Dispersion Of Parameters Of Language Norm Of The Xvii Century


The reform of the Russian Orthodox Church of the mid-17th century is the most important stage of the Church Slavonic norm formation. The norm consists of correction of the liturgical literature and establishment of codification in printed books. The consideration of parameters’ dispersion of such diagnostic characteristics of Russian and Church Slavonic language forces as reflexes of Common Slavonic combination *dj deserves special attention. In the early stage of existence of two language forces in Kievan Rus the precisely dated liturgical hand-writings fixate two diametrically opposite tendencies in the realization of reflexes. Research of the 17th century’s printings important for the liturgy such as Apostle, the Book of Psalms, The Horologion shows the direction of the fixation genetically heterogeneous reflexes *dj, despite the differences in the initial representation of pre-reform parameters. However in general the dispersion of the norm of the edited liturgical books tells about the full reconstruction of the genetic fond from the “first” South Slavic influence. Eastern-Slavic by the origin equivalent in this case is presented in mentioned 5%-13%, which confirms the fixation of the South Slavic жд as the norm in accordance with the tendencies of the Knizhnaya sprava. The alignment of the realization of heterogeneous reflexes *dj in systemic verbal formations and in the group of “individual words” should also be mentioned, which was possible provided conscious editing of the genetic background of liturgical printed books. It led to the uniformity of the genetic representation of all groups of Slavonic reflexes of diphthongic combinations.

Keywords: Reflexes of pre-Slavic combinationsChurch Slavonic language of the Russian editionediting of liturgical textslanguage norm


Features of the formation and development of the Eastern-Slavic literary language, and then the Russian literary language in conjunction with the oldest literary and written language of the Slavs, grant them a special position among other literary languages according to the definition of Trubetskoy (1987), which determines the research directions of the Russian literary language from the view point of the formation mechanisms of its heterogeneous system.

Problem Statement

In this regard, one of the significant problems not only of Russian studies, but also of Slavic studies, has been raised by M.V. Lomonosov problem of the genesis of the Russian literary language. The problem of determining the genetic status of the Old Russian language, which is closely related to the peculiarities of the interaction between the Old Slavonic (South Slavic in its basis) and East Slavic language elements, cannot be solved without revealing scientifically reliable diagnostic signs. Already in the Lexicon of Slavenor, Berynda (1627) was first pointed out the ratio of “Slovenian” and “Russian” equivalents, such as отвращаю – отворочение, заграждение –загорожение (avert – averting, a barrier –– blocking) and others.

In the XIX century works of A.Kh. Vostokova and F.I. Buslaev laid the basis of scientific views on the sound features of Old Russian and other Slavic languages ​​and the specifics of fixation, adaptation and correlation of genetically correlated East Slavic and South Slavic elements in ancient Russian written language monuments, Russian literary language and dialects.

At the beginning of the 20th century, based on the data of the monuments of ancient Russian literature and the modern Russian literary language, Shakhmatov (2019) pointed out the ambiguity of the entry of various Church Slavonic elements into the Russian language system (by the example of * dj and * tj,), determines the features of their relationship with genetic correspondences and proposes an objective classification of reliable diagnostic signs. From this moment, the authority of Shakhmatov (2019) Church Slavonic elements and the Eastern Slavic correlates corresponding to them become an important part of the study of Old Russian and modern Russian language (Filkova, 2002), as well as important arguments in favor of various hypotheses of the origin and language nature of the Russian literary language. Judging by our research (Bekasova, 2016), conceptually significant in the classification Shakhmatov (2019) is the division of each of the categories of genetically related elements into 2 groups: systemic verbal formations (verb forms and verbal nouns) and the group of “separate words” such as вождь (a leader), жажда (thirst), мощь (power), пещера (cave) etc.

By the middle of the 20th century, science had not only accumulated material describing the corresponding genetic correlative elements in various monuments of Old Russian literature, but also determined the criteria for their preference, as a rule, on the material of the torot- and trat- lexemes.

Research Questions

However, one of the first problems of the study of genetically heterogeneous reflexes of pre-Slavic combinations is their asymmetry in the liturgical and original ancient Russian monuments, noted by most researchers since the XI century (I. Sreznevsky, M. A. Kolosov, I. Yagich, K. F. Kalaidovich, A.S. Budilovich, S.K. Bulich, A.Kh. Vostokov, N.I. Grech, N.N. Durnovo, A.A. Shakhmatov, etc.). This situation is clearly expressed in the fact that the ancient Russian genetic background of the medieval text reflected differently the results of the divergence of the Slavonic reflexes: Church Slavonic texts clearly preserved the incompleteness and u *tj, *gt, *kt, while the original manuscripts showed a different range of heterogeneity.

At the same time, the first researchers of the monuments of Old Russian writing fixed on the most controversial question about the mechanisms of realization of the South Slavic reflex *dj on Russian soil and the specifics of its relationship with the original East Slavic reflexes, which until now remains completely unsolved (Bekasova, 2016).

Thus, the reflexes *dj in both Church Slavonic and Old Russian texts are a special link in the language system, which does not obey the basic laws of the realization of genetically correlative reflexes caused by the interaction of the South Slavic and East Slavic language elements. The anomaly of the dispersion of the realization parameters of the reflex *dj does not allow one to accurately determine the patterns of their representation in Church Slavonic and Old Russian languages, as well as the time for fixing the railway as an established alternant in a number of alternations.

All this led to the choice of the subject of the study, which were the peculiarities of the fixation of the pre-Slavonic reflexes *dj in the ancient Russian monuments of writing.

Purpose of the Study

The first accurately dated Old Russian manuscripts contain a different genetic fixation set of *dj. At the same time, the identified differences in the implementation of ж and жд <* dj determine the goal of the proposed article, which is the need to study the correlation of heterogeneous reflexes * dj in old printed confessional books of the period of church reform of the 17th century.

Research Methods

The main research method in this paper is the lingua-genetic, which determines the genetics of the analyzed linguistic elements and their correlation in Slavic languages, the unity of which has its roots in the pre-Slavic era (Vendina, 2018). This method goes back to the comparative historical one, which began in the works of F. Bopp, R. Rusk, A. X. Vostokova, J. Grimm and A. Schleicher.

The specificity of the Church Slavonic norm within the framework of the dispersion of the genetic parameters of the realization of the reflexes of the Slavonic language can be determined by using textual analysis techniques that reveal the peculiarities of the lists and the direction of editing, which is especially important during church reforms of the 50-60s of the XVII century, when the printed text was subjected to conscious editing (Zhivov, 2006), which is one of the “main methods of textual work” (Likhachev, 2001).

In this regard, the ratio of genetically correlated reflexes of the Slavic combinations requires a comprehensive analysis that takes into account extra-linguistic and linguistic factors and their implementation in specific printed publications that have been edited (Bekasova, 2016).

The peculiarities of morphological alternation and its fixation in the graphic system of the Old Russian language and Church Slavonic texts (Russian version) determine the application of the morphological analysis developed by N.S. Trubetskoy (as cited in Kubryakova, 2008).


The most important monuments of the Church Slavonic language (the Russian izvod), presented by ancient, accurately dated manuscripts, fix diametrically opposed tendencies to the realization of the reflections of the Slavonic combination *dj - while preserving the original genetic background in the Ostromir Gospel and its almost complete replacement in the Novgorod Menaia. Table 1 shows frequency ratio of East Slavic and South Slavic reflexes.

Table 1 -
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A similar dispersion of the language norm in liturgical texts, which developed at the initial stage of the collision of genetically heterogeneous reflexes *dj, is fixed until the Nikon reform of the mid-XVII century (Bekasova & Mironova, 2018). However, it should be assumed that the correction of books required bringing the implementation of *dj to a certain uniformity - or restoring the South Slavic in origin to the railway, or fixing a new one, according to Uspenskij (1987), Church Slavonic norm f.

This hypothesis determines the consideration of the features of fixation of heterogeneous reflexes *dj in Church Slavonic texts of the specified period. According to the famous theologian Kartashev (1992), “there was not enough scientific knowledge to criticize the texts of the books, and the books still propagated grammatical and semantic errors. <...> Spies did not make a secret of mutual discrepancies and contradictions of their Moscow texts” (p. 31).

In other words, the main problem of the book review was the unification of printed texts, which should not have differed primarily in their publications. In this regard, it was possible that there were two areas of editorial editing in accordance with the prevailing trends in the realization of the reflexes of the pre-Slavonic combinations *dj - with a predominance of either g or g. The choice could be made in any direction.

Table 2 -
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In the first table line of the Table 2 depicted the ratio of the overall amount of heterogeneous reflexes, in the second line – their implementation in the system of the verb formations. The diversification in the realization of reflexes *dj in the system of verbal formations and the group of “separate words” are considered.

Such a differentiated approach to these groups is productive, since the verbal formations represent a system of interrelated cognates, in which the presence of a reflex defined by origin is largely due to the morphological position, where loyalty or prohibition of realization * dj is strong enough. In particular, in the ancient Russian manuscripts of different types, genres and territorial affiliations, there is a predominant fixation of the railway before the suffix -i / j / verbal nouns like хождение, блуждение, суждение (78%) and, vice versa, before the ending - y in the form of 1 person singular of the present/simple future time (93.6%) (Bekasova, 2016).

The established selection criteria in the systemic verb formations could not regulate the selection of heterogeneous *dj in the group of “individual words” due to their isolation from single-root formations and independence from position (cf. освобожать/ждать – освобожу/жду, освобоженный/жденный – освобожение/ждение and преже/прежде, межа/межда, вожь/вождь ). In this regard, the group of “individual words” came closer to the implementation of full-opinion / non-fullness in the город/град type words, including the rather wide dispersion of the norm (Živov, 2014), which determines their heterogeneity in closely related contexts.

As we see it, the group of “individual words” is very promising in terms of conscious editing, since it was not burdened by the already established selection criteria depending on the morphological position characterizing the verbal formations.

The statistical data of Table 2 convincingly show a tendency to an increase in the South Slavic origin of the reflex in older printed books of the Nikon edition: in the group of systemic verbal formations, the Psalter text of 1658 contains 24% more cases of use of train; This indicator increases in the text of the Apostle in 1655, where the reflex of the train prevails more than 1.8 times as compared with the text of the editorial board in 1638, and in the Hour of 1668 it increases to 2.3 times in comparison with the text of 1652.

At the same time, the Horologions of the 1652, 1658, 1668, which texts directly affected the interests of the ministers of the church and were the main stumbling block of the Nikonians and Old Believers in the course of the correction of books (Mironova, 2018), clearly show the strengthening of the South Slavic origin of the reflex *dj from circulation to circulation, cf.: 53.2% – 78.8% – 87.1%.

The difficulty of editing was that the reflex was not regarded as a deviation from the norm, moreover, it was equally sanctified in the texts of Holy Scripture. That is why the dissenters who rejected the official bookishness, for whom “all forms of language, down to grammatical categories, were understood and interpreted as a reflection of religious entities and church dogmas” (Vinogradov, 1982, p. 172), equally use heterogeneous reflexes *dj.

Such an assessment, which in the liturgical texts does not infringe upon the “liturgical dignity” of genetically correlated reflexes *dj, was maintained by the tradition of teaching on religious memorials that existed in Russia, the numerous lists of which implemented a mixed type of alternation with a possible increase in sales or train or train. Along with other discrepancies accumulated over the centuries, the indicated tendencies in the use of reflexes *dj made it difficult to unify religious texts.


The study of the dispersion of the parameters of the linguistic norm of the pre-reform period and the time of intensive correction of the liturgical books of the Nikon press convincingly shows an increase in the South Slavic origin of the reflex *dj, which, despite the different representation in each of the monuments (Psalter – 95.2%, Apostle – 71.3%, the Horologion – 87.1%), goes in the direction of restoring the original – South Slavic – genetic background of the text. However, heterogeneity in the realization of reflexes *dj still remains practically in the same initial framework of the language norm – from 5% (Psalms) to 13% (the Horologion). It is necessary to note the narrowing of the list of roots (such as -ход-, -род-, -суд- etc.) of verbal entities that implement a mixed type of alternation in the system of verbal formations in most Russian medieval manuscripts.

At the same time, thanks to editorial editing in the mixed type of alternation, the positions of the reflex жд <*dj are strengthened compared to the primordial correlate, moreover, a new alternation of South Slavic origin is established in the Psalter and the Horologion (1658 and 1668). Thus, the editing of liturgical texts at the expense of the preferential use of жд <*dj leads to the homogeneity of their texts and the genetic uniformity of the norm in all groups of reflexes of Slavonic combinations.


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Mironova, E., & Bekasova*, E. (2019). Dispersion Of Parameters Of Language Norm Of The Xvii Century. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 310-316). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.43