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What is the lexicon of modern man?

How many words do you think an average person knows? Everyone remembers the well-known excerpt from the immortal work of E. Petrov and I. Ilf "The Twelve Chairs" about the comparison of the vocabulary of Shakespeare and Ellochka-Lyudojka. This same quote can be cited as a confirmation of the hypothesis that a person's lexicon depends on what the person is from himself. For example, the vocabulary of an uneducated person or a small child will be several hundred; Literate - a few thousand. And such geniuses as Pushkin or Shakespeare and up to fifteen thousand are typed. By the way, the account of the latter should be clarified. The four-volume "Dictionary of Pushkin's Language" has 21 191 words. Scientists have calculated exactly the number of words used in all letters and works of the famous Russian poet. The vocabulary of the great English playwright is slightly less - about fifteen thousand words. But according to some sources, there are about eighteen thousand. In relation to ordinary people, the picture looks somewhat different. But first let's see what a lexicon is. Also, we define the concepts of the passive and active vocabulary. So...

What is a lexicon?

From the ancient Greek literal translation means "word", "speech turnover". The exact definition of what a lexicon is, sounds like this: the combination of the words of a language, part of the words or language that a particular person or a certain group of people owns. Vocabulary is the central part of a language that names, shapes and transmits knowledge about any phenomena or objects. In other words, it is a language section that learns words, pronunciation, composition of speech, etc.

Passive and active dictionary

When it comes to a specific set of words that a person uses daily in his speech, which he uses to express his feelings and thoughts, this implies an active vocabulary. The use and combinatorics of such words can be varied. But this is still a "tool" of thoughts, feelings, actions. In the case when a person does not use certain words, but knows their meaning (often very approximate), learns in the read text, then there is a passive vocabulary. To the passive vocabulary are words of special use: neologisms, archaisms, borrowed words, many dialectisms and the like.

Number of words in the lexicon

It should be noted, returning to the question of what a lexicon is, that active and passive dictionaries for each person are individual. It depends on age, profession, general cultural level, personal qualities, tastes and even the place of residence of a person. According to statistics, the active dictionary of an adult with a higher education is seven to nine thousand words. Passive - twenty-twenty-four thousand. Although in everyday communication we are only one or two thousand words. They say that the possibilities of human memory are almost limitless. Therefore, you can safely increase your vocabulary and learn foreign words, thereby enriching the Russian lexicon.

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