The article discusses comparative constructions that are different in status, origin, use and time of functioning: Russian colloquial and folklore comparisons, as well as Latvian bookish comparisons belonging to the artistic idiolect of Anna Brigadere (1861-1933). Colloquial comparative constructions were recorded in 16 localities of Latgale (South-Eastern part of Latvia). The basis of comparison (the component to which something is compared) in the comparisons is a phytonym. The plant code serves as an indicator of manifestations of both normal, healthy (strength, beauty, cheerfulness, optimism, strong physique), and abnormal, unsound (pallor, weakness, thinness, growths on the body and death as a result of a disease) physical condition of a person. The comparative perspective allows for drawing a conclusion about the most significant linguo-cultural features of Russians (Old Believers) living in Latvia and Latvians (Catholics), which are manifested in the frequency of the use of plant images and their manifold nomenclature. Association with the same bases of comparisons enshrined in the minds of Russians and Latvians are of particular interest; it is directly reflected in a different evaluative semantic content of the phytonyms – bases of comparisons.
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