The goal of this research is the comparative analysis of the use if substantives in the poetic language (PL) of outstanding and most productive Russian poets of the 18th – 20th centuries: G. Derzhavin, A. Pushkin, M. Tsvetaeva and J. Brodsky, as well as contemporary poets of the 21st century. The lists of frequencies of the use of substantives in the PL are compiled and their change in time is shown: which lexemes disappear from the most used (e.g., “soul”), which come up (e.g., “earth”) and which remain frequently used in the Russian PL during the centuries and form its core.
The core of the PL is found, which is defined as the set of substantive lexemes which remain among the most frequently used among the analyzed outstanding poets. The development of the core is shown and it is demonstrated how the core of common lexeme shrinks among the poets of the 18th – 21st century. The core is provisionally divided into three parts (concepts): nature (lexeme “day”), corporeality (lexeme “hand”) and metaphysics (lexemes “life” and “love”).
The term “completeness of use” of a lexeme by cases in the PL is introduced. A splitting of the poetic core by cases is demonstrated and the types of different lexemes in the PL of poets from Derzhavin to our days are compared. Studying the lexeme “day” with a manual homonym analysis it is shown that the completeness of use of the lexemes is higher in the PL of Pushkin than in that of Derzhavin. Rare types of the lexemes’ “life” and “love” in the PL of Tsvetaeva and Brodsky are also exhibited.
Core of the Russian poetic language (PL), splitting of the poetic core, substantives, comparative analysis, frequency and rank of lexemes, completeness of the use of lexemes, word-form, word use, Derzhavin, Pushkin, Tsvetaeva, Brodsky, dictionary, concordance.