1. bookVolume 70 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1338-4287
ISSN
0021-5597
First Published
05 Mar 2010
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Adverbial intensifiers in contemporary Polish and Slovak

Published Online: 24 Aug 2019
Volume & Issue: Volume 70 (2019) - Issue 1 (June 2019)
Page range: 55 - 72
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1338-4287
ISSN
0021-5597
First Published
05 Mar 2010
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The paper discusses the intensifying functions of some lexical units derived from adverbs in a cross-linguistic Polish-Slovak perspective. The expression of intensification in Polish and Slovak has not been widely explored, which is why the present paper aims to point out a few aspects of this phenomenon in two closely related Slavic languages, which may contribute to help fill this gap. Intensification is without doubt a very interesting, pervasive and complex phenomenon in linguistics and is understood here as the process of quantitative change of a feature, activity or state. That change refers to the increase and decrease in intensity of a feature/activity/state according to an approved canon. The components of the category of intensification are therefore both, intensifying and deintensifying. Therefore, it is also postulated that a class of intensifiers/deintensifiers should be distinguished as means of intensification/deintensification. Intensifiers have also been a long fruitful topic of investigation in sociolinguistic research: on one hand intensification systems are unstable and tend to change rapidly in any speech community and on the other, the use of intensifiers tends to vary across demographic categories, especially age and gender. Intensification can also be researched due to ‘delexicalization’, which is defined as the reduction of the independent lexical contents of a word, or group of words, so that it comes to fulfil a particular function – the original meaning of the word is gradually lost as it evolves into a marker of intensification. The paper aims also to show that the more delexicalized an intensifier becomes, the more it will lose its lexical restrictions and increase in frequency. Through frequency of use and over time, intensifiers tend to lose their intensifying force and the renewal process occurs. This process promotes other adverbs, be they newly created adverbs or already existing ones, to the rank of intensifiers – it seems that the class of intensifiers may be an open class. The undertaken analysis has shown that there are a number of aspects which can be considered while describing intensifiers.

Keywords

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