The change of the name of the Russian language in Russian from Rossiiskii to Russkii : did politics have anything to do with it?
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During the 1830s and 1840s the official Russian name of the Russian language changed from Rossiiskii to Russkii. Prior to this the names of the country and of its language were directly related (Rossiia – Rossiiskii), while today they remain disjointed (Rossiia vs Russkii). To date, researchers, both in Russia and abroad, seem not to have been interested in explaining either this change or the persisting discrepancy between the two terms. The article draws attention to this disjunction, contextualized against the background of various linguonyms and names of countries and regions closely connected to the history of Russia. The text does not identify a decisive answer to the deceptively simple-looking question that it investigates. Nevertheless, it proposes a hypothesis that the change might be connected to the anti-Russian uprising of the Polish-Lithuanian nobility (1830-1831) and the subsequent replacement of Polish by Russian as the official language in Russia’s original zone of partition of Poland-Lithuania. The analysis may encourage other researchers to engage with this neglected, though quite crucial, question in an interdisciplinary and comparative manner.
Kamusella , T D 2012 , ' The change of the name of the Russian language in Russian from Rossiiskii to Russkii : did politics have anything to do with it? ' Acta Slavica Iaponica , vol. 32 , pp. 73-96 .
Acta Slavica Iaponica
This is an author version of this article. The published version, (c) 2012 Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University is available free from http://src-h.slav.hokudai.ac.jp/publictn/acta/32/a32-contents.html
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