Functioning of Artifact Metaphors and Similes in the Texts of Modern Russian Prose

2022. № 4, 75-86

Natalya A. Nikolina

Moscow State Pedagogical University

(Russia, Moscow)


Zoya Yu. Petrova

Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

(Russia, Moscow)



The article deals with metaphors and similes which include the names of various artefacts as images of comparison. Artifacts are defined as any material objects artificially created as a result of human activity. The analysis involves the works of modern Russian prose writers: E. Vodolazkin, A. Ilichevsky, O. Slavnikova, E. Chizhova, R. Senchin, V. Pelevin, S. Sokolov, D. Glukhovsky, G. Yakhina, etc. The purpose of the article is to consider features of the functioning of artifact metaphors and similes in the texts of modern Russian prose. The paper shows that comparative constructions which include images of artifacts, are intensively used in modern Russian prose. It is noted that the composition of these structures is significantly updated in comparison with previous literary periods: the names of modern technical means act as comparison images. In particular, the computer metaphor has become widespread in recent decades. It is concluded that one of the features of the modern prose texts is concretization of artifact metaphors and similes observed through modifiers transforming the image. It is shown that different types of interaction of artifact metaphors and similes with each other and with comparative tropes of other semantic classes are presented in modern prose texts. The paper distinguishes various functions of artifact tropes in the text. These include the function of figurative characteristic, evaluative function, text-forming and intertextual functions.

For citation:

Nikolina N. A., Petrova Z. Yu. Functioning of Artifact Metaphors and Similes in the Texts of
Modern Russian Prose. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2022. No. 4. Pp. 75–86. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170021745-8