Artashes R. Martirosyan

The article refers to a relatively new, sometimes problematic area of
linguistics – lexical semantics of the word, in particular, to the problem of semantic changes in the lexical composition of the language. For the first time, the lexicographic elaborations of the development of semantic structures of lexemes of the lexical subset “to safeguard/protect a person”, operating in the lexico-semantic field “person, man”, are subject to chronological order, starting from the ancient Armenian period to the present day. Cognitive-semantic mechanisms of changing the meaning of lexemes in this huge historical period, their relationship with other lexical groups are revealed. The studies of lexicographic processing of lexemes of the subset show that the ancient Armenian period was quite rich in lexemes “to safeguard/protect a person” both in Armenian (grabar) and in borrowed forms with the archiseme “bodyguard”. The study showed that both Armenian and borrowed words subsets, historicisms did not develop their semantic structure from the ancient Armenian period, and some of them, as a generative basis, appeared in various compositions in both the ancient Armenian and the Soviet periods.

The study also revealed that semantemes functioning in the semantic structure of the studied lexemes at different stages of the development of the Armenian language are used in other semantic subsets and groups of the lexical field with the meaning “person, man” in different meanings (cf. BODYGUARD: “in accordance with interests, activities, social status, established community relations” (cf. henchman, accomplice), “to act as an aid, protection, assistance, concession” (cf. defender), “in the service of the judiciary, administrative and legal institutions” (cf. legal adviser/lawyer), “for a certain function in team sports games” (cf. (semi)defender-attacker), etc.).

Thus, in different forms of language development, it is not the lexical and semantic system of fields that changes, but individual sections within it, as well as the relations between them, since a member of any subset or group functioning in the FIELD is connected with other members operating in the FIELD: the whole system has many semantic threads, and any change in the latter leads to a qualitative shift in the vocabulary of the language.