The paper presents a comparative overview of two categories of Old Rus' writing: birchbark documents and graffiti inscriptions on church walls. Similarities and differences between them are illustrated on the examples of two sets of birchbark documents discoverd at Troitskii excavation site in Velikii Novgorod and two sets of graffiti insriptions - in St Sophia Cathedral and St Geogge Cfthedral in the Yuriev Monastery.
This article deals with an application of referential markup to a large multimodal resource “Russian Pear Chats and Stories”, annotated for vocal, oculomotor, manual and cephalic channels. Despite a large number of works on referential choice, it has never been investigated within the framework of multimodal communication. For this purpose, a special annotation scheme in the ELAN environment is proposed, allowing one to annotate different types of referential units and to conduct a simultaneous tracking of referential expressions (full NPs, pronouns, demonstratives, zeroes, etc) with accompanying verbal and non-verbal units. The analysis of three recordings (overall duration equals to 141 minute), where the new referential annotation was introduced in addition to the existing multimodal markup, reveals a range of understudied peculiarities of the referential choice. It was found that the role of the Commentator in the conversation entails a significantly larger amount of constructions with a zero subject pronoun, compared to the monologue discourse of the Narrator and the Reteller. The analysis of referential expressions and accompanying pointing gestures complied with more general data previously obtained on the English material and showed that nouns are significantly more often accompanied by a pointing stroke than personal pronouns, while demonstratives occupy an intermediate position between nouns and personal pronouns as units potentially accompanied by a gesture.
A comparative diachronic analysis of the double-marking referential pattern in minor Finnic languages has revealed its contact-induced origin.
The article is a preliminary publication of the birchbark letters found in Veliky Novgorod and Staraya Russa during the archaeological season of 2018.
The article demonstrates that the initial words of the German ambassadors’ speech to Vladimir Svyatoslavich in the 6494 entry of the Povest’ vremennykh let represent a diplomatic formula also reflected by the 6733 (1225) entry of the First Novgorod Chronicle. The formula in question declares freedom of ambassadors’ and merchants’ traveling through the lands of contracting states. Accordingly, the ambassadors’ words contain a proposal to Vladimir to supplement the mutual openness for economic and political contacts already existing between the two countries by their confessional community.
This article discusses the phenomenon of using two Christian names by one and the same person among the laity in medieval Russia. The main attention is paid to the late stage of this tradition in the dynasty of Rurikids and in their inner circle. The article poses the following questions: what are the Christian names of Tsar Fedor and Tsarina Irina, what saints they venerated as their holy patrons and on what day was Irina Godunova born?
The paper deals with the special features of Russian dual Christian naming—that is, the practice of giving a lay person an additional Christian name, other than his/her baptismal name. In the Middle Ages in Russia, a man could not under any circumstances get a female anthroponym as a second Christian name, and a woman, respectively, could not get a male anthroponym. In particular, no variations with respect to the calendar tradition, which transform male names into female names and vice versa, were allowed. This markedly contraposes the choice of the second Christian name for a lay woman to the choice of the monastic name for a nun. The work examines a number of incidents that would seem to violate this rigor of the gender distribution of anthroponyms, and discusses a number of related problems associated with the multiplicity of personal names in pre-Petrine Rus’.
The article deals with one of the biggest collection of handwritten charmes of the first half of the 17th century – Olonetskii sbornik (Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 21.9.10) published in 2010. The authors propose some commentaries and alternative readings of handwritten text based on paleographic, codicological, critical, and linguistic analysis of the manuscript.
This book presents an attempt at the historical and philological study in the field of the cultural contacts between Scandinavia and Rus before the very end of the Viking age. The image of the ideal ruler, the practice of gift exchange, the concepts of the status and inheritance rights of illegitimate children, a narrative about ancestors as a way of characterizing descendants, and similarities between personal names, nicknames and solemn eulogies — these are, to name just a few, the intense points of this interaction which became the focus of our study.
The article discusses the implementation of marked subject pronouns after adversative conjunctions a and no in a parallel Russian-Polish corpus. The analysis compares Russian original sources, where subjective pronoun is obligatory, and their Polish translations (6 parallel texts, 428 entries). The study shows that the conditions for explicit realization of marked contrastive pronouns in pro-drop and non-pro-drop languages are different and likely influenced by the default pattern. Thus, the realization of the contrastive pronoun in Polish correlates with the degree of focus on the subject, which is higher in contexts with the conjunction a (lexemes “a of an abnormal consequence” and “a of comparison”). In these contexts, pronoun is translated into Polish much more often (χ-square, p-value <0.01).).
The article deals with a diachronic study of subject reference in Votic and Ingrian (Finnic branch, Uralic family). At present, in these languages, as in Russian, the subject pronoun is predominantly expressed explicitly (Ingrian: Miä muiššan šenen hüväšt ‘I remember it well’). However, this pronominal pattern is not typical for other Uralic languages, where the pronoun tends to be omitted (at least in the first and second person). In this regard, the genesis of pronominal referential pattern in Votic and Ingrian languages is of great interest. Basing on the diachronic analysis of Votic and Ingrian texts (mid 19th – early 21st century), the article shows how the pronominal pattern has developed through the Central and the Lower Luga dialects of Votic and through the Soikkola dialect of Ingrian. All idioms demonstrate a significant expansion of third person subject pronouns in the middle of the 20th century. This process coincides with the period of increased contacts with native speakers of Russian and can thus be explained by contact influence.
The history of dual Christian naming – that is, the practice of giving a lay person an ad-ditional Christian name, other than his/her baptismal name, – spans a period as long as at least ﬁve centuries (late 13th to 18th). This practice tended to be mostly socially and gender neutral, however, the ruling elites speciﬁcally contributed both to the making and unmaking of it. Originally, Russian princes and their milieu would give a baby one Christian name as baptismal and another as public, patrimonial and dynastic. Later, this public name would connoate the functions of a dynastic name and a baptismal name, while the ﬁrst name, deﬁned by the birth date, would be relegated to personal piety. Later, this transformation would have a dramatic effect on the whole practice of naming in Russia
This article publishes for the first time a graffito inscription in St Sophia’s Cathedral, Novgorod. The graffito has been preserved in a plaster impression and dates to the third quarter of the eleventh century. It is unique in content and form: a divination made by one Iakov Noga, who refers to himself as “the ravens’ priest.” There are many examples of the worship of ravens as prophetic birds in Old Russian and Scandinavian culture, and there is a close parallel for the expression “ravens’ priest” in one of the verse passages in the “Saga of Hallfred the Troublesome Poet.” The text of the Novgorod graffito is poetic in nature, making use of assonance and alliteration as well as of elements of rhyme. It is of considerable interest as an example of the secular poetry of Rus' and as striking evidence of the syncretism of medieval East Slavic religious culture.
"Zholkovsky’s work—vast in scope and eclectic in methodology—has long been humanizing semiotics in both the Russian and American academy, giving it a face, a sense of humor, a stake in the real worlds we live by, but never losing its structuralist bedrock. The essays collected here, which range from Pushkin to Fyodor Karamazov, Okudzhava and Sedakova, from Peter the Great’s scandals abroad to Russian literary theory and filmmaking at home, are a goldmine by leading Slavists in North America, Europe, and Russia. A huge book of brilliant nuggets, it lights up the contours of our field today while paying perfect vignette-like tribute to Alik’s long non-conformist career, as fascinating and inscrutably flexible as it was often perilous.” (By Caryl Emerson). *** “This book is a wonderful gift not only for the 'jubilee celebrant' (for AZ it is impossible to imagine this phrase without quotes), but for all of us. The variety of topics, genres and authors might seem surprising were it not for the fact that this variety reflects the character of the book’s addressee. Its content, better than any manifesto or theoretical treatise, brings us good news: that a lack of intellectual inhibition, an unrestricted field of vision, and an enthusiasm that does not cloy are all so becoming to scholarship that, in essence, has as its sole palpable subject the infinity of creative choices. I have always liked Mayakovsky’s neologism: 'Do not jubilee!' (He himself, though, was very much concerned with his own anniversaries.) A / Z is completely devoid of the sedate smoothness of octogenaric jubilees, but it has a lot of panache and a spirit of intellectual adventure, and most importantly, fun. In this, the book bears a striking resemblance to its addressee.” (By Boris Gasparov).