Functioning Of The National And Regional Words In The Literary Text


The article examines the functioning of national and regional vocabulary in the Russian literary text. The text of the novel-chronicle of the founder of the modern Kalmyk literature A. M. Amur-Sanan "Mudroshkin's son" is used as a language material. The novel was written in 1925 in Russian and depicts a panorama of traditional Kalmyk life at the turn of the ХIХ-ХХ centuries. The author justifiably uses national vocabulary to convey the original culture, way of life, way of managing, features of the organization of the Kalmyk society, different types representing the social strata of the Kalmyk people. In the course of the study of language material, methods of continuous sampling and statistical analysis, contextual and lexical-semantic analysis, methods of linguoculturological and historical-cultural commentary were used. The analysis showed that the toponyms and anthroponyms used in the text, both of Russian and Kalmyk origin, have an important informational and semantic meaning, localizing the text with a specific geographical region of Russia - Kalmykia. However, the vast majority of toponyms and anthroponyms used in the text are of Kalmyk origin. Russian language influence is observed in the system of official designations of persons: first, the two - and three-part model of designation dominates, and second, word-forming means of the Russian language are used. This allows us to conclude that Kalmyk-Russian bilingualism in this fragment of the language system is manifested consistently and systematically.

Keywords: AM Amur-Sanan, Kalmyks, literary text, Russian-Kalmyk bilingualism


Bilingualism is a natural and historically established phenomenon for the peoples of Russia, since the peoples of multinational Russia voluntarily chose Russian as the language of official, scientific, and interpersonal communication. As a result of centuries – old interethnic contacts, an interesting phenomenon has developed-Russian-language fiction. The work of bilingual writers shows the peculiarities of the authors ' linguistic personality, their language competence in their native and non-native languages. It is the skill of a bilingual author who managed to embody the unique world of native culture in the means of a non-native language that largely determines the artistic merits of a work and, ultimately, its place in the world literary space. The twentieth century gave the world Ajtmatov, Suleimenov, Sangi, Rytheu. In recent years, due to the expansion of international communication, new names of bilingual writers and their works created in the language of the acquired culture have become known: Chuyako, Kerashev, Hagurov, Oner, Kandur, Midhat, 3. Apschatse, Natho, Harahok, Seifeddin, Balykov (Topalova, 2017). Bilingual writers introduced the Russian-speaking reader, and through translations of works into other languages and readers around the world, to the culture, history, and nature of the Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Nivkhs, Chukchis, Adygs, Ossetians, Circassians, Kalmyks, and other peoples of multinational Russia. In General, the work of bilingual writers is valuable in connection with their important mission of spreading knowledge about the unique culture of Russia's ethnic groups, which make up its main wealth, and the need to preserve it.

Problem Statement

A long and rich history of the study of the writers of bilinguals from a literary standpoint (Akmataliev, 2013; Ayilchiev, 1991; Huseynov, 1988), from the standpoint of cultural studies (Gachev, 2007), in the aspect of translation (Dzholdosheva, 2019), bilingualism (Chertorizhskaya, 1981; Hasanov, 1990; Kremer, 2009; Kopylenko et al., 1990; Maire, 2008; Nikolaev, 2004). In a number of scientific works is a complex problem of evaluating artistic creativity of writers bilingual: as a phenomenon of Russian literature (based on language) or national literature (based on the search for the historical and cultural heritage of their ethnic group). In the works of Abdokova (2006), Arzyamova (2016), Derbisheva (2014), Dzholdosheva (2019), Dzholdosheva and Mamytbekova (1991), Mirza-Ahmedova (1981), Ryadchikova and Kushu (2004) and others, the problem of reflecting the ethnic picture of the world in the works of writers in the Russian language is studied non-native language. In studies by Bagirokov and Sheudzhen (2017), Bahtikireeva (2009), Clément (2011), Derbisheva (2014), Kalinina (2004), Kasymalieva (2017), Maire (2008), Miskichekova (2011), Nazarova (2005) and others, attempts are made to study the personality of bilingual writers combining the achievements of native and acquired linguoculture. In this aspect, the article examines the literary heritage of the founder of modern Kalmyk literature, the prose writer Amur-Sanan, who created all his works in Russian. Amur-Sanan is devoted to a fairly extensive literature, which assesses his public and state activities (Neyachenko, 1988; Polyakov, 1970; Ubushaev, 1988), reveals the contribution to the formation and development of Kalmyk literature (Balakaev & Oglaev, 1988; Kabachenko, 1967; Lidzhieva, 1988; Saldusova, 1988), published memoirs of his colleagues (Gavrilova, 1988), attempts to create a creative portrait (Esenova, 2003; Mayorov & Polyakov, 1970; Musova, 1988) of the writer. However, until now, the writer's legacy was considered only from a literary point of view, in particular, the plot and composition of the novel-chronicle "Mudroshkin's son" were studied. Unfortunately, no linguistic research was undertaken on the whole of Amur-Sanan's work, nor on the novel-chronicle "Mudroshkin's son". We should also note that the literary activity of Amur-Sanan was not considered in the aspect of artistic bilingualism, although his works were created in the first third of the twentieth century. The Kalmyk prose writer can rightly be attributed to the founders of artistic Russian-national bilingualism. The Russian-language literary work of the writer is not studied from the point of view of reflecting the picture of the Kalmyk world in the means of acquired linguistic culture, and this aspect has become extremely relevant in recent years.

Research Questions

The research questions of the article are in line with the problematic-the regularities of categorization of reality in the means of acquired linguistic culture. The article considers the peculiarities of using national vocabulary in the Russian literary text of Amur-Sanan's novel-chronicle "Mudroshkin's son", taking into account the achievements of linguoculturological research of artistic bilingualism on the example of Kalmyk proper names.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to study the functions of national and regional vocabulary in the Russian literary text. For this purpose, we consider the functioning of national onomastic units, toponyms and anthroponyms, the cultural and historical load of which is particularly significant in the literary text.

Research Methods

During the analysis of the material, various linguistic research methods and techniques were used.

  • The continuous sampling method was used to determine all national media in a Russian literary text. Methods of contextual and lexical-semantic analysis were used to study the functions of national vocabulary in the Russian literary text. In order to determine the historical and artistic significance of Kalmyk toponyms and anthroponyms in the Russian literary text, the method of linguoculturological and historical and cultural commentary was used.
  • At all stages of the study, statistical analysis techniques were used, which allowed us to establish the typical in specific language manifestations.


The analysis showed that 106 Kalmyk onomastic units were used in the text of the novel: 81 anthroponyms and 25 toponyms. In general, the use of all these national tools in the text is justified, their function is to localize the text with a specific region. Localizing the artistic text designation, first of all, are toponyms: proper name Kalmykia, the phrase Kalmyk region, Elista. The Kalmyk Autonomous region was formed in 1920, considering the aspirations of the working people and as a result of great organizational work of prominent public figures. As we know, the Kalmyk khanate, a state formation of the Kalmyks of the XVII-XVIII centuries as part of the Russian Empire, it was abolished after the Exodus of most of the Kalmyks to their historical homeland, Central Asia. The novel covers the complex history of the Kalmyks' acquisition of statehood in the twentieth century, in particular the activities of Amur-Sanan, who was one of the organizers of the autonomy, to relocate the Orenburg, Terek, and Kuma Kalmyks to the borders of Kalmykia. In this regard, we should mention a significant settlement in the fate of the Kalmyk people – Chilgir, repeatedly mentioned in the text of the novel. From July 2 to July 9, 1920, Chilgir hosted the first all-Kalmyk Congress of Soviets of the Kalmyk labor people and announced the formation of the Kalmyk people's Autonomous region. Chilgir was chosen as the site of the historic Congress for a reason. This area is known for its topography – the smoothest surface - and clear sky (kalm. chilgir ‘clear, cloudless’), and it is the geographical center of the Kalmyk nomads. The current capital of our Republic, Elista, is also mentioned in the novel. In the first third of the twentieth century, it was a village on the territory of the Manych ulus. The village got its name from the hydronym Elista (from Kalm. elsn ‘sand’). In the novel, the toponym Kalmyk Bazaar is found, denoting a trading settlement where wholesale trade in cattle was carried out, which was supplied by Kalmyk people from different parts of the Kalmyk steppe; where Kalmyk workers were hired for fishing. During the period described, this locality was important for the entire Kalmyk people: the Kalmyk missionary and folk schools functioned here, the hurul ‘Buddhist temple’ operated, where Buddhist lamas ‘priests’ performed services and religious rites daily, and the Buddhist emchi ‘doctor’ treated patients with Tibetan medicine. In addition, in the text of the work of art, the locality categories are represented by generic geographical names, which, as a rule, are of Russian origin. For example: lake, hill, city, region. According to the compatibility patterns of the Russian language, generic nominations are used in the preposition to a specific name, usually a national one, for example, lake Tsagan-Nur, lake Bor-Nur, lake Manych, Tsoros-mergn hill, etc. It should be noted that in some cases Russian generic geographical names duplicate Kalmyk ones, for example, lake Tsagan-Nur (from the Kalmyk hydronym tsagan ‘white’ + nur ‘lake’), lake Bor-Nur (from the Kalmyk hydronym bor ‘gray’ + nur ‘lake’). In addition, geographical generic categories of Kalmyk origin are presented separately: ulus ‘ulus’ (Bolshederbetovskiy ulus, Maloderbetovskiy ulus, Bagacokhurovskiy ulus, Manychskiy ulus, Yandykomochazhniy ulus). Ulus – is a General Mongolian term that originally meant ‘people, state’, in the period described, refers to an administrative unit - ulus, an analog of the district. In such toponymic categories, the Kalmyk geographical term is used in postposition to an adjective that names a geographical object. A toponym that includes the name ulus is a hybrid attribute phrase. It consists of a Kalmyk geographical term - a noun, in the preposition to which is an adjective formed from the Kalmyk noun. As a rule, these nouns are ethnotoponyms denoting ancient tribes and clans of the Kalmyk people. The fact is that historically the Kalmyk steppe was divided into territories that were assigned to certain tribes. These lands were called by them roamed in tribes, for example, Bolshederbetovskiy (from the ethnonym of Kalmyk ih dөrbөd ‘large derbety’), Maloderbetovskiy (from the ethnonym of Kalmyks baha dөrbөd ‘small derbety’) ulus; or named types: e.g., coros (from the ethnonym of Kalmyks coros ‘coros’), Harahus (from the ethnonym of Kalmyks harahus. In addition, the land could be designated by an anthroponym that goes back to the proper name, for example, the owner: Jandykomochazhnyjn (on behalf of the owner of Jandyk). The text also contains the Kalmyk toponym ajmak, a common Mongolian designation for a tribal formation. Historically, in the Kalmyk khanate, the lands of the Kalmyk tribes were further subdivided into ajmaks. During the described period, the ajmak is an administrative-territorial unit within which representatives of a particular kind – the ajmak-lived. The derived noun ajmachnik is a hybrid noun formed from the Kalmyk root ajmak + Russian suffix-nickname, denoting people belonging to this genus (metonymic transfer). Here we should pay attention to the alternation of k / h on the morphemic suture, which indicates the adaptation of the Kalmyk element to the phonetic system of the Russian language. This fact indicates the duration of Russian-Kalmyk language contacts and borrowings that led to phonetic interference. So, the considered national and regional toponyms in the artistic space of the novel "Mudroshkin's son" have an important informational and semantic meaning, localizing the text with a specific geographical region of Russia. This indicates that the proper names used in this text reflect the geographical reality, and not the fictitious nature of the named objects. The same informational and semantic role in the text of the novel-chronicle is played by anthroponyms. The most frequent proper name that implements this function is the ethnonym Kalmyk. The text also contains its derivatives: kalmychonok, kalmychka, Kalmyk, which also correlate the content of the text with the specified region. In addition, this function in the text of the work is implemented by proper names-anthroponyms. They are represented by generic names and personal names. The text contains several models for entering proper names. Thus, some Russian kinship terms are used in combination with the Kalmyk proper name. Perhaps the use of the term in a preposition (grandma Alda) or postpositive (Muroshkin son). Of interest is the model of formation of a proper name, which gave the name to the entire work. Adjective Mudroshkin the Kalmyk is derived from a proper name Muudra. From it, using the suffix -eshk-, which gives the word a disparaging connotation, a derived name is formed. Next, the adjective is formed by word-formation patterns of the Russian language: Mudroshkin. Thus, the name included in the title of the entire work reflects the main idea of its author. The name, which includes a suffix with the meaning of disdain, denotes Anton's status in the traditional Kalmyk society, which is bound by tribal customs. The text of the novel also uses social status designations of people based on Russian in combination with Kalmyk proper names: prince Bembe. The Kalmyk anthroponyms are presented in several ways in the text. The most common variant is the representation of a personal name: Angir, Botha, Haar, Naran, Tula, etc. The next method is to identify a person by their last name: Chonov, Harmandjiev, Buzutov, Sarangov, Shavaev, etc. In addition, there is a two-part designation (last name + first name).): Mudra of Kankurov, Moncher Jimbeev, Lidge Buyanow, Nude Harmandjiev, Nooha Ochirov, etc. Finally, there are complete designations that include the personal name, patronymic, and surname: Anton Mudronovich Amur-Sanan, Harti Badievich Kanukov, Oka Ivanovich Gorodovikov, and so on. With the exception of the personal name, most of the proper names found in the text of the work are formed according to the Russian model: surnames are formed from the personal name in the genitive case, patronymics are formed from the personal name in the genitive case + the suffix -ich/-na. However, among the nominations, there are several symbols, which are hybrid modes of transmission: for example, Buginov. Here the Kalmyk affix of the genitive case -in and the Russian ending of the genitive case -ov are used. There is an excessive expression of belonging by means of two languages - Russian and Kalmyk. Among the official nominations of people, most of them are Kalmyk personal names. The exception is a few Russian personal names: for example, Anton. This version of Antuan (in the pronunciation of an old Kalmyk grandmother) demonstrates the phonetic difference between the sound systems of the two languages.


Russian literary text of the bilingual writer Amur-Sanan thus makes extensive use of proper names from the Kalmyk and Russian languages to localize it within Kalmykia. Toponyms of both Russian and Kalmyk origin serve this purpose.

  • First of all, these are Kalmyk nominations: Kalmykia, Kalmyk region, Elista, Chilgir, Kalmyk Bazaar. These and other national and regional toponyms (ajmak, ulus and their derivatives) in the artistic space of the novel "Mudroshkin's son" have an important informational and semantic meaning, localizing the text with a specific geographical region of Russia - Kalmykia.
  • The same informational and semantic role in this literary text is played by anthroponyms. The vast majority of the anthroponyms used in the text are of Kalmyk origin. It is revealed that the influence of the Russian language can be traced in the system of official designations of persons. First, the two- and three-part model of notation dominates, and second, word-forming means of the Russian language are used. We can conclude that Kalmyk-Russian bilingualism in this fragment of the language system is manifested consistently and systematically.


The report was prepared based on the results of the RFBR project No. 20-312-90030 "The world and images of Kalmyks in the Russian literary text (based on the material of the novel-chronicle by A.M. Amur-Sanan "Mudroshkin's son")" (2020).


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Tamara S., E., & Esenova B., G. (2021). Functioning Of The National And Regional Words In The Literary Text. In & V. M. Shaklein (Ed.), The Russian Language in Modern Scientific and Educational Environment, vol 115. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 355-362). European Publisher.