Baltic accent

2022 Vol. 13 №4

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Gorod and grad in the Russian poetry of the 18th century



Urban motifs in Russian poetry have not yet become the subject of comprehensive investigation in terms of the evolution of poetic conceptualization of the world, the frequency, semantics and syntagmatics of the key lexemes — 'gorod' and 'grad'. Meanwhile, the analy­sis of the poetic, ethnic and linguistic picture of the world, closely connected with diachronic lexicology, phraseology and grammar, allows important conclusions concerning the history of the national semiosphere and conceptosphere based on the analysis of the works of outstanding representatives of culture and literature of a nation. In the article, the author analyzes the usage, frequency, valency potential, and the system of poetic senses of the lexemes 'gorod' and 'grad' using the poems of reformers of the Russian language and litera­ture of the 18th century — Kantemir, Trediakovsky, Lomonosov, Sumarokov, and, in com­pa­rative terms, against a wider temporal perspective, the preceding and subsequent texts of Rus­sian poetry. The lexeme 'grad' was often used in Classicist and Romantic poetry. From the 1830s onwards, it was used less frequently in its full version 'gorod'. The poets employed the lexemes 'grad' and 'gorod' to form tropes and figures of speech, striving to expand the tradi­tio­nal syntagmatics, especially in epithets. Lyrical texts retained sacred meanings and biblical allusions (sacred city, temple, heavenly garden, holy ‘vertograd’) in the development of urbanistic and battle themes.


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