This is the first of two companion volumes which examine language use and language attitudes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russia, focusing on the transitional period from the Enlightenment to the age of Pushkin. Set against the background of the rapid transformation of Russia into a major European power, the two volumes of French and Russian in Imperial Russia consider the functions of multilingualism and the use of French as a prestige language among the elite, as well as the benefits of Franco-Russian bilingualism and the anxieties to which it gave rise.
This first volume, Language Use among the Russian Elite, provides insight into the development of the practice of speaking and writing French at the Russian court and among the Russian nobility from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. It examines linguistic practice, the use of French in Russia in various spheres, domains and genres, as well as the interplay between the two languages. Including examples of French lexical influence on Russian, this volume takes a sociolinguistic interest in language choice, code-switching and the degree to which the language community being observed was bilingual or diglossic.
A comprehensive and original contribution to the multidisciplinary study of language, the two volumes address, from a historical viewpoint, subjects of relevance to sociolinguists (especially bilingualism and multilingualism), social and cultural historians (social and national identity, linguistic and cultural borrowing), Slavists (the relationship of Russian and western culture) and students of the European Enlightenment, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism and cultural nationalism.
French and Russian in Imperial Russia
Edinburgh University Press
Language Attitudes and Identity
Russian Language and Society