The Images of Moscow in the Mirror of the Russian and Foreign Languages. Moscow’s Geography.

Elena Lvovna Berezovich, Iulia Aleksandrovna Krivoshchapova

Abstract


The authors focus on the linguistic image of the capital of Russia, Moscow, and its dwellers, as reflected in the Russian language (mainly, in its subdialects and the colloquial language). The image in question is studied referring to the data of foreign languages and dialects, mainly, Slavic (more particularly, East Slavic ones) along with the Romance, Germanic, Turkic, and Finno-Ugric languages. The linguistic image is based on the analysis of words derived from the name of Russia’s capital as a result of semantic derivation as well as set expressions containing such words (e.g. Russian dialectal Moskva meaning the core of a watermelon, Moskvu vidat’ (to see Moscow) of thin tea or soup, etc., Polish moskal of a species of small herring, Italian Moscovita – of frost meaning severe, polar, etc.) The authors take into account that in foreign languages the derivatives of the toponym quite frequently designate the idea of Russia as a whole, and not of Moscow. The article is the first of a two-article cycle on the subject. It explores popular ideas of Moscow’s geography as reflected in the mirror of language. The authors single out a number of aspects of the image in question, i. e. City space; The Role of Moscow in Russia’s Space and Abroad; A Trip to Moscow; A quality characteristic of space; Climate; The World of Nature. The analysis reveals the motivation of words and idioms, derived from the name of the capital. The authors also compare the Russian and non-Russian perception of Moscow.

Keywords


Russian studies; Slavic studies; ethnolinguistics; semantic derivation; Russian dialectal vocabulary; phraseology; derivatives of toponyms.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15826/qr.2014.3.067

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