Precedent toponym as a political symbol

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Abstract


Precedent toponyms in the political discourse often mean the symbols of the state power: the Kremlin, the White House, Wall Street, Berlin, London, etc. This article is devoted to the analysis of meanings of the precedent toponym “Red Square”. The continuous sampling from the Russian National Corpus, some text fragments from fiction, oral speech and Internet resources were used as the study material. The toponym meaning in the concrete context was determined with the help of semantic analysis aimed at defining of the main seme. The obtained meanings were classified. As a result 16 semantic meanings of the precedent toponym “Red Square” were identified. In the Russian linguistic view of the world the toponym “Red Square” has denotative, connotative, precedent meanings added by the unique associative background. The comprehension and evaluation of these meanings are different in the groups of native speakers and non-native speakers of the Russian language. This toponym has gradually formed the image that has become the marked sign of the world culture possessing its own system of notions and associations. For people studying the Russian language as a foreign language some well known precedent toponyms such as Moscow, the Kremlin, Red Square have only political meaning as the symbols of Russia and the state power. Forming the cultural competence while working with foreign students it is useful to find out the full range of meanings of the precedent toponym.


About the authors

Irina Vladimirovna Bugaeva

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Author for correspondence.
Email: bugaevaiv@mail.ru
SPIN-code: 4250-2339
29, Sretenka str., Moscow, Russia, 127051

Doctor of Philology, Professor, professor of the Chair of Foreign Languages at Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

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