartseva and others. Summing up the definitions and view points, it is reasonable to agree with the definition of I.M. Zhilin:
“Syntactic synonyms are the models of such syntactic constructions (sentences, constructions, word-combinations), which have identical or close semantic meaning, possess adequate grammatical meaning, express similar syntactic relations, and are able in certain conditions of the text to replace each other”.
Synonymic set may be considered as a certain subsystem of models, which are united due to expression of the same syntactic relations by means of grammatical constructions. Manifesting itself as a subsystem in the whole system of syntax, synonymic set is an open, incomplete formation and it is able to change, to add and to short itself owing to changes, happening in the language. It is accepted to pick out a dominant synonymic construction, which is the main one for the whole set and determines its basic character. This construction usually expresses the main and wider meaning and differs in its expanded and universal usage.
Thus, for example, in the modern English language there are various constructions, which are united in synonymic set. These constructions are used for expression irreal, spacious, purpose, cause relations. For example:
1. Synonymic set for expression purpose relations:
You had put on that costume so that you could make fun.
You had put on that costume for making fun.
You had put on that
costume for make fun. (J. Salinger. The
Catcher in the
2. Synonymic set expressing cause relations:
Stradlater fell silent as he didn’t know what to say.
Stradlater fell silent not knowing what to say.
Stradlater fell silent without
knowing what to say. (J. Salinger. Catcher in
In the language there are a great deal of various constructions and word-expressions used to render the proper sense and to create the desirable stylistic effect.
While reading the novel “The Catcher in
(1) “You could only hear him putting away his crumby toilet articles and all, and opening the window . He was a fresh-air friend. Then a little while later, Stradlater fell asleep.” (ch. 7).
“Слышно было, как он убирает свои поганые мыльницы и щетки и открывает окно. Он обожал свежий воздух. Затем, некоторое время спустя он заснул.”
He was a fresh-air friend.
For expression this idea we can use the following synonymic variants:
He liked fresh-air very much. Fresh-air was very pleasant for him.
Fresh-air made him happy. Fresh-air drove him mad.
It is not difficult to notice that all these synonymic constructions have different degree of expressiveness. So, the first two are more neutral, but the latter two are strongly expressive, especially the last one which contains slang in its structure. It explains the unchangeability of the given construction in the context.
(2) “I was flunking four subjects and not applying myself and all…So I got the ax. They give guys the ax quite frequently at Pency”. (ch. 1).
“Your folks know you got kicked out yet?” (ch. 2).
“ Я провалился по четырем предметам и вообще не занимался и все такое… Вот меня и вытурили. Они много кого выгоняют из Пэнси”.“А твои родные уже знают, что тебя выгнали?”
So I got the ax.
To render this idea we can use the following:
So I was kicked out. So they threw me out.
So they chucked me out. So I was expelled.
Certainly all these constructions may be used in the given context, but they also may vary the sense and stylistic effect. The most neutral of them is ‘So I was expelled’; it does not make a strong impression on the reader. The rest constructions are more colloquial. The author uses them in order to be as close as possible to the language of teenagers and to create a kind of informal dialogue with the reader.
The expression ‘So I got the ax’ is remarkable with its brevity and completeness. It is used like a symbolic phraseological unit. It is known that ‘an ax’ is translated as ‘топор’, so it seems to me the expression has the meaning of impossibility going backwards, there is no way out. That is why the author prefers such a way of expression. Probably, the very construction is suitable in the context for it creates the necessary stylistic effect and the characteristic style of writing.
Thus, having analyzed these excerpts, we can make such a conclusion.
There are a lot of factors, which influence the choice of words and constructions for expression that or another idea, such as: the degree of formality of the situation, the age and the status (social and national) of the speaker and his interlocutor, the setting and time of the conversation, belonging to some specific group (political, religious etc.) and others. Without doubt, they should be always taken into consideration. A writer creating his work is being in the condition of constant word-selection to make the story readable and interesting. We also should learn to use the most appropriate words in each context in order to be acceptable, unsuspicious, flexible, and interesting people.