Polysemy of Proper Names in the Language of Folklore and the Problem of Its Reflection in the “Dictionary of the Language of Oral Folklore”

Ruslan Serdeha


The lexical-semantic language system is known to be dynamic. It is constantly evolving and changing. Polysemy is one of the primary means of systematic organization of the linguistic structure of a language. Polysemy is a universal linguistic phenomenon. It provides one of the essential requirements for a language as a signifying system that must convey the maximum amount of information with a minimum number of signs. The words of any language primarily perform a nominative function, i.e., they name various subjects, objects, and phenomena of the surrounding reality. Proper names, as opposed to standard terms, whose semantics unites and generalizes several similar objects, are characterized by the fact that when naming something, they have to individualize the thing to distinguish it from its kind. It would seem that if the function of nouns is to individualize the phenomena of objective reality, to name and determine specific facts or a particular class of names, then they should not be polysemous, but proper names can also be polysemantic, which once again testifies to the universality of the phenomenon we are studying. The main goal of our research is to present examples of lexicographic polysemic onymes present in the language of Ukrainian folklore. The article also aims to identify the main types of proper names that undergo semantic expansion.

The onymic space of folklore constitutes a rather extensive system, which still requires further scientific research and lexicographic representation. The prospect of our study is that the material presented in this paper may eventually be included in the "Dictionary of the Language of Oral Folk Literature" or a selective dictionary devoted to proper names used in the language of folklore.


polysemy; proper names; language of folklore; Dictionary of the Language of Oral Folklore; folklore; semantics


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