The Language of Russian Peasants in the Twentieth Century: A Linguistic Analysis and Oral History

Author:   Alexander D. Nakhimovsky
Publisher:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498575034


Pages:   252
Publication Date:   15 October 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
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The Language of Russian Peasants in the Twentieth Century: A Linguistic Analysis and Oral History


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Overview

The book analyzes the social dialect of Russian peasants in the twentieth century through their letters and stories. The chronologically organized annotated examples constitute an oral history of peasants' tragic Soviet past, and the author argues that for all their variability, local peasant dialects maintained an underlying unity throughout the century.

Full Product Details

Author:   Alexander D. Nakhimovsky
Publisher:   Lexington Books
Imprint:   Lexington Books
ISBN:  

9781498575034


ISBN 10:   149857503
Pages:   252
Publication Date:   15 October 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The language of Russian peasants as a social dialect 1.1 Introduction: The language of peasants 1.2 Peasant language before 1917 1.3 Examples from Bogoraz, Tenishev 1.4 An initial generalization: the peasant language profile 1.5 A longer story from 1925 Conclusions Chapter 2. Peasants and Bolsheviks, 1917-1928 2.1 Introduction: The impact of the revolution 2.2 Letters to power: long history pre-1905 2.3 The revolution of 1905 and new kinds of letters 2.4 Linguistic background: Phraseology, Formulaic language 2.5 Revolution and civil war, 1917-21 2.6 Bolshevik innovations and peasant attitudes 2.7 Available peasant materials, 1917-1921-1928 2.8 Directions of change 2.9 Categories and examples Conclusions Chapter 3. Personal letters 1939-1940 3.1 Introduction: the source and the background 3.2 Letters to the army and peasant moods 3.3 Personal letters as a genre: tradition, structure and formal elements 3.4 The source and the historical background 3.5 Examples of letters 1: three generations 3.6. Examples of letters 2: Old people 3.7 Examples of letters 3: Recent peasants and some success stories 3.8 The defining features of peasant letters 3.9 On literacy and letters from schoolchildren 3.10 Discourse and pragmatic features 3.11 Overlap and interpenetration with other social groups 3.12 Vocabulary, syntax, phraseology Conclusions Chapter 4. Scholars and narratives from the 1950s to today 4.1 A longer timeframe, the endangered language 4.2 Biographic narratives as historical testimony 4.3 Examples, grouped by history 4.4 The linguistics of peasant narratives Conclusions: the unity of peasant language

Reviews

Pre-1917 almost all Russians were peasants. Nakhimovsky musters difficult-to-access sources to prove a thesis: despite geographical differences, peasants had nation-wide speechways that survived into the first Soviet decades. But confronting collectivization, wars, large-scale migration into cities, mass education, and media, ex-peasants adopted standard-language usage and Soviet jargon, first superficially and haltingly, later more thoroughly. Linguists and political scientists will also appreciate the explication of urban substandard usage (prostorecie), remarkably uniform throughout the Russian-speaking world. -- Wayles Browne, Cornell University Until recently, most Russians were peasants, yet we still know sadly little about the world they lived in, and about their actual experience of the many catastrophes of the last century. Nakhimovsky writes clearly and with deep insight. Nothing I have read gives me such a vivid understanding of the world of the Soviet peasant, of the language they used, of how they thought and felt. This study also throws new light on the depiction of Russian peasants by such writers as Tolstoy and Chekhov. -- Robert Chandler, English Translator of Andrey Platonov's The Foundation Pit and Soul: And Other Stories While Russian literature was endlessly adored by literati of many cultures its most significant parts were seldom acknowledged or even mentioned. The language of the mass of Russian people i.e. Russian peasants (in the 1940s still 9/10 of them) its capacity to develop reflecting history was usually lost. Professor Nakhimovsky is to be congratulated for the way he brought up Russian language actually spoken by Russian people, its remarkable flexibility, the way it followed the daily life as much as the massive drama of what Russia's life was. Even the curses typical of the way Russian have expressed themselves daily have often more vigour than fine delicacy of others. -- Teodor Shanin, University of Manchester & Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences


Author Information

Alexander D. Nakhimovsky is associate professor and director of the linguistics program at Colgate University.

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