The Russian Language Today

The Russian Language Today

The Russian Language Today

The Russian Language Today

Synopsis

The Russian Language Today provides the most up-to-date analysis of the Russian language. The Russian language has changed dramatically in recent years, becoming inundated by new words, mainly from American English. The authors focus on the resulting radical changes in Russian vocabulary and grammar.Supported throughout by extracts from contemporary press and literary sources, this is a comprehensive overview of present-day Russian and an essential text for all students of the Russian language.

Excerpt

The principal aim of The Russian Language Today is to portray the Russian language at the end of the twentieth century, following the decade and a half of social, political and linguistic change that began with perestroika in 1985.

However, a description of linguistic change is more meaningful within the broader context of language development in general. Most sections of the book therefore proceed from a review of pre-1985 developments in particular areas.

The book is divided into two parts. the first part (Chapters 1 and 2) is devoted exclusively to vocabulary, since this is the area in which the principal changes have occurred. Since lexical change is often occasioned by developments in society, lexical description is set in the context of the events of the time.

Chapter 1 covers lexical development during the Soviet period, and deals extensively with loan words, semantic change, socio-stylistic aspects of lexical change, neologisms, phraseological innovations and other features of language development in the period from 1917 to 1985. This period is sub-divided into six sections, beginning with 1917 to the 1920s and concluding with 1970 to 1985.

Chapter 2 adopts a similar approach to the vocabulary of the post-1985 period, with special reference to the vocabulary of perestroika, the rehabilitation of religious and other terminology and the re-activation of pre-Soviet economic lexis. There are sections on changes in administrative and institutional names, the ideological reorientation of certain areas of vocabulary, changes in non-standard lexis (including slang), as well as an extensive section on lexical borrowing. There are also sections devoted to developments in vocabulary which have occurred within the language’s own linguistic resources.

The second part of the book (Chapters 3 to 6) deals with other aspects of change. Chapter 3 considers word-formatory procedures from the early Soviet period up to the present day, and describes in particular the linguistic

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