Formation of the ideological worldview in the Ukrainian lexicography of the Soviet era

Renchka I. Ye., PhD, Candidate of Science in Philology,
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5568-7941


Language in totalitarian states of the XX century was a part of a powerful ideological mechanism, a means of formation of a mindset stereotype with definite evaluative attitudes and judgments. In the Soviet political context, the language was considered as an important tool for establishing the leading ideology, materialistic worldview, and socialist culture. The dissemination of ideological constructs took place through the official press, radio and television. They were constantly repeated in political speeches, textbooks and scientific works. The influence of totalitarianism also affected linguistics and its practical part – lexicography.

The goal of the article is to highlight the techniques of ideological manipulations used in the lexicographic practice of the Soviet period in order to strengthen communist ideology and create an ideological view of the world. The study is based on the Dictionary of the Ukrainian Language in 11 volumes (1970–1980).

The article clarifies that the introduction of ideological and evaluative component into the semantic structure of words belonging to different topical groups, including the names of political sphere, scientific directions, philosophical, moral and ethical concepts, names of time intervals etc., the explanation of their meaning by using newspeak set phrases, led to the formation of a biased worldview and system of the ideological values of a Soviet man. It is found out that lexicographic methods of the ideologization of words are the use of positive evaluative or negative evaluative attributive phrases in dictionary articles, creation of antonymous contexts, transformation of meanings and change of lexical compatibility of words, use of politicized illustrative material. In this way, the dictionaries contained premises and myths of the totalitarian era, which contributed to their dissemination and introduction into the public consciousness, the formation of an evaluative worldview according to the guidelines of the political system.

Keywords: totalitarian language, official ideology, lexicography, ideologeme, worldview, evaluative oppositions, illustrative material, positive and negative connotative semantics.