The French Conquest of Russian Lexical Territories: A Study of French Loanwords in Russian




Grishko, Regina

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At the beginning of the 18th century, under the reign of Peter the Great, French culture, literature and language became prestigious in Russia. During this period and subsequently, numerous loanwords, particularly nouns, found their way into the Russian language. This project examines phonetic and morphological adaptations of French loanwords into Russian. The language has incorporated into its lexicon numerous nominal borrowings, while transforming them so to respect the rules of word construction in Russian. For instance, the equivalent of French constitution in Russian is constitutsiya; while the root was preserved intact, the nominal suffix -tsiya is used instead of French -tion, creating a whole series of Russian words having French roots and Russian suffixes (presentatsiya, illustratsiya, etc.). However, other types of lexical items were borrowed from French without any morphological adaptation; this is the case for bureau, metro, règlement, etc. Therefore, this study sheds light on the different borrowing processes in Russian. It thus permits a more in depth understanding of the long-standing French influence on Russia.



Russian, French, loanwords, adaptation, borrowings, assimilation, French influence