LATGALIAN, LITHUANIAN AND BELORUSIAN LEXICON, CONNECTED WITH TRADE

Sandra Ūdre

Abstract


Market as a cultural and historical social phenomenon enchains researchers in many respects. There must be mentioned significant studies on the market in Latgalian and Lithuanian culture, carried out by Angelika Juško-Štekele, Daina Kraukle and Gintautas Mažeikis, but Sylvia Papaurėlytė has focused on the market in the aspect of language world, particularly paying attention to trade-related Belarusian lexicon in transaction documents of the 15–17th century. The goal of the study is applying linguo-cultural approach to compare contrastively the designation of trading process, the persons, involved in trade, currency, as well as related phraseology parallels in Latgalian, Lithuanian and Belarusian language. The selected sources are most significant lexicography literature, modern electronic dictionaries and contemporary text corpora and Latgalian press.

The lexeme торгъ ‘market’ frequently used in Belarusian transaction documents of the 15–17th century maintains its topicality in Latgalian and Lithuanian literature.The lexeme of the same root torgi ‘auction’ is frequently used in Latgalian press in the 20s–30s of the 20th century. With the strengthening of Catholicism, in the 17th century market process was related to the church rebate and the Belarusian word кiрмаш ‘market’ (< German Kirchmesse) was introduced into Latgalian language.

The synonyms of the designation of the person, who is engaged in trading, form several lexical thematic groups (distinguished as a basic occupation, by the sold goods, by trading type, by the function to be performed). Trade-related denotative components do not appear in Latgalian lexicon, but the lexical meaning of Latgalian lexeme žyds ‘Jew’ is associated with the Jewish basic occupation.

Both in archaeological and ancient texts there can be found the names of the coins, which demonstrate a great diversity of monetary units, but only a few historical monetary unit names are used in the recent time language and are well-established in phraseology. The most popular name in Latgalian, Lithuanian and Belarusian language is grass–grošis–грош ‘groat’.

The word index of the first Latgalian book “Evangelia toto anno 1753”, which is the New Testament excerpta, shows, that the word grass, that is indistinctive to biblical texts, is found 12 times. This lexeme can also be found in Jan Kurmin’s Polish-Latin-Latvian dictionary: Grosz. Nummus. Groszys, v. Dzienuszka (Kurmin 1858: 36). In Latgalian and Lithuanian texts the word grass–grošis is used with the meaning ‘small amount of money’.

A phraseological component grass–grošis–грош maintains the semantics of a small amount of money and something worthless. There can be found parallels of a variety of phraseological units in all three languages, which most directly shows the common understanding of the value of money. The word skatikas appears in Lithuanian phraseological units as a synonym of the same semantics of worthless money.

A kopeck–kapeika–капейкa unlike grass–grošis–грош is a small unit, but a ruble, rublis–rublys–рубль is a large monetary unit (sova kapeika lobuoka par cara rubli ‘own kopeck is better than the tsar’s ruble’). In phraseological units with the component kopeck–kapeika–капейкa there appears the motive of saving and earning money, though it is a small amount of money (sova kapeika teik ‘some kopeck is gotten’; kapeika įkrito į delną ‘a little money is earned’; капейкa ў капейку ‘kopeck to kopeck’; жывая капейкa ‘profitable’).

Historicisms such as červoncs ‘tenner’ and dukats ‘ducat’ are less popular in Latgalian texts.

There can be concluded, that Latgalian language of three languages discussed above reflects the least trade-related nuances and Latgalians feel themselves as passive victims of transactions done by others.


Keywords


Latgalian lexicon; trade; names of traders; names of currency units

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17770/latg2014.6.1664

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