FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 42

 

RECONSTRUCTING THE IMAGE OF THE GERMAN WORLD IN THE LANGUAGE CONSCIOUSNESS OF ARKHANGELSK POMORS

Elena L. Berezovich
Ural Federal University
51 Lenin Ave., Yekaterinburg, Russia
berezovich()yandex.ru

Abstract: The article presents an ethnolinguistic study which recreates the image of the German world through the eyes of the White Sea coast inhabitants. This image was formed over the centuries due to the intensive Russian-German contacts in the White Sea area, such as military campaigns (language traces, for example, were left by the war with Sweden during Peter the Great’s time and by foreign interventions during the Civil war) and the closest trade and cultural relations established between the Russian Pomors and Scandinavians since ancient times. To reconstruct this image, the author analyses the North Russian dialect’s common words and proper names derived from “German” ethnonyms and toponyms, as well as secondary ethnonyms (ethnic nicknames) denoting the representatives of the German peoples. An important source of material is unpublished data from the databases of the Toponymic Expedition of the Ural University and the Arkhangelsk Region Dictionary. Primarily, the present work investigates the vocabulary of three thematic groups: “Geographical space” (which characterizes the Pomors’ perception of space as Russian in opposition to German / Swedish / Norwegian, gives examples of the Pomors’ adoption of the German toponymy, etc.), “Man” (where designations of the representatives of the German peoples used in the Pomors’ speech, as well as semantic derivatives from the ethnonyms Swedish, Norwegian, etc., are analyzed), “Material culture” (listing the names of everyday realities (clothes, tools, dwellings, etc., such as Danish headscarf, Swedish axe, Norwegian spinning wheel) as being German or being perceived as German). The article also considers the facts of xeno-nomination, i.e. lexical units that implement generalized ideas about the otherness of an object of reality. A comprehensive study of a block of vocabulary and phraseology containing an indication of “Germanic” in the internal form or semantics allows the author to propose and justify etymological solutions for a number of words (for example, bishka ‘dry cookies,’ varezhki ‘mittens’). The article contains the author’s observations on the mechanisms of interaction between real history, oral stories and linguistic facts; it reveals common features in the images of the representative of the German world and other “strangers” in the linguistic consciousness of the inhabitants of the Russian North.

Keywords: ethnolinguistics, onomastics, dialect vocabulary, motivational reconstruction, ethnonyms, xenonyms, Arkhangelsk dialects, White Sea, Russian North, Russian-German relations.

Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the Russian Science Foundation (projeсt 17-18-01351 “Contact and Genetic Ties of North-Russian Vocabulary and Onomastics”).

To cite: Berezovich E., ‘K rekonstruktsii obraza germanskogo mira v yazykovom soznanii arkhangelskikh pomorov’ [Reconstructing the Image of the German World in the Language Consciousness of Arkhangelsk Pomors], Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 42, pp. 174–212.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2019-15-42-174-212

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/042/berezovich.pdf