Interpretation of Religious Vocabulary Units in the General Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language
The article analyzes the practice of describing the semantics of religious lexical units in the general explanatory dictionaries of the Russian standard language, published in the beginning of the 20th century. The information
contained in them is compared with information from previous linguistic dictionaries and with data from encyclopedic sources. The main characteristics of religious vocabulary units that determine the peculiarities of their semantic description are specified (the sacred nature of many designated concepts, which requires a correct theological approach; the essential role of encyclopedic information in the description of religious lexemes (this information is included in the interpretation zone); the relationship between “non-religious” and “religious” meanings of a commonly
used word). The article discusses the difficulties of lexicographic presentation of the semantics of this lexicon, their main reasons (the complexity of the designated concept, its historical and confessional variability, etc.).
The problem of reflection in the interpretation of the authors’ worldview is touched upon (see the words причащение ‘communion’ and причастие ‘the Blessed Sacrament’). In the field of view are cases of changing the meaning
of the word (духовенство ‘clergy’, сорокоуст ‘forty day’s temple prayer for the living and the dead’), as well as lexical archaization (дьячок, пономарь ‘sexton’). Examples of erroneous, inaccurate or incomplete dictionary representation of the word meanings of the sphere “Religion and Church” are given (see ектения ‘litany’, епитрахиль ‘stole’, прошение ‘petition to God’, список ‘handwritten repetition of an ancient text, icon’). The conclusion emphasizes the need for a more attentive lexicographers’ attitude to the analyzed group of vocabulary. At the end of the publication there is the dictionary entry “Clergy” from the “Academic dictionary of Russian language” (this dictionary is being developed at V. V. Vinogradov Russian language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences).