SHS Web Conf.
Volume 122, 2021International Conference “Fundamental Research of the Phenomenon of Happiness” 2020
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||The Concept of Happiness in Various Linguistic Cultures|
|Published online||20 September 2021|
Four centuries of German “happiness” in lexicographers’ interpretations
1 Nizhny Novgorod Linguistics University, Scientific Laboratory “Basic and Applied Linguistic Research”, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
2 Nizhny Novgorod Linguistics University, Distance Learning Institute, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
The article deals with the concept of “happiness”, represented and interpreted through lexicography. The objective of the study is to try to compare the perspectives of researchers on the origin of the word Glück, trace the development of its semantics from one generalized meaning to a set of meanings reflecting the evolution of human ideas about happiness, and identify ways of representing these ideas by lexicographic means. The authors use the methods of historical linguistic, comparative-contrastive, etymological, definitional and semantic analysis. The object of the study is German dictionaries and lexicons published from 1513 to 1888. It has been established that the concept of “happiness”, represented in the German vocabulary by the lexeme Glück, has transformed over four centuries along with the growth of people’s material and spiritual needs against the background of the gradual humanization of public life. This has led to the complication of the semantic structure of the lexeme Glück which objectifies this concept. The representation of the Glück lexeme in dictionaries dating back to the early 16th – mid-18th centuries is laconic, due to the type of dictionaries (nomenclatures, translation dictionaries) that did not feature detailed comments on the repertoire of meanings that the desired lexeme possessed. The main elements of the semantic structure of the lexeme are ‘(temporary) prosperity’, ‘bliss’, ‘luck’, ‘destiny (fate)’. The analysis of the interpretation of happiness in the mid-18th century – late 19th century allows one to make a conclusion about the complication of the semantic structure of the lexeme Glück due to a philosophical reinterpretation of this concept and its integrated conveyance by appropriate lexicographic means. The etymology of the word Glück remains unclear. It is assumed that the word appeared in the 13th century and retained a neutral meaning until the end of the Middle High German period when the positive connotation began to prevail in the semantics of the word.
Key words: “happiness” / etymological analysis / historical linguistic analysis / lexicography
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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