SEMANTIC SHIFTS AND STYLISTIC OVERTONES AS CONVEYED BY FUNCTION VERB PHRASES. COMPARATIVE VIEW: ENGLISH, GERMAN, ROMANIAN
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After painstakingly anatomizing in a previous book the function verb phrase (FVP) in German and tracking down English combinations which display the morphosyntactical pattern, which comply with the lexicosemantic criteria and assume the stylistic features, characteristic of 'Funktionsverbgefüge' (FVGs), the authoress resumes in the present contribution her relentless quest for lexicomorphological conveyors of FVGs, this time in Romanian - a Romance language - and then, in a second stage, tries to go with a fine tooth-comb through the semantic and stylistic shifts following in the wake of FVPs as employed by the three languages at issue (German, English and Romanian). The opening section of the paper at hand searches in a first phase through the samples of Romanian FVPs extracted from various sources and assigns them to the aspect subcategories which they most fittingly illustrate: ingressive, punctual, iterative and egressive. In a second phase the analysis focuses on type 'a-si iesi din rabdari' FVPs which convey a transition from one state to another and, consequently, admit of a double-barrelled interpretation, i.e. both egressive and ingressive - hence the labels 'contradiction in terms' and 'transitive aspect' she puts forward as indicative of their idiosyncratic behaviour. The third and final phase of her survey is devoted to investigating stylistic synonymy as well as defending such intriguing FVPs as 'fall in love' and 'fall out of love'. The approach in the middle section is roughly the same, i.e. descriptive in the beginning, with copious illustration of various semantic shifts (active / reflexive - passive, active - reflexive) as well as of the contrasts and similarities observed when comparing the three languages at issue, and interpretive in the second stage, with the focus on two most challenging cases: the 'implicit' passive with a subject acting semantically as a 'minor performer'; the surprisingly divergent semantics of two at first blush similar FVPs ('be thrown into ecstasies' and 'go into ecstasies'). The third section investigates the involuntary as well as premeditated decomposition of idiomatic meaning in FVPs, which more often than not is to be held accountable for comic effects. The technique at work here is the superimposition of nonidiomatic meaning on the idiomatic one, which in turn triggers off the reaction phase of the listener/reader confronted when least expected with the real intentions of the speaker/writer. The effects of the interference at issue range from ambiguity through a smack of ridicule - when decomposition is unintentional - to the most sophisticated linguistic humour - when decomposition is premeditated. Since the approach is also a contrastive one, the final conclusions would only naturally relate to the rendering into another language of linguicomedy samples. Unfortunately the translatability of interference-effects-generated linguistic humour has been found to be minimum at best in most cases.
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