Rusanova S.V. Legislative Acts in Peter the Great Period: Slavization of the Language


Svetlana V. Rusanova

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of Philology, Novosibirsk State Technical University

Prosp. K. Marksa, 20, 630073 Novosibirsk, Russia

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Abstract. The article is devoted to Slavization of business writing in the Peter the Great period. The focus is on legislative acts of the first decades of the 18 th century. Their language testifies that bookish-Slavic elements penetrated into it rather early. It is proved that the process under study took place in stages and began with documents that serviced international relations. In that kind of writings, literary means were actively used as early as in the first years of the century. The decrees related to the activities of the Patriarchal and Monastic prikazes reveal the use of bookish-Slavic lexical and syntactic means approximately in the same period. The research establishes the causal relationship between the early fixation of Slavonisms with the linguistic experience accumulated in those fields of activity during the previous period. In the language of legislative acts aimed at solving domestic problems, literary means were used more intensively at the end of the first – at the first half of the second decade of the 18 th century. The article emphasises that it was a certain stage of developing new linguistic and stylistic means in the normative legal and administrative documents. Also, it is highlighted that their composition was arranged either according to the standard word usage of prikazes or to the word usage in international documents. It was primarily due to the subject content of the documents and the communicative and pragmatic attitudes of their drafters.

Key words: history of Russian literary language, business language of Peter the Great period, legislative act, prikaz language, bookish-Slavic language means.

Citation. Rusanova S.V. Legislative Acts in Peter the Great Period: Slavization of the Language. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2023, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 55-65. (in Russian). DOI:

Legislative Acts in Peter the Great Period: Slavization of the Language by Rusanova S.V. is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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