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all the words (the lexicon) of a language, including neologisms, dialect and slang words, and terminology. A vocabulary’s scope and composition depend on the nature and level of the speaker’s economic, social, and cultural life. A vocabulary is an organized system in which words are united or contrasted through various relationships of content, as exemplified by synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, and semantic fields.

Words in frequent and wide use constitute the active vocabulary, and specialized or rarely used words (archaisms, neologisms, and terminology) constitute the passive vocabulary. The boundaries between the active and passive vocabulary are not fixed, and over a language’s course of development words shift from one group to the other. Examples are Russian proshenie (“petition”), prisluga (“maidservant”), guverner (“tutor”), and gorodovoi (“policeman”), which have passed from the active to the passive vocabulary.

Certain words are actively used by all speakers of a language over a lengthy period of history, for example, names of parts of the body or natural phenomena, terms related to kinship, and words designating basic activities, traits, and qualities. Such words are termed the basic vocabulary and are subject to the fewest changes. Frequency dictionaries indicate the relationship between the active and passive vocabulary at a given stage of development, generally within the limits of certain styles, genres, or types of speech.

As society develops, vocabularies continually expand owing to the formation of words through derivation and the assimilation of borrowings. During various epochs words from Scandinavian, Finnish, Turkic, Church Slavonic, Greek, and later from Latin and the Romance and Germanic languages entered the Russian vocabulary, whose base consists of Common Slavic and native Russian words. The vocabulary of German has absorbed words from Latin, French, Italian, English, and several other languages. These layers of borrowed words within a language’s vocabulary reflect the cultural and historical ties between peoples and constitute a proof—sometimes the only proof—of contacts among ancient peoples. Vocabularies are recorded, although not completely, in dictionaries.


Ozhegov, S. I. “K voprosu ob izmeneniiakh slovarnogo sostava russkogo iazyka v sovetskuiu epokhu.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1953, no. 2.
Borovoi, L. Ia. Put’slova, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1963.
Iakubovich, T. D. Novyeslova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Ufimtseva, A. A. Slovo v leksiko-semanticheskoi sisteme iazyka. Moscow, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
We utilized ACM Computing Classification Scheme as controlled vocabulary in SKOS format using UTF-8 encoding.
They did, however, make use of a standard controlled vocabulary (LCSH) to represent the documents within the collection.
observe which pupils need a thoroughly controlled vocabulary as compared to those who become independent readers sooner.
Now begins the arduous task of grouping similar documents together, deciding on the group names, and developing the controlled vocabulary and/or thesaurus.
My students develop a checklist of points to be on the lookout for in the books, such as controlled vocabulary and syntax, "one right answer" workbooks, abridged literature selections, and teacher's manuals that assume teachers cannot make professional decisions.
When searching traditional library databases, information professionals rely on controlled vocabulary and complex search strategies to force the databases to cough up the best results.
Learn the differences between a controlled vocabulary and a folksonomy, including a discussion on the importance of authority control and how databases use subject headings to avoid the pitfalls attached to user-generated search categories.
Fourteen articles were found in LISA, 16 in LISTA, and 9 in Library Literature's combined files that dealt with user contributions to controlled vocabulary and thesauri (Table 1).
Taxonomy within the SharePoint environment is typically applied to content through the application of controlled vocabulary.
The text has been updated and revised throughout to reflect changes in the landscape, scope, and nature of bibliographic control in libraries since publication of the 1994 edition, and contains a new chapter on Dublin Core and a number of other widely used metadata schemas and a new chapter on the new subject access system called FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology), a newly developed subject controlled vocabulary.
Getty has taken ten years to perfect their controlled vocabulary, the tree structure that encompasses every possible keyword to describe an image.
Annotation standards need to be defined using a controlled vocabulary and data confidence measures.

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