Religious Vocabulary in Explanatory Dictionary: Speech Culture Aspect

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences)
Address: Moscow, Russian Federation
Affiliation: Vinogradov Russian Language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation
Affiliation: Institute for Slavic Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences)
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameRusskaya Rech’
EditionIssue 6

One of the tasks that compilers of modern explanatory dictionaries solve is a linguistically and encyclopedically correct description of religious vocabulary. The volume of units of this category in the word list of the explanatory dictionary ranges, according to the authors, from 600 to 1000 head words. Among the factors determining the inclusion of a lexeme in the dictionary, the relatively high frequency of its use in non-specialized texts addressed to a wide audience (which correlates with the social significance of the word) stands out.

The reflection of language norms in the explanatory dictionary in relation to religious vocabulary involves the discussion of a number of issues. The authors analyze the following of them: the variation of the head word (cf.: Псалтирь ‘Psalter’ in some dictionaries and Псалтырь in others); spelling of a religious lexeme with a small or capital letter (the norm may be reflected in the spelling dictionary but absent in the explanatory one – see the word собор / Собор ‘сathedral’); accent specificity of a lexeme (especially if it is not included in orthoepic dictionaries such as коливо ‘funeral dish of boiled wheat with honey’); grammatical characteristics that are usually not explicated by explanatory dictionaries. When considering lables церк. (‘church related’) and религ. (‘religious’) as the main means of fixing the stylistic norm in the use of religious vocabulary, attention is also paid to cases of their combination with lables marking the belonging of words to other subject areas (for example церк. архит. ‘church and architecture related’). The importance of the genre and thematic diversity of illustrative literary sources in describing the words of the sphere of religion is also emphasized.


Keywordsmodern Russian language, religious vocabulary, explanatory dictionaries, speech culture, language norm
AcknowledgmentThis research is supported by a grant from Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project No. 17-29-09063 ofi_m»
Publication date12.12.2019
Number of characters20806
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