Intra-cultural continuity and diversity of semantic category words


This study was aimed to examine intra-cultural continuity and regional specificity of generation frequency norms for semantic categories in the Russian language. Participants from three different regions of Russia carried out a standard procedure for generating exemplars of 45 semantic categories. Overall generation frequency compared between three regions for each concept in order to study the regional specificity of concepts. Hellinger Affinity scores were used as a measure of between-regional accordance of generation frequency norms. Generation frequency for most concepts did not differ significantly between all three regions and Hellinger Affinity coefficients were strong providing evidence for the intra-cultural homogeneity of these norms in Russia. However, the number of concepts with significantly different generation frequency values was lower and the Hellinger Affinity was significantly stronger when a geographical distance between cities was smaller. Significant differences of generation frequencies between regions, elicited in a study for a small number of concepts, can be explained by geographical, environmental and experiential factors.

Russian Linguistic Bulletin