THE HISTORICAL LANDMARK OF RUSSIAN LANGUAGE Istoricheskue Etapi Ruskogo Yazika

Charles O. Nwarukweh

Abstract


It is a fact that every language has a specific period of its development. When we look at the status of language in a country where such a language is used, we evaluate the overall development and the endangerment of the language, and we categorize the official recognition given to such a language within and outside the country. A very crucial element in our study is the realization of human language as being symbolic and its symbolism is reflected in our ethical culture which we express through communication. Communication plays an important role because knowledge, which is the life wire of any development, is acquired only through communication, which is made possible through the use of language via its historical background.  

Russian language was the lingua franca and official language of the then Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic- USSR). The Russian language is one of the greatest languages of the world, possessing a multitude of grammatical forms of words and rich vocabulary.

It is a fact that each language has specific mechanisms through which it develops and the process it expresses grammatical notions. One of such mechanisms is used in the Russian language and the processes of its historical development. This paper takes a look at Russian studies and its global status. With a view of revisiting the historical development and the challenges facing the effective teaching and learning of the language worldwide. It will also discuss the efforts made by stakeholders to popularize and enhance Russian studies globally.  Some relevant notes on Russian history, geography and culture is also reviewed.  

            In the beginning of Russian writing, in the ninth and tenth centuries, were two alphabets. Presently the Russian language is written with an alphabet consisting of 33 letters. It belongs to the group of languages known as Slavic family group of languages. Other languages in this group are Bulgarian language, polish language, Rumenian language, Czech/Slovakian language, Ugoslovian language, Ukrainian language, Belarussian language etc. All these languages are closely related in vocabulary and forms, and knowledge of Russian facilitates the learning of any of the other languages mentioned above.

The print system of Russian language is called Cyrillic writing. The composition is traditionally ascribed to the Monk Cyril a young noble man of Salonika in Greec with his brother Methodius who was commissioned, around 865 AD to convert into Christianity the Slavic inhabitants of Moravia (a district of what is today called Czechoslovakia) (Czech/Slavia) and he devised an alphabet in which to write down certain portions of the scriptures in Slavic speech of the area.  

            The Cyrillic alphabet with various alterations and additions is that in which several languages of the Slavic group are written. These are all languages of the Byzantine or Orthodox Faith. It is also used for many of the non-Slavic languages during the socialist regime of 1917.

            During the reign of Peter the Great some of the Slavic letters were modified and simplified. Some of the letters vanished (юс малый, юс большой)  Пuи, Кси  Oмeгa, and many others changed. Finally, on October 10-1918 by decree of the Soviet government, certain letters were eliminated to the one now use by the removal of – ЯТЬ, фита, i and by dropping the use of the hard sign at the end of a word. The script form of the Russian letters are quite similar to the corresponding form in our own system of hand writing.

            Apart from that, Russian has borrowed a good number of words from Latin, German, French and other European languages. Especially, in the area of sports, science and technology.    


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References


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