More than a signboard: the name of a store in the speaker’s mental lexicon

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Kadochnikova, Olena
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Background. Forming a system of spatial, social and cultural landmarks, each speaker consciously/unconsciously records proper names which seem important. The most significant units are remembered, and it is they that determine the general idea of the entire set of marked objects. Since the system of linguistic units in the individual mental lexicon is regulated by a great number of subjective factors, it can be assumed that the tendencies of the reflection of reality in the mental lexicon common to a group of speakers open the way to the analysis of current social stereotypes. Shop and store names are one of the groups of commercial names, therefore, by their very nature, they are maximally oriented towards reflecting positive stereotypes of large social groups. Purpose. The purpose of this article is to analyze how the names of shops and stores are reflected in the mental lexicon of the women residents of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and to try to outline the connection between the proper names verbalization in speakers’ mental lexicon and their ideas about extralinguistic reality. Methods. The material for this study consists of 249 graphic variants of 160 names of clothing, footwear and food stores, collected by surveying 45 women residents of Kyiv. Descriptive, comparative, and quantitative methods were used in the research, and techniques of the structural method were occasionally involved. Results. Current store names in the capital of Ukraine create а very colorful linguistic landscape with its main feature – the predominance of foreign language components, both lexical and graphic. Among all this diversity, the speaker remembers 3 or 4 names оn average, which determine her idea of the general trends in the nomination of objects in this field and indirectly ‒ these objects themselves. The analysis of store and shop names active in the mental lexicon of Kyiv residents shows that the absolute majority of clothing and shoe stores (79 % and 81 %, respectively) are perceived by names identified with other cultural spaces. Not only the name’s origin, but primarily its graphic form is a clear indicator of belonging to some cultural space. The opposite case in the name system of grocery stores is recorded ‒ only 26 % of them were reproduced by respondents in Latin. The form in which the store or shop name is stored in the mental lexicon depends on a) the graphic code visualized on the signboard / in the advertisement and b) the sound form of the name commonly used in informal communication. The activity of the second factor directly depends on the symmetry of the sound and spelling of the barbarism name and the level of speaker’s foreign language competence. The result of the collision of different graphic codes in the speaker’s mind is mixing, which is manifested in the recording of the original form of the name from Latin to Cyrillic during memorization. Therefore, while keeping proper names in memory, speakers try to assimilate their form to the rest of the fixed units, and this often manifests itself in the transformation of the original form of proper name. Discussion. Oversaturation of Kyiv’s commercial ergonomics system with barbaric names forms a strong public stereotype about the attractiveness and progressiveness of other cultures in the consumption sphere and creates the illusion of the absence of national Ukrainian in it. Trying to master the system of store and shop names, Kyiv residents find themselves in a conflict situation: the dominant graphic code for them is the Cyrillic alphabet, while the Latin alphabet prevails in the visual space of Kyiv’s trade establishments. The way out of this situation is transformation ‒ recording of the original name with the help of a graphic system convenient for the speaker. In order to form a general idea about the reflection of the commercial proper names system in the mental lexicon of Ukrainians, it is necessary to involve in the study data from representatives of different age groups from different regions of the country.
У статті проаналізовано, як одна з груп онімів (назви магазинів) представлена в ментальному лексиконі мовців та який вплив має ця частина концепту на формування їхнього уявлення про позначувану сферу. На матеріалі анкетування жительок Києва досліджено обсяг і наповнення субфрейму магазинонімів (сформованого назвами магазинів одягу, взуття та продуктів харчування), схарактеризовано особливості їх концептуалізації.
cognitive onomastics, ergonym, shop / store name, commercial name, mental lexicon, onymic concept, graphic code, article, когнітивна ономастика, ергонім, магазинонім, комерціонім, ментальний лексикон, онімний концепт
Kadochnikova O. More than a signboard: the name of a store in the speaker’s mental lexicon / Олена Кадочнікова (Olena Kadochnikova) // Мова: класичне - модерне - постмодерне. - 2022. - Вип. 8. - С. 5-21. -