THE CONCEPT OF A VILLAGER IN THE POLYCULTURAL SPACE OF LATIN AMERICA

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Abstract. The issue of culturally-bound concepts in multinational languages, their common and specific features and the scope of meaning of the words, which denote such concepts, has lately been put under investigation in a large number of works due to its relevance in the globalized world. We assume that one of crucially important subjects in this area is research of additional semantics of the words denoting a villager in Latin American variations of the Spanish language. Studies on history of Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, extralinguistic factors that influenced the development of certain concepts and language units, and etymology of these units make us point out the gradual increase of the distance between the “urban” and “rural” speech. Having investigated 14 words, whose primary meaning is “an inhabitant of the rural area” in different national variants of Spanish (campirano, campisto, chagra, charro, gañán, gaucho, guajiro, huaso, huasteco, jarocho, jíbaro, llanero, montuno, vale), we come to a conclusion that more than a half (9 units) has a secondary meaning “a poorly educated person with village manners”. This fact proves the scholars’ opinion that due to the historically developed gap between urban and rural life the villagers were often looked down by people in towns. There are other common language processes, specified with the help of dictionary, corpus and etymological analysis, that took part in the formation of the “villager” concept in Latin America. Firstly, the meaning of 5 words has extended to
ethnonyms denoting a citizen of a certain Latin American country (charro for Mexico, jíbaro for Puerto Rico, etc.). Secondly, 7 of them have narrowed one of their meanings to “a horseman” or “a cattleman”. Thirdly, 5 words have a meaning with a racial component, which forms a more concrete image of a peasant in different regions of the investigated territory. Finally, we have found out that the evaluation components of the studied words and their actualization change over time and are not always recorded in dictionaries. One of these components is a positive association with the musical culture of the respective countries that occurs when the “villager” concept is mentioned.

Keywords: Spanish language, concept, extralinguistic factor, meaning, connotation

Evgeniya А. Popova

Moscow State Linguistic University Moscow, Russia
e-mail: o-genia@yandex.ru

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