Семантика качественных прилагательных в гойдельских языках: ‘тяжелый’ и ‘легкий’
This is a small corpus study of Goidelic adjectives denoting physical qualities of heaviness and lightness, namely trom and éadrom in Irish and trom and aotrom (eutrom) in Scottish Gaelic, which both go back to Old Irish forms tromm and étromm. Obviously, étromm is derived from tromm with a negative prefix é, which suggests a high level of symmetry in their inner semantic structure. However, this proves false, and étromm appears to be a lot more than just ‘not tromm’ even at the earliest stage. Moreover, sense distribution and collocability of both trom and étrom substantially differ in Modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic although these languages are closely related. But what makes this kind of adjectives especially interesting is A. Wierzbicka and C. Goddard’s assumption that “physical quality concepts refer to embodied human experiences and embodied human sensations” (Goddard & Wierzbicka 2007: 765). In other words, we call something ‘heavy’ not because it has some specific weight, but rather because we feel this weight. The analysed Goidelic data fully supports this statement.