"Religious Vocabulary in Explanatory Dictionary: Linguistic Standards "

2019. № 6, 45-57

Alexey E. Tsumarev1 (zumarew@yandex.ru), Larisa L. Shestakova1 (lara.shestakova@mail.ru),
Fedor B. Lyudogovsky2 (ludenhof@gmail.com)
1Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences) (Russia, Moscow)
2Institute for Slavic Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences) (Russia, Moscow)


One of the tasks that compilers of modern explanatory dictiona ries
solve is a linguistically and encyclopedically correct description of religious vocabulary. The volume of units of this category in the word list of
the explanatory dictionary ranges, according to the authors, from 600 to
1000 head words. Among the factors determining the inclusion of a lexeme
in the dictionary, the relatively high frequency of its use in non-specialized
texts addressed to a wide audience (which correlates with the social signifi -
cance of the word) stands out.
 The refl ection of language norms in the explanatory dictionary in relation to religious vocabulary involves the discussion of a number of issues.
The authors analyze the following of them: the variation of the head word (cf.: Псалтирь ‘Psalter’ in some dictionaries and Псалтырь in others); spelling of a religious lexeme with a small or capital letter (the norm may be
refl ec ted in the spelling dictionary but absent in the explanatory one — see
the word собор ‘celebration’ / Собор ‘сathedral’); accent specifi city of a l exeme
(especially if it is not included in orthoepic dictionaries such as коливо ‘funeral dish of boiled wheat with honey’); grammatical characteristics that are
usually not explicated by explanatory dictionaries. When considering lables
церк. (‘church related’) and религ. (‘religious’) as the main means of fi xing the
stylistic norm in the use of religious vocabulary, attention is also paid to cases
of their combination with lables marking the belonging of words to other subject areas (for example церк. архит. ‘church and architecture related’). The
importance of the genre and thematic diversity of illustrative literary sources
in describing the words of the sphere of religion is also emphasized.