Diachronic Transformation Of The Value Component Of Linguocultural Types "Gorets" And "Highlander"


The article presents linguocultural types “GORETS” (as a traditional representative of peoples living in the North Caucasus, the Russian Federation) and “HIGHLANDER” (as a resident of the Scottish Highlands, UK). These types refer to two different linguistic cultures – Russian and British, respectively. However, a detailed comparative analysis of the conceptual component, namely, semantic fields of lexemes that define these linguocultural types, as well as a deeper study of the research object by constructing linguistic-cultural fields on the material of M.Yu. Lermontov and W. Scott works (i.e., in the 19th century), discovers a number of intersections in descriptive and axiological aspects. This allows distinguishing certain proximity of two value-semantic pictures of the world. Such similarity determines the interest in describing the perception of the considered types by modern representatives of both linguistic cultures (in late XX – early XXI centuries). The research in this course was carried out with the help of corpus linguistics: the fragments from national corpuses of texts (National Corpus of the Russian Language and British National Corpus), in which the studied types are mentioned, were analyzed. Data analysis, obtained from corpus linguistics resources, allowed not only completing the linguocultural types images (additional descriptive characteristics, beside with new nationally-marked attributes were depicted), but also drawing certain analogies between the axiological component inherent to both types in the 19th century and the value orientations which characterize modern “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER”.

Keywords: Linguocultural typecorpus linguisticsvalue component


The end of the 20th century was marked by the increased attention of linguistics to the problems of the interaction of language, speech and discourse with the culture of a certain ethnic community. Research interest was focused on the consideration of “human factor” in a language, which entailed the birth of a number of disciplines that arose at the junction with linguistics. Among them, first of all, it is worth mentioning linguoculturology, ethnopsycholinguistics, linguopersonology, and ethnolinguistics.

The study of language as the cultural code of a national linguistic personality naturally led to the shift of attention from the concept in its traditional sense to the analysis of a typed personality. Thus, the works of Dmitrieva (2007) and Karasik (2011) present the theory of linguistic-cultural types, which is currently being actively developed.

The research interest in the developed theory and the complementarity of linguoculturological and conceptual approaches have determined the integrative nature of this study, which is devoted to the analysis of linguocultural types “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER”.

Problem Statement

In the published works, such linguistic-cultural types as “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER” are not yet fully represented. This fact not only reveals our direct interest in considering them as the object of this study, but also allows considering the comparative analysis of the Caucasian and Scottish highlanders as another step aimed at the development of the theory of linguistic and cultural types and expansion of our ideas about Russian and British linguistic cultures. In this regard, we note that the Russian and English languages ​​are heterostructured and genetically related languages, which allows suggesting a priori the initial commonality of categorization and conceptualization of a person, his world, and being.

Research Questions

The object of study is the linguistic and cultural types “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER”. The subject of the study is a comparative analysis of the studied types with the aim of the identification of their main figuratively perceptual and value-semantic landmarks.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research is to study the linguocultural traits of “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER”. In order to achieve this goal, it was decided to consider the analyzed types in a synchronous aspect (XIX century), namely on the material of the works of M.Yu. Lermontov and W. Scott, as well as lexicographic and encyclopedic sources.

Further, the attempt was made to analyze the current state of relevant concepts in the minds of modern speakers of Russian and British linguistic cultures. Such an approach allowed considering the linguistic and cultural types of “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER” in diachrony, reflecting how the studied types are represented in the minds of modern native speakers of Russian and English.

Research Methods

According to the theory of linguistic and cultural types, the important role in the actualization of a particular type, along with its figurative and meaningful characteristics, is played by its significance for the representatives of this linguistic culture. The popularity of M.Yu. Lermontov and W. Scott, in the works of which the images of the Caucasian and Scottish highlanders occupy a significant place, confirms the interest of readers in the studied types not only in the 19th century, but also in our time. The presented study of the linguistic and cultural types “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER” in synchrony makes their consideration relevant in the context of the perception of modern representatives of Russian and British linguistic cultures. In order to consider the described types in the diachronic aspect, it is advisable to use the resources of corpus linguistics (Chu & Huang, 2015), namely, to analyze the data provided in the National Corpus of the Russian Language (hereinafter: NCRL) and British National Corpus (hereinafter: BNC).


During the initial stage of the work, the analysis of lexicographic sources was carried out. The analysis of the definitional characteristics of “gorets” and “highlander” lexical units based on encyclopedic and lexicographic sources (DICT, 2017; Krysin, 2008; OED, 2019; Ozhegov & Shvedova, 2006; Shaposhnikov, 2010; WDO, 2016) revealed their commonality: lexical units are ethnonyms derived from a nomination with a mountain landscape value.

According to the data obtained from dictionary and encyclopedic articles, the semantic fields of “gorets” and “highlander” lexical units were constructed, which can be characterized as conceptual, substantive, and synchronous.

A comparative analysis of the constructed lexical and semantic fields “gorets” and “highlander” revealed 1) the identity of their structures: central lexical units are specified by cognates lexical units and / or lexical units-ethnonyms; 2) the conceptual similarity of the segments in which the character traits of the Caucasian and Scottish highlanders are presented: desperate, brave / brave, fierce; 3) various actualization: in the Russian field – the ethnicity of a gorets, and in English – the ethnicity and appearance of the Scottish highlander.

The study of “gorets” and “highlander” lexical units and semantic fields built on this basis made it possible to clarify their conceptual content and formulate the following working definitions: “gorets” is a resident of mountainous areas (mainly the Caucasus), an abrek, a proud and vain man; “highlander” is a resident of the highlands of Scotland of Gaelic origin with a martial and severe character, serving in the Scottish army.

The next stage of the study was presented by the consideration of linguistic and cultural types “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER” in the works of M.Yu. Lermontov and W. Scott. In the course of this analysis, linguoculturological fields of both types were compiled, and the components of the resulting fields were compared. The consideration of appearance, place of residence, basic value ideas and guidelines for the behavior of the linguistic and cultural types “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER” based on the material of M.Yu. Lermontov and W. Scott revealed their characteristic features.

The comparative analysis of linguoculturological fields (according to Vorobev (2008)) of the types “GORETS” and “HIGHLANDER” was carried out (by analogy with the passport of the linguocultural type proposed by Dmitrieva (2007)) according to such parameters, as a place of residence, lifestyle, appearance, environment, attributes, tempers, principles and values of behavior, religion, speech behavior, the attitude of others to the type. As a result, the considered authentic images of linguistic-cultural types acquired integrity and completeness, and the performed analysis became more reliable and convincing (Nepomniashchikh, 2017).

In addition to the lexical units included in the near and far periphery, the epithets were systematized that clarified one or another characteristic of the images of the Caucasian and Scottish highlanders (gorets) of the 1st half of the 19th century. Thus, in the works of M.Yu. Lermontov's “Gorets” appears as a man in a fur hat, chain armor, wearing a traditional archaluk and wide Cossak trousers. The face is swarthy, distinguished by expressive features and a bold look, he has some gray hair. The image of “Highlander” by W. Scott is associated with a light-eyed man, with distinct features and an indispensable Scottish kilt, tartan and ancient weapons .

The final stage of this research was the use of corpus linguistics resources to reflect the perception of the analyzed linguocultural types by modern representatives of both linguocultures. A similar approach was implemented by referring to the national textual corpuses, namely, NCRL (2017) and BNC (2019).

Using the lexical and grammatical search in NCRL (NCRL, 2017), 646 documents were found in which word forms of Gorets lexical unit were used. The study analyzed the documents which were published no earlier than in the end of the 20th century (323 documents). A number of the listed documents mention the homonym of the word gorets (the previously mentioned plant-gorets) – 4.5 %, the Kremlin gorets – 7 %, the film “Gorets” – 0.6 %, and 1.2 % mention gorets not living on the territories of the North Caucasus (for example, Swiss gorets, Tibetan gorets). It is necessary to note that 3.5 % mention the Scottish gorets (At that time, cousins Duffas and Seafort, led by five hundred gorets of the Mackenzie, MacDonald, Chisholm clans, occupied Tyne (O. Nozdrin. The first real lord (2009). NCRL); There is a word “gorets” (montaineer, Highlander, Berg-bewohner) in all the languages of the world (P. Rostin. Mountains and people (2006). NCRL); They have “scotch tape” – and they took it over, cutting out millions of Scottish gorets ,” I said Fiona to encourage her (E. Limonov. Book of Water (2002). NCRL). One of mentions has a satirical accent – Near the castle on the Scottish Highlands ... there is a gorets. This Highlander is Vasya Osterman (T. Solomatina. Obstetrician-HA! Tales (2009). NCRL). Based on the information received, it can be argued that for the present study of the linguocultural character “GORETS” it is necessary to consider 273 documents that mention the lexical unit directly addressed in this research.

In order to trace how much the perception of the image of GORETS has changed since the time of M.Yu. Lermontov, it is necessary to focus on the epithets cruel, wild, violent, young, which characterize this image. Let us compare these characteristics with those noted in the texts of the late XX – early XXI centuries: wild, cruel, hefty, short, young, stocky, colorful, strong, wise, etc. Thus, we can assume that the image of a typical gorets has not changed much for two centuries. However, such a conclusion seems quite formalized and therefore superficial.

In addition to the appearance of “GORETS” of the 19th century and its modern representative, they are still united by love for their native habitat and traditional dwelling (Northern Caucasus, mountains, saklya, aul), familiar attributes (Circassian, papakha, dagger), environment (family, friends). As it was before, GORETS is characterized by the social way of life (thousands and thousands of gorets, crowds of gorets, a large detachment of gorets).

As for the differences in the linguistic and cultural type of the 19th century from the modern GORETS, on the one hand, they include the emergence of a new mountain hero Shamil (And Shamil has already become a symbol of the national liberation resistance to tsarist “prison of peoples” (A. Tarasov, Time not to throw stones (2013). NCRL)).On the other hand, the differences include the growing role of Islam (nowadays, many gorets reached out to religion taken away (M. Adzhiev. Silent Tabasarans (1990). NCRL); only on the way back I noticed hundreds of ropes and shreds tied to bushes on the sacred mountain: gorets asked Allah for something (M. Adzhiev. Silent Tabasarans (1990). NCRL)).

In modern texts, the gorets’ attitude to his native language is clearly manifested, which was not observed in the works of M.Yu. Lermontov: she spoke as he intoned, as his ancestors intoned; in their language, smooth, easy, gentle, all the gorets people spoke among themselves; the gorets' speech is not flowery, but harsh, their conversation is ingenuous and simple, etc.

The analysis of the data obtained from NCRL made it possible to single out a number of values that are characteristic of linguocultural type of “gorets” of the late XX – early XXI centuries, among them are: freedom, family, friendship, hospitality, moral traditions /principles, ancestors, faith, customs, native language. If we compare the data with the values of the linguistic and cultural type of the 19th century, such lexical units as martial principles and horses are extremely rare in the NCRL (1 and 2 units, respectively), as well as a mention of the battles themselves. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that for a long period of time any active operations are not conducted in the North Caucasus. Other values ​​have been preserved, which shows not only their significance in the 19th century, but also the invariable relevance at the present time, as well as the interest in the linguocultural type in modern society.

If we turn to the linguistic-cultural type “HIGHLANDER”, the most obvious and well-known confirmation of the value of national consciousness for the Scottish highlanders is the fact that many Gaelic surnames until present day begin with the word Mac / Mc, “son”: MacDonald, MacDougal, McGovern and others. In addition, still many place names in Scotland or household items, national clothing, weapons of Scottish highlanders retain their nomination in Gaelic, even if they are written in English. For example, claymore (claidheamh mor – the Scottish sword) or skin du (skean dhu, sgian-dubh – the traditional Scottish dagger).

The analysis of text fragments established using the BNC (BNC, 2019) was carried out according to a scheme similar to the analysis of the resources of the NCRL. In the process of work with the English-language corps, 282 fragments were identified in which HIGHLANDER lexical unit was found. In 1 % of contexts we are talking about a restaurant with such a name, in 1 % – about a car, in 0.3 % – about a feature film.

In 44.5 % of contexts, “Highlander” is an educational and research center (Tennessee, USA), which was created to preserve national languages: Through Highlander's programs, many people have been encouraged to find beauty and pride in their own ways, to speak their own language without humiliation, and to learn of their own power to accomplish self-defined goals through social movements built from the bottom up Popular education for change (1981) . BNC. The name of this center is symbolic; however, the established contexts do not carry information that can complement the current idea of the modern image of the linguocultural type “HIGHLANDER”. However, the fact is obvious that the value of the national language – Gaelic – is relevant for the present period of time.

As for the national language, according to the BNC: The factor, who was with us, asked him, in Gaelic, if he knew what he had taken ; Joicey would break into the Gaelic, roaring and shouting at the top of his voice , etc. As in the texts of the 19th century in modern contexts BNC reveals the tendency of “HIGHLANDER” to speak their native language in the presence of strangers, as well as a love of oral folklore in Gaelic (The steward was not left to mourn that his bottles found no custom: there was treating and return treating, and one humble Highlander who could sing Gaelic songs was made the sink into which was poured the spirits bought by sundry odd pence .

In the contexts of the late XX – early XXI centuries, there are still references of traditional attributes of the linguocultural type “HIGHLANDER”: claymore (1.7 %), kilt (1.4 %), pipes (1.4 %), sporran (0.7 %), tartan (0.7 %), etc. However, these attributes are more likely to be a tribute to history than to the items of clothing or weapons that are currently used, as they are either found in literary texts describing certain events from the history of the Scottish Kingdom, or journalistic sources informing about the traditional processions of the descendants of the prototypical “HIGHLANDERS” ( Joicy would grab a claymore and whirl it round and round, clearing an immediate circle in the room with everybody keeping their heads well down ; The Duchess, intent that every particular of her ball should be arranged to perfection, insisted on a demonstration. 'You are bringing pipers tonight?' the Duchess demanded) .

Touching the historical aspect, more than 7 % of the contexts telling the history of Scotland and its local residents are found in the BNC. Among them are: In 1542, Henry received a long and rambling letter from a crank, one John Elder, clerk of the diocese of Caithness, and therefore claiming to speak for the Highlander ; Corran Purdon and four corporals, including 'Johnny' Johnson, a Gordon Highlander of 12 Commando who carried through his task although severely wounded before leaving the destroyer, made for the northern winding-house .

Modern BNC resources make it possible to supplement the image of the linguistic and cultural type “HIGHLANDER” with previously undetected external descriptive and behavioral characteristics, such as: abrupt, camouflaged, cornered, genuine, incorruptible , etc. In addition, it determines not only the tendency to preserve the country's historical and cultural heritage, but the value of education: The Highlander's greatest asset is his insatiable desire for education .

Drawing a parallel with the value guidelines of the linguocultural type “HIGHLANDER” identified in the analysis of the works of W. Scott, it is necessary to note that they remain relevant at the present time. This refers to such values as: the Gaelic language, friends, national clothes, national weapons, ancestors / past, homeland, family / clan, traditions and customs. As for such value ideas and landmarks as a given word / promise , Monarch, feasts, opposition to enemies, freedom , they were not revealed in modern BNC contexts.


The analysis of the contexts of the National Corps led to the conclusion that the image of the linguo-cultural type “GORETS” and its adaptation to the context of modern Russian linguistic culture are significantly transformed. As a result, this type, being integrated into the Russian linguistic and cultural space, causes associative reactions among native speakers of the Russian language, different from those that were typical for the 19th century. Unlike GORETS, HIGHLANDER has retained its historical and cultural identity and continues to stand out from other representatives of British linguistic culture.

However, a more detailed study of the discursive implementation of these linguistic-cultural types requires deeper research, which is considered as the next stage of work aimed at the study of this issue.


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31 October 2020

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

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Nepomniashchikh, N. (2020). Diachronic Transformation Of The Value Component Of Linguocultural Types "Gorets" And "Highlander". In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism» Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of Turkayev Hassan Vakhitovich, vol 92. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2203-2209). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.291