«Что значит этот фон»: история грамматикализации предложно-падежной формы на фоне

Translated title of the contribution: “What Does This Fon Mean?”: The History of Grammaticalization of the Prepositional Case Form Na Fone

Aleksandr Zelenin, D.V. Rudnev

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The aim of the article is to comprehensively study the mutual influence of semantic, lexical, grammatical (primarily syntactic) factors that explain the genesis of a new analogue of a preposition in Russian na fone ‘against the background’. Various sources were used as material of research: fiction, dictionaries of Russian and foreign languages, modern mass media texts. Research methods are diachronic, component analysis, definitional, case study.
When it appeared in Russian, the lexeme fon (from French fond) entered into a lexicalsemantic interaction with other synonymous words of the coloristic meaning: grunt ‘soil’ (from German Grund), zemlya ‘land’ (calque from Polish ziemia), pole ‘field’ (calque from Polish pole). During the second half of the 19th century, the word fon displaced the words grunt and pole in the coloristic meaning, and pushed to the periphery the word zemlya, which left the language in the second half of the 20th century. The earliest cases of using the prepositional-case form of na fone ‘against the background’ were associated with the expression of coloristic (differentiating) meaning: the prepositional-case group calqued the verb-nominal constructions of the French language, including the combination sur un fond (de). The expansion of the compatibility of the prepositional-case form na fone led to a gradual transformation of the differentiating meaning into the comparative one. The activation of the prepositional-case group na fone in the Russian language took place in the 1860s–1880s in the texts of the scientific and journalistic style. Comparative meaning became the basis on which since the beginning of the 20th century the meaning of conditionality began to form. In modern Russian, the meaning of conditionality is the leading one in the prepositional-case form na fone. At the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th centuries the group na fone entered into active interaction with the actant and rheme-theme structure of the sentence. The expression na fone signals the theme by directing the addressee’s attention to the rheme of the phrase. The introduction of this group into a sentence deepens its logicalsemantic perspective, makes the sentence polypropositive. The prevailing use of expression na fone in scientific and mass media texts in recent decades has found support in active interaction with foreign language sources and corresponding genres of texts, for example, sur un fond (de) in French, vor dem Hintergrund in German, against the background in English. It allows us to assert that the expression na fone is included in the repertoire of lexicogrammatical universals when expressing the grammatical meaning of conditionality.
Translated title of the contribution“What Does This Fon Mean?”: The History of Grammaticalization of the Prepositional Case Form Na Fone
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages17
JournalVestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta : Filologija
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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