9

In his Language Manifesto of 1900, Nicholas II of Russia wrote:

Вмѣстѣ съ тѣмъ приняты во вниманіе потребности частныхъ лицъ, коимъ и впредь обезпечена возможность обращаться въ правительственныя установяенія на родномъ языкѣ также свободно, какъ они имъ пользуются въ общественной жизни и частномъ быту.

I'm puzzled by him choosing также instead of так же. I have always thought that the relevant grammar rule is very simple: I should choose также if I want to say also or in addition, whilst I should choose так же if I want to say in a similar manner or analogously. My interpretation of the above excerpt from the manifesto is as follows:

At the same time, we take into account the needs of private persons, who will continue to be provided with the opportunity to interact with administration bodies in the native language as freely as they use it in public and private life.

If I am right in my understanding of this excerpt, and if my understanding of the rule to choose between также and так же is correct as well, then the above sentence of the manifesto seems to be a perfect case to choose так же and a clearly wrong case to choose также. The choice made by the Tsar has shattered my feeling of certainty about the grammar rule.

How is his choice correct, or was he careless enough to make a grammar mistake in an official decree?

10

Since on the source site you gave a link to there is a typo or an OCR mistake in the word установяенія instead of the correct установленія, I decided to check the original printed version of the manifesto if также is also a digitizing mistake. I found it in a scan of "Полное собраніе законовъ Россійской Имперіи" and it is really также there (scan pages).

Также in that manifesto is definitely a mistake, and we'll never know at which stage it appeared. Также and так же were well differentiated already in the beginning of the 19th century. In his monumental Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian Language (1863–1866), Vladimir Ivanovich Dal (Dahl) wrote, volume 4, page 354, entry for the word "такъ":

Такъ же, такимъ же образомъ, способомъ, порядкомъ, одинаково. Задача эта рѣшается такъ же, какъ та. Пишутъ и также, и это правильно, гдѣ означаетъ: то жъ, то же, (нѣмцк. auch.) И я также пойду, также хочу, и мы также были тамъ.

enter image description here

Anyhow, it was a mistake to have также in that sentence of the manifesto, let's blame the corrector who should have noticed it when preparing the document to be officially printed.

And finally, have a look at this Google Ngram chart. As you can see, during the last 220 years the relative frequency of также and так[ъ] же has not changed which means in the times of Nicolas II the rules for the choice of these two words were the same as now:

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    +1. I've been searching for the original when your answer came up.. – tum_ Jun 26 at 16:22
  • 1
    @Mitsuko - We cannot know what was in the text the tzar signed, we can only see what was published officially, the document with Nicholas' signature was obviously rewritten and sent to the printing shop where it was typeset by someone, proofread by another person(s), printed once, sent to more proofreading, and then printed officially and finally. But then, when that collection of the laws was compiled, all the process was repeated again, beginning with typesetting the text anew. There were too many chances to lose that space for us to guess the exact moment where the mistake occurred. – Yellow Sky Jun 26 at 23:38
  • 2
    @Mitsuko - Still, with the manifesto we see where the mistake is, because we know how to write that correctly, no meaning is lost for us, but there can be much more complicated situations. James Joyce' book Finnegans Wake (1939) is written in a magical language of dreams in which most English words have a letter or two altered in order to resemble other words in other languages, especially names of the rivers from around the world. In such a text you'll never ever know if the word has a typo or the author wrote it so. – Yellow Sky Jun 26 at 23:49
  • 1
    @tum_ : I guess it couldn't be a typo or an OCR error, for one simple reason: так же was actually spelt as такъ же in those times of yore :) But it's nice that Yellow Sky looked in the original printed version and directly confirmed that it wasn't an OCR mistake. – Mitsuko Jun 27 at 0:02
  • 1
    @Mitsuko - It can be a typo when transferring text from one medium to another — a person usually reads a sentence or a part of it, takes one's eyes off the original and then begins to write it down dictating the sentence to oneself at the same time, and that's where the mistake can occur, because такъ же and также sound absolutely the same. – Yellow Sky Jun 27 at 0:13
5

At the time this manifesto was composed, the closest thing to an authority on Russian orthography was Grot's Русское правописание.

It reads (97.7.3):

(Для образованiя составныхъ реченiй соединяются еще) … мѣстоименiе или нарѣчiе съ союзомъ, или два союза: тоже (нарѣч.), однакоже, также. Но когда выражается сравненiе, то слѣдуетъ писать: такъ же скоро; такъ же, какъ

The manifesto's spelling clearly violates this rule of the guide.

It's in good company. There are lots of texts in the corpus which also violate this rule:

  • Еще недѣлю онъ продолжалъ посѣщать насъ также часто, но все также ничего не говорилъ.

  • – Это ужасно! – также громко отвечал ей кто-то из группы.

  • По невероятной случайности, тетерев краем левого крыла попал между трех больших пальцев брата, которые он точно также инстинктивно сжал.

| improve this answer | |
2

Judging by modern rules, yes, it is a grammatical mistake. (Good spot!) Although I don't think Russian grammar was codified to the same extent in 1900 as it is today.

Your translation is quite accurate and so is your understanding of the также / так же rule.

But it is a mistake to judge a 1900 document by a 1956 rulebook. ;)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.