A language belonging to the eastern group of the *Slavonic languages along with a close relation of *Ukrainian and *Belarusian, Russian is now spoken principally on the territory of the Russian Federation and is also known in the other successor states belonging to the former Soviet Union as well as in the countries of the former Soviet bloc.
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Earliest attestations, inscriptions, manuscripts, printed texts
Literature began in Russia because of the creation of Orthodox Christianity in 988-9, bringing a rural area a religion, an alphabet and a written language. However, the Slavonic liturgy and translations of parts of the Scriptures were
probably brought to Russia some time before the conversion, from Moravia, Bohemia, Bulgaria or Constantinople. Anyway, medieval Russian literature grew out of translations of the Greek liturgy and Scriptures into Old 'Church Slavonic.
Old Church Slavonic (with Fast Slavonic dialectal features) was the language of early religious literature, while secular documents used local vernaculars. Kiev, the main cultural centre until 1240, was never a strongly centralized state like Muscovy, its successor, and many of its texts were seen as a regional variations.
The earliest preserved manuscript could be the Onpaitivoutt chit turatte(Ostromirovo eveingelit 'Ostromir Gospel Book'), a translation of the Gospels copied for the governor of Novgorod in 1056-7. Other documents in Old Church Slavonic include treaties between Kiev and Constantinople dated 911, 944 and 971 (preserved in a manuscript no earlier than the 14th c., however), Svyatoslav's anthology or 11:166ptutk (1thOrnik) of Christian literature dated 1073, along with the 1101fropOloate capcgfrbte WM& (Novgoraskie sluzhebnye mann 'Novgorod Mina-a') of 1095-7, collections of church canticles or lives belonging to the saints for all your days associated with every month. Other manuscripts, such as Hilarion's (7,10fro o :;amine a titaroUTII (SlOvo a zaktine i blagothiti 'Sermon on Law and Grace') of the 1040s, in praise belonging to the Christianization of Russia, a further anthology by Svyatoslav dated 1076, XONtlile, HI'Y ;lama la (Khozlklinie igtimena Bonilla 'Abbot Daniel's Pilgrimage (to the Holy land]'), dated about 1106-8, as well as an inscription on a cross made for Princess Euphrosyne of Polotsk (1161), arc written mainly in a Russian recension of Old Church Slavic.
Some documents were written in a hybrid of Church Slavonic as well as vernacular: Vladimir Monomakh's llopu,frite(Pouchifrie`Admonition'), a moral disquisition for his sons (c.1110-25); IMHCCTID Hpf!.110111th der (1)Ovesti vremennOh let 'Primary Chronicle'), completed e.1113, giving the history belonging to the Slays to last 11th c. (one version survives while in the Laurentian ,Chronicle of 1377, another while in the Hypatian Chronicle of (.1425); Clan o no.ucy litvoime(Shivo o Polka Igoreve 'Lay of lgor's Campaign'), perhaps (-1185, a free account, of still-disputed authenticity, of Prince Igor's campaign up against the Polovtsians. Prince Mstislav Volodomirovich's erbilx:rfreittufr toil von (Airstvennaya gramota 'Deed of Gift') to the St George Monastery in Novgorod (c.1130) could be the earliest surviving secular document. A pure form of Old Russian (East Slavonic) is found the Pytucau (Rtisskaya Pravda 'Russian Law Code'), possibly belonging to the 1020s.
The bepecratit:te 'pa MOTU (Berestyanjte grdmoo, 'ffirchbark writs', 11th-15th c.), incised with a stylus on bast and found during excavations, begun in 1951, in Novgorod, Smolensk, Vitebsk, Pskov and Staraya Russa, contain domestic and commercial letters, with echoes of live popular speech, and still provide evidence of a considerable spread of literacy in Novgorod, extending beyond the clergy, feudals and merchants. Some 11th-c. texts were inscribed on stone, coins or domestic utensils. Graffiti dating from 1052 and 1054 have been located on the walls of the Cathedral of St Sofia in Kiev. The 'IMutorokan' Stone of 1068 (of disputed authenticity) describes how Prince Gleb Svyatoslavich measured the distance the particular world straits of Kerch' on the ice.
Some of the early texts be a consequence of Kiev or Novgorod, hut from the 14th c. the area of production extends to Pskov, Yaroslavl', Ryazan', and first of all Moscow, whose mushroom growth ensured its status as undisputed centre of Russia.
Church Slavonic books for the East Slays had been printed in Krakow in 1491, but printing began in Moscow only while in the 1550s, the earliest dated book with a Moscow imprint being the epistle-book ..ttlifero.t (ApOstol) printed by I. Fedorov and P. Mstislavets in 1563-4. The two printers were sponsored by Iv an IV and Metropolitan Makary at that time when the costa rica government was anxious to standardize the texts of churchhooks by publishing them in printed form. Fedorov further published an /136Yka (Azhuka, 1574), the first Slavonic primer, in Ilvov, then, in Ostrog, a GreekOld Church Slavonic chrestomathy and also a folio edition belonging to the Old Church Slavonic Bible (1581). Printing in Moscow resumed in 1589, as well as in 1614 the Moscow Printing House opened, publishing primers, a treatise on infantry, as well as the Kto;tcenne(1.11ozitenie 'Civil law Code', 1649). Under Czar Peter I, St Petersburg broke the near monopoly of Moscow printing, and also a new civic script was introduced to serve printing needs, originally for important scientific literature.
On the origins and early continuing growth of the Cyrillic alphabet, in which Russian has been written throughout its recorded history, see *Cyrillic and Glagolitic scripts. In the 14th c. the Metropolitan Cyprian, a Bulgarian, introduced reforms designed to bring back earlier South Slavonic usage (the 'second South Slavonic influence' the
first being represented by Old Church Slavonic as well as the Cyrillic alphabet). In order to `improve' Russian Church Slavonic, partly ingesting the era of the Serbian and Bulgarian refugees from the Turkish-occupied Balkans, forms were modified to modern Bulgarian usage, with a restoration of some obsolete letters.
The civic alphabet, introduced under Peter I in 1710, removed a number of letters and simplified others. Meanwhile, spelling remained chaotic through to the late 18th c., when the morphological principle favoured by M. Lomonosov (1711-65) and the Imperial Academy of Sciences ultimately took precedence over the phonetic principle advocated by V. Tredyakovsky (1703-68). In 1797 the letter <il> was proposed, purportedly by N. Karamzin (1766-1826), to denote Ho) in alternation with be': Lomonosov, in his Poittiticka t w tui rnka (Rossiyskaya grtimmatika `Russian Grammar', 1755), retained the letter <11 > ('yat"), which, though almost identical in pronunciation with <e>, still helped to distinguish certain homophones. The simplification of spelling was widely discussed in the 19th c., and in the early 20th c. the Imperial Academy set up its own Orthographical Commission, which suggested reforms that were carried out in December 1917. Where two letters had the same value, one was dropped; this involved the replacement of <11> by <e>, <8> by <ili> and <i> by <II>. The recommended spelling <C> for hol was, however, omitted in the final version of the reform. The hard sign < h> was hence-forth to be used only as a separative (< h>, silent since c.1200, had long been redundant, albeit fulfilling a function in the 18th c. by indicating the end of a word; in the Soviet period an apostrophe was proposed in its stead, but <b> prevailed). The spelling of certain prefixes and endings and of some pronominal forms was also reformed.
Literary and standard registers Writing was practised in Rus' after the conversion of 988, and Russianized Church Slavonic was used as being a literary language in religious and learned texts, with varying admixtures of the vernacular, a virtually pure form of which has been put to use in legal, administrative as well as other secular documents. The second South Slavonic influence (14th-15th centuries), which aimed to regain it a `purer' Church Slavonic, prevented a fusion of learned and popular elements and perpetuated functional dualism until the 18th c. Every thing has become concerned with the vernacular and Church Slavonic was much discussed in the 18th e., when literary Russian was still being in a condition of flux, with archaic, vernacular, chancery elements and loan-words rubbing shoulders uneasily in the absence of stabilizing factors still to be introduced. Peter l's alphabetic reform had further restricted the sphere of Church Slavonic.
On the Church Books in Russian', 1757) tackled of cheap checks of (a) the co-existence of Old Church Slavic lexis and the Russian vernacular in the literary language, (b) stylistic differentiation, and (c) the codification of current practice while in the theory of three styles. The high style, in Lomonosov's definition, was dominated by Church Slavonic lexis (though not by its syntax), and was to be put to use for odes, epics and dignified orations; the middle style, based on educated colloquial usage, with a few admixture of Slavonicisms, was for satires, eclogues, prose and drama (tragedy, however, could be written in the high style); period of time style, colloquial and entirely Russian, was for comedies, epigrams, songs, letters and accounts of everyday matters.
A further step towards the creation of the literary language was taken by N. Karamzin. Strongly influenced by French lexis and syntax, Karamzin tried to approximate the literary language to the speech of the aristocracy, excluding Slavonicisms and introducing new words and calques based on western European languages, especially French. He meant to distance literary Russian from Slavonic and Latin and bring it closer to French, the language of polite society and secular knowledge, and strove to jot down elegant Russian on such basis as the language of educated society, replacing Lomonosov's heavy Germanic syntax by way of a more elegant French style. Karamzin distilled western European and Slavonic elements into an intermediate style based on the language of the court, in practice reducing Lomonosov's three styles to one, the middle style. In modified form his language formed the first step toward the literary language of the 19th c. and the spoken language of the intelligentsia. However, Karamzin's style lacked the different parts of living speech, and is A. Pushkin (1799-1837) who is credited with fusing the three historical the different parts of literary Russian - Church Slavonic, western European practice as well as the vernacular - into a balanced whole, retaining the elegance and polish of Karamzin's courtly
language, but invigorating it all the way through judicious use of colloquial and folk elements. While in the later 19th c., the language drew on western sources in the creation of a vocabulary designed for a literary medium dominated by the influence of philosophy and sociology.
Russian literature came on top of the world stage noisy 19th c. The country's greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin, wrote not only verse but prose and drama, while his younger contemporary, Mikhail Lermontov (1814-41), is best known for the cyclical novel Hero of all time (1840). Novelists of the wife or husband of the century include Ivan "'urgency (1818-83) (Rudin 1856, Nest of Gentlefolk 1859, On the Eve 1860, Fathers and Sons 1862), Ivan Goncharov (1812-91) (Ohlomov 1859), Leo 'l'olstoy (1828-1910) (War and Peace 1865-9, Anna Karenina 1875-7, Resurrection 1899) and Fedor Dostoevsky (1821-81) (Crime and Punishment 1866, The Idiot 1868-9, The Devils 1871-2, The Brothers Karamazov 1879-80). Nikolai Gogol' (1809-52) wrote plays (The Inspector General 1836), cycles of short stories and also the novel Dead Souls (1842). Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), a writer of short stories and lyrical dramas (The Seagull 1896, Uncle Vanya 1897, A Few Of The Sisters 1901, The Cherry Orchard 1904), bridged the two centuries, as did Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) with his novel Foma Gordeev (1899), the participate in the Lower Depths (1902) along with the autobiographical Childhood (1913-14).
Poets belonging to the early post-1917 period include Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), the Symbolist Alexander 13Iok (1880-1921), the peasant poet Sergey Esenin (1895-1925), the Acmcist Osip Mandelshtam (1891-1938) as well as Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1894-1930), who also wrote plays. Main prose writers belonging to the period were Isaac Babel' (1894-1938) (Red Cavalry 1926), Evgeniy Zamyatin (1884-1937) (We, written 1920-1), Mikhail 13ulgakov (1891-1940) ( The White Guard 1924, Will Get Pumped of a Dog 1925, The Master and Margarita 1928-40) and Mikhail Sholokhov (1905-84) (Quiet Flows the Don 1928-40, Virgin Soil Upturned 1931). While in the post-Stalin period, prose is represented by Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) (Dr Zhsvago 1958) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918) (Sooner Or Later in the Life of Ivan Denisovich 1962, The First Circle 1968, Cancer Ward 1968, August 1914 1971, The Gulag Archipelago 1973-5), and by the so-called `village-prose writers belonging to the 1960s-1970s, and verse by the poet best known in the western world, Evgeniy Evtushenko (6.1933). Writing of the late 1980s and 1990s has been remarkable for the rise of interesting women writers, of whom the most talented is Tatyana Tolstaya.
Geographical spread and recession
Since Russian could possibly be thought to have encroached, in varying degrees, on all territories occupied by the Russian state, this section takes the proper execution of an account of territorial expansion and recession over 1,000 years.
The first Russian state, Kievan Rus', bordered in the western world on the West Slays, while in the NW on the ancestors of the 1.ithuanians and I.atvians, as well as in the cast on 'Turkic-speaking peoples who had established states on the middle and lower Volga. The principalities of Kievan Rus' were centred in southern towns such as Galich, Turov, Vladimir Volynsky, Pereyaslavl' and Novgorod Seversky, while in the
north in Polotsk, Smolensk, Pskov and Novgorod. In 1240 Kievan Rus' became part of the Mongol Empire, and principalities such as Kiev and Chernigov fell to Lithuania, whose union with Poland (1386) extended Polish influence into west Russia. Meanwhile, the principality of Moscow, 500 square miles in area in 1301, had did start to expand, a process accelerated by its Grand Princes.
Ivan Ill (ruled 1462-1505) and Vasily III (1505-33) seized all of the eastern lands, including 'Ever' and the city-republic of Novgorod, and principalities such as Yaroslavl', Rostov and Ryazan'. Ivan III made some headway against Lithuania while in the Dnieper area, while Vasily III took Smolensk and annexed Pskov. Ivan Iv Vasilievich (1533-84) seized the territories belonging to the Kazan' khanate (1552) and Astrakhan' (1554), thus opening the right way to Siberia and giving Moscow control of the Volga to the Caspian Sea.
During the so-called 'Time of Troubles' (1598-1613), Moscow and Novgorod were for quite a while under foreign domination. However, while in the 1640s the Romanovs, whose House had been established in 1613, pushed through Siberia to the Pacific Ocean as well as the Amur river basin, while Tsar Alexci Mikhailovich (1645-76) restored a lot of present-day 13clarus and Ukraine to Muscovite control. The Treaty of Nystadt (1721), which concluded the Great Northern War against Sweden, secured for Peter 1 a foothold on the Baltic from Riga to Vyborg, as well as Estonia, Livonia (the larger part of present-da> I atria) and part of Karelia. The city of St Petersburg was founded in 1703. Catherine 11 (1762-96) established control over its northern border coast of the Black Sea, annexing the Crimea in 1783 and Odessa in 1791. Through the third partition of Poland (1795), Russia obtained Lithuania, Courland (the part of I atria that lies south belonging to the Western Drina), the province of Volynia as well as greater part of Belorussia. After the Napoleonic Wars the Duchy of Warsaw was given to the Russian Crown.
By the mid-19th c. the empire was at its greatest extent, larger even than the USSR was destined to be. Russia had gained I3essarabia, Daghestan as well as other the different parts of Transcaucasia and also the Black Sea littoral from the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the century, in the late 1820s Transcaucasia and Azerbaijan were incorporated looking for a war with Persia. By the 1870s Russia ruled the full Caucasus and had acquired Sakhalin and founded the far-eastern towns of Blagoveshchensk and Khabarovsk. While in the later 19th c. the Central Asian khanates of Bukhara and Khiva became Russian protectorates, Tashkent was taken in 1865, in 1867 the capital of Kazakhstan was established at Verny (Alma-Ata from 1921, also Almaty since 1993), Samarkand was acquired in 1868, Khiva in 1873 and Kokand in 1876. Russia also expanded into Korea and Manchuria, certainly where an railway was needed to link Russian Asia with Vladivostok. However, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 halted Russian expansion while in the Far East until 1945. Alaska, annexed to Russia while in the 1730s, was sold to the united states in 1867.
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) ceded vast areas of Russia to Germany, such as the Baltic republics and Ukraine, and by 1922 Poland, Finland as well as the Baltic republics had declared independence, while Bessarabia had been annexed by Romania. However, the Soviet Constitution of 1923 incorporated the Ukrainian,
Belorussian and Transcaucasian republics into the USSR, followed in due season by five Central Asian republics. In 1940 the Baltic republics were annexed and Russia wrested Bessarabia from Romania, joining it to the Moldavian autonomous republic and establishing the Moldavian State. After 1945 and the victory over Nazi Germany, Soviet frontiers were advanced almost to the first sort Tsarist boundaries, as the USSR moved the frontier west so as to add all historical Ukrainian and Belorussian lands, along with the 36 Kurile Islands in the North Pacific became Russian again as per the Yalta agreement of February 1945.
After the collapse of the USSR in 1991 as well as declaration of independence by its former republics, the Russian Federation was established, occupying approximately the same territory as the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (17,075,4(X) sq. km). Access to black friday 2010 Sea via Odessa and Sevastopol' came under Ukrainian control, along with the Baltic republics controlled much of the first kind Soviet Baltic seaboard. Countries of the former Soviet bloc also declared independence. Now it is policy in many countries to encourage study regarding languages other than Russian, but it seems likely that the language will still be used as a lingua franca long to be found.
Dialects divide broadly into those north of Moscow but they are still south of Moscow, though you will find 'islands' while in the dialect map, on account of population mobility resulting from expansion, resettlement and displacement.
The northern group, deriving from the small NW area about Novgorod, whose lexis is permeated by Finnic loans (see Finno-Ugrian languages), covers an area including Novgorod, Vologda, Archangel, Yaroslavl', Kostroma, Vyatka, Perm', Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, as well as the southern group an area including Kaluga, Tula, Ryazan', Orel, Kursk and Voronezh. North-South dialectal differences in pronunciation and grammar arc not great, nor are dialectal features completely uniform across either the two areas; however,g is pronounced as being a plosive in most northern dialects, but to be a fricative south, while the pronunciation of eh as Its] is common while in the north, along with the northern infinitive + nominative construction may have originated in the Novgorod area, possibly looking at the Finnic ('Estonian) substratum, nevertheless there is a parallel construction for the reason that language. In most southern dialects, o in an initial or pretonic syllable is pronounced CAI,and some dialects have lost the neuter gender.
You will find significant lexical differences between north and south, particularly in agricultural lexis and the names of some domestic utensils, e.g. northern ithai, southern alto 'hue; northern :titbit, southern rogdch 'oven fork'; northern kvashoyd, southern dizha 'kneading trough% northern borononie, southern skorodie `to harrow; northern letnekh, southern sdshnik `ploughshare; northern kuznets, southern kovarsmith'; northern pet:1kb, southern kdehet 'cockerel' (the northern form in each case corresponding to the national standard norm). Ordt''to plough', now obsolescent, was found only in northern dialects, for standard pakheiti (cf. northern pakhdt"to sweep').
Northern dialects subdivide in to the eastern or Vologda-Vyatka group (the most important belonging to the groups); the northern or Pomeranian, which shares some features with dialects belonging to the Karelian peninsula and the part of the river Oncga; as well as western or Novgorod group (the dialect of Novgorod is the university of texas shooting whose characteristics can be followed consistently right away of the literate period to the day; it shares a Finnic substratum with Pskov, which, in addition, seems to have a *Baltic component).
Southern dialects are a lot more varied than northern, and comprise the SW or Kursk-Orel group, cognate Cossack dialects and dialects belonging to the Don area, the eastern or Ryazan'-Voronezh group along with the NW or Tula group.
Southern and northern dialects are separated by way of a narrow band of central dialects, extending from Pskov in the western world through Moscow to Penn, in a few of which southern forms dominate, on other occasions northern.
The Moscow dialect, which by the 16th c. took over as the Russian standard, adopted some northern and southern forms, e.g. northern ItI rather than southern [el, e.g. Isi'dit I for sail 'sits' (southern Isildiel), and southern IA] for 101 (which characterizes northern dialects) in initial and protonic syllables, e.g. lada I for vodci 'water' (northern [ voida I) (this latter feature ('akan'e') was known in Moscow dialect as early as the 14th c. and was received pronunciation by the early 17th c.). The transfer belonging to the capital to St Petersburg in 1710 had little have an effect on standard pronunciation, except that 1111 for <m> was preferred to long 1111.
While in the 1989 census, 163,578,000 (out of a Soviet population of 285,743,000) gave Russian as their native language and 69,010,000 as his or her second language. Native speakers of Russian while in the Russian Federation, which has been established after failure of the roof belonging to the USSR in 1991, arc estimated at 119,866,000, with 27,156,000 speaking it as a second language, a total of 147,022,000.
Article 68 of the constitution belonging to the Russian Federation (which includes 21 republics) (12 December 1993) reads:
(I) Russian will be the state language belonging to the Russian Federation over the whole of the company's territory.
(2) The republics have entitlement to establish their own state languages, which are used adjacent with Russian in local authorities and state institutions.
(3) The Russian Federation guarantees to all the its peoples the ability to preserve their native language as well as conditions simply because of its study and development.
Russian has official status as being a working language in every one of organizations of the United Nations Organization, while in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and in UNESCO.
All former republics of the USSR have included an article in their constitution specifying their titular language as the state of hawaii language. A Soviet Law on the Languages of the USSR (24 April 1990), requiring the compulsory teaching of Russian, as the official Soviet language, became irrelevant after the collapse of
communism. Nevertheless, a an understanding of Russian survives in former republics. Belarus, where Russian can be used in the legal system as well as in public life, has Russian special schools and Russian TV channels, books and newspapers. An understanding of Russian is widespread in other former republics, also in Mongolia (that features a
Russian newspaper, 110llocris M011tallHlf 'Mongolian News'). In Latvia, many
schools arc Russian-language orientated, there arc Russian '1'V programmes, newspapers, library holdings and theatres, and Russian is used in law by mutual agreement. In Ukraine, utilizing Russian is guaranteed under article 10 of the Constitution adopted on 28 June 1996.
While in the countries of the former Soviet bloc, study regarding Russian was compulsory at school and, to a lesser extent, at tertiary level. However, the language was often regarded as being a medium for ideological propaganda and standards were low. Pc newly independent states arc replacing Russian with western European languages, especially English, less German, French and Spanish. In Slovakia, Russian is still taught as a second or third language in secondary schools. In Hungary, Russian-teachers are converting study about the English, German, French or Spanish; in Poland, Russian is finding its level as being a normal means of economic and cultural contact. In the former East Germany, 'second language' command of Russian is claimed as a student (2 to 3 thousand per annum) and trade officials who spent protracted periods in Russia. In Romania, one can find 9,0(X) Russians and 31,000 Lippovans (Russian Old Believers who fled from persecution to the Danube delta while in the 18th c.) and Russian can be used in services by the Christian Cult of the Ancient Rite; Russian ceased to turn into a compulsory subject in schools so long as ago as 1964, but may end up being taught to be a 1st or 2nd foreign language. In Bulgaria, Russian is now optional in many schools, and some teachers of Russian are increasingly being retrained as teachers of other languages; the language is well established in the universities of Sofia, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv.
Russian can also be kept alive in some emigre communities, notably in Paris, where there initially were three waves of immigrants since 1917 as well as the community is now in its fifth generation. Books in Russian are published by YMCA Press and by the Institut des langues slaves. The Orthodox Church has played a major part in preserving the language, but services are often held in French, for the main advantage of younger Parisians of Russian descent. Long-standing Russian-speaking communities in Australia (18,000), Canada (32,000) and America (461,000) have now been joined by a substantial Russian-speaking community in Israel.