The linguocultural image of raspberries (Rubus idaeus) in Polish



ethnolinguistics, ethnobotany, cognitive definition, linguistic worldview, raspberry (Rubus idaeus)


Background: The aim of the article is to reconstruct the linguocultural view of raspberries (Rubus idaeus) in the Polish language and folk culture based on the assumptions of the cognitive definition. The popular account of raspberries found in folklore introduces the ethnolinguistic methodology, which is used to describe the world of plants by the Lublin-based team of researchers under the guidance of Jerzy Bartmiński – the originator and editor of Słownik stereotypów i symboli ludowych [Dictionary of Folk Stereotypes and Symbols], published since the 1980s. The author shows that similar research – combining ethnobotany, linguistics, ethnography and folklore studies – has also been conducted in other Slavic countries, such as Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Methods: Following the methodology adopted in the Lublin ethnolinguistic dictionary, the author reconstructs – based on the collected documentary material and using the cognitive definition method – the entry malina [raspberry] (Rubus idaeus) and arranges stereotypical judgments about this plant into separate semantic subcategories (facets). The reconstruction applies the panchronic approach, which allows to present the general characteristics of raspberries in Polish linguaculture.

Results: On the basis of the collected source material (lexicographic, folklore and ethnographic data) the cognitive definition of raspberries involves such semantic subcategories as: collections and complexes, appearance and properties, ripening and harvesting, location, vehicle, practical applications, magical and medicinal applications, equivalents and symbolism. The reconstruction of the cognitive definition is preceded by the analysis of names, species and varieties, as well as ways of plant categorisation, according to the postulate of the subjective reconstruction of the linguistic worldview.


Conclusions: In conclusion, the author presents the semantic “capsule” of raspberry (Rubus idaeus), containing the most important characteristics of the plant that are most firmly entrenched in the Polish language and Polish folk culture.


Keywords: ethnolinguistics, ethnobotany, cognitive definition, linguistic worldview, raspberry (Rubus idaeus)





How to Cite

Kielak, O. (2020). The linguocultural image of raspberries (Rubus idaeus) in Polish. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 20, 1–15. Retrieved from