Lexico-Semantic Field “Annoyance”
graduate student of Lesya
Ukrainka East-European National University
The article deals with a lexico-semantic field “annoyance”. The author reveals the structure of this lexico-semantic field and presents its separate layers. The definitions of English nouns, adjectives and verbs have been analyzed.
Key words: emotional state, annoyance, lexico-semantic field, nucleus, archiseme.
Гурецька М. В. Лексико-семантичне поле “роздратування”. У статті розглядається лексико-семантичне поле “роздратування”. Автор розкриває структуру цього лексико-семантичного поля та виділяє його окремі шари. Розглянуто дефініції англійських іменників, прикметників та дієслів, що є номінантами емоційного стану роздратування.
Ключові слова: емоційний стан, роздратування, лексико-семантичне поле, ядро, архісема.
Гурецкая М. В. Лексико-семантическое поле “раздражение”. В статье рассмотрено лексико-семантическое поле “раздражения”. Автор раскрывает структуру этого лексико-семантического поля и выделяет его отдельные слои. Рассмотрено дефиниции английских существительных, прилагательных и глаголов, которые являются номинантами эмоционального состояния раздражения.
Ключевые слова: эмоциональное состояние, раздражение, лексико-семантическое поле, ядро, архисема.
Introduction. Language is the key in understanding human emotions because it nominates, expresses, describes, imitates, categorizes, classifies and structures them. Language provides assistance in understanding emotions of the representatives of different cultures [6, 25].
The scientific aim of this research is to investigate lexico-semantic field “annoyance”. The given aim determines the following tasks:
- to analise lexial units of the English language that nominate the emotional state of annoyance;
- to determine the affiliation of the researched items to certain layers of lexico-semantic field.
Main Research Statement, Methods and Results. In linguistics, lexico-semantic field have mainly been researched in terms of expression and meaning [1, 105]. When using the first approach, certain groups of words, which have similar meaning and identical distribution, are selected. In terms of expression, the main object of research is a lexeme. In terms of meaning, the main objects of research are semantic categories, basic units of meaning and their combinations. Common basic units of meaning of certain groups of words unite them into one semantic field.
In the modern English language the notion annoyance and irritation are almost identical: annoyance –“a feeling of slight anger, irritation” [7, 51]; irritation –“the feeling of being annoyed about something” [7, 861] (underlined by us).
Using the synthesizing approach, the analysis of emotional state of annoyance definitions means that the general meaning of lexical unit will be determined according to the analysis of the definitions from dictionaries. Therefore, the following features of the nucleus of “annoyance” have been singled out: annoyance/ irritation is a feeling or an emotional state of being slightly angry, especially about actions that happen repeatedly or for a long time.
The lexemes, that have been analysed, have a generic seme emotional state or feeling. Lexeme meanings clarify the following semes: “intensity” (slight), “reason” (actions that happen repeatedly or for a long time). It should be mentioned that seme “intensity” demonstrates that annoyance is not characterised by the high level of intensity and is weaker than anger. Therefore, it may be concluded that annoyance is the emotional state that is different from anger. Nevertheless, both anger and annoyance belong to emotions, which are frustrations [2, 163].
Semantic analysis of the lexemes that denote emotional state of annoyance demonstrates that for most of the elements of semantic field “annoyance” common features can be found in the archiseme slighly angry. This archiseme possesses the notion which is present in the majority of definitions in the lexico-semantic field. That is why this archiseme may be considered a field dominant.
Semantic analysis of nominants of emotional state of annoyance singles out the following layers of lexico-semantic field “annoyance”: nucleus, nuclear periphery, close periphery, remote periphery and marginal layer. The analysis has showed that the number of differentiating features, which clarify the generic seme slightly angry, influences the position of lexeme – the bigger number of distinguihing features in s semantic structure of a lexeme causes the bigger distance from the field nucleus. The boundaries between the layers of lexico-semantic field are vague and indistinct.
Each layer of a semantic field contains lexical units that belong to different parts of speech. One field is formed by the overlapping of layers, which comprise different parts of speech [5, 20]. The basis of nominative space of annoyance are nouns that nominate this emotional state.
In a substantive lesico-semantic field the units are grouped around the nucleus. Lexemes annoyance/ irritation are the nucleus. Nuclear periphery consists of synonyms of annoyance/ irritation: exasperation, aggravation. Seme annoyed is present in the definitions of these lexemes, hence, common semantic feature of these nouns is the feeling of annoyance.
Let us look at those nouns of emotional state of annoyance, which belong to nucleus and nuclear periphery zones of the lexico-semantic field under investigation: annoyance, irritation, exasperation, aggravation. Annoyance – the feeling of being annoyed [9, 26]: Alan found the constant noise of the traffic an annoyance [7, 51]; irritation – the feeling of being annoyed about something, especially something that happens repeatedly or for a long time: The heavy traffic is a constant source of irritation [7, 861]; exasperation – when you feel annoyed because someone continues to do something that is upsetting you: Carol sighed in exasperation [7, 539]; aggravation –the state of being annoyed and irritated: I don't need all this aggravation at work [8, 29].
Definition of irritation demonstrates that annoyance is the emotional state that is caused by certain actions. It is a result of actions and a reaction on it, especially when it continues for a long time or permanently.
Close periphery zone of lexico-semantic field consists of those lexical units, the meaning of which is slightly different from the nucleus meaning [3, 50]: vexation –when you feel worried or annoyed by something: Erika stamped her foot in vexation [7, 1836]; chafe – a state of vexation and irritation : Some hunters are chafing under new restrictions [7, 240]; stir – a feeling of excitement or annoyance: Plans for the motorway caused quite a stir among locals [7, 1631].
Nominative units that lose some of their basic features, yet leaving one as their generic feature, and acquiring other semantic components, belong to the remote periphery of the lexico-semantic field. For example: impatience – annoyance at having to accept delays and other people's weaknesses: His impatience with the slowness of bureaucratic procedures [7, 813]; pique – a feeling of being annoyed or upset, especially because someone has ignored you or insulted you: He stormed out in a fit of pique [7, 1242]; frustration – the feeling of being annoyed, upset or impatient because you cannot control or change a situation or achieve something: People often feel a sense of frustration that they are not being promoted quickly enough [7, 651]; chagrin –annoyance and disappointment because something has not happened the way you hoped: Much to her chagrin, I got the job [7, 240]; displeasure – the feeling of being annoyed or not satisfied with someone or something: Their displeasure at being kept waiting was clear [7, 451].
The remote periphery of the lexico-semantic field aslo consists of the following idioms: a thorn in somebody's side – someone or something that annoys you or causes problems for a long period of time: He's been a thorn in the side of the party leadership for years [7, 1727]; a pain (in the neck) – to be very annoying: It's a pain, having to go upstairs to make coffee every time; There were times when Joe could be a real pain in the neck [7, 1186]; a headache – a problem that is difficul or annoying to deal with: Security is a big headache for airline operators [7, 749].
The marginal layer overlaps peripheries of other lexico-semantic fields that is why there are inter-field connections in the language. Generic and distinguishing feature of the field of these units move to the structure periphery of their meaning and characterise a new denotation. Old-fashioned language units belong here, too. The following units belong to this layer: trouble – disturbance of mind or feelings, worry, vexation: Their trouble sprang from poor articulation ; inquietude (literary) – feeling of anxiety [7, 839]; botheration (old-fashioned) – when you are slightly annoyed: Botheration. I forgot my glasses [7, 166]; irksomeness (old-fashioned) – annoyance .
Lexical units of adjectival lexico-semantic field “annoyance” qualify objects and express properties and qualities of objects and phenomena [4, 243]. An adjective annoyed is a nucleus of adjectival lexico-semantic field of annoyance. Nucleus periphery contains the following lexical units: irritated, peeved, frustrated, upset, miffed, exasperated, nettled. Definition analysis of the given lexemes distinguishes the following groups according to their semantic features:
1) semantic feature “in a state of annoyance and impatience” – irritated, peeved, frustrated: irritated – feeling annoyed and impatient about something: John was getting irritated by all her questions [7, 861]; peeved (informal) – annoyed: Peeved at his silence, she left [7, 1214]; frustrated – feeling annoyed, upset, and impatient, because you cannot control or change a situation, or achieve something: He gets frustrated when people don't understand what he's trying to say [7, 651];
2) semantic feature “in a state of annoyance and discontent” — upset, displeased. Upset with someone – unhappy, angry and annoyed: You're not still upset with me, are you? [7, 1821]; displeased – annoyed or not satisfied: He looked extremely displeased [7, 451]; nettled (informal) – to be annoyed by what someone says or does: She was nettled by Holman's remark [7, 1103];
3) semantic feature “intensity of a state of annoyance” contains two subgroups – weak and strong manifestation of the emotional state: weak – miffed: slightly annoyed or upset: I felt a bit miffed that no one had told me about the trip [7, 1039]; strong – exasperated: very annoyed or upset: He was becoming exasperated with the child [7, 539].
Close periphery of lexico-semantic field “annoyance” contains lexical units that have a common semantic feature “cause of annoyance”. These are: annoying, irritating, bothersome, aggravating, troublesome, nettlesome, galling, irksome, pesky, pestiferous. Annoying – making you feel slightly angry: It's annoying that we didn't know about it before [7, 51]; irritating – an irritating habit, situation etc keeps annoying you: He was smiling in a way I found very irritating [7, 861]; bothersome – slightly annoying [7, 166]; aggravating – making someone angry or annoyed [7, 29]; troublesome –bcausing problems, in an annoying way: a troublesome child [7, 1779]; nettlesome – easily nettled, irritable, causing annoyance, vexatious: The difficulty of distinguishing between lexical units and items in a nomenclature is especially nettlesome in specialized dictionaries ; galling – making you feel upset or angry because of something that is unfair, annoying: The most galling thing is that the guy who got promoted is less qualified than me [7, 662]; irksome – annoying: an irksome journey [7, 859]; pesky (informal) – annoying: Those pesky kids! [7, 1226]; pestiferous (colloquial) – irritating, annoying, constituing a pest or nuisance .
Common semantic features of nominative units of adjectival lexico-semantic field “annoyance” that belong to the remote periphery are the following:
1) semantic feature “in a state of lasting annoyance” – fed up, sick (and tired): fed up (informal) – annoyed or bored, and wanting something to change: I'm really fed up with this constant rain; Anna got fed up with waiting [7, 580]; sick/ sick and tired (spoken) – to be angry or bored with something that has been happening for a long time: I'm sick and tired of your excuses; I'm sick of working for other people [7, 1529];
2) semantic feature “petulance” – touchy, peevish, huffy, irritable, crabby, bad-tempered, moody, grumpy: touchy – easily becoming offended or annoyed: She is very touchy about her past [7, 1756]; peevish – easily annoyed by small and unimportant things: The kids were peevish after so long in a car [7, 1214]; huffy – quick to take offence, touchy : Some customers get huffy when you ask them for their ID [7, 794]; irritable – getting annoyed quickly or easily: Jo was tired, irritable and depressed [7, 861]; crabby – easily annoyed by unimportant things: You're a bit crabby this morning [7, 364]; bad-tempered – someone who is bad-tempered becomes easily annoyed and talks in an angry way to people: Her husband was a disagreeable, bad-tempered man [7, 96]; moody – often becoming annoyed or unhappy, especially when there seems to be no good reason: Myra can be a bit moody sometimes [7, 1065]; grumpy – easily annoyed and often complaining about things: There's no need to be so grumpy! [7, 718].
The following idiomatic formation also belongs to the remote periphery: cheesed off – bored and annoyed with something: You sound really cheesed off [7, 254].
Marginal layer of lexico-semantic field contain the units that are characterised bu a low frequency and a limited sphere of use: uneasy (obsolete, old-fashioned) –troublesome, annoying, unaccomodating: They are profoundly uneasy about actively assisting a suicide ; vexatious (old-fashioned) – making you feel annoyed or worried [7, 1836]; vexed (old-fashioned) – annoyed or worried [7, 1836].
Verbal lexico-semantic field “annoyance” comprises the verbal units which convey an action, an occurence or a state of being. This field has got the causative verbs meaning “cause the feeling of annoyance”: annoy – to make someone feel slightly angry and unhappy about something: What annoyed him most was that he had received no apology [7, 51]; irritate – to make someone feel annoyed or impatient, especially by doing something many times or for a long period of time: It really irritates me when he doesn't help around the house [7, 861]; frustrate – if something frustrates you, it makes you feel annoyed or angry because you are unable to do what you want: The fact that he's working with amateurs really frustrates him [7, 651]; bother – to annoy someone, especially by interrupting them when they are trying to do something: Danny, don't bother Ellen while she's reading [7, 166]; aggravate – to make somebody angry or annoyed: What really aggravates me is the way she won't listen [7, 21]; exasperate – to make someone very annoyed by continuing to do something that upsets them: It exasperates me to hear comments like that [7, 539]; irk – if something irks you, it makes you feel annoyed [7, 859]; displease – to annoy somebody or to make somebody angry or upset [9, 213]; peeve – irritate, annoy, vex: She is rather peeved that David doesn't cut more ice ; provoke – incite to anger, enrage, vex, irritate, exasperate; cause anger, resentment or irritation: Whatever he said wouldn't provoke me ; pester – to annoy someone, especially by asking them many times to do something: She'd been pestered by reporters for days [7, 1227]; worry – to annoy someone: The heat didn't seem to worry him [7, 1907]; vex (old-fashioned) – to make someone feel annoyed or worried [7, 1836]; get – used to say that something really annoys you: It really gets me the way he leaves wet towels on the bathroom floor [7, 675]. До дієслів, які позначають емоційний стан, належать такі: chafe – to feel impatient or annoyed: Some hunters are chafing under the new restrictions [7, 240]; fray – if someone's temper or nerves fray, or if something frays them, they become annoyed: Tempers soon began to fray [7, 640]; huff and puff (informal) – to show clearly that you strongly disagree with or are annoyed about something: After a lot of huffing and puffing, he eventually gave in to our request [7, 793]; huff – to say something in a way that shows you are annoyed, often because someone has offended you: “I haven't got time for that now,” huffed Sam irritably [7, 794]; rankle – if something rankles, you still remember it angrily because it upset you or annoyed you a lot: His comments still rankled [7, 1356]; irk – feel vexed, annoyed or disgusted .
Verbal nominants of the emotional state of annoyance are also the following idioms: drive somebody crazy/ mad/ insane (spoken), to drive somebody nuts (spoken informal) – to make someone feel very annoyed: The continuous noise was driving me crazy [7, 480]; drive somebody up the wall/ round the bend/ out of their mind (spoken informal) – make someone feel very annoyed: That voice of hers drives me up the wall [7, 480]; drive somebody to distraction – make someone feel very upset or annoyed: She was being driven to distraction by her husband's bad habits [7, 480]; get in somebody's hair – to annoy someone, especially by always being near them [7, 727]; keep you hair on (spoken) – used to tell someone to keep calm and not get annoyed: All right, all right, keep your hair on! I'm sorry [7, 727]; get under somebody's skin (informal) – if someone gets under your skin, they annoy you, especially by the way they behave: What really gets under my skin is people who push straight to the front of the line [7, 1548]; bug (informal) – to annoy someone: It just bugs ne that I have to work so many extra hours for no extra money [7, 192]; get on someone's nerves – to annoy: She got on his nerves with her stupid questios [7, 1101]; get/ put somebody's back up (informal) – to annoy someone: Simone was the kind of person who was always putting people's backs up [7, 91]; get somebody off one's back (spoken) – to stop annoying someone with a lot of questions, criticism etc, or to make someone stop annoying you in this way: Maybe the only way to get him off my back is to tell him the truth [7, 91]; to plague someone – to annoy someone, especially by asking for something many times or asking them many questions: The kids have been plaguing me with questions [7, 1246].
All the researched verbs denote either the emotional state of annoyance itself ot the influence on a person’s mood with an intention to cause this emotional state. Because of verbal lexemes, annoyance may be seen as a process.
Conclusions. Semantic analysis of lesemes of the modern Englisg language, which denote the emotional state of annoyance, has demonstrated that archiseme “slightly angry” is common for all the elements of the lexico-semantic field “annoyance”. This archiseme is a field dominant and indentifies it. Its notion is more or less presented in the definitions of all field units. Lexico-semantic field “annoyance” is built by layering the fields of different parts of speech. A certain unit belongs to a particulat zone according to the number of features in its semantic structure.
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