Foreword to the history of the great academic dictionary of the russian language

IBASПортал «Наша среда» начинает публикацию глав из «Истории Большого академического словаря русского языка», подготовленного коллективом авторов под редакцией доктора Марка Карамяна (США/Мексика) и доктора Станислава Голованя (США/Мексика).
Это подарок от американских лингвистов-русофилов русскому народу, студентам и профессорам факультетов славянских языков, всем любителям русской словесности.
Выражаем признательность доктору Марку Карамяну за любезно предоставленные материалы.


Статья взята из: Kaрамян М., Головань С. История Большого Академического Словаря Русского Языка, стр. 16-22: Σίγμα: Лондон, Сан-Франциско, Акапулько, 2012.

Jack L. Cross, Ph.D.
Austin, USA, 2011.

“We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything”.
– Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

This Monograph is a result of a collective effort of hundreds of editorial years employed, starting from Aristotle, Voltaire, É. Littré, L.V. Shcherba, V.V. Vinogradov, H.H. Adjarian, S.G. Barkhudarov, Yu.D. Apresyan, K.S. Gorbachevich, A.S. Gerd, F.P. Sorokoletov, L.E. Kruglikova to the Editorial Collegium of TDK, lead by M.M. Karamian. The topic of the Monograph is apropos to the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language along with some fascinating moments and facts from Russian history and the period during which the Dictionary was being written. It covers approximately 175 years of turbulent and glorious history of Russian academic lexicography.

The title of this Monograph, by containing the word history, would definitely manifest, chronicle and archive changes in Russian academic lexicography during a given period of time.

The History of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language is exclusively intended and envisaged for those in masterful virtuosity in philological, linguistic, and mainly lexicographical studies, who are eloquent in Russian, English, French, Bulgarian, German, articulate in Greek, Latin and Armenian. The principal languages employed for this ouvre are Russian and English. Without this precondition by compulsory stipulation of multilingual proficiency in linguistic expertise, simply governed by common sense, the coherently apprehensive notion of the Monograph will be worthlessly discredited and unscrupulously defaced in underestimating “intellectual” merit through the darkness of the reader’s ignorance.

The History of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language is profoundly understood as the combined history of Academician Jacob Grot’s Dictionary of the Russian Language, the first, second (Словарь современного русского литературного языка) and new editions of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language.

The Monograph is sectioned into two correspondingly independent anthological partitions:

1) The Prolegomenon as an extended introductory passage which can be surveyed as a guide to a condensed and reflexive version of the Extrapolated Inferential Proposition;

2) The Extrapolated Inferential Proposition, formulated through Terminal Objectives, which is an anthology of select essays directly related to the theoretical and practical aspects of the History of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language and the Great Academic Dictionary.

The entire work, as a single unit, is chronologically arranged essays, directly complementing the main subject. Each chapter can be read, used and lectured independently. Therefore, the work is formulated to appear not just as a glorious appendix to the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language, serving as a companion volume, but it is also composed and devised to perform as a functional and utilitarian textbook on Russian academic normative lexicography not just for Russian students of philological studies, or foreign students at departments of Slavic languages at different universities around the world and russophiles likewise, but, in the interim, to play an impressive role to function as a guidebook for professorial lecturers and as an illustrious Preface to the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language, as well.

The deficiency of an empirical textbook on such a subject has never existed before for foreign students. The state of Russian studies abroad have always been in dire demand for it for many years with no positive outcome. Hence, the Monograph is considered to appear as the first and only attempt on this particular subject matter to be realized outside Russia as somewhat of a complete portrait of Russian academic lexicography to serve its objectively affirmative duty for illuminating numerous specialists in Russian studies theoretically and practically.

The History of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language is not just a descriptive subject on what the bare name of the Monograph suggests. The Great Academic dictionary is a normative explanatory dictionary. Its lexicographical motivation does not just focus on the descriptive methodology of Russian words. In fact, it is a normative dictionary, meaning that the dictionary maintains and focuses on several norms: grammatical, morphologic, syntactic, semantic, orthographic, orthoepic, word-formational, word-combinational, phraseological, idiomatic, stylistic, syntagmatic and paradigmatic metamorphosis, correct mode of expression in reading-writing-speaking strategies of contemporary Russian literary language etc.

As a result, all the above mentioned disciplines and lexical factors candidly constitute the dictionary as of an active type lexicographical toil, both for a learner to master Russian and for a reader to understand the written text in Russian. In another words, the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language is prepared for a specific purpose:

1) for obtaining correct and error-free reading skills;
2) for developing perfect and clear cognitive abilities;
3) for mastering reader’s skills into learner’s expertise.

One (1 and 2) is intended to comprehend correct letter-perfect writing artistry and aptitude, and the other (3) for the ability to precisely master word-perfect speaking and virtuosity. This particular subject is well elucidated in § 85 (see pages 471-475).

In due course, some minor portions in different essays are recapitulated, leaving the editorial collegium no choice to avoid this method of several attempts of “dress rehearsals”. However, Thomas Aquinas’ platitude comes to us proficiently to remind everyone that “Repeticio est mater studiorum”. Such recapitulation has its own deductive purposes.

To understand the essence and the difference between classical Russian, literary Russian, current Russian and contemporary Russian literary language altogether has generated a unique vortex of perplexity to such a considerable degree that entirely unabridged chapters by the giants in lexicography had to be integrated into compositional oeuvres, essays and discourses to alleviate the the process of comprehension as transparent as possible. The end result of this predicament is to approach the reader of the Great Academic Dictionary closer to Russian literature. Hence, the Great Academic Dictionary justifies the dutifully respectful title of being the genuinely attested envoy to the norms and usages of classical and current Russian language.

The Monograph generously reflects most related subjects, dealing with the lexicographical questions in theory and practice. There are sufficient amounts of information regarding the dictionary making art, the place where the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language is made, and the people who have laboured very strenuously for many decades to compile, edit and re-edit the Dictionary for us as a lexicographical symbol to be unified under one nation and one language, amplifying all of our love towards our Mother Russia and our sacred Russian language.

It would be very erroneous and delusional to consider this Monograph either complete or finished. It is far from being a perfect manual yet it serves its true purpose for the cause. However, the second edition will be systematized, edited and mastered in a better and suitable scheme than this present prototype if unconditional support will be provided by the professionals from the Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Based on many suggestions from Alexander Gerd, the editor-in-chief of the Great Academic Dictionary, and Oxford University colleagues this Monograph shall reflect the principal questions regarding Russian academic lexicography and its indispensable value as a scientific project, functional and constructive manual for the reader and the student of philological studies, especially, keeping in mind the obscure fact, that this particular subject matter has been very vaguely and incompletely ill-presented to the professionals and students of the West.

As a result, the system of delivering the message must have been modified from the norm, in order to incorporate the following four aspects in the dictionary making art for elucidating the reader about the immense achievements of Russian academic lexicography, and especially Soviet lexicography which still stands very resolutely on its firm plinth as the foundation for today’s and tomorrow’s lexicography whether in Russia or elsewhere in the world:
■ the analysis of the general philology: Russian linguistics, study of Russian literature, literary criticism and textology within the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language;
■ historism: (not to be confused with historicism) philosophical and historiographical theory; man, his binding to tradition, and the awareness of human’s affection by their past, documented in lexicography, e. g. the history of Russian academic lexicography and Russian words;
■ semantism, the study of meaning; the “synergic” picture of semantic (polysemantic) definition of lexical values within descriptive (and sometimes prescriptive) definition of presented systemology. Semantics is the subfield that is devoted to the study of meaning, as inherent at the levels of Russian words, phrases, sentences, and larger units of discourse (referred to as texts). The basic area of the study is the meaning of signification, and the study of the relation between different linguistic units and compounds: homonymy, synonymy, antonymy, hypernymy, hyponymy, meronymy, metonymy, holonymy, paronymy. The focal concern is how meaning attaches itself to larger portions of text, possibly as a result of the composition from smaller units of meaning. Traditionally, semantics has included the study of sense and denotative reference, truth conditions, argument structure, thematic roles, discourse analysis, and the linkage of all of these to syntax.; and
■ pure lexicographism as it has been developed by the same governing body, now the Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Developing contemporary Russian literary language through normative, historical and other types of dictionaries by passionately selecting quotations from Russian literature for correct usage and its functionality as the motivation and the essence of St. Petersburg academic lexicography. Based on Professor Alexander Gerd, lexicographism is contingent upon several predicaments:

«1. взаимопроникновение методов различных наук и совершенствование методов традиционных школ и направлений;
2. постоянное возникновение новых научных направлений;
3. интеграция отдельных отраслей знания и дальнейшая все углубляющаяся дифференциация внутри различных наук, рост их полиаспектности;
4. коллективный характер научного творчества, рост комплексно решаемых тем, проблем;
5. интеграция вузовской науки и науки академической, отраслевой;
6. появление межотраслевых, межведомственных коллективов;
7. практическое внедрение результатов научных разработок;
8. постоянное совершенствование системы организации и управления наукой, автоматизация всего исследовательского процесса» (1).

The Monograph is written in a classical style of mindset or in an old philological spirit to counterpart the modus operandi of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language. The Prolegomenon is a brief and reflective version of the Monograph itself. However, the Prolegomenon and the Monograph do not absolutely compliment each other in every respect, even though they both exemplify identical rendition of similar subject matter in different proportions and emphases. Nevertheless, they could be surveyed and considered as independent components at the same time.

Each chapter in the Prolegomenon is a reference and a link to the Terminal Objectives in the body of the Monograph where the same topic is discussed in a completely different light either by the author or other famous academic figures, portraying Russian academic lexicography through Golden Essays, unveiling numerous cardinal theoretical cases, later to become maxims in the science of global lexicography.

Consequently, each chapter is an independent essay or lecture. The entire book is an indispensable reserve which can be also utilized as a majorly invaluable source in the role of significantly accumulated and meaningfully edited material for future projects in further studies in lexicography and linguistics for those who propose it as an initial topic for their dissertation in lexicography and linguistics in pursuit of one’s advancement in academism (see appendix 1 ,“To the student-researcher” on page 495).

The History of the Great Academic Dictionary is not compiled based on a new idea. It took seven years (1794–1801) for Professor A.L. Schlözer from Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen to finish his Review on Словарь Академии Российской (тт. I–VI, Санкт-Петербург, 1789–1794) which was sent to him by Catherine Dashkova in 1794. Ironically, Professor Schlözer wanted to do the same, to write a brief history on the Russian Academy, Academic Lexicography and the Словарь Академии Российской which had never happened. Coincidentally, that wish has been fulfilled presently, ever since the initial work was commenced on this Monograph six years ago, in 2006 (MMK, ИБАС: 33).

Once again, “The History of the Great Academic Dictionary is compiled purposely to serve as a Companion Volume or as a Grand Introduction to the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language. In another words, the Great Academic Dictionary is a monumental oeuvre, supported by a temporary pedestal, the History of the Great Academic Dictionary, for the time being until its permanent version is finalized by utilizing the material herewithin.

The traditional style and structure of a monograph is not what has been maintained or chosen in this instance. This Monograph is purposely structured as a draft presentation to an applied dissertation to serve as an example for students in advanced studies.

All the material used for comparison purposes traces back to Academician Jacob Carlovich Grot’s Dictionary of the Russian Language, Volume I, А–Д, St. Petersburg, 1893. As a result, the existence of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language is emphatically credited to this particular and unfinished academic normative dictionary, formatted and edited by Jacob Grot (2), and Словарь Современного Русского Литературного Языка. Grot’s
Dictionary had become the beacon to Russian normative lexicography and the initial reasoning behind this Monograph to come into existence.

The dictionary is not just a book about words. Words are symbols of graphemes, structured with the aid of powerful capabilities of the alphabet. Therefore, the text of this Monograph takes into consideration the state of the Russian alphabet. In fact, the entire work is somewhat of a system, coinciding with an epigram “От азбука до словаря”.

The originally compiled amass of material regarding Russian lexicography was arranged to represent the subject from Cyril and Methodius’ cyrillic alphabet to Peter the Great’s orthographical reform to the establishment of the Russian Academy in 1783 by Catherine the Great and Catherine Dashkova; from the Russian Academy’s Dictionary of the Russian Academy to Academician Grot’s Dictionary of the Russian Language leading to the postulation and realization of the Great Academic Dictionary and its newest edition which has been in the production process since 2004.

In this respect, the proposed outline was going to discuss the following periods in Russian lexicography:

1) from the XI century to 1710 (Кирилица – Гражданица);
2) from 1710 to 1783 (Петровская реформа – САР);
3) from 1783 to 1895 (САР – Словарь русского языка Я.К. Грота);
4) from 1895 to 1940 (Словарь русского языка Я.К. Грота – БАС1);
5) from 1940 to the present day (БАС1 – Новый БАС).

However, due to the extremely intense magnitude of this project with very little help, the realized plan had to be shelved in order to apply a rational approach to it, waiting to be condensed and re-planned in a different method for complimenting the subject matter properly. The material was extremely large, requiring the drudgery to be sectioned into a multi-volume set. The cost for the production would not be feasible. To facilitate the plan for the book and find a solution for this dilemma, by turning it into a more reasonable version, the editorial collegium made a firm decision to start the project from 1895, from the first normative dictionary to the latest, Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language in its new edition. This resolution would give more logical time frame and space, intended for the actual work to be prepared and printed sensibly.

Even the present History of the Great Academic Dictionary (from 1895 to the new GAD) is still an immensely devised work in its size, material coverage and numerous illustrations pasted throughout the entire Monograph. This would make the printing process almost impossible! The only solution suggested to us by the Oxford University Press was to reduce the text of the History of the Great Academic Dictionary micrographically to have the chance to represent our opus in a comfortably desirable single volumed book, furnished with a similar magnifying reading lens which is exclusively designed for the deluxe edition of The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, containing the entire 20 volumes of the second edition of the OED in a single book. Without employing this method of production, the History of the Great Academic Dictionary would have become another white elephant”(MMK, ИБАС).

To expedite the utilization of the book, the editorial team decided to furnish the book with iBooks version for iPad, containing the extended variant of the History of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language and USB micro-flash drive to provide the reader with an option to print-out any desired portion of the Monograph for further study.

The history of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language cannot be supported by itself only. Even though it is a new dictionary, written on new principles, however, it must have originated from somewhere. All these questions will be answered throughout the entire Monograph which has acquired an identity of a manual or a textbook designed for native or non-native students of philological studies, and for all who are interested in lexicography and the Russian language.

The History of the Great Academic Dictionary is written and prepared for one purpose in mind – to elucidate the reader on theoretical and practical questions, concerning the several disciplines, unifying and consolidating the lexicographical science into a single book along with essentially systematic and canonic writings of the Soviet lexicographic giants in this field, since the Preface to the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language (Большой академический словарь русского языка. Том 1. Санкт-Петербург. 2004.) appears to be overly and equivocally concise.

The inverted or “contrapuntal” purpose of the Monograph is to review the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language from the historical and theoretical point of view by discussing its scientific and philological impact on the Russian language and its usage, the pure motivations of a normative dictionary in its active capacity.

The authors perspicuously take into consideration the fact that any omissions and misinterpretations are directly related to the history of Russian Lexicography which still remains as an underdeveloped chapter in history.

Meanwhile, it is essential to note that major epochs of historical developments through which Russian lexicography has been shifted forward have found their irreplaceable venue throughout the text of the History of the Great Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language.

GAD Page21

Alexandre Pouchkine (1799-1837)
Eugène Onéguine, La Lettre De Tatiana

«Je vous écris ; voilà c’est tout.
Et je n’ai plus rien à vous dire.
Maintenant, je sais, vous pouvez
Me mépriser pour me punir.
Mais vous aurez pour mon malheur
Juste un petit peu de pitié.
Vous ne m’abandonnerez pas.
Au début, je voulais me taire.
Croyez-moi : vous n’auriez jamais
Rien su de ce qui fait ma honte,
Si j’avais pu avoir l’espoir
De vous voir dans notre village
Peut-être une fois par semaine,
Juste d’entendre votre voix,
De vous dire un mot, pour, ensuite,
Jour et nuit penser et penser,
Jusqu’à ce que vous reveniez.
Oui, mais non vous dit misanthrope.
Notre campagne vous ennuie.
Ce que nous offrons est bien peu.
Mais nous vous l’offrons de bon cœur.
Il a fallu que vous veniez.
Perdue au fond de mon village,
J’aurais pu ne pas vous connaître,
Le trouble de mon cœur naïf
Aurait passé avec le temps
(Qui sait ?) et j’aurais rencontré
Un compagnon ; j’aurais été
Fidèle épouse et bonne mère.

Un autre ! Non personne au monde.
Mon cœur n’était pas fait pour eux.
Le ciel en avait décidé ;
Il l’a voulu : je suis à toi.

Toute ma vie fut la promesse
De cette rencontre avec toi.
C’est Dieu qui t’envoie, je le sais
Pour me garder jusqu’à la mort…
Tu apparaissais dans mes rêves ;
Sans te voir je te chérissais
Ton regard me faisait languir,
Ta voix résonnait dans mon âme
Depuis toujours… En vérité
Je t’ai reconnu tout de suite.
Ce fut pour moi un froid, un feu,
Et dans mon cœur, j’ai dit : c’est lui!
Je t’entendais dans le silence,
Quand j’allais secourir les pauvres
Ou quand la prière apaisait
L’angoisse de mon âme en peine.
Et maintenant, à l’instant même,
C’est toi qui viens de te glisser,
Chère vision, dans la pénombre,
De te pencher à mon chevet,
De me dire des mots d’espoir,
Ces mots d’amour qui me consolent.
Qui es-tu ? Mon ange gardien?
Ou le perfide Tentateur?
Je doute. Viens me rassurer.
Tout cela, serait-ce un mirage?
Mon âme naïve se trompe!
Et l’avenir sera tout autre…
Eh bien ! J’y consens ! A jamais
Je te confie ma destinée.
Je suis là, devant toi, je pleure.
Protège moi, je t’en supplie.
Songe que je suis seule ici,
Que personne ne me comprend.
Songe que ma raison s’égare,
Que je vais mourir sans rien dire.
Je t’attends, que, d’un seul regard,
Tu rendes l’espoir à mon cœur,
Ou qu’un reproche mérité,
Hélas ! mette fin à mon rêve.

J’achève. J’ai peur de relire…
Je frémis de peur et de honte…
Mais je compte sur votre honneur.
Hardiment, je me fie en lui» (3).



1) Герд А.С. Ларинская лексикографическая школа Петербургского (Ленинградского) Университета // Русская историческая лексикология и лексикография, № 7, Санкт-Петербург, 2007. С. 3-24.
2) Jacob Carlovich Grot (Яков Кaрлович Грот) (1812–1893), was a XIX century Russian philologist of Swedish extraction who worked at the University of Helsinki. Grot was a graduate of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. In his lifetime he gained fame for his translations of German and Scandinavian poetry, his work on the theory of Russian orthography, lexicography, and grammar, and his approach to literary editing and criticism, exemplified in a full edition of the works of Derzhavin (1864–1883). His Russkoye Pravopisaniye (1878, 1885) (Русское правописание, Russian orthography) became the standard textbook of Russian spelling and punctuation until superseded by the decrees of 1917–1918, although his definition of the theoretical foundations remains little changed to this day. Shortly before his death, he assumed the compilation of the Academic dictionary of Russian (1891–1923), which, although continued by Aleksey Shakhmatov, was never to be completed. He was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences from 1858, its chairman from 1884, and its vice-president from 1889. He was appointed Russian-language tutor to the future tsars Alexander II and Alexander III. His spelling primers «reduced words to historical hieroglyphs of a kind, mismatched with the living spoken language of most Russians»; later linguists like Baudouin de Courtenay and Filipp Fortunatov promoted reforms that would make spelling a better reflection of the spoken language.
3) Alexandre Pouchkine, Eugène Onéguine, 1823-1831 traducteur: Jean-Louis Backès. Paris: Folio Classique, 1996.



Поделиться ссылкой:

Комментарии к статье