Zabójczo, That is Deadly. A Study of Semantic Change Toward Intensification and ‘Excess’ Hyperbole
Copyright (c) 2020 Agnieszka Latos
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The study analyses the current polysemy of the adverb zabójczo and the evolution of its original meaning ‘lethally.’ The semantic change ‘lethal → harmful → unbearable → impressive → extraordinary’ occurs due to the process of metaphorization and subjectivation. The concrete lexical meaning develops a secondary sense through metonymy, ‘extreme degree.’ The desemantized related expressions, i.e., the adjective zabójczy and the adverb zabójczo, take on the function of a hyperbolic intensifier. The amplifiers tend to be used in two diverse intensification patterns: the adjective as a maximizer, while the adjective as a booster.