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Questions tagged [история-языка]

Questions on the history of the Russian language, its origin and changes it underwent through the centuries.

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22
votes
5answers
3k views

How come the Russian cognate for the Czech word “čerstvý” (fresh) means entirely the opposite thing (stale)?

In Russian, черствый хлеб (chorstvy khleb) is stale bread. And to my great surprise, I recently learned that in Czech, čerstvý chléb is precisely the opposite thing: fresh bread. My question is: ...
6
votes
2answers
570 views

Why was it decided in 1956 to abolish the spelling чорт (devil) in favor of чёрт?

I read in Wiktionary: чорт This spelling of the word was officially abolished in 1956 in favor of чёрт and is no longer in use. Both variants are pronounced identically. (Source) I see ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Was “Novgorod” in 1815 one city or the other?

This question is not about grammar or syntax, but about historical toponymy. In 1815 an employee of the Russian-American Company was taken prisoner in Spanish California. An interpreter from a ...
4
votes
3answers
311 views

Why do phonetically same Russian and Polish obscenities mean very different things?

Let us compare the meanings of some phonetically same Russian and Polish obscenities: Заебать (Russian): to get to, to pester. Zajebać (Polish): to beat someone up, to steal something, to brutally ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Why did the frequency of the word “черт” (devil) in books increase by a few times since the October Revolution?

I see in the Google Books statistics that the frequency of the word "черт" (devil) per unit of text length in books increased by ~3 times since the October revolution: Link. I used the case-...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

“дочерям их не будет ни в пути, ни при Дворе никаких обид”

The ИСТОРИЧЕСКИЙ ОЧЕРК ГЛАВНЕЙШИХ СОБЫТИЙ В КАМЧАТКЕ. 1650—1855 by Sgibnev, 1869, contains this passage: Января 13-го 1758 г. прибыл в Нижнекамчатск штат-фурьер Шахтуров для выбора ко двору ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

From where does “это” come?

Sorry if this is not exactly about Russian language, but I do not know where else to ask. What is the origin of word "это" in Russian language? Is it some kind of a combination of "je co"/"jest to" ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Mainland Russia as seen from Kamchatka circa 1800

Kamchatka is a peninsula, but overland access is so difficult that it also resembles an island. The road and rail networks of Siberia are a long sea or air voyage away. Around the year 1800, how ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Origin of Валюта

I am curios about Валюта meaning currency. What is the origin of the word? Does it come from greek or latin or somewhere else?
0
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0answers
58 views

Origin of Валюта

I am curios about Валюта meaning currency. What is the origin of the word? Does it come from greek or latin or somewhere else?
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Why did the meaning of the loanword креол change?

The term креол was adopted in Russian a couple of centuries back. Just possibly, it was introduced by Nikolai Rezanov after he visited Brazil and California. The term's origin is described as the ...
1
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0answers
95 views

Had any Spanish words been established in Russian by 1800? [closed]

I started wondering about long-established loanwords from the Spanish language. It's easy to find some lists of same, but not with dates of attribution. Here's a great list from Wiktionary. Had any ...
6
votes
1answer
414 views

Any way to trace when «учёный» became a noun?

I need to know the approximate time учёный was substantivised. Dahl has no separate entry for the word as either noun or adjective, but he does use it as a noun when defining other terms (e.g. «...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Cathedral, “Кафедральный”, why is ф in there?

After reading this article I got curious how ф is in place of "th" in English for the word Cathedral (Кафедральный)? Sounds almost like a coffee-place. (I know it is not Café or Kafee in russian but ...
4
votes
2answers
199 views

Kamchadalskii dialect

The native people of southern Kamchatka are Itelmen. The arrival of Russian men around 1700 created a mixed group called Kamchadals. By 1800, the Itelmen languages were mostly extinct and the Russian ...
4
votes
2answers
166 views

Have technology changes had any effect on the usage of идти vs. ехать (and similar verb pairs)?

I've only been studying Russian for about a year (and slowly at that), so I'm probably misunderstanding a lot. From what I understand, though, идти and ехать are both unidirectional verbs of motion ...
5
votes
2answers
213 views

Use of “да” instead of “и”

In Mussorgsky's operas Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina it strikes me how often "да" (usually meaning "yes") is used as a substitute for "и" ("and"). Is that how they normally spoke in the late 19th ...
1
vote
0answers
177 views

Lomonosov's three literary styles [closed]

According to Serhii Plokhy's Lost Kingdom, at a time of linguistic-nationalist tension, Mikhail Lomonosov prescriptively defined three styles: the high style, to be used for the composition of ...
4
votes
0answers
172 views

What are some Russian shibboleths? [closed]

I just read about shibboleths and I was wondering: what are some Russian shibboleths used today or in the past? A shibboleth is a phrase (or a custom/tradition) that is used to distinguish between ...
5
votes
3answers
416 views

Church Slavonic lettering style

Church Slavonic texts often appear in a particular old style of script. The lettering is related to Glagolitic and Blackletter (Gothic) in its parallel-line construction and dense packing. It does not ...
14
votes
1answer
565 views

Why is there a “ц” in “Сан-Франциско”?

San Francisco, Сан-Франциско in Russian, is a Spanish name meaning "Saint Francis". The Сан in the city name is a direct phonetic adoption, but the Франциско differs from the Spanish in the inclusion ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

“Промышленники” working for the fur companies

The term промышленник described individuals seeking furs and the employees of 1700s and 1800s fur companies such as Shelikhov-Golikov and the Russian-American Company. Those workers were involved in a ...
8
votes
2answers
322 views

Alternate shapes of cyrillic letters?

In the below image, the two characters underlined don't seem to have a match in the character map program I'm using: The closest matches I can find are п and д, respectively. Are these indeed the ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of Russian orthography is this?

This is a screen shot from Tchaikovsky's Harmony textbook: Is this the pre-reform orthography? If someone learns modern Russian, how difficult will it be to understand such paragraphs?
5
votes
2answers
681 views

Did Russian language brought any thing from Tamil language?

My mother language is Tamil (which considered to be a very old language). While creating Russian language did they got any words or characters from Tamil language?
15
votes
2answers
342 views

Странный слог А. Дубровского

В романе Пушкина «Дубровский» повествователь, комментируя следующее письмо, написанное одним из персонажей, Государь мой премилостивый, Я до тех пор не намерен ехать в Покровское, пока не ...
5
votes
1answer
562 views

Откуда взялось местоимение «её» и куда пропало «ея»?

Интересно было бы узнать больше об истории и этимологии личных местоимений третьего лица. Помнится, я где-то читал, что они якобы происходят от слова «оный». Как вы считаете? Может быть, все как ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

Examples of compound words “hidden in plain sight”?

I've known for a while what the word "совсем" means, but only recently did I realize that the meaning stems from the fact that: "совсем = с(о)+всем" (entirely=with everything). This is probably ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

When (and, if applicable, where) did ся cease to be a free clitic?

Russian and other East Slavic languages are peculiar, by Slavic standards, in having a fixed post-verbal reflexive particle rather than a free one (or rather, one that tends to follow Wackernagel's ...
8
votes
6answers
550 views

The exact origin of шёл

I'm aware of шёл's derivation from Proto-Slavic *xьdlъ, related to ходить, but that form still seems irregular — given that вёл, which has the exact same relation to водить, had e rather than ь in the ...
10
votes
1answer
430 views

What is “Э оборотное”?

Today I heard from my friend "Э оборотное". I still do not understand why he called it "оборотное". Is there a secret letter "э", which only Russian native speakers know about, which is turned the ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

Раз, два и обчёлся

I was just wondering what would be the origin of the verb обчёлся? Does it have something to do with закончил считать? I don't think we use other forms of this verb, but in this idiom. How old is this ...
4
votes
1answer
264 views

Why Lomonosov calls Russian language “российский”?

Lomonosov consistently calls Russian language "российский" in his works: "Российская грамматика" "Письмо о правилах российского стихотворства" "Предисловие о пользе книг церковных в российском языке"....
8
votes
1answer
285 views

What are the advanced Russian words якобы and дабы?

Very recently in a russian newspaper I came across the words якобы and дабы. I surfed the internet for these words and found out that generally якобы is alike псевдо or как будто бы, and дабы is так ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are United Nations and United Arab Emirates translated as “Объединённые”, but United States as “Соединённые”?

Are there two different ways to be "United", or is one simply the more modern usage while the other was used historically in previous centuries?
16
votes
3answers
527 views

Why do verbs in past tense—and not other parts of speech—have gender?

In Russian, verbs in the past have gender information attached to them, so that “я спросил” implies that the asker was male, whereas “я спросила” comes from a female. Why no other tenses have this ...
7
votes
5answers
898 views

“Красная” Площадь

It seems to be relatively common knowledge that the name "Красная Площадь," while translated in English as "Red Square," does not actually mean "Red Square" in Russian, but rather "Beautiful Square." ...
7
votes
2answers
365 views

Orthodox priests' facility with the Church Slavonic language

What I got from reading this is that the Russian recension of Church Slavonic (церковнославянский язык) is probably not terribly difficult to understand, at least generally, for an educated Russian. ...
10
votes
2answers
504 views

Russianization of Ancient Greek personal names

Can anyone shed some light onto the process by which (masculine) personal names of the Ancient Greek world were Russianized? With some notable exceptions (Homer, Aristotle, Hadrian, et al.), English ...
10
votes
2answers
381 views

Может ли известное ругательство с упоминанием матери быть сохранившимся аористом 1 л. ед. ч.?

У глаголов с основой на согласный формы аориста 1 л. ед. ч. (несъ, везъ и т.п.) совпадают с их прошедшим временем ед. ч. м. р. в современном русском. (Которое, разумеется, возникло гораздо позже с ...
2
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2answers
275 views

Recent Russian language changes

What are the most significant changes in Russian language in 20th-21st centuries other than orthography rules and lexicon?
-2
votes
1answer
143 views

Использование слова “один” до 1910-ых годов

Как можно видеть из графика в Google Ngram Viewer, все числительные использовались с примерно постоянной частотой с 1800 года. Но слово один до 1910 года практически не встречается в литературе. В то ...
1
vote
4answers
362 views

Russian words with negative connotation substituted by english ones [closed]

I'm looking for russian words that throughout the course of history acquired a negative connotation, because they were linked, for exemple,to the politics of Soviet Unione, and during the last years ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

[о]>[у] в “господарь”>“государь” — единичный случай?

Известны ли, помимо господарь>государь, еще случаи (до распространения аканья, разумеется), когда [о] сужалось в [у]? Может быть, также связанные с выпадением согласного?
14
votes
1answer
487 views

Н > И change in Cyrillic, when and why?

The modern Cyrillic letter had the shape of H a thousand years ago, it descends from the Greek H η 'Ήτα, Ēta'. What is interesting is when and why this letter changed the angle of its bar from H to И.
7
votes
2answers
838 views

Несовершенный вид в значении совершенного

Мы то и дело используем в прошедшем времени несовершенный вид там, где он по базовому смыслу вполне заменим на совершенный, однако контекст требует подчеркнуть, что было выполнено некое предписанное ...
24
votes
4answers
879 views

Как бы звучало по-русски название медведя *r̥ḱs-os/*r̥ḱt-os, доживи оно до наших дней?

Как известно, слово "медведь" это слово-заменитель табуированного "истинного" имени зверя. Похоже что такие замены происходили неоднократно - старое "истинное" имя забывалось и табу переходило на ...
8
votes
2answers
299 views

Думпкар и самосвал

Чуковский в книге "Живой как жизнь" перечисляет заимствованные слова и возникшие русские эквиваленты, например "голкипер" и "вратарь". Впервые в этом списке встретил слово "думпкар" аналогом которого ...
12
votes
4answers
547 views

Почему с конца 30-х перестали употреблять словосочетание “в Украине”?

В русском языке сочетание "в Украине" используется издавна. Господин гетман, <...> того ради вам надлежит итти по Киева, в Украйну свою и смотреть того, о чем уже вы известны. (К Мазепе) ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Был ли раньше «приятный аппетит»?

Есть пожелание «Приятного аппетита», но нет словосочетания «приятный аппетит». Почему так? Это устаревшее?