RUSSIAN SOLDIERS IN THE CORPUS OF THE CONTEMPORARY LITHUANIAN LANGUAGE
РОСІЙСЬКІ СОЛДАТИ В КОРПУСІ СУЧАСНОЇ ЛИТОВСЬКОЇ МОВИ
Aurelija GRITĖNIENĖ, Research Center of the Standard Language, Institute of the Lithuanian Language
The article deals with what publicist discourse on the late-20th century has to say about soldiers of Russian origin and the extent to which the formation and assessment of this concept has been affected by the historical, political, and ideological context. Material for this study was gathered in the Corpus of the contemporary Lithuanian language: a total of about 400 sentences that mention Russian soldiers. The aim of the article is to analyse the most typical attributes of the concept of
... IAN SOLDIER and the potential cognitive definition of the Russian soldier in reliance on the late-20th century publicist discourse. Scientific novelty. Scholars have not yet been drawn to study the image of the Russian soldier in the Lithuanian language and it's worldviews; therefore, it is meaningful to formulate the concept of the RUSSIAN SOLDIER on the basis of the analysis of opinion journalism texts; it is interesting to see how Lithuanian consciousness perceives the Russian soldier today. A semantic analysis has clearly revealed that the Russian soldier carries a strong emotional charge in nearly all of the sentences selected for the study and has a negative connotation in publicist texts as often as not. In conclusion, the following cognitive definition is formulated: the Russian soldier is fierce, cruel, impolite, a lout who has no understanding of the traditional Lithuanian values, often ravaging them barbarically. He has no mercy for his enemies and the civilian residents of the lands he has invaded alike, gunning them down, torturing and raping them; he is often a marauder and a drunk, swapping different things, weapons and such for vodka only to become even more brutal when drunk. He has no respect for the living or the dead and feels he is the true master of the occupied lands. So, for all practical purposes, between the 17th century and the late 20th century the image of the Russian soldier had been encoded with negative information. This can be said of both personal recollections and collective memory alike. It should nevertheless be noted that such an image of the Russian soldier is prompted by the texts of opinion journalism of the late 20th century only. The analysis of the opinion journalism of the 1940s–1970s would bring up an absolutely different definition of the Russian soldier, because the evaluation and image of this figure in people's consciousness is highly dependent on the political and historical context.