French and Russian in Imperial Russia: Language use among the Russian elite

Lara Ryazanova-Clarke (Editor), Derek Offord (Editor), Gesine Argent (Editor), Vladislav Rjeoutski (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This is the first of two companion volumes which examnie language use and language attitudes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russia, focusing on the period from the Enlightenment to the age of Pushkin. Set against the background of the rapid transformation of Russia into a major European power, the two volumes of French and Russian in Imperial Russia consider the functions of miltilingualism and the use of French as a prestige language among the elite, as well as the benefits of Franco-Russian bilingualism and the anxieties to which it gave rise. The first voulme, Language Use Aming the Russian Elite, provides insight into the development of the practice of speaking and writing French at the Russian court and among the Russian nobility fromthe mid-eighteenth to the mic-nineteenth centuries. It examines linguistic practice, the use of French in Russia in various spheres, domains and genres, as well as the interplay between the two languages. Including examples of French lexical influence on Russian, this volume takes a sociolinguistic interest in language choice, code-switching and the degree to which the language community being observed was bilingual or diglossic.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages270
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7486-9552-2
ISBN (Print)9780748695515
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Publication series

NameRussian Language and Society
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


  • Russian language
  • Russian culture and society
  • French language
  • historical sociolinguistics
  • bilingualism
  • Russian sociolinguistics


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