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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Review of Research and Analyzing Vocabulary. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada, 30, 1, 169-170.
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The SV2SPOV algorithm provides satellite data at runtime in SP ontology based concept vocabulary without any data replication and rewriting.
It is well established that vocabulary is the most powerful predictor of reading comprehension.
"Content-area words represent concepts that are integral to a field of study, yet mastering such vocabulary can be challenging for students because it involves learning new words for new ideas" (Rasinski et al., 2017, p.
Apart from creating four-level K-12 vocabulary program for kids, she along with her father have authored two vocabulary textbooks named Rockin Root Words Book 1 and Book 2 (Prufrock Press, 2010) to help young minds enrich their vocabulary skills.
For speaking, Adolphs and Schmitt (2004) claim that a vocabulary of around 2,000 words is required for a basic conversation, but according to other vocabulary specialists, if students want to obtain an appropriate comprehension of a text, they need a passive vocabulary of at least 3,000 word families to understand 95% of a text (Laufer, 1989, 1992); or from 8,000 to 9,000 word families for a 98% text coverage (Hu & Nation, 2000; Nation, 2006).
As educators consider how to close the vocabulary gap, it is important to pay particular attention to helping students who struggle with comprehension.
The significance of vocabulary has long been stressed in any curriculum, but teachers often don't give it the weight it deserves.
Reading stories with an appropriate level of complexity allows children to make connections between what they already know and any new vocabulary they may encounter.
As Cristina Lojo Seoane, from the USC, co-author of the study published in the journal Anales de Psicologca (Annals of Psychology), explains: "We focused on level of vocabulary as it is considered an indicator of crystallised intelligence (the use of previously acquired intellectual skills).
"We focused on the level of vocabulary as it is considered an indicator of crystallised intelligence (the use of previously acquired intellectual skills)," said study co-author Cristina Lojo Seoane from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.