ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Elena Lomshina, Saransk

nyomtatható változat


Linguistics takes the leading methodological positions in the system of human knowledge. Any language can be regarded as the way of penetrating into the present-day mentality of the nation as well as into the view of ancient people about the world, society and themselves.
The problem of the interrelation and interconnection of language, culture, ethnos and morals needs interdisciplinary attitude – from philosophy and sociology to ethnolinguistics and linguoculturology.
        Linguoculturological science is a science which has emerged as the junction between linguistics and culturology engaged in research of manifestations of cultures which had displayed and established themselves in their languages.
        As a special branch of science, linguoculturology emerged in the 1990s. Linguoculturology of the Erzya and Moksha subethnos is still beyond the attention of researchers. Some of its aspects can be found in the articles written by M. V. Mosin, D. V. Tsygankin, O. E. Polyakov, I. K. Ingevatov, R. S. Shirmankina, N. A. Kulakova, N. V. Kazeeva, the ethnographer N. F. Mokshin and others.  I have compiled an Erzya-Moksha-Russian dictionary of ethic terminology. This is the first attempt in this direction. As sources I have used H. Paasonen's Mordwinische Volksdichtung (MV, 1938), the Moksha–Russian dictionary (MRD, 1946), the Erzya–Russian dictionary (ERD, 1946), the Moksha–Russian phrase-book (MRPHB, 1998), the Erzya–Russian phrase-book (ERPHB, 1993), etc.
        Since culture has a mytharchaetypical origin, we shall try to trace back language symbols in the semantic evolution of Finno-Ugric and other languages using an etymological analysis. Solving this task requires an accurate comparison of the forms of the words with their conceptual research within a certain cultural paradigm. Such an all-embracing analysis allows to understand the word in its integral unity.
There are no words expressing ”morals” and ”morality” in the Moksha and Erzya language. Quite often they use the word koj (meaning ’tradition, custom, habit’), which is given in many dictionaries, e.g. Ovtos'kak es' kojsenze mazyj (proverb) ’The bear considers that he is also handsome’ (ERD: 1949), Mon a sodysyn' tirin' tetyam kojenze ’I don't know your father's customs’ (ERD:  1993).
        As to the religiomythological notions, the first were those of good and evil: Erzya and Moksha paro, para ’good’; Komi bur ’kind, good’; Udmurt bur ’well, good’; Mari poro ’good, well’; proto-Permian para ’good’; Saamic buorre ’good’ [1].
        The concept of ”energy”, vij in Moksha and Erzya, has a common etymology in Finno-Ugric languages. Cf. Mari  wij ’energy, power, effort’; Permian vi ’power’; Finnish väki ’power’; Saamic viekka ’fairly, pretty’; Mansi wāγ ’power, energy’; Khanti ueχ ’power’; Komi vyn ’power, energy’ [1].
        Pagans believed in magic forces. They associated them with tree, grass, fire, water and the sky. That magic force could cure as well as spoil.
        According to the religiomythologic conception of the Mordva, the notion of ”power” was associated with ”tree”, particularly with ”oak”: viev teke piče ’as strong as the oak’. The notion of ”power” was associated with the defence of one's motherland, his native soil: čačoma-kasoma mastor.
        Language is a storehouse of ancient cultures and peoples' history. It changes and evolves along with the material and spiritual culture. It reflects all the fluctuations and peculiarities of manners, customs, religions and ways of thinking. It reflects various pictures of the world characterizing different peoples throughout their history, which gives them infinite possibilities to form and develop language forms and meanings.

1.      Lytkin V. I. and Gulyayev V. I., A short etymological dictionary of  the Komi language. Moscow: Nauka, 1970, 386p.

In Russian.