2019. № 1 (19), 148-153

Moscow State University, Shanghai Normal University


The paper investigates neologisms in the poetic texts of Joseph Brodsky. The main subject of the study is an occasionalism nevrastenie from the poem “Quintet” (1977). This neologism contains four meanings, arising from different understanding of grammatical features, morphemic sutures, and word divisions. Semantically multidimensional neologism is built on the basis of a detailed metaphor with a complex alternation of the signifiers and signified elements. Also, the paper analyzes neologisms from different poems by Brodsky. Brodsky’s poetry is generally oriented toward the classical literary tradition, therefore the number of neologisms is rather few and insignificant. Brodsky’s neologisms are often built on the basis of puns. The devices used by the author are the Эстетическая функция неологизмов в поэзии Георгия Иванова 153 following: a shift on the boundaries of the word or morpheme, false etymologization and interplay on the created homonymy of occasionalism and real word, belonging to vocabulary. But these neologisms invented by Brodsky are devoid of the comic. The neologisms of Brodsky, on the one hand, work as signs of a catastrophe or a civilizational crisis, they are symptoms of a “disease of language”. Sometimes these occasional words are signs of a catastrophe, of insanity that captures a lyrical hero. These neologisms are signals of a communicative failure. Neologisms can denote the situation of alienation. On the other hand, these occasionalisms are one of the most striking examples of the creative role of language, invariably stressed by the poet.