ETHNOLINGUISTIC STUDIES AT URAL UNIVERSITY
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The article offers an overview of ethnolinguistic studies conducted in the 'Uralic' school. The linguists from Ekaterinburg have been active in onomastic and dialectological research in the Russian North for forty five years, and fifteen years ago they broadened their scope onto folklore and folk culture, including the autochthon non-Slavic population. Their works belong to Slavic ethnolinguistics: they are especially close to the Russian ethnolinguistic school due to their historical profile. However, they are distinguished by their focus on Uralic data and the attention paid to onomastic research, initiated by Prof. Matveev and continued by his students. The research aims to reconstruct the linguistic worldview, the system of spatial orientation and the conception of sacral space, as well as to arrive at an ethnocultural interpretation of toponyms. Special attention is paid to the reconstruction of the image of a human being on the basis of data from peasant dialects. A number of works have been published so far in this domain: on national stereotypes, traits of character, such as wisdom and stupidity, laziness and diligence, meanness and generosity, as well as on people's morality (decency, attitude to work or property). The methodology of this conceptual research has been developed by Elena L. Berezovich. The analyses make use of the theory of semantic fields and are conducted strictly at the level of semantics, motivation and cultural symbolism. They concern the names of insects, victuals and basic qualities of taste (sour, salty, dry etc.), as well as lexical items which include the semantics of 'burning' and 'disappearance'. 'An Ethnoideographic Dictionary of the Central Ural Dialects', the first attempt to reconstruct the linguistic worldview of traditional Russian culture in its regional variant, is also published in Ekaterinburg.
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