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Sapozhnikova A.Yu. EXOTIC LEXICAL UNITS USAGE IN E. HEMINGWAY’S NOVEL “FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS” / A.Yu. Sapozhnikova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2018. — № 4 (16). — С. 19—21. — URL: (дата обращения: 06.03.2021. ). doi:10.18454/RULB.2018.16.4.3
Sapozhnikova A.Yu. EXOTIC LEXICAL UNITS USAGE IN E. HEMINGWAY’S NOVEL “FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS” / A.Yu. Sapozhnikova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2018. — № 4 (16). — С. 19—21. doi:10.18454/RULB.2018.16.4.3


Сапожникова А.Ю.1
1Доцент, кандидат филологических наук, Российский Государственный Педагогический Университете им. А.И. Герцена, Волховский филиал,
В статье обсуждается специфика употребления и роль экзотической лексики в тексте романа Эрнеста Хемингуэя «По ком звонит колокол». Испаноязычные заимствования в романе рассматриваются с точки зрения их семантических, грамматических и графических особенностей. Затрагивается также вопрос об их ассимиляции. В результате исследования выявляется ведущие способы репрезентации испаноязычной заимствованной и экзотической лексики в романе, количественное соотношение различных лексико-тематических групп, обосновывается роль и значение частотного употребления испаноязычной лексики автором.
Ключевые слова: заимствования, экзотическая лексика/экзотизмы, Эрнест Хемингуэй, “По ком звонит колокол”, ассимиляция.
Страницы: 19 - 21

Sapozhnikova A.Yu.1
1Associate Professor, PhD in Philology, Herzen State Pedagogical University, Volkhov branch
The article discusses exotic lexical units in the text of E. Hemingway’s novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, their usage and functioning. Spanish borrowings in the novel are viewed from the viewpoint of their grammatical, semantic, and graphical peculiarities. The question of their assimilation is also touched upon. As a result of the study, the principal ways of Spanish exotic lexical units representation in the text of the novel are identified; the quantitative characteristics of their topical groups are given; the role and significance of frequent usage of these lexical units in the novel is grounded.
Keywords: borrowings, exotic lexical units, E. Hemingway, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, assimilation.
Pages: 19 - 21
Почта авторов / Author Email:


Naturally, the given text of E. Hemingway’s novel, which is devoted to Spain, its culture and history, its traditions and people, cannot but include plenty of vocabulary units signifying objects of Spanish reality.

In the total amount of lexical material mentioned above different topical groups were singled out (taking into account specific features of the units studied). They were analyzed from different points f view.


Spanish exotic lexical units in the text of E. Hemingway’s novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” were studied with the help of method of continuous sampling technique (207 lexical units were singled out); elements of contextual and stylistic analysis, which are commonly used in philology for analyzing literary texts.


The novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, which became very popular once it had been published, played a certain role in exceeding interest to Spain and Spanish culture in English-speaking countries, and, respectively, in assimilation of Spanish lexemes in the English language.

That’s why the study of Spanish exotic lexical units in this literary text appears to be an actual and interesting problem for research.

Moreover, it is very important to define and characterize the role of Spanish exotic lexemes in E. Hemingway’s text, their place and function in it.


Exotic lexemes of colloquial and obscene character appeared to be the most numerous (37% of the whole amount of all exotic lexemes), while the least numerous was the topical group “Flora and Fauna” (1%).

Military terms constituted about 25% of the whole quantity of exotic lexical units.

Antroponyms and toponyms in the text of the novel were viewed in our topical classification separately. They are quite frequently met in the narration (12% and 15% respectively).

The study of linguistic material mentioned above showed that exotic lexical units usage in the text of E. Hemingway’s novel have certain peculiarities which are expressed on different language levels: graphical, grammatical, and semantic.

From the viewpoint of graphical representation in the text it should be noted that the Spanish exotic lexemes in the text of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” maximally correspond to original spelling rules: traca, siempre, che, raro, maquina etc. However, it is worth mentioning that exotic lexemes in the text are italicized, so that, apparently, to attract reader’s attention to these textual micro-fragments.

From the point of view of grammatical assimilation, Spanish exotisms in the novel preserve all grammatical categories inherent for a language source. The only sign of grammatical assimilation is the usage of article “the” before some Spanish proper names: the Escorial, the Estados Unidos, the Gran Via, the Pilar, the Maria.

Speaking about exotic lexemes in E. Hemingway’s text, the most illustrative is their semantic assimilation. As Ladynenko A.P., Nemonezhnaya V.Yu., Kabanova I.N. write, one of the most important criteria of lexical assimilation (that is, the borrowing proper), is the polysemy. The borrowings proper are always polysemantic [4], [6], [7].  The longer the period of exotic unit functioning in the language is, the more semantic meanings it acquires.

So, polysemy can’t be a feature of partially assimilated and non-assimilated lexemes (exotisms). Quite the opposite, as a unit which is being newly introduced into a language, exotism has only one basic lexical meaning, in which it was originally borrowed. «Non-transparent semantics», which is common for such lexical units, is their categorical feature.

The Spanish exotic units are represented in the text of the novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in their only meaning: anda — go, puente – a bridge, tendido — sector, pueblo – a people, hombre – a comrade and so on.

If to speak about frequency of Spanish-borrowed lexemes occurrence in the text, we tend to link this phenomena with author’s aims and goals while creating his literary work.

Wide usage of colloquial lexical units is evidently necessary for creation of the so-called stylistic “effect of presence” and maximal involvement of the reader in the situations in focus.

Nevertheless, Spanish exotisms constitute only insignificant part of the whole amount of author’s borrowed words vocabulary. That fact is explained by the general principle: exotic lexemes are used in literary works much more rarely than borrowings proper.

According to classifications given by Amirova V.G. [1], Aristova V.M. [2], Yeryomina K.N. [3], Sekirin V.P. [8] etc., the borrowed lexical units should be divided into fully assimilated, partially assimilated and non-assimilated.

The most part of borrowed words, which are studied in our work, are not wholly assimilated by the English language. Thus, for proper understanding, the reader needs minimal explanation of their meanings. As O.I. Kalnova mentions in her research, “the role of explanation in defining the word meaning and its following development… is utterly important” [4; p. 46].

The scholar singles out 3 ways of exotic lexemes representation in the text: 1) introducing of exotic lexeme in the text without explanation; 2) exotic lexeme usage in diagnostic context; 3) introducing of exotic lexeme in the text with extended explanation [4, p.47].

As we found out, Spanish exotisms in the text of novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” are represented in two ways: either with accompanying English synonym (in diagnostic context); or with the extended definition/explanation in English.

Cf.: capeas – amateur corridas [10];

Cf.: banderillas – small spears decorated with ribbons, which are impaled in the bulls’ napes so that to tease them before the final blow of a matador [10];

Cf.: paella – a dish of meat, rice, vegetables or crab meat, flavored with saffron [109];

Cf.: manzanilla – a sort of dry wine (sherry) in Spain [10].

The second way of representation exceeds by quantity the first way almost thrice. It can be explained by the absence of corresponding realias in English-speaking culture, and also by peculiarity of some o f them (especially military terminology).

Speaking about wholly assimilated Spanish borrowings in the novel, we should mention that there were found only 3 of them: these are such lexemes as tomato, matador, guerilla.

Spanish colloquial lexemes occur frequently in the text and represent the bulk of the whole amount of exotisms. We assume that this lexical strata works as a powerful catalyst of semantic message that it contains. Spanish variant of some utterances makes them more stylistically expressive and significant.

The characters speak Spanish not only in their everyday life, but also in the extreme circumstances. The usage of exotic lexemes in the latter case emphasizes the fatality of the situation: the characters live and act on the brink of their possibilities, in time of war, constant risk for their lives. Spanish exotic lexemes in the text enforces the tenseness of the narration making the reader feel close to the participants of the dramatic situations which Spanish people suffer while struggling with Fascism.

In his novel E. Hemingway depicted brave and courageous people in war times. Their language is simple and laconic, sometimes even rude. Rude and obscene expressions in Spanish variant look exotic for the reader, but at the same time natural, because their usage in the text is sporadic, quite to place and very often interwoven with the corresponding English words and expressions.

Cf.: "Borracho! " she called to him. "Drunkard. Rotten drunkard!" [10]

Cf.: "And if thy aunt had cojones she would be thy uncle," another said to him. [10]

Cf.: "Cojones! " the captain said. "Here there is nothing but idiots and cowards." [10]

Cf.: "You hijo de la gran puta! " he said softly. "Where the obscenity have you been?" [10]

Their meaning is clear, much like the emotions that the character experiences. That’s why, in our opinion, Spanish colloquial lexemes represent the bulk of the whole amount of exotic lexical units in the novel.


Spanish exotic lexical units are quite widely used in E. Hemingway’s novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. These units are subjected to assimilation on different linguistic levels. Only graphical image of exotisms didn’t undergo any changes.

Anthroponyms and toponyms should be viewed separately in this respect, as they are objectively less subjected to assimilation and will hardly ever acquire status of wholly assimilated lexemes. The peculiarities of their semantics make these groups different from the bulk of Spanish exotic lexemes in the text of the novel.

The usage of Spanish exotic lexemes in the text of novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls” appears to be very organic, as it adds finality to the images of the main characters, reveals their inner world against the real historical background.

E. Hemingway includes dialogues in Spanish into the narration with the aim to get the reader maximally involved into the situations which are experienced by the characters. This is the reason why the text of the novel is abundant with Spanish exotic lexemes.

Wide usage of Spanish colloquial lexical units and sporadically met obscene expressions in these dialogues creates the so-called “effect of presence”, which is helpful in understanding the emotional state of the character.

Список литературы / References:
  1. Амирова Т. Заимствование и его роль в развитии и обогащении синонимии: (На материале разносистемных языков) Автореферат дисс. кандидата филол. наук / Амирова Т. - Баку, 1975. – 22 с.
  2. Аристова В.М. Англо-русские языковые контакты / Аристова В.М. - Ленинград, 1978. – 270 с.
  3. Ерёмина К.Н. К проблеме языковых контактов (Европеизмы в современном персидском языке) / Ерёмина К.Н. - М., 1980. – 156 c.
  4. Кабанова И.Н. Основы лексикологии английского языка / Кабанова И.Н. – Нижний Новгород: ФГБОУ ВПО «НГЛУ», 2013 - 168 с.
  5. Кальнова О.И. Экзотизмы как лингвистическая категория // Проблемы русской лексикологии / Кальнова О.И. - Самара, 1991. – 163 с.
  6. Ладыненко А.П. Иноязычные вкрапления как средство создания локально-темпоральной индикации художественного текста / Ладыненко А.П. // Науковий вісник Міжнародного гуманітарного університету. Сер. Фiлологiя. 2014. №8. Т.1 С. 126-129.
  7. Немонежная В. Ю. Иноязычные вкрапления в художественном тексте как переводческая проблема (на материале русских переводов произведений А. Конан Дойла на историческую тематику). Автореферат дисс. кандидата филол. наук / Немонежная В.Ю. - М., 2006. – 38 с.
  8. Секирин В.П. Заимствования в английском языке / Секирин В.П. - Киев: Изд-во Киевского университета, 1964. - 152 с.
  9. Хемингуэй, Э. По ком звонит колокол / Хемингуэй Э. – М.: Правда, 1988. – 592 с.
  10. Hemingway E. For Whom the Bell Tolls / E. Hemingway - London, 1994. – 504 с.

Список литературы на английском / References in English:
  1. Amirova T. Zaimstvovaniye i yego rol v razvitiyi I obogashcheniyi sinonimiyi. [Borrowing and its role in the development and enrichment of synonymy] Avtoreferat diss. kand. filol. nauk / Amirova T. - Baku, 1975. – P.22 [in Russian]
  2. Aristova V.M. Anglo-russkuye yazykovye kontakty. [English-Russian language contacts] / Aristova V.M. - Leningrad, 1978. – P. 270. [in Russian]
  3. Yeryomina K.N. K probleme yazykovykh kontaktov. [To the problem of language contacts] / Yeryomina K.N. - M., 1980 – P. 156. [in Russian]
  4. Kabanova I.N. Osnovy leksikologiyi sovremennogo angliyskogo yazyka. [Basics of Modern English Lexicology] / Kabanova I.N. - Nizhniy Novgorod, 2013 – P. 168. [in Russian]
  5. Kalnova O.I. Ekzotizmy kak lingvisticheskaya kategoriya. [Exotic lexical units as a linguistic category] / Kalnova O.I. - Samara, 1991. – P.163. [in Russian]
  6. Ladynenko A.P. Inoyazychnye vkrapleniya kak sredstvo sozdaniya lokalno-temporalnoy indikatsiyi khudozhestvennogo teksta. [Foreign insertions as a way of creation of local-temporal indications in a literary text] / Ladynenko A.P. - Naukoviy visnik Mizhnorodnogo gumanitarnogo universitetu. Ser. Filologiya. 2014. №8. T.1. P. 126-129. [in Russian]
  7. Nemonezhnaya V.Yu. Inoyazychnye vkrapleniya v khudozhestvennom tekste kak perevodcheskaya problema. [Foreign insertions in the literary text as a problem of translation] Avtoreferat diss. kand. filol. nauk. / Nemonezhnaya V.Yu. - M., 2006. – P. 38. [in Russian]
  8. Sekirin V.P. Zaimstvovaniya v angliyskom yazyke. [Borrowings in the English language] / Sekirin V.P. - Kyiev, 1964. - P. 152. [in Russian]
  9. Kheminguey E. Po kom zvonit kolokol / Kheminguey E. – М.: Pravda, 1988. – P. 592.
  10. Hemingway E. For Whom the Bell Tolls / E. Hemingway - London, 1994. – P. 504.

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