The Intersection of Linguistic Worlds in Women’s Prose

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The process of using foreign-language insertions in the Russian text is examined using books written by five female authors (A. Marinina, L. Romanovskaya, E. Rozhdestvenskaya, G. Shcherbakova, and T. Ustinova). Some aspects of women’s prose are discussed, as well as the appropriateness of including into it other-language words and expressions. This phenomenon can be interpreted as a replication of the translingual nature of modern texts, a case of code switching, an artistic method, an attempt to transcend the monolingual world, or a demonstration of the historicism of the narrative. It turns out that the most commonly used languages are German, English, and French, and many of the borrowed words are already rooted in the Russian language and might be considered part of its vocabulary, particularly in the case of the German language. This is exemplified by the Cyrillic spelling of inclusions and the limited repertoire of the foreign speech means employed. This material is valuable in that everyday writing prose, focused on the intimate problems of the “inner” (family) circle, allows us to conclude in what situations and for what purpose the writers resort to this technique. The material was collected by continuous sampling. Each writer uses elements of linguistic inclusions from the repertoire of languages available to her. We come to the conclusion that they are Russian-speaking, but not in the strict sense translingual: the use of the Latin or Cyrillic alphabet emphasizes the degree of “domestication” of the concept expressed by a foreign word. Characters are often characterized by the languages they borrow from. The repertoire of inclusions is small, it seems that it is Ukrainian words that look the most interesting and original, while borrowings from other idioms largely belong to the general fund, with which everyone who lived in the USSR and Russia is familiar to one degree or another.

About the authors

Ekaterina Yu. Protassova

University of Helsinki

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8271-4909

PhD in Philology and Hab. in Pedagogy, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Languages

P.O. Box 24, Department of Languages, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland


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