Gorban O.A., Sheptukhina E.M. Russkaya Pravda: Semantic Variation of the Title in Textual Context

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2017.1.1

Oksana A. Gorban

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Department of Russian Language and Documentation Studies, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2345-3673

Elena M. Sheptukhina

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Department of Russian Language and Documentation Studies, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation,

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http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8007-6042


Abstract. The article presents its authors' reflections on various reasons for cultural heterogeneity in understanding the title of a well-known Old Russian manuscript on justice Russkaya Pravda. The authors study the etymological roots and meaning of the word pravda ('truth'), its semantic ties with some other word forms that were derived from the common root in the Old Russian language. Taking into account such feature of the word pravda as semantic syncretism, the authors show that this lexeme denotes qualities (justice, truth, innocence), an action that is aimed at establishing the truth in conformity with Holy truth, and a law that governs the actions. Since Russkaya Pravda used to be a constituent of some larger manuscripts (chronicles, legal and other compilations), the authors state its place in the structure of Merílo Právednoye or ('measure of righteousness') (14th cen.) and in the Novgorod First Chronicle (Commission Scroll, 15th cen.). The article also reveals semantic peculiarities of the titles of these compilations, other legislative texts included in them along with Russkaya Pravda (statute, law and others), as well as synonymous nominations of Russkaya Pravda (regulations, court of justice) in their correlation with the word pravda ('truth'). The authors make conclusion that the semantic constituency of the studied lexemes, reflecting the Russians' representations about the world that create sustained connotations and associations and form the essence of the title Russkaya Pravda.

Key words: Russkaya Pravda, chronicle, Merílo Právednoye, Old Russian text, semantic syncretism, lexical meaning, sense, connotation.

Citation. Gorban O.A., Sheptukhina E.M. Russkaya Pravda: Semantic Variation of the Title in Textual Context. Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics, 2017, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 6-21. (in Russian). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2017.1.1.

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Russkaya Pravda: Semantic Variation of the Title in Textual Context by Gorban O.A., Sheptukhina E.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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