Shagi / Steps the Journal of the SASH


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Tin in Russian traditional culture: A historical-linguistic essay

V. S. Kuchko
Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin (Russia, Ekaterinburg), Perm State National Research University (Russia, Perm)

DOI: 10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-241-258

Keywords: tin, history of metals, historical lexicology, dialect lexicology, cultural-linguistic portraiture, Russian folk dialects, Russian folklore, Russian folk tradition

Abstract: The article deals with the history of tin usage in Russia. The most important fact about it is that tin was an imported metal which Russia did not produce commercially. Nevertheless, tin became an important item of domestic trade by the 17th century and was widely used by all classes of Russian society, including the peasantry. The main focus of the article is on the presence of tin and tin products in the Russian folk tradition. The article shows the breadth of the spheres of the use of tin in traditional culture (in addition to everyday life, there are the spheres of rituals and folk medicine). Historical and ethnographic information is used along with data from folk dialects and folklore to reconstruct the Russian cultural and linguistic portrait of tin by ethnolinguistic methods. The author makes an attempt to reveal the properties of tin that are most relevant for a naive native speaker and, accordingly, that are fixed in the secondary semantics of words formed from the name of this metal, and in contexts with their participation. The article also contains data on the history of the Russian and Slavic words for tin.

Acknowledgements: The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 20-18-00269 Mining and Early Plant Culture in the Language, Folk Writing and Folklore of the Urals).

To cite this article: Kuchko, V. S. (2022). Tin in Russian traditional culture: A historical-linguistic essay. Shagi/Steps, 8(3), 241258. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-3-241-258.