Skrebneva T.G. “NURSERY ENGLISH” IN THE LIGHT OF UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE TENDENCIES

http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2014.4.12

Skrebneva Tamara Grigoryevna

Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages of Professional Communication, Vladimir State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


Abstract. The article analyzes "nursery English" in its substandard manifestations. It aims at classifying lexical units of the chosen colloquial area. Grouping the words is based on the comparison of neutral patterns and their specific ('nursery') counterparts. The results of the analysis demonstrate the two main tendencies of the language – redundancy and insufficiency – in their diverse expressions on the level of lexis of the researched field. The investigation discloses the basic models of "nursery English" (the English used by children) registered in fiction (A. Milne's prose and poetry have been chosen for the analysis). It points out the mechanisms, both, phonetic and morphological, used to create the specific nature of the language of the chosen area. The word reduction and extension is registered in the initial, medium, and final positions. Both linguistic phenomena may be caused by simplifying a complex sound structure, when a child is trying to overcome the difficulty of pronouncing the word; or they may arise in the event of eliminating or adding semantically insignificant word components, or be the consequence of insufficient knowledge of grammar. In most cases, the new formations of nursery English are quite clear to the speakers due to the context or speech situation. Yet, there appear structures which cause misunderstanding. The investigated stylistic area overlaps the specific scope of substandard English used by grown-up speakers; however, certain samples of the first one may be regarded as strictly "nursery". It is not unlikely that the expansion of the researched resource will reveal other transformations. The findings can benefit the studies of English stylistics and English Language System studies. 

Key words: stylistically sub-neutral units, redundancy, insufficiency, "naпve" lowering the register, linguostylistic mechanism, "nursery English".

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