A Cross-Linguistic Study of the English Prepositions up and down and Their Russian Counterparts

Abstract

During the recent decades an increasing interest has been observed in pragmatic studies, particularly in the field of comparative linguistics. The object of our study is space prepositions up and down in English and their counterparts in Russian. We have chosen these prepositions because they present a certain difficulty for foreign learners, especially Russian students of English. Firstly, the prepositions up and down do not have direct equivalents in Russian. Secondly, their usage on the syntagmatic level is overloaded with deixis, which makes their understanding and interpretation still more complicated. We have examined these linguistic units in the framework of theory of oppositions and pragmatics, particularly deixis.  The analysis shows that on the syntagmatic level the prepositions up and down display various pragmatic meanings triggered by the reference of motion to the location of the speaker or other subject in space. Both these prepositions are rendered into Russian by means of the preposition po (along) which is deictically-neutral and therefore special means are required to express the meanings of the English prepositions both on the paradigmatic and syntagmatic level.

Keywords: Deixis, Paradigmatic, Pragmatics, Syntagmatic, prepositions up and down, theory of oppositions

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 17-25 (Download PDF)

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