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The Russian Language Outside the NationSpeakers and Identities$
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Lara Ryazanova-Clarke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748668458

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748668458.001.0001

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Similarities and Differences between American-Immigrant Russian of the 1970s and 1980s and Post-Soviet Russian in the Motherland

Similarities and Differences between American-Immigrant Russian of the 1970s and 1980s and Post-Soviet Russian in the Motherland

Chapter:
(p.209) Chapter 8 Similarities and Differences between American-Immigrant Russian of the 1970s and 1980s and Post-Soviet Russian in the Motherland
Source:
The Russian Language Outside the Nation
Author(s):

David R. Andrews

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748668458.003.0009

The chapter presents a nuanced analysis of the two paths in the pluricentric Russian language’s global development evidenced by the two sites of Russian-English language contact: third-wave émigré Russian in the US and the Russian of the metropolis exposed to English influences and borrowings. Intonation, phonetics and lexical areas of linguistic contact are discussed. The author charts the semantic evolution that English lexical items undertake when they lose their sociocultural moorings and become part of a different Russian-language culture - that of the mainland. Moreover, the shifts are also found to be stylistic: English loans in Russian easily change register, moving to identify slangs and criminal argot. Conversely, the direct contact situations and bilingualism of Russian speakers in the US and the assimilationist pressures of American society are the conditions that prevent the borrowings from breaking free from their original meanings. Instead, the émigré Russian of the third generation develops a high level of semantic extension, not typical for ‘Russian Russian’.

Keywords:   Émigré Russian, US, English borrowings, bilingualism, phonetics, lexis

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