Slovene (Aug 2019)

Lexis of the Russian North: State and Prospects of Study

  • Elena L. Berezovich,
  • Svetlana M. Tolstaya

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 1
pp. 486 – 525


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The article analyzes the current state of the studies on the vocabulary of the Russian North dialects. The concept of the Russian North is discussed, the Russian North dialectal zone is briefly characterized in light of its linguistic features, of the Northern Russian dialectal vocabulary size in comparison with the Southern Russian dialects, and of the fundamental importance of its study for Slavic linguistics in general. The article also presents a review of the main dictionaries of the Northern Russian dialects since the appearance of the Russian North lexicography to the present day. It includes dictionaries of different coverage of the territory: macro-regional (the ones including vocabulary of the whole Russian North), the ones dedicated to certain zones (Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Karelian regions, etc.), micro-territorial (including dictionaries of certain settlements); of different types and subjects of study: lexical, phraseological, areal-thematic, areal-etymological, dictionaries of personal linguistic identity. Special attention is paid to non-professional lexicography. The review of studies (monographs, dissertations, articles) on the Northern Russian lexicon and phraseology is also presented. They are considered from a thematical point of view: these are works where the semantic and motivational analysis of different groups of concrete and abstract lexis is carried out, etymological interpretation of lexemes is given; works where beliefs, traditional rituals, folklore are considered through the prism of linguistic facts; etymological works, works on grammar, etc. The arguments in favor of the need to continue the collection of the Northern Russian dialects vocabulary and its dictionary representation are given, prospects and objectives of its study are formulated. A list of references is of high importance for researchers — dialectologists, etymologists, historians of language, etc. — it is an extensive bibliography, which contains lexicographical and lexicological works on the dialects of the Russian North. DOI: 10.31168/2305-6754.2019.8.1.19