A History of the Russian Language and its Speakers
University of St Andrews
The history of the emergence of any standard and therefore at least initially somewhat artificial language is complex, but that of Russian is perhaps exceptionally so, with argument simmering for many years over the character, extent and relevance of variation. An attempt is made to present both the history of the language and of its users, in this way bringing the whole general picture together. The earliest days, with the emergence of writing, are explored, after which language use in Rus' is examined. Russian from the Mongol Conquest to Muscovy and the social and linguistic reshapings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are seen as creating a base whose stability is worked through over the next few generations.
A standard emerges in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, but remains exploratory throughout the nineteenth century, since when we have the October Revolution and its impact on language, followed by the current 'liberation' of Russian. The picture is brought to life by the inclusion of texts, with commentaries, from all periods. The aim is to provide a clear, readable, and accessible presentation for a wide range of readers.
ISBN 9783895868061 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 26. 390pp. 2007.