Russian in the Worldview of “The Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language”

  • Aurelija Gritėnienė
Keywords: dictionary, semantics, illustrative example, concept, Russian


    The article analyses what fragment of the concept of RUSSIAN comes to the fore in the illustrative sentences with the nationality rusas ‘Russian’, which are present in The Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language. The illustrations are especially important for the formation of the concept, as they record the attitude of the representatives of dialects from the whole of Lithuania towards this nationality and the worldview of the Russian shaped in various written sources (predominantly in scientific, publicist and fictional works of the 19th–20th centuries). The empirical material from the Dictionary is analysed using the semantic analysis, descriptive, interpretive and cognitive linguistics methods.
    The analysis of 300 illustrative sentences, which mention the ethnonym Russian, shows that in the context of the Dictionary this nationality is described in the following ways: 1) objective, specific historical and other facts (usually in the form of illustrations from various written sources); 2) experience of the relationship between individual persons and the persons of this nationality through specific images (in the form of illustrative sentences from Lithuanian dialects). A tendency of avoiding straight and clear categorization in the context of the Dictionary comes to light (only certain actions of Russian soldiers and the Russian rule imposed on Lithuanians are evaluated negatively in the illustrations of the Dictionary). Such a comparatively cautious approach was driven by the historical and political circumstances, which shaped the dictionary-making process.