Functioning of the Lexeme ‘Intellect’ in Russian and German-Speaking Discourses of the Mid-XXth Century

Document Type : Research Article


1 Kazan Federal University

2 Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen



The present study focuses on the functioning of an international German lexeme Intellekt in comparison with its Russian equivalent интеллект. The significance of the study derives from the fact that when studying this linguistic phenomenon, the lexemes were reviewed on the material of the latest works of Hermann Hesse - the novels ‘Steppenwolf’, ‘The Glass Bead Game’ and their translations into Russian, which led to the conclusion about some peculiarities of the writer's individual style. The method of a comparative analysis allowed us to identify the author’s individual and national-specific features of the word components’ implementation in two compared languages. With the help of a quantitative method one determined the relative usage frequency of the studied lexemes in the Russian-speaking and German-speaking discourses. One undertook a sequential study of the etymology, the semantic structure of the borrowed lexemes in lexicographic literature and online dictionaries of the German and Russian languages. With the help of the Google platform Ngram Viewer that demonstrates the dynamics of a certain word usage and its combinations in the texts of books placed in the Google Search Engine one determined the assimilation level of the considered lexemes in the Russian-speaking and German-speaking discourses of the mid-20th century. With the reference to the obtained data one drew the additional conclusions about the reasons for the absence of the lexeme Intellekt in the dictionary of Hermann Hesse's works’ language. The study was undertaken within the framework of research for intercultural communication and is meant for the foreign languages teachers and translators.