Article: PDF
DOI: 10.26170/2071-2405-2023-28-4-83-90
Abstract: In 2023, Russian linguists celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Soviet linguist Dmitry Nikolaevich Ushakov. In connection with this glorious anniversary, one cannot fail to recall the beloved brainchild of the hero of the day – the four-volume “Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language”, published in 1935–1940 under his editorship, which was compiled with his active participation and immediately deserved the honorary name “Ushakov’s Dictionary” in the philological community. Almost 90 years that have passed since the publication of the first volume have undoubtedly called forth adjustments to the lexical corpus of the Russian language itself, and to the ideas of lexicographers about the principles of its description. This article makes a pilot attempt to trace the concrete implementation of the trends that determine the modification of the semantics of lexemes of the literary language without touching on the dynamics of quantitative change in the Russian lexicon (appearance of new words, disappearance of obsolete ones, etc.). The author limits her study to the words beginning with the letter A, comparing the lexemes reflected in this fragment with the data of the Large Explanatory Dictionary (2000) and the Active Dictionary of the Russian language (2014). In some cases, data from the Large Modern Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian language (online, 2012) are also involved, that allow tracing intermediate stages of the semantic development of certain lexemes. A comparative analysis of the material of these dictionaries has shown that there are two factors that have undoubtedly influenced semantic shifts and the emergence of new meanings: these include a change in the nominated realities and a change in the image of these realities in the linguistic consciousness of the native speakers. In addition, the study has come across spontaneous semantic shifts, the reasons for which are difficult to explain within the framework of the currently available material. In this regard, the question arises about changing the approach to the formulation of definitions, which has also undergone obvious modifications in some cases. It seems productive to continue this work, relying on the data of the dictionary as a whole.
Key words: Russian vocabulary; Russian lexicography; lexical semantics; change of lexical meaning; “Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian language” edited by D. N. Ushakov

Для цитирования:

Рут, М. Э. Два века – два словаря: семантические нюансы / М. Э. Рут // Philological Class. – 2023. – Vol. 28 ⋅ №4. – С. 83-90. DOI 10.26170/2071-2405-2023-28-4-83-90.

For citation

Ruth, M. E. (2023). Two Centuries – Two Dictionaries: Semantic Nuances. In Philological Class. 2023. Vol. 28 ⋅ №4. P. 83-90. DOI 10.26170/2071-2405-2023-28-4-83-90.

About the author(s) :

Maria E. Ruth

Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin

(Ekaterinburg, Russia)


Publication Timeline:

Date of receipt: 21.11.2023; date of publication: 30.12.2023


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