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  • Вопросы этимологии и роль энциклопедических сведений в лексикографическом описании заимствований в современном русском языке

Article

Вопросы этимологии и роль энциклопедических сведений в лексикографическом описании заимствований в современном русском языке

Scando-Slavica. 2018. Т. 64. № 2. С. 263-282.
Горбов А. А.

Issues pertaining to the content and scope of etymological data arise in connection with the linguistic description of loanwords regardless of how long ago they were borrowed; however, the problems become especially evident in relation to recent borrowings from European languages against the backdrop of the full accessibility of up-to-date lexicographic descriptions of potential source languages and extralinguistic information on the concept of denotation. Case studies show that even etymologies given by most authoritative sources sometimes contain
fundamental flaws.
Etymological description problems often concern international loanwords. Typical for such lexemes is the situation where the etymological root can be easily identified while the problem of finding the immediate source of borrowing or the etymon has no definitive solution. The analysis of the etymology of the noun кларнет shows that the highest probable hypothesis can be selected by means of a thorough study of encyclopedic information on the denotation and the time of borrowing socio-cultural context.
Taking into account up-to-date lexicographic sources as well as the time, conditions and circumstances of new loanwords entering the Russian lexicon enables determining their etymology and rejecting previous doubtful or erroneous hypotheses of their English origins. In particular, this is the case of the nouns бутик and легионер ‘a player who is contracted to play for a foreign team’ as well as the phraseological calque серый кардинал.
Based on case studies, the paper argues against the overestimation of the influence of English on modern Russian lexicon. While actively borrowing from English, Modern Russian also broadens its lexicon with loanwords from other languages, not necessarily through the mediation of English.
The article also discusses the issue of the so-called ‘literal’ meanings of foreign language etymons and the use of the corresponding field label “букв.” in the etymology fields of dictionary entries.
Case studies show that due to the ambiguity of the concept ‘literal’, the “букв.” label is used inconsistently, which can be misleading. In this connection, the paper suggests either abandoning the use of the label altogether or clearly defining its sense in the dictionary user guide. Where it is made use of, the label could serve to point out the direct meaning of the source lexical unit in the present-day source language in cases when the word was borrowed in a clearly figurative meaning.