• Toms Trasūns Bc. philol., freelance translator from Lithuanian and English (LV)



Latgalian folklore, Latgalian literature, concept of bird, concept of crane, linguacultural studies,


As modern science is increasingly seeking to look across the boundaries of one branch and become interdisciplinary, linguacultural approach, comprising more than one scientific discipline, makes research more widespread and more practical, and with the increase of the role of technologies in human life, the way of life changes and the need for anthropological research arises that directly or indirectly enables modern man to maintain the system of values and to create an orderly environment, understanding the regularities of its formation. Exploring the cultural landscape, the human connection with the environment is studied, and such approach is both anthropocentric and interdisciplinary, and today it has gained a broad perspective. The article is based on the understanding of linguacultural concept, and bird is viewed as a concept of cultural identity of Latgale, analysed in its semantic and symbolic manifestations in the context of the cultural landscape of Latgale. Although the study has been carried out on several species of birds (crane, mallard, stork, raven and hawk), this article will focus on the concept of crane. To discover the concept of crane in its diversity, it is seen at three levels, according to the perception of the lexeme crane in folklore, Latgalian literature and the modern social sphere, mainly in place names or names of organizations. In the sources of folklore crane was identified 35 times. Of these, 18 times it was mentioned in folk songs, it was present only in two fairy tales (in one fairy tale the word crane may be repeated many times), as well as in 3 parables, which include one belief and two proverbs. In folk songs, to describe crane, the external characteristics of the bird are emphasized, the physical field of verbs dominates, characteristic features – the long beak and legs. In folk songs the beauty of crane is often used as a comparison to describe an externally handsome young woman or man who lives a life that does not match the morality of the time: if they do not want to marry; if they do not live with honour; or if they live unwisely, etc. This exclusion of a person is described in comparison with the frequent location of cranes (most often young women, less often young men) – a swamp, a marshland. In other folk songs, the long legs of the crane are praised, which help it to wade through the bog. It should be noted that in folklore crane very rarely (only in two units) is referred to as a bird of passage. In folk tales (lexeme crane found in 2 folk tales) the meaning of this lexeme changes: the bird teaches the fox a lesson; also a motif appears in which a boy makes a wooden crane that serves as a vehicle. In general, in folk songs, the meaning of this bird is much more extensive in comparison to other genres, not only the lexical meaning appears but also the meaning transfer, therefore it is possible to acknowledge the formation of the concept of crane. In the sources of Latgalian literature, lexeme crane was identified in 24 word uses in eight sources of literature, suggesting that in literature this is a relatively commonly used image or artistic language means. In the excerpted material, the word crane appears 17 times in the semantic function of the subject, four times in the function of the object and three times in the semantic function of a sign. It is possible to find that in the contemporary Latgalian literature the perception of crane has lost its exactness, at the same time there is a vast emphasis on the meaning of the semantics of the bird of passage in the image of crane, which has not been emphasized in folklore, also there is an obvious association with exiles returning to Latvia after the restoration of independence. This image in action semantically has kept the same fields – the physical and the social, which are also evident in folklore, however, by analysing it in more detail, there are changes of the abovementioned meanings at the symbolic and allegorical level. The signs also indicate that perception of the image of crane in contemporary Latgalian literature, which was found in folklore, has basically been lost. The name of crane is quite often used in the names of companies and place names. It is not evident that in this sphere crane has any symbolic meaning, as the main reason for its use is crane’s habitat, but the variety of its names indicates that the image of crane is lively and changeable.


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How to Cite

Trasūns, T. (2018). CONCEPT OF CRANE IN LATGALIAN CULTURAL SPACE. Via Latgalica, 11, 80-94.