Svetlana Mengel

Dr. phil., Professor, Director of the Institute of Slavic, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg

Adam Kuckhoff-Str. 35, 06099 Halle (Saale), Germany

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Abstract. The author makes an attempt to deliver some observations on the issue that concerns identity of texts composed in 'plain' Russian. The analysis consists in distinguishing textual micro-blocks that incorporate marked and variable features of the Church Slavic and 'plain' Russian language, then comparing and differentiating their functional value as they are used in the micro-blocks stated. Two 'Russian' translations of «Te deum laudamus» have been chosen for the comparative analysis: the translation from Latin into Church Slavic that used to be canonical in the 18th cen. Russia and interpretation of the Bible (translated into German by Martin Luther) that was adapted by Simon Todorsky for the Russian readers. Considering the divine predestination of the text S. Todorsky included into his version a micro-block with a conversion to God that is composed of some specifically marked elements of Church Slavic. However, the lucidity of the text is achieved with another micro-block that is directed to an ordinary believer and includes elements of the 'plain' language, besides some notable forms of the language appear to marks the translator's personal style. Variability and unmarkedness of morphological and phonetic features that are non-densely observed throughout the text point to the fact that there appeared a special language variant – a plain style which is considered worthy of being used for converse with God.

Key words: history of the literary Russian language, the 18th cen., Church Slavic, plain Russian, Simon Todorsky.

Citation. Mengel S. The Identication of "Simple" Russian Language. Some Theoretical Reflections. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2, Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2017, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 50-57. (in Russian). DOI:

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THE IDENTICATION OF “SIMPLE” RUSSIAN LANGUAGE. SOME THEORETICAL REFLECTIONS by Mengel S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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