Belov V.A. Semantic Features of Nouns Referred to Various Lexical-And-Grammatical Categories


Vadim A. Belov

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of German
Philology and International Communication, Cherepovets State University

Prosp. Lunacharskogo, 5, 162600 Cherepovets, Russia

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Abstract. The paper focuses on semantic properties of concrete and abstract nouns in the aspect of their cognitive categorization. The research is based on the results of two psycholinguistic experiments carried out by the author: synonym selection and word interpretation. The data obtained are verified by comparing data from the dictionaries of synonyms and National Corpus of the Russian Language. The synonym collection experiment shows that the speakers tend to extend synonymic relations of concrete nouns by means of semantic convergence of the words, which belong to different levels of hierarchy in the semantic field. Special attention is paid to nouns denoting a person. Their synonymic ranges differ significantly in lexicographic sources and the experiment findings. The word interpretation experiment points to the frequency of a logical (componential) method for interpretation of concrete nouns meaning, and synonymic method for abstract nouns. Concrete nouns are noted to realize logical categorization due to being incorporated into hierarchical semantic relations, whilst abstract nouns may reflect logical and figurative categorization because their meanings do not have subject reference and are characterized by uncertainty. Abstract nouns have been proved to build hierarchical semantic relations within their synonymic groups on certain conditions.

Key words: cognitive categorization, noun, semantic relations, synonymy, naive interpretations, native speaker's lexicon.

Citation. Belov V.A. Semantic Features of Nouns Referred to Various Lexical-and-Grammatical Categories. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 38-48. (in Russian). DOI:

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