A literary text, in a way, is a picture made of puzzles, piecing the elements of that puzzle together allows one to understand the authorial intent. The most essential element of the authorial intent is color, through which the author translates the feelings of physical and emotional condition of the characters and that of the environment, the author also can hide the hints that allow the readers to read between the lines, and to immerse them in the author's poetic world through the use of color lexemes.
To each person, a "segment" of color represents different components that are defined by the person's linguistic picture of the world and also both by linguistic and extra-linguistic features of the person. These features depend on personal culture, spirituality, worldview, mindset and ethnicity.
The study examines the color lexemes of the color red in the novel "Holy Mother in the Blood-Red Snow" by Yeremei Aipin .
The following concepts complete the basis for the present research:
In her article «Semasiological Approach in Studying Color Naming System in Languages with Different Structures» [4, P. 50–53], M.G. Volkova underlines that the number of figurative meanings of color names varies from culture to culture. Ultimately, it depends on the symbolism of the colors, their names. For example, the adjectives describing black, red and white possess more figurative meanings than those that describe yellow. These colors (yellow, green, blue) are less capable of rendering figurative meaning. The offered systematic approach to color naming suggests the field-structure of the given lexical-semantic field.
Many scientists took part in the research of the linguistic field: A.K. Basharina , U. N. Karaulov , N.A. Borovikova , G.S. Shur , A.I. Smirnitsky  etc.
The author adheres to the position of A.A. Ufimtseva who defines the lexical-semantic field as a «big unity of semantically bound lexemes, one of which is a root word while the lexical-semantic word group is a collection of words that belong to the same part of speech united through interlingual connections that are based on interconditional and interconnected elements of meaning» [10, P. 274]. Thus, the lexical-semantic field as a linguistic term combines the words of various parts of speech which are characterized by a common or similar linguistic meaning.
Materials and Methods
The main methods of the research comprise of the descriptive method, the methods of semantic and pragmatic interpretation, the method of stylistic evaluation, the method of complex analysis and the method of statistic description. The research materials are gathered via continuous sampling method. The nature of the study suggests the use of the contextual method combined with the method of interpretation of the obtained data.
Yeremei Danilovich Aipin is the most influential prose writer of the Khanty literature, he predominantly writes in Russian. His novel, «Holy Mother in The Blood-Red Snow», is a multilayered and multifaceted piece of literature devoted to the history of the author's homeland. The novel is filled with various themes, motives and images, such as: family, Christianity, folklore, images of local scenery, memorable female characters, image of a warrior etc.
Such variety in the fictional worlds of the author defines stylistic uniqueness throughout different layers of the text. The unique feature of the novel is a multilayered image of colors where color lexicon is used in complex linguistic relations on different language levels. The study analyses linguistic aspects of literary meaning of the color red.
That meaning firstly defined by the fact that adjectives denoting colors are unambiguously used to describe particular colors.
As stated by T.A. Ermakovskaya, it is fair to suggest that «adjacent components are connotations bearing semantic, expressive, emotional and evaluative meanings of the words. It communicates literal information, emotions, expressiveness and evaluation. Since the light/color lexicon was analyzed in every semantic-stylistic transformation, it's necessary to implement an umbrella term “field-adjacent” that includes not only certain color lexemes, but all the color related language units: color names, comparatives, collocations and comparisons» [5, P. 10].
For the analysis of «Holy Mother in the Blood-Red Snow», the study selected 64 cases of the usage of the color red. The study is focused on the usage of language units consisting of either Red (krasny) or Blood-Red/Bloody (krovaviy).
The color term “red” is used quite frequently —39 times.
The symbolism is ambiguous. V. Turner states that «the most of the world cultures associate the red color with fire, blood, life, love, passion, war, power» .
In the Russian Language Dictionary by A.P. Evgenyeva “krasny”, red is defined as «1. Being one of the spectral colors that goes before orange; color of blood; 2. Refers to the revolutionary movement; refers to the Soviet Union, to the Red Army; 3. poetic. Pretty, Beautiful; 4. Archaic. Joyful, happy; 5. Folklore. Bright; 6. Archaic. Festive, honorable» [7, P. 122]. The word red in red — to turn red (to blush) — getting red — turned red (blushed) dominates not only in terms of semantics, but in terms of derivation. Undoubtedly, this lexical unit is a polysemantic one. Polysemy determines a wide usage of the word form in both literal and literary meanings. Yeremei Aipin mainly uses the second meaning of the red color to define the supporters of the Soviet government who fought under the red flag. These are 35 cases of the color term usage in this meaning. According to the context it is used in derogatory sense: The Reds dishallowed the holy of holies (krasnye oskvernili svyataya svetykh)[1, P. 17]; the red scum drove away (krasnaya nelyud ukatila) [1, P. 36], [1, P. 181], [1, P. 186]; the red death squads (krasnye karatelnye otryady) [1, P. 18]; the red winged vehicle (krasnaya krylataya mashina) [1, P. 200].
The red color is used to describe the character appearance. There are 2 color lexemes: the root word red: The face turned red from the freezing cold…(Litso krasnoye ot moroza) [1, P. 111], and a derivative ruddy…. (rumyanaya) [1, P. 86].
The red color is associated with violence, enmity, blood, fire, war, and Yeremei Aipin deliberately focuses the readers’ attention on this color. It is the element that characterizes the novel's content in terms of ideology and the way in which the characters and the author perceive the world.
This point can be considered fair in regards to the scenery description, but there is only one single color term that is used twice: yagushkas slided into the red snow (yagushki skatilis na krasny sneg)[1, P. 35].
The author uses the red color lexemes to describe the characters' emotions: Anna's eyes were already red, like the ones of a black grouse, — it seems she'd been crying all the way (Glaza Anny ezhe byli krasnye, kak e tetereva, — vidno, plakala vsyu dorogu [1, P. 45]. There are also various derivative forms: … the eye turned red (pokrasnevshim glazom) [1, P. 36]; reddish brown sediment (buriy osadok) [1, P. 68].
There is a lexical-semantic group of a color lexicon bloody/blood-red (krovaviy) (19 cases). There is no coincidence that the color lexicon bloody\blood-red appears in the novel's title — "Holy Mother in the Blood-Red Snow". The lexical unit of color bloody in the Russian Language Dictionary is defined as: «1. Adjective to blood.2. Covered with, drown in blood; ensanguined. 3. Followed by bloodshed, connected to bloodshed. 4. Bright-red, the color of blood» [7, P. 131–132]. Thus, this polysemantic word is of mostly negative connotation (definitions 2 and 3). The word form is a part of a word formation chain blood — bloody – ensanguine – the word bloody is a relative adjective, and is therefore related to the noun blood on the levels of word formation and semantics, and determines the adjective's form and meaning. However, the word bloody, in terms of color naming, is the root word in the lexical-semantic field of color. The red-colored blood and the word “bloody” in this case communicate the information about one particular color, but most importantly they convey negative connotation. The author uses the word form bloody when describing physical injuries of the characters. There are 7 cases of the use of these color lexemes and it's derivatives: His left eye bleed, but it seemed that he tried to behold even through this bloody veil… (leviy glaz byl zalit krovyu, no kazalos, dazhe cherez etu krovavuyu pelenu on pytalsya uzret…)[1, P. 36]; bloody corpse (okrovavlenny trup) [1, P. 158]; bloody hair(okrovavlennye volosy) [1, P. 161], and there is also a field-adjacent component: …and she brought a mug of warm water to his lips covered in clotted blood (I podnesla k ego zapyokshimsya gubam kruzhku s tyoploy vodoy)[1, P. 106]. These cases in an example of the direct usage of the listed color lexemes. Every single sentence uses parts of speech that refer to “blood”, “the color of blood”, “something that resembles blood” or is “covered in blood”.
When describing the psyche of the characters the author also uses color. There is a representative example of communicating the color: bloodshed eyes (nalitye krovyu glazishha) [1, P. 21], [1, P. 231] where the color is denoted through the use of participle constructions.
The studied color lexemes are used when describing the scenery (2 units): in bloody snow (v okrovavlennom snegu) [1, P. 122]; water is filled with blood clots (vody s krovavymi sgustkami) [1, P. 139] — the former example means "covered with blood", the latter example — "made of blood". The color in these cases fulfills the additional function that is semantically derivative of blood.
There is an example of an episode of a horrible massacre in the text: The bloody day of arrival of The Reds was coming to an end (krovaviy den prokhoda krasnykh shel k kontsu) [1, P. 38], [1, P. 44]. The Soviet dominion is enforced with fire and sword, blood and death. Similar meaning is found in 8 more cases of the color lexemes — bloody, as a unit of color, and blood: bloody atrocities…(krovavye zverstva) [1, P. 181]; bloody raid… (krovavyi razboy)[1, P. 180]; bloody war… (krovavaya voyna) [1, P. 126], bloody job…(krovavaya rabota) [1, P. 159], sea of blood… (more krovi) [1, P. 127].
The study identifies the following results:
1. The lexical-semantic function of the color red is a key element of the studied literary text. The color red and its shades reflect, to some extent, the unique features of the author's linguistic worldview in terms of his literary style. This color is essential for understanding the ideological layer of the novel, a shade of red is even present in the title itself — "Holy Mother in the Blood-Red Snow".
2.Through the use of color lexemes, the author tells the story of unbearable hardships that took place in the past due to the enforcement of the Soviet power that often escalated to violence. The color lexemes such as bloody and red in meanings that refer to the Revolutionary movement and the rise of the Soviets» represent 70% of the color lexicon; descriptions of the characters' appearance, the injuries they got in the bloody events equal 14%, descriptions of emotions and the characters' psyche equal 8%, and the descriptions of the scenery equal 8%. Thus, the study covered the main semantic groups of the novel's color lexicon relative to the rate of use.
The topical nature of the article defines its scientific potential. Such approach is can be applied (and is applied) in the analysis of various lexical-semantic groups of the Russian vocabulary of different authors with consideration of the value of vocabulary in literary works of any genres and literary styles.
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