Connotations With A Specific Subject Meaning Of The Lexeme Salt


The article explores the connotation of the lexeme salt as a way of storing cultural information in the study of food vocabulary. Such gastronomic connotations are realized in the semantics of stable comparisons through the evaluative and figurative components of the meaning of food vocabulary. The meaning of a word often correlates with a certain concept. But it is not always limited to this concept. In addition to the subject-conceptual (denotative) component of meaning, a word sometimes has an additional connotative meaning — expressive, evaluative, figurative, expressing the speaker's attitude to the subject of speech. The salt lexeme is extremely relevant and frequent, used both in everyday speech and in literary texts, and in addition to the main meaning develops derivative meanings, which also serve as the basis for phraseology. The research confirmed the assumption that the complex of phraseological units with the salt component identifies a system of associations, features of perception of this object, which is realized not only as a material object, but also becomes a multidimensional, multifunctional symbol. The phraseological nest with the vertex salt is made up of units that indicate by their meaning exactly which properties of salt are relevant for native speakers, acquire the meaning of a symbol and therefore are the basis for the creation of phraseological units. The analysis of phraseological units with the salt component makes identifies the system of associations, the peculiarities of perception of this object, which is realized as a material object and becomes a multidimensional, multifunctional symbol.

Keywords: Connotative meaning, connotation, denotative meaning, language, word


Special attention should be paid to the lexico-semantic group of nouns with the meaning of Food vocabulary, and especially the connotation of the lexeme salt. The direct meaning of the word salt is a white crystalline substance with a sharp characteristic taste, used as a seasoning for food, which develops a rich system of phraseological associations. The phraseological potential of the word in this sense is primarily due to the relevance of salt to humans (Fedorov, 2008). Firstly, people have been familiar with salt since ancient times and its importance as a seasoning for food is beyond doubt. Salt was used in various rituals, rituals, sacrifices and acted as a talisman. Mention of it is found in fairy tales and fiction (Larionova, 2014). Wars for salt took place in different epochs: people fought for salt not only in the primitive communal, but also in the slave-owning, and then in the feudal society. Probably, the geographical factor also played a role: salt extraction was carried out throughout Russia. Secondly, the primary meaning of the word salt is commonly used and is part of the literary language. Thirdly, the word in this sense is free in use and is characterized by the widest compatibility (Sorokoletov, 2005).

Problem Statement

The study of vocabulary and lexical semantics of a foreign language is unthinkable without comprehending connotation - additional evaluative meanings of lexical units, the correct understanding of which largely determines communicative success or communicative failure; therefore, it is so important to investigate phraseological units with the salt component to understand what properties of this lexeme are relevant for a native speaker of a particular language (Molotkov et al., 1968).

Research Questions

In this paper, the author answers the following questions:

  • to characterize the connotations of the lexeme salt;
  • to show the variability of the connotative meaning of a word depending on the communicative conditions in which it is used.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the work is to analyze the connotation of words with a specific subject meaning on the example of the lexeme.

Research Methods

For the study, a comprehensive analysis of the word-formation nest of the word salt, which has 555 lexical units, was carried out. Along with the phraseological units, proverbs and sayings were studied since they are no less culturally significant and no less reveal the concept of.


One of the most significant groups consists of phraseological units reflecting the importance of as a symbol of.

Firstly, our ancestors believed that any person who entered the house, even if he is a stranger, should be warmly welcomed, watered, and fed so that the guest would not be offended by anything and could not harm the household. Russian people's cordiality and hospitality was reflected in the monument of Russian culture. Here are recommendations to the host and hostess of the house, how to greet guests. Karamzin in his work noted hospitality as a typical trait of the Russian character. He wrote that for the Slavs, any traveler was: the owner was responsible for his safety, for food, for a warm welcome, and if the owner was too poor and could not afford a luxurious reception, then he was allowed to steal everything he needed from a rich neighbor – the duty of hospitality was so important (Panyukov, 2014).

Secondly, in the human mind, salt is perceived as a symbol of prosperity, which is reflected both in fiction and in phraseology. In ancient times, salt was a very expensive product: only wealthy people could afford to have a saltshaker on the table. Of course, this was reflected in phraseology: [my father did not live evenly: there is bread, so there is no salt; there is salt, so there is no bread; but I, a good fellow, live evenly: no bread, no salt; he swaggers in people, but there is no salt at home] (Dahl, 1984).

Thirdly, salt in Russia was also used in various rituals to get wealth into the house. For example, bread and saltshaker decorated the wedding table:[we accept bread and salt, and we put you under the image; we accept bread and salt from good people, and a good fellow to boot] (Polikarpov, 2007).

In addition, some phraseological units emphasize the importance, the need for hard work to obtain material prosperity, the embodiment of which is salt:[laziness dines without salt; laziness does not do good, it dines without salt; laziness slurps soup without salt]. An extensive group consists of phraseological units that testify to the importance of salt as a symbol of constancy and fidelity. It was believed that a common meal, seasoned with salt, guaranteed friendship between people, since they shared the most valuable, vital things. For example, the expression [eat a pound of salt with anyone] means, and. A similar idea is reflected in other phraseological units:[a friend is known, having eaten a bag of salt together; to know a friend is to eat a pound (bag) of salt together; it is necessary to eat a pound of salt together to know a friend] (Popova, 2013).

Moreover, to greet a guest with meant to invoke God's mercy on him and wish him well and peace. The phraseological units discussed above reflect, rather, a positive symbolic perception of salt by a person; however, some units also indicate a rethinking of salt as a negative symbol.

Fourth, sometimes the image of an excessive amount of salt in phraseology is interpreted negatively. Despite the fact that salt is a valuable additive to food and enhances, improves its taste qualities, an excess of this seasoning can spoil it:[salt is good, but it makes your mouth sick][food needs salt, but in moderation][extra salt spoils food, an extra word is speech] (Ozhegov, 1985).

In addition, salt acts as a symbol of the, which is reflected in Russian phraseology: –[salt on (under) the tail – ‘to make trouble, much to annoy’]. Indeed, native speakers perceive not only as a symbol of good, well–being, prosperity, but also evil - this substance is, i.e.,. So, the spoken salt was used for the purpose of harming the enemy. According to superstitious beliefs, persons passing over enchanted objects or touching them were subjected to.

Negative symbolism is fixed in the phraseology = умирать [to go for salt, i.e. to die]. Often, to fill the saltshaker, people had to make a whole journey, and not always safe, because, as the historian Alexander Panyukov (2014) writes, attacks on salt offices were quite commonplace – salt production brought considerable profits, and robbers of all stripes flocked to the smell of money.


The phraseological units considered belong to the literary language ([to eat a pound of salt with someone, to drive bread-salt with someone]) and various folk dialects ([to sit on salt] (Amur.), [salt took something] (Ural river)), which once again testifies to the enormous importance of this reality fixed in the Russian language for a person. The lexeme itself is extremely relevant, frequent, in demand, used both in everyday speech and in literary texts, and in addition to the main meaning develops derivative meanings, which also serve as the basis for phraseology.

In the popular consciousness, is perceived as something important, valuable, so most phraseological units have a positive connotation. The rich material testifies to the cultural significance of phraseological units, which reflect the traditions, rituals, customs of the Russian people. The analysis of the complex of phraseological units with thecomponent makes it possible to identify the system of associations, the peculiarities of perception of this object, which is realized not only as a material object, but also becomes a multidimensional, multifunctional symbol.


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  • Sorokoletov, F. (2005). Dictionary of Russian folk dialects. Iss. 39. Science.

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23 December 2022

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Suntsova, M. V. (2022). Connotations With A Specific Subject Meaning Of The Lexeme Salt. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1108-1112). European Publisher.