Units Reflecting The Geographic And Biological Diversity Of The Region: Linguoculturological Aspect


The study of regional features of the Russian language is one of the relevant areas of research in modern Russian linguistics. The variability of the language in this case is considered through the prism of cultural linguistics and linguistic and country studies. Since this article analyzes the features of the Russian language functioning in the Republic of Crimea, the author speaks about linguo-regional linguistic features. The subject of the description in the article is the words that reflect the geographical and biological originality of the Crimea. Nominative units are classified and analyzed from the point of view of semantic, lexical and word formative features. The material for the analysis was a card index of 334 units collected by the author from fiction, mass media and dictionaries. Descriptive method became the main. The core of the vocabulary, which reflects the biological and geographical features of the region, includes special terms, common vocabulary, colloquialisms and dialecticisms. The paper proposes a classification that allows to distribute the toponyms (geographical units) of card indexes into groups (anthroponymic, toponyms motivated by terms, toponyms with a socio-political or historical-ideological component, toponyms with a national-ethnographic component reflecting the multicultural diversity of the region, toponyms depending on origin, place names with the seme 'military' reflect military events in the history of the region and toponyms in which the seme 'related to religion' is found). The author sees the creation of the linguistic and country studies dictionary as a prospect.

Keywords: Cultural linguistics, linguistic and country studies, regionalisms, toponyms, Crimea


Based on the general principles of selection of territorially and culturally specific units and the method of describing units that have linguoculturological value works by (Balashova et al., 2007; Novikova, 2015; Shaklein, 2012; Tomakhin, 1986; Vereshchagin & Kostomarov, 2005; Vorobyov, 2008), we have identified a group of geographical nominative units that characterize the biological and geographical diversity of the region. In this article, all lexical material reflects the linguistic originality of the Republic of Crimea (constituent entity of the Russian Federation), the proposed classification can be applied to any region.

In one of our studies devoted to the study of the problem of linguoculturological value of regional realities (Lanovaya, 2020), we determined that the group of geographical realities includes three subgroups of nominative units. In the first, we included the names of plants, animals, birds, fish, insects that are not found in other areas (endemic names) and those that are of cultural importance for the region (including mythological creatures): bottlenose dolphin (Black Sea dolphin), griffin, crocus, cedar, cypress, juniper, lavender, persimmon, Yalta onion, etc. The second subgroup is made up of all types and types of toponyms (including the names of architectural objects): Ai Petri, Gurzuf, Kerch, Swallow's Nest, Monument to the sunken ships, Wuchang Su, Chatyr-Dag, Black Sea, Yasnaya Polyana, etc. The third subgroup includes the names of objects of physical geography and natural phenomena: mountains, lapidary workshop, canyon, pass, crossing, plateau, spit (Arabat), yayla (mountain pasture), etc., (Lanovaya, 2020).

Problem Statement

The landscape diversity of Crimea contributed not only to the attraction of other peoples and an increase in the ethnic diversity of the peninsula, but also to the formation of subspecies within one ethnic group. So, among the Crimean Tatars, sub-ethnoses stand out: steppe Tatars (Nogai), mountain-foothill Tatars (Tats), South Coast Tatars (Yalyboil). The different spatio-temporal continuum in which the life of peoples proceeded was reflected in the language, in its nominative means. For example, the traditional occupation of the steppe Tatars was nomadic cattle breeding, among the coastal Tatars - fishing, among the mountaineers - viticulture (agriculture and gardening in different proportions was present among all the peoples of the Crimea).

The combination of various favourable geographic features also affected the geographic and biological diversity of the region. According to Crimean studies, about 10% of the total number of plant and animal species are endemic on the peninsula. This number (about 200 species recorded by us based on the study of reference literature) testifies to the uniqueness of the Crimean nature and the originality of the local flora and fauna, as evidenced by the work of Crimean scientists (Belyansky, 1998; Bugaev, 2013; Rudyakov & Mitchenko, 2004).

Some of the endemics are common species in Crimea or part of it (Crimean scorpion, Crimean wood mouse; Crimean ferulnik, horny hawthorn, etc.), others are included in the European Red List, the Red Book of the Republic of Crimea and / or Sevastopol and are subject to protection (Crimean ground beetle, Boldyrev sawtail cat shark; Stankevich pine, Kuznetsov cyclamen, Crimean daphne, perennial dandelion).

Despite the long-term development of Crimean studies as a science that studies all regional features of the Republic of Crimea and the presence of many different geographical terminological dictionaries, the issue of linguistic and linguistic-cultural features of these units has not yet been studied. This article is devoted to the study and description of this problem.

Research Questions

The relevance of the study of geographical units is determined not only by the interest in their language and linguistic nature, but also by the close connection with culture (Balyasnikova et al., 2018a, 2018b). In works devoted to the description of a particular culture, the special role of the natural environment and geographical location (landscape, climatic conditions, biological diversity, soil, etc.) is always noted. For example, the combination of different types of limestone determined the fate of the primitive inhabitants of the Crimean Peninsula, giving them the opportunity to create reliable dwellings, cave cities that have survived to this day (Bakla, Chufut Kale, Mangup Kale, Eski Kermen, etc.). So, limestone, the Crimean natural building material, has been associated with the activities of the Crimean people for centuries and is still a common building stone in the region.

Thus, the object of our work is the nominative sphere of the Russian language of Crimea, and the subject is the linguistic and cultural features of regionally specific nominative units.

The novelty of the work lies in the analysis and description of nominative units with a semantic component of the meaning ‘Crimea’, which reflect the biological and geographical diversity of the region.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this article is to analyze and describe lexical units that reflect the geographic and biological diversity of the Russian language. In connection with this goal, the objectives of this article are: to give a general description of the units that reflect the geographic and biological diversity of the Republic of Crimea at the semantic level; classify linguistic units from the collected card index.

Research Methods

The leading method in the work is the descriptive method, which included analysis, comparison and classification of empirical material and basic theoretical provisions. The method of continuous sampling was used to collect nominative units from periodicals, the Internet, fiction, and oral communication. The methods of semantic interpretation, component and contextual analysis were aimed at identifying the regional component of meaning, non-lexicographed semantic shades. The distributive analysis method was used to study units in context.

The material for the study was the author's card index, which includes 334 units of the modern Russian language, functioning on the territory of the Republic of Crimea.

The empirical, linguistic material of the research was collected from special toponymic, regional encyclopedias, linguistic and cultural dictionaries of the Crimea, the media and fiction, which is an indicator of certain cultural studies and precedence of these units. The sources of fiction were prose and poetic texts about Crimea or written in Crimea, memoir literature, texts of regional folklore (fairy tales and legends of the peoples of Crimea) (Regional encyclopedias of Russia (1929–2014), 2015), as well as numerical indicators of contexts with examples of the use of geographic and biological units with regional component ‘Crimea’, represented in the National Corpus of the Russian language (National corpus of the Russian language, 2021). Thus, the analyzed units are characterized not only by territorial affiliation, since all the lexical units we have chosen contain seme ‘Crimea’, but also by cultural markings, since the corpus of units is the result of a sampling from 2017 to 2020. from the Crimean, Russian and Ukrainian media, social networks, fiction and memoir literature, observation of the oral and written speech of Crimeans (forums, social networks, chats, instant messengers).

The analysis of the corpus of units naming the endemic species of flora and fauna of the region showed that structurally these units are heterogeneous. So, the block of one-word units is not represented, the majority consists of two or three components The presented terminology is based on the model of substantive phrases: noun + adjective noun + noun in Genetive case (Proper noun) noun + adjective + adjective, noun adjective + noun + noun adjective Multicomponent units and inversion correspond to the specifics of the terminosphere.

Despite the integrity and indivisibility of these nominative units from the point of view of terminological use, the second component, containing this ‘Crimea’, is not explicated in language use, but the Crimeans imply it. For example, the jay – instead of the Crimean jay, the marten instead of the Crimean stone marten, the dandelion instead of the Crimean dandelion, etc. In this case, the prevalence of the taxon and the frequency of use in oral speech and fiction are of great importance.

In about 30% of nominative units seme ‘Crimea’ is expressed explicitly, through the second or third component, referring to the place of growth or habitation of the taxon: (Pont Euxinsky - Black Sea); (Bakhchisarai city), (Koktebel village), (Kara Dag mountain), (Black Sea), (Mitridat mountain), Potentilla Tavria, Woodruff Cimmeria (Tavria, Tavrida, Cimmeria - Crimea).

A minority of endemic names contain seme ‘Crimea’ implicitly, and the isolation of this component requires additional semantic and / or special analysis. For example, the nominative unit does not contain a direct, lexical reference to the Crimean peninsula, however, the entry of the unit into the Red Book of the Republic of Crimea indicates its regionality. In the same way, the ‘Crimea’ component is singled out in the nominative units of the cyclamen, etc. The names of these scientists may not immediately evoke associations with the Crimea, but expeditions, research interest and the presented nominative units form this connection.

There is a reference to this region in texts using regional nominative units, attachment to time and space, therefore, the image of the region is formed, but for a complete perception of the text additional knowledge is needed, taking into account the cultural landscape. For example, in the context of, the nominative unit is used, of which a potential reader has a general idea of, but the Crimean will have a clear, concrete image that involves all the senses. Such multifaceted sensations combine biological and geographical perception into one image. A reader who owns only a lexical meaning will not have such a connection. A reader who has seen jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea will create the wrong image of the Crimean jellyfish. Just as for the Crimean, nominative units with the seme 'Baikal' do not give a complete picture of visual perception, cultural significance, value and symbolic images included in the picture of the world of the peoples of Baikal: Baikal, Irkut, Shaman stone, Zabaikalie, omul, golomyanka, seals, and others. For example, both in the Crimea and in Eastern Siberia rivers with the identical name Angara flow, which for residents of different regions has a special culturological and cultural historical significance.

Regional texts, that is, texts that include nominative units with a regional component of meaning, should be considered taking into account the cultural, linguistic, ethno-national contexts.

Plants such as, etc. are of particular importance for the Crimean people. These plants grow in other countries and regions of Russia, but at the same time they have non-lexicographed specifically Crimean features, which is reflected in fiction and journalistic literature. For example, Yalta onion has long become not only the pride of Crimean agriculture, an ingredient in Crimean dishes, but also a symbol of the peninsula, a popular souvenir.

It may seem that the named units do not have the appropriate color and are simply the names of famous fruit, however, as G.V. Stepanov notes with reference to other researchers, “the Ecuadorian is not the same as the European gorrión. In Ecuador, there is a which has nothing in common with the nightingale of the Old World. Ecuadorian lobo have nothing in common with European animals, denoting the concepts of (Stepanov, 2004). Thus, Crimean and other trees are not endemic species, however, the taste and appearance of the fruit differ significantly from the samples delivered from places of mass growth. For example, on the southern coast of Crimea you can find, but the fruit are small, often not very sweet due to the lack of heat.

Among the trees, cypress and cedar are of particular importance. The book by N. Proskurina "Biblical Plants of the Southern Coast of Crimea" (2014), which contains a list of plants growing on the peninsula and mentioned in the Bible, is devoted to the description of the culturological importance and precedent of Crimean plants in the world culture.

Units such as do not describe the unique geographical phenomena inherent in the landscape of the Crimean region only, but in the linguistic picture of the Crimean world they are stable components of the sphere of concepts.

The group of geographical units also includes the names of objects associated with human activities These units as a rule, are used without definition.

Also, the specificity of units of this group, in particular toponyms, is a close connection with a specific geographic object: Ai Petrinskaya Mountain Pasture, Angarsk Pass, Arabatskaya Strelka, Kerch Ferry, the Crimean Peninsula, the Crimean Bridge, etc. These and other units with the seme 'Crimea' are connected greatly in the picture of the world of the Crimean people with the peninsula. So, they are used without a dependent, explanatory word. The Crimeans know that a, the mountain pasture or the bridge are not unique natural or erected objects, but all the rest are abstract for them and do not enter into the field of communicative significance. The transition of the common nouns of this group to proper names is an active process. For example, are used to name hotels, shops, clubs, brands, etc.

Since the toponyms of the peninsula, which are historically and semantically closely related to socio-political life, are the most important linguistic and cultural and linguo-regional source, let us consider them in more detail.

Toponymy today is not only a section of name-study of the laws governing the emergence and functioning of geographical names, but also an auxiliary science at the intersection of history, cultural studies, geography, and linguistics.

The important place of toponyms is determined by the ability of proprietary units to reflect the geographic and biological, historical, socio-political, cultural and ideological characteristics of the region.

Regional toponymy has acquired particular importance today, which is inextricably linked with linguistic and country (region) studies, in which toponyms are considered as carriers of national-cultural information, background knowledge. Russian science has created a large corpus of regional toponymic dictionaries and dictionaries of geographical names of Russia, for example, A.I. Razdorsky's list, which includes 183 lexicographic publications from 1929 to 2014 (Regional encyclopedias of Russia (1929–2014), 2015). As well as 918 printed and electronic regional encyclopedias and encyclopedias on 81 constituent entities and 8 federal districts of the Russian Federation, collected by the Russian National Library…, (2021). The content of these lists is an important source of the analyzed items for us.

The study of Crimean toponymy from the standpoint of Crimean studies, literary and linguistic region studies, cultural linguistics is widely represented in the studies of Crimean scientists (Dorofeev, 2017; Rudyakov & Mitchenko, 2004; Zabashta 2019a, b and others). So, one of the results of the work of A.N. Rudyakov was the anthology “Crimea. Poetic Atlas”, in which the poems are collected according to the “geographical” principle: literary texts are distributed according to their connection with the toponyms of the peninsula, that is, depending on which Crimean objects have become the subject of images in the literary text.


Based on the criteria of describing toponyms in linguistics, we have identified several semantic groups of Crimean toponymic units.

The first group consists of anthroponymic toponyms, which have a transparent internal form, thanks to a strong association with historical figures (scientists, patrons, artists, writers, military men, etc.), as well as due to their cultural, political, social, scientific activities, one way or another associated with the Crimea:, etc.

Toponyms motivated by biological and geographical terms and reflecting the characteristics of the flora and fauna of the region:) - wild pigeons nest in the gorge,, etc. Besides linguistic and regional significance, this group is a valuable source in the reconstruction of a complete picture of the biota of the region.

In the Crimea, there is a large number of toponyms, the name of which reflected the association that arises at the sight of a geographic object: (Greek- Small crab); Sokol (falcon) mountain, Zmeinaya (snakes) balka, Zub (tooth) rock, etc. The toponyms of this group are depicted in folklore (often as the main characters).

Toponyms with a socio-political or historical-ideological component: town Sovetskiy, p. Partizanskoe, st. Budyonny, st. Marshal Zhukov, st. Rosa Luxemburg, st. Red Army, etc.

Toponyms with a national-ethnographic component reflecting the multicultural diversity of the region: Kazak-KoyVillage of Cossacks); Mount Kalafatlar (- Headdress of the Janissaries); Cape French; Urus-Khadzha (Crimean –Tatar- Russian saint); Italian names - Genoese rock, Chembalo (Balaklava), Cape Fiolent, Paradise Rai (New World), De la Staffa (Semidvorie); Armenian - Nakhichevan (Krinichki village); Bulgarian - Pitessha-Karana (Khleb Michurinskoye village), Bulgar-Tav tract; German - Kronental (Kolchugino village), Rosenthal (Aromatnoe village); Jewish - Chufut-Yol (Jewish road), Beyz-Lekem (Khlebnoe village); Czech - Tabor (Makarovka village), Bohemka (Lobanovo village); Estonian - Abram-Küle (Beloglinka village); Russians - White Rock, Golden Gate; Ukrainian - s. Chervonnoe, st. Lesi Ukrainky, bul. I. Franko. One of the urgent problems of the Crimean place names is the return of historical names to toponyms.

The most numerous are the toponyms of Turkic (Crimean Tatar, Turkish, Kypchak) and Greek origin: lake Sivash (sticky), lake Moinaki (isthmus), Yaila (mountain pasture), Sudak (hollow with a stream), Tuzla spit (salty), Uchan Su waterfall (volatile water), etc.

There are well-known toponyms dating back to the ancient Greek / Greek language: Mishor ("middle place"), Evpatoria ("noble"), Inkerman ("white stone"), Sevastopol ("a city worthy of worship"), Simeiz ("sign", " omen"), Simferopol ("city of benefit"), etc.

Toponyms with the seme ‘military’ reflect military events in the history of the region: Ushakov's rock (naval exercise rock), pos. Kharax (Greek. Fort), Fedyukhin heights, Feodosia heights.

Toponyms in which the seme ‘relating to religion’ is found: Georgievskie rocks, Ai Petri, Ai Todor, Ai Danil (component Aiv per. From the New Greek saint), Feodosia (Greek God-given), p. Sotera (Greek Savior), etc.

The classification of toponyms on the basis given is one of the possible options, but not the only one.


The study of the functioning of the Russian language in a unique linguistic situation that has developed on the territory of the Crimean Peninsula with the equal functioning of the three state languages (Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar) can provide extensive empirical material for describing the features of the Russian language both within the borders of the Russian Federation and outside the state. Consequently, the study of this linguistic reality is of great theoretical and applied importance not only within the framework of linguistic, but also for sociolinguistic, cultural, political and historical disciplines. Thus, the research conducted to study the semantic features of the functioning of units describing geographic and biological diversity in the Republic of Crimea is relevant not only for the modern Russian language, cultural linguistics, Crimean studies, linguistic regional studies, but also for the history of the Russian language, ethnography, sociolinguistics, Russian history and culture. ... It also seems important to address the study of regionally and culturally specific units of Crimea as a fragment of the general linguistic, cultural, and language picture of the Russian Federation.

The practical value of the work is determined by the need to teach the Russian language in the context of intercultural communication in a multilingual cultural environment. The research results can be used in the practice of teaching Russian as a foreign language.

We see the prospect of our work in the creation of a linguistic cultural dictionary, which should reflect various ideas about culturally significant regional nominative units expressing the cultural, geographic - biological and socio-political identity of a particular region or country. The issue of creating such dictionaries is of particular relevance in connection with the growing role of intercultural communication in the world, the study of the relationship between language and culture, the need to preserve and study linguo-regional features in the era of globalization. The value of such a dictionary is not only that it gives a reader the opportunity to find out the nominative meaning of a particular Crimean unit, its regional shades of meaning, but also allows you to see the connection of this reality with others, to find out the place of the phenomenon in Russian or world history and the picture of the world.


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Lanovaya, T. V. (2021). Units Reflecting The Geographic And Biological Diversity Of The Region: Linguoculturological Aspect. In I. V. Kovalev, A. A. Voroshilova, & A. S. Budagov (Eds.), Economic and Social Trends for Sustainability of Modern Society (ICEST-II 2021), vol 116. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 403-411). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.09.02.44