Nataliia Tatsenko


The article provides a comprehensive consideration of the notional modus frame of EMPATHY concept embodied in modern English discourse. It is aimed at analysing the grammatical parameters of the frame which encode semantic characteristics of EMPATHY concept (lexicalised by literal linguistic means) and their organisation in discourse. The grammatical parameters represent different slots of the frame: empathy (n) – INSTRUMENT/AGENT, empathiser (n) – AGENT/PATIENT, empathisee (occasionalism) (n) – PATIENT/AGENT, empathise (v) – ACTION, empathetic/empathic (adj), empathising (adj) – SUCH, empathetically/empathically (adv), empathisingly (adv) – SO. These slots speak for the diversity of the ways in which they have fixed the “grounding” of EMPATHY concept on a communicative situation. Applying corpus methodology, the research proves that in the human epistemic space the notional modus of EMPATHY concept exists as an abstract entity or idea about empathy rather than a specific event represented by the verb. Context analysis shows that at present the noun empathy has lost its original meaning of the ability to enter into emotional harmony with a certain work of art. The analysis of the British national corpus (BNC) allows making a conclusion that in the frame of the notional modus slots empathiser and empathisee are mostly irrelevant. In the semantics of the frame slots, there are numerous shifts of the prototype meaning based on extension, narrowing, metaphorical and metonymical transitions. However, they do not lead to the disintegration of the standard norm which is stored in the memory of the individual.


concept; empathy; frame; notional modus; slot

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ISSN 2410-8286 (Online), ISSN 2409-3351 (Print)