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Article

Глаголы падения в английском языке: данные корпусов и типология

The paper presents the results of the studies carried over the group of English verbs with the meaning of falling. The research goals included classification of the lexical meanings, both direct and metaphorical, rendered by those verbs, on the basis of the analysis of the components of the situations put together in the special questionnaire. This was carried out together with native speakers of English, after which the collected set of examples was verified and expanded with searches in the big corpora of English speakers’ oral and written production available at the SketchEngine platform, which also provided the data and the statistics for the analysis of collocational behaviour of the verbs in question used with different subjects of falling. The scope of application of the umbrella verb fall and the distribution between it and its two rivals — drop and fall down — was in focus of the three corresponding sections in the paper, while the range of peripheral verbs of falling with all the comparative analysis of their lexical features formed one more section. Separately from the verbs conveying the direct meanings of falling, metaphoric shifts in the meanings of these verbs made up the content of section 6. Based on the findings presented in the previous sections, the conclusions regarding the concept of falling in English are discussed in the last part of the paper. The research confirmed that the verb fall is by far the most widely used in various contexts of falling. Whether used alone or combined with adverbial or prepositional particles, it covers the overwhelming majority of meanings of falling, both literal and metaphorical. Although drop proved to be the most frequent synonym of fall, there is a distribution of meanings between the two related to the nature of the subject and the intentionality of the action. As shown in the paper, the choice between fall and fall down appears to be determined by the trajectory of the fall and whether the typical position of the subject is vertical or not. Likewise, the distribution between fall off and fall down is conditioned by the trajectory, with the surface mentioned with the latter. Among the various peripheral verbs of falling, come and go — the most general verbs of movement — are also used in combination with down in specific cases of falling.