Article: article from journal or magazin.
The "social semantics" of Mikhail Pokrovskij and Nikolaj Marr
Studies in East European Thought
Criticizing the works of “Western” specialists in semantics, Soviet academician M. M. Pokrovskij (1868–1942) comes to the conclusion that social factors are essential for semantic evolution, while psychological factors constitute an intermediate link between the “external” life of a society and the semantics of the corresponding language. This conception resembles the general explanations of semantic evolution proposed by N. Ja. Marr (1864–1934). Nevertheless, despite a number of common points in the semantic theories of these two researchers, Pokrovskij’s attitude towards Marr was negative: in particular, he disagreed with the thesis of the chronological primacy of Marr’s discoveries in the domain of semantics. The article investigates why Pokrovskij had for a long time constituted an intermediate link between Russian and “Western” “traditions” in the field of semantics.
History of semantics, M. M. Pokrovskij, N. Ja. Marr, Marrism, Social and psychological factors in semantic changes, Laws in the evolution of meaning, Semantic universals
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