2022, Volume 19, Issue 1

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Natalia N. Koshkarova
Igor V. Sibirjakov
Olga A. Solopova

South Ural State University
Chelyabinsk, Russia

Cognitive and Discursive Peculiarities of the Place-Names Ekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk in the 19th Century British Media Discourse

Voprosy onomastiki, 2022, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp. 180–200 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2022.19.1.009

Received on 23 February 2021

Abstract: The study explores the cognitive and discursive aspects of the place names Ekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk in the 19th century British media discourse (1800–1899). The focus on massmedia discourse is due to its double function: not only to reflect the world around, but also to form the public opinion. The research takes an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating a wide range of linguistic and historical methods such as definitional, source study, cognitive-matrix, discourse, comparative and chronological analyses. Automatic and manual searches were used to form the corpus of the study. The sources are British explanatory and encyclopedic dictionaries, geographic reference books, and the digitized archive of historical media texts — the British Newspaper Archive. The authors identify the variants of the place names spelling in modern English and in the 19th century British media discourse (1800–1899), reveal the components of place names’ cognitive matrix: political and economic peculiarities, territory, flora and culture (Chelyabinsk), political and economic peculiarities, territory, culture, flora, fauna, history, religion (Ekaterinburg), specify those extra-linguistic factors that determined the use of the Ural place names in British media discourse. The authors argue that economic, political factors, natural resources are the key for the media’s interest in Ekaterinburg. Compared to Ekaterinburg, the British interest in Chelyabinsk became more consistent only in the late 19th century and was mainly due to economic factors and the building of the Trans-Sib. The coverage of events related to Chelyabinsk and Ekaterinburg correlates with the general attitude to the Russian Empire in the 19th century British media discourse. The authors conclude that place names present a particularly valuable source of information regarding their use in a different linguistic and cultural environment.

Keywords: place name, Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, media discourse, cognitive matrix, cognitive and discourse analysis, extra-linguistic context.


The research was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research and Chelyabinsk Region (project No. 20-412-740014 Regional Toponymy of South Urals: Peculiarities of Functioning in Business, Political, Media Discourses).


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