Ways of Conveying the Meanings of Polysemantic Language Units

Ways of Conveying the Meanings of Polysemantic Language Units

Unlike words with evaluative and other connotation, the denota­tive meaning of a bulk of words can be identified at the level of word-combinations or sentences only. These words constitute a consider­able part of present-day English lexicon and are referred to as polysemantic words. For example, the denotative meanings of the verb (or noun) part can be fully displayed in the word-combinations like: to part the fighting cocks, to part company with’ somebody, to part one’s hair, to take part in something, the sixth part of the melon, to have a small рай in the event, etc.

Sometimes it may be difficult to identify without larger context the proper meaning even of such a simple polysemantic word as your, which can be in Ukrainian either ваш, ваша, ваші/твій, твоя, твоє, твої or свій, своя, своє, свої respectively. The proper meaning of many other polysemantic words can be realized already at word-combination level. This can be seen, for example, from the translation of the verbs to break and to come in the following sentences:

He shouldn’t be surprised if they began to break the windows. (Galsworthy)

Він не здивувався б, коли б вони почали бити вікна.

Bossiney broke the silence. (Ibid.)

Боссіні порушив мовчанку.

If Irene broke such laws what does it matter? (Ibid.)

Якщо Айрін порушила такі закони, то що це означає?

When the evening came Car­rie hurried eagerly away. (T.Dreiser)

Коли настав вечір, Керрі поспішила хутенько зник­нути.

“But don’t come near the wa­ter, or else you may be attacked by sharks. (J.AIdridge)

“Але не підходь близько/не наближайся до води, бо на тебе можуть напасти акули.”

Still other meanings of these and other verbs can be realized and consequently faithfully rendered into the target language only at sentence level as in the following examples:

Тhе first prize came to me. and the 2nd and the 3rd went to students of the Stanford and Berkely Universities. (J. London)

Перша премія дісталась мені, а другу й третю одержали студенти Стенфордського і Берклійського університетів.

But being very lonely I read everything that came my way. (Ibid.)

Але будучи самотнім/нудьгуючи на самоті, я читав усе, що потрапляло мені до рук.

The verb соте has some quite different realizations in set/idi­omatic expressions, cf.: to come under one’s eye/notice привернути до себе увагу; to соте under one’s thumb викликати підозру; to come under the yoke – примиритися з поразкою (вгнути голову); to соте unstuck – провалитися, піти прахом; соте what тау – що буде, те буде; to соте Yorkshire over one- обдурити, обманути когось.

Some meanings of polysemantic verbs and other parts of speech are not quite easy to identify even at sentence level, as can be seen from the examples below:

Shall I take you round the “Може, сер, я пошлю кухаря house, sir, while I send the cook повідомити його про це. доки я to break it to him ?” (Galsworthy) показуватиму вам будинок?”

Christine made a fourth at the table. (Cronin)

Крістін була четвертою за столом.

if it had not been for my wife having a little money other own, I couldn’t have carried on as I have done. (J.Priestley)

… коли б не якась копійка у моєї дружини, я не міг би стільки терти лямку(не протяг би, не витримав би так довго).

Translation of polysemantic words may often require a deep insight into content of a part or of the whole passage/text comprising some sentences. This can be partly seen from the meanings of the nouns stuff and run in the sentences below:

“But isn’t there time before your train to get all your stuff to­gether?” (M.Wilson)

“Та невже у тебе не буде часу до відходу поїзда зібрати всі свої манатки/речі?”

All that kind of antiwar talk you hear nowadays from your fellows is the worst kind of subversive stuff. (Ibid.)

Усі ці патякання проти війни, які чуєш серед молоді, -та це ж найгіршого штибу підривна діяльність.

Part 2: Ways of Conveying the Meanings of Polysemantic Language Units