Calque

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Calque

 

(in linguistics), semantic borrowing by means of the literal translation of the separate parts of a word or phrase. A lexical caique is a word created by full morphological substitution, that is, by the translation of each morpheme, for example, Russian pred-met (object) from Latin ob-ject-um or Russian sushchestvitel’noe (substantive) from Latin substantivum. In phraseological caiques, whole expressions are modeled after foreign patterns, as in Russian prisutstvie dukha (composure) from French presence d’esprit or English five-year plan and French plan cinquiennel from Russian piatiletnii plan. A special type of caique is one in which a word is given a figurative meaning, modeled on a foreign word with the same literal meaning, for example, Russian vkus (taste) from French gout or Russian cherta (feature), from French trait. When the inappropriate meaning of a homonymous foreign word is used, an erroneous caique is formed, as in Russian byt’ne v svoei tarelke (“to be out of sorts”; literally, “not in one’s plate”) from the French il n’est pas dans son assiette (assiette, “plate,” “position”). The caiqueis a very common linguistic phenomenon and is primarily literary in origin.

V. V. RASKIN

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