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Title: Gemstone Names from the Wörter und Sachen Perspective: On the Origin of Russian Orlets ‘Rhodonite’
Authors: Berezovich, E.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (The Kunstkamera)
Citation: Berezovich E. Gemstone Names from the Wörter und Sachen Perspective: On the Origin of Russian Orlets ‘Rhodonite’ / E. Berezovich // Antropologicheskij Forum. — 2021. — Vol. 2021. — Iss. 48. — P. 115-143.
Abstract: The article considers the history of the word orlets, one of the names of rhodonite (located mainly in the Middle Urals). The author traces the changes in the semantics of this word from its first mention in Russian lexicography at the end of the 18th century to the present day, when it gained the status of obsolescence. Specifically, the author demonstrates that the meaning of ‘rhodonite’ was assigned to it only by the end of the 19th century. The paper presents and comments on the existing hypotheses of the origin of the name orlets: the widespread but scientifically untenable myth that eagles carry this stone to their nests; the idea that rhodonite is the preeminent stone (as the eagle is considered “the king of birds”) because of its beauty and value, and others. As the author demonstrates, the word orel — ‘eagle’ — is the actual generating stem for the name under discussion, but the motivation is revealed only based on a wide cultural and linguistic context. For its reconstruction, both linguistic semantic and motivational parallels — as well as extra-linguistic facts from the field of folklore and folk beliefs — are involved, confirming the stability of the symbolic links between “eagle” and “stone.” It is also important that stones, in this language, are additionally associated with images of other birds (cf., for example, the Russian lastochkin kamen’ “swallow stone”, the German Storchstein “stork stone”): the evidence presented in the article shows that these links can claim the status of a cultural universal. To demonstrate the occurrence of orlets in a number of names of stones derived from names of birds, the author superimposes the possible signs listed in the work, for which the stones received “bird” names, onto the properties of the stone that was originally presumably named orlets. The article contains extensive background information of a cultural and historical nature, as well as rich data from the field of Geology and Mineralogy, which are necessary for the verification of linguistic constructions. © 2021, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Access: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
SCOPUS ID: 85104645127
PURE ID: 21870406
ISSN: 1815-8870
metadata.dc.description.sponsorship: Acknowledgements: The research is part of the project “Regional Identity of Russia: Comparative Historical and Philological Research” funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia (project number FEUZ-2020-0056).
Appears in Collections:Научные публикации, проиндексированные в SCOPUS и WoS CC

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