The Lithuanian Names for Hen, Rooster, Chicken and their Motivation

  • Žydrūnė Šalaviejūtė
Keywords: motivation, synonym, zoonym, hen, rooster, chicken


From a semasiological point of view, the Lithuanian names for hen, rooster, chicken form a rich subgroup of the thematic group of zoonyms: about two hundred lexemes without a common hyperonym have been identified in various explanatory, dialectal and special lexicographical sources. From an onomasiological point of view, motivated names make up 98 percent of the lexemes studied. The article comprehensively analyzes the names of hen, rooster and chicken in the Lithuanian language, approaching them as lexical units that can convey the categorisation of the bird being so named, its relationship to other realities from the perspective of the language user. The systematic analysis of the lexemes studied highlights several categories of conceptual features: axiological, cognitive, associative, ethnocultural.