The Comparison of Verbs of Saying in English and Their Lithuanian Equivalents

Topics: English verbs, Verb, Syntax Pages: 37 (8428 words) Published: May 27, 2013
Vilnius University
Faculty of the English Language
Department of English Philology

The Comparison of Verbs of Saying in English and their Lithuanian Equivalents

Annual Paper

Supervisor: Lect. Vilma Vaskelaitė



The present research paper focuses on the analysis of the lexical semantic group of the verbs of speaking and the translational correspondences, firstly, of the English verb to say, and secondly, of the verb to tell. The purpose of this paper is to explore the expression of this group of verbs and compare the appliance of the chosen verbs of speaking in the Lithuanian in English languages. Quantitative and qualitative methods have been applied as the study is aimed at the frequency count as well as the cross linguistic analysis. The data to achieve this goal have been obtained from the English book The Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and the Lithuanian translation „Tuštybės mugė”. The results revealed 73 different Lithuanian variants of the English verb to say, and 28 variant translations of the original verb to tell. These findings suggest that the Lithuanian language is very rich, and is capable of displaying a wide range of various translations for the same verb.


Semantics is the branch of linguistics which deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings. There are several subfields in the linguistic semantics, which contribute to the language use considerably. One of them is called lexical semantics, which ‛is the study of how and what the words of a language denote’ (Pustejovsky, 1995). To be more precise, lexical semantics is a linguistic theory which investigates word meaning and understands the meaning of a word as fully reflected by its context (Cruse, 1986). Recently, foreign linguists have drawn significant attention to the issues that are related to the analysis of a semantic language system. One of the possible ways of analysing this system is by distinguishing and giving a comprehensive description of separate lexical semantic word groups. However, this topic has not yet been well researched by Lithuanian linguists. The aim of the present paper is therefore to explore one of the lexical semantic groups briefly, especially its expression in the Lithuanian in English languages. As it is known, in language words do not exist in isolation, but they are connected through various interrelationships in this way constituting a certain system. Words can be grouped according to the general grammatical meanings (words from one part of speech), according to the commonness of the morphemic structure (words that have the same root or suffix), and eventually according to any lexical meaning-based associations. It might be interesting that a famous Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, who is considered one of the fathers of the 20th-century linguistics, stated that linguistic elements are linked to the dual nature of relationships: paradigmatic (associative) and syntagmatic. Paradigmatic relations combine words into lexical semantic groups. A detailed analysis of these groups (their volume, internal relations and interrelationships) helps to understand the lexical structure of a language better and proves that a lexical level of the language is systematic. Currently, quite many different lexical semantic groups have been analysed in linguistics. Significant attention has been paid to the analysis of lexical semantic groups of verbs because the verb is the most complicated and widest grammatical category. On the basis of various studies, it is useful to distinguish seven semantic categories: activity verbs, communication verbs, mental verbs, causative verbs, verbs of occurrence, verbs of existence or relationship, and verbs of aspect (Biber, 2002). In general, the verb is derived from the Latin verbum,...
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