Vorobyeva Irina Alexandrovna – Candidate of Psychology, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Cross–Cultural Business Communication Department, Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law.
The article analyzes the semantic features in the meaning of melancholy. The author focuses on the emotional experiences associated with melancholy by classifying the causes of melancholy. The most common situations that cause feelings of melancholy are: loneliness, bad weather, grief and life's difficulties, however, sometimes melancholy occurs without any apparent reason. The subjects explained that melancholy is a condition connected with sad feelings and loneliness. Melancholy has not only negative aspects (bad mood, tears, sadness, grief, etc.), but also positive ones (meditation, reflection, calmness). The primary symptom of melancholy is prolonged absence of joy, when no positive external influences can alter one's spirits. People become melancholic when there is impossibility to enjoy positive emotions. Those who have creative jobs (painters, musicians) feel melancholy more often.
In addition to semantic methods the author used a graphic projective method. By analyzing the pictures entitled "Draw melancholy", the author identified typical images associated with the experience of melancholy and classified them. The author claims that melancholy is a characteristic feature of a human being. Melancholy can be caused by bad weather. It is usually associated with autumn and rain. Subjects feel homesickness when they are not at home but in another place. Melancholy can appear in tears and always is seen on person's face. Melancholy can be represented as something abstract. It can be associated with space, or unknown (often fantastic) creature. The pictures show the connection of melancholy with death, loneliness, anger, hunger, study, and lack of money.
Melancholy and most of its synonyms are associated with gray colour. The author concludes that psychosemantic methods allow examining a subjective evaluation of melancholy.
Key words: semantic meaning, semantic space, the definition of "melancholy", positive and negative aspects of melancholy, content - analysis, categorical scale entitled "What is melancholy?", test of colour relations, projective technique entitled "Unfinished Tale", projective method entitled "Draw melancholy".