The First Stage of Russian Scientific Terminology Formation: The Predecessors of M. V. Lomonosov

2024. № 1, 70-81

Natalia V. Nikolenkova, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia, Moscow),


The description of Russian scientific terminology is traditionally associated with the beginning of the 18th century, and its design as a system ‒ with certain principles of organization is associated with M. V. Lomonosov. The article shows that the basic principles of the formation of geographical/astronomical terminology begin to take shape in the Russian literary language earlier – in the middle of the 17th century, when Epiphanius Slavinetsky, together with a group of Kiev scribes, translates the text of Blau's Atlas from Latin. In the initial section (Introduction to Cosmography, preserved in a large number of lists), you can see how the scribes of the 17th century use, firstly, Greek phrases that were not previously used in the Russian book language, and secondly, they offer options for translating these lexemes. Almost all the terms introduced into the translation in question in the middle of the 17th century have been preserved in the Russian literary language. This proves that scientific terminology and ways of its introduction into the Russian literary language began to form back in the 1650s, and the scribes of the 18th century actually continue the established tradition. Final formalization of the principles of forming scientific terminology are completely established in the middle of the 18th century, when M. V. Lomonosov extends them to all spheres of his scientific activity and applies them to new sciences.

For citation:

Nikolenkova N. V. The First Stage of Russian Scientifi c Terminology Formation: The Predecessors of M. V. Lomonosov. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2024. No. 1. Pp. 70–81. DOI: 10.31857/S0131611724010063.