Word and Image

2021. № 6, 19-30

Elena I. Golanova, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences) (Russia, Moscow), egolanova@yandex.ru


The article covers the history of one word — poletnost’ (‘fl yness’, ‘fl ightness’), its meanings, peculiarities of its use and lexicographical presence are examined. Poletnost’ is not registered in explanatory dictionaries before 1980s. Nevertheless, it was used in specialized music literature to describe physical qualities of voice and sound, as well as dancing techniques. Furthermore, this word is often used by music critics in the sense of ‘inspired aspiration’ to describe works of A. N. Skriabin. In one of his earlier works D. N. Shmelev already pointed out the important role of polysemy for creation of new denominations. We can examine how the above-mentioned meanings of poletnost’ correlate with meanings of polet (‘fl ight’): POLET: 1) Movement through the air ...; 2) (spec.) An athletic, acrobatic or choreographic jump over a long distance; 3) Air fl ight with a specifi c purpose ...; 4) Aspiration, impulse [Kuznetsov (ed.) 2006]. 21 Signifi cantly, it was the fi gurative meaning that was fi rst recorded in dictionaries (POLETNOST’: presence of polet (4), inspired aspiration ... [Kuznetsov (ed.) 2006]. Other meanings are still reserved for professional vocabulary. The formation of this word is also noteworthy. As a rule, nouns ending with -ost’ are formed from corresponding adjectives (for example, genial’nyi — genialnost’). However, it is obvious that in this case the abstract name is derived directly from the noun stem, since none of the examined meanings are recorded in dictionaries for the adjective poletnyi (for example, poletnyi: one that relates to aircraft fl ights, designed for fl ights [Small Academic Dictionary]). The article also examines other similar neologisms formed with -ost’ that carry evocative emotionality and expression, which are due not only to semantic and word-formation features of these units but also to their stylistic attachments and associative-emotional connections.

For citation:

Golanova E. I. Word and Image. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2021. No. 6. Pp. 19–30. 10.31857/S013161170017964-9.