Lexic-semantic Representation of the Image of the Caucasus in the Works of M. Yu. Lermontov

2024. № 1, 82-97

Irina A. Kiseleva1, Ksenia A. Potashova2, Alyona S. Ermakova3, State University of Education (Moscow, Russia), ia.kiseleva@mgou.ru1, ka.potashova@mgou.ru2, as.ermakova@mgou.ru3


 The purpose of the study is to identify the typology of semantic designations of the Caucasus in Lermontov's work. It is established that Lermontov's “Caucasian text” reproduces the local flavor in detail, presents a cross-section of Caucasian life during the military campaign of the 1820s – early 1840s. It is argued that the Caucasus in Lermontov's artistic world is distinguished by topographic accuracy, its verbal representation is specified by an essay character, expressed in the use of special toponymy, the variety of names of the peoples inhabiting it, in the transmission of their characters and relationships. The article systematizes lexical and semantic means of transmitting a socio-cultural, historical and geographical image of the Caucasus, examines the semantics of toponyms, ethnonyms and ethnographisms in Lermontov's lyrics, prose and epistolary. It is revealed that one of the leading principles of Lermontov's poetics when creating the image of the Caucasus is the disclosure of etymology and meaning of the names of settlements, rivers and mountains in the text of the works. The article presents a comparison of a Caucasian text with the memoir and essay literature of the first third of the 19th century, which allows us to reconstruct the idea of the Caucasus in Russian society in the 1820s–1840s. As a result of the conducted research, it is proved that, revealing the language and culture of the highlanders in detail, Lermontov depicts the Caucasus both in its ontology, connected with the understanding of the essence of the Eastern world, and in its concrete historical ethnographically vivid manifestation.

For citation:

Kiseleva I. A., Potashova K. A., Ermakova A. S. Lexic-semantic representation of the image of the Caucasus in the works of M. Yu. Lermontov. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2024. No. 1. Pp. 82–97. DOI: 10.31857/S0131611724010076.


The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation,
project № 22-28-00025