Vol 21, No 3 (2023): Linguistic and linguodidactic issues of bilingualism

Key Issues of Russian Language Research

Softness of consonants in the oral speech of Russian-speaking bilinguals in Germany and monolinguals in Russia

Vikhrova A.Y., Lypkan T.V.


The softness of Russian consonants in the oral speech of two generations of Russian-speaking bilinguals in Germany and monolinguals in Russia is explored. The relevance of the problem is due to the importance of studying the inherited Russian language of bilinguals, comparing the phonetic features of the speech of different generations of bilinguals, as well as their comparison with the features of the speech of Russian native speakers living in Russia, the need to study the state of the Russian language in the diaspora. The research is aimed at identifying the i-glide between the consonant and the subsequent vowel, which indicates the softness of the consonant. The material of the research was 300 syllables with soft consonants in voice recordings of phonetically representative texts developed in 1988 by S.B. Stepanova and used for many years as a universal tool for studying the phonetic aspect of oral speech. Auditory phonetic analysis of combinations of a soft consonant and a subsequent vowel, instrumental analysis with the Praat computer program (version 6.0.26), comparative analysis of the data were applied. The analysis of 300 syllables with soft consonants in various positions in the word showed that in the speech of bilinguals there are cases of i-glide absence: 83 cases (27%) in the speech of children and 32 cases (10%) in the speech of parents. It was proved that such cases most often occur with sonants, soft affricates, as well as some labial and dental consonants in the middle of a word. In the speech of monolinguals, there are almost no such cases. Russian speech in Germany is influenced by the phonetic system of the German language, however, most bilinguals (both children and adults) retain i-glide between a soft consonant and a vowel, which is characteristic of the Russian language. Comparison of the results of studying consonant softness with the results of studying their voicedness shows that softness is a more stable phonetic feature of Russian consonants compared to voicedness. The data obtained may be useful not only to linguists, but also to the authors of Russian language textbooks for bilingual children, as well as Russian language teachers working in German schools.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):261-277
pages 261-277 views

Lexical features of Russian speech of bilinguals in Germany and monolinguals in Russia: an experimental study

Kovrizhkina D.G., Moskovkin L.V.


The results of the comparison of lexical features of Russian speech of four groups of respondents are presented: 1) adult Russian-German bilinguals aged 35-50 who moved to Germany in the 1990-2010s; 2) their children aged 10-15 who were born in Germany or moved to Germany at an early age; 3) adult monolinguals aged 35-50 living in St. Petersburg; 4) their children aged 10-15. The relevance of the research is, on the one hand, in the importance of studying the state of the Russian language in the families of Russian compatriots living abroad, its preserving and developing, and on the other hand, in the need to supplement the existing data on the speech development of bilinguals with new facts. The research is aimed at comparing lexical features of Russian speech of two generations of bilinguals in Germany and monolinguals in Russia. The material of the research includes transcripts of picture story recordings from the book of M. Mayer “Frog, where are you?”. The methods of the research are observation, data systematization and statistical processing, comparison, quantitative and qualitative interpretation of data. The authors found out the average proportion of lexical norms violations in the stories of informants and among them the proportion of word substitutions, word omissions and superfluous words insertion. The types of word substitutions, their percentage, and their reasons were determined. The similarity of lexical norms violations in the speech of children (bilingual and monolingual), conditioned by general laws of speech development, was revealed. The conclusion is made about the relatively stable Russia lexical system in the diaspora, at least in the two groups of Russian-German bilinguals studied, and about its similarity with the lexical system of monolinguals. Some parts of the lexical system of the Russian language of bilingual children aged 10-15 years undergo changes, but these changes do not violate its integrity.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):278-292
pages 278-292 views

Syntactic features of Russian speech of two generations of bilinguals and monolinguals: a complex sentence

Tskhovrebov A.S., Shamonina G.N.


The study is devoted to the syntactic characteristics of the Russian speech at the level of a complex sentence of two generations of Russian-German bilinguals: the speakers of inherited Russian, aged 10-15, who were born in Germany or came to Germany at an early age, and their parents, aged 35-50, who moved to Germany in 1990-2010, and the Russian monolinguals of the same age, living in Russia. The relevance of the study is due to the importance of exploring complex sentences in oral speech, as well as the need to analyze the syntactic level of Russian speech of the inherited language speakers. The aim of the study is to analyze the deviations in using complex sentences in the stories of two generations of Russian-German bilinguals and to compare them with similar deviations in the stories of Russian monolinguals. Research material: transcripts of story recordings based on pictures from the book “Frog, where are you?” by M. Mayer. Linguistic observation, descriptive, statistical and comparative methods were applied. The average share of deviations from syntactic norms in the informants' stories was revealed, the violations were ranked according to their structural types. The most typical deviations, connected with the organization of a complex sentence parts, the use of connective and correlative words, were established. It is noted, that the speech of children has much more deviations from syntactic norms, than the speech of their parents. This fact is explained by a higher level of education of parents. In the speech of bilinguals, more deviations from syntactic norms were revealed than in the speech of monolinguals, which is caused by the different status of the Russian language in Germany and Russia. The conclusion is made about the perspective of the structural approach to the analysis of the syntactic features of the oral speech of different categories of Russian native speakers at the level of a complex sentence.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):293-305
pages 293-305 views

Early code-switches in young Russian bilingual siblings

Chirsheva G.N.


The number of bilinguals and multilinguals of all age groups, including the youngest ones, constantly grows in many countries of the world, which explains the topicality of the study. While researchers explore various aspects of bilingual development, linguists concentrate their efforts on the analysis of bilingual speech, including code-switches. The author deals with Russian-English code-switches in the utterances of two siblings at the earliest stages of their bilingual development - before they were 36 months old. The children had acquired two languages since their first month in a monoethnic Russian family, their first language being Russian and their second (non-native) language being English. The aim of the study is to reveal specific structural, semantic, and pragmatic characteristics of mixed utterances observed in early code-switches of the siblings. The author argues that children’s code-switches at the earliest stages within one family reflect specific features of the communicative situations where children have to cope with the choice between the two languages spoken by their adult interlocutors. It is shown that the application of the Matrix Language Frame Model to the analysis of early childhood bilingual speech is possible, but has several restrictions and limitations related to incomplete and imperfect acquisition of both grammars. The originality of the research is not only in the use of specific data (the earliest stage of bilingual speech observed in simultaneous Russian-English dual-language development), but also in the employment of the Matrix Language Frame Model to study them. This work can contribute to the research of typical features of emerging code-switches in developmental perspective.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):306-320
pages 306-320 views

Narrative strategy formation in the bilinguals’ stories in Russian: corpus study

Shishkov M.S.


The lexical parameters of oral stories of two generations of Russian-German bilinguals and the function of lexical means in the narrative strategy implementation are describes. Through addressing the oral narrative this study is included in the range of modern works considering the features of text generation by bilinguals. The relevance of the study lies both in the material and in the chosen methods of analysis. The aim of the study is to identify the degree of the narrative strategy formation at the lexical level among representatives of two generations of Russian-German bilinguals in comparison with monolingual Russian native speakers. The research material is a corpus of experimentally collected oral stories (47 texts) of German-Russian bilinguals. M. Mayer’s book “Frog, where are you?” was used as a stimulus for subjects. The test subjects were representatives of 22 families: children - 26 people aged 8 to 19 years, parents - 21 people aged 30 to 55 years. To compare the characteristics of the corpora, the similar corpus of oral stories of monolinguals (42 stories) was involved. Quantitative and statistical analysis, corpus analysis, thematic and semantic analysis of vocabulary, elements of structural analysis of narrative were used. The novelty of the study is the corpus analysis identification of lexical parameters of narrative strategies used by two generations of bilinguals. The analysis showed that the degree of lexical skills development in the implementation of narrative strategies in bilinguals is lower than in monolinguals in both age groups, despite the statistical similarity of the texts of both corpora. This concerns, first of all, the completeness and uniformity of the lexical expression of the mandatory components of the narrative stimulated by the material, and the relations between them in the text. At the same time, the general trend of narrative creation was in line with expectations. The identified parameters can be further methodically interpreted in order to prepare educational materials for bilinguals.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):321-340
pages 321-340 views

Methods of Teaching Russian as a Native, Non-Native, Foreign Language

Forming linguistic-cultural competencies in Kazakhstani students learning Russian as a non-native language

Arynbayeva R.A., Makhanova Z.K., Dmitryuk N.V.


The formation of linguistic-cultural competence in the process of teaching Russian as a non-native language is becoming a priority in modern linguodidactics, in particular in the educational space of Kazakhstan. The relevance of the study is in the need to form and develop a fully educated secondary linguistic personality in the multilingual environment of modern society. This requires applying anthropocentric principle in teaching Russian as a linguistic-cultural phenomenon. The aim of the study is to form students' linguistic-cultural competence in precepting the features of the Russian picture of the world, traditional values, and mentality of the Russian ethnic group. The material of the study includes associative dictionaries of the Russian and Kazakh languages, the results of associative experiments with schoolchildren, scientific sources on psycholinguistics and cultural linguistics, Kazakh manuals and textbooks on the Russian language (in schools with Russian/Kazakh language of teaching). In the work comparative and associative experiments, pilot survey were used, as well as the methods of structuring (associative semantic gestalt according to the method of Yu.N. Karaulov), linguistic and cultural commentary, modeling situational exercises and analysis of communicative-speech acts. The results of the study illustrate the specificity of students' ethnolinguistic awareness at the associative level. The relevance of linguistic and cultural commentary for widening students' ethno-mental outlook and organising adequate intercultural dialogues is grounded. The effectiveness of associative experiments materials as a means of forming linguistic-cultural competence of students is shown.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):341-355
pages 341-355 views

Foreign humanitarian students’ perception of a precedent name in the Russian discourse

Sarycheva M.R., Derybina S.A.


The high recognizability of the precedent names among the native speakers of a particular linguistic culture has led to the relevance of studying these linguistic units in the aspect of foreign language teaching, where considerable attention is paid to the formation of linguistic-cultural competence. The aim of the work is to study the peculiarities of precedent name perception in the Russian language discourse by humanitarian foreign students. The materials of the research included adapted and original texts, Internet memes with precedent names. The subject of analysis was precedent names from literary works and movies. The nature of the material under study necessitated the use of the continuous sampling method. Twenty-seven precedent names from fiction and journalistic texts, from Internet memes were used. Further processing of the obtained results was carried out with the help of descriptive, contextual and semantic analyses. A total of seven tasks were offered to recognize precedent names in fiction, journalistic and educational texts and to correlate the precedent names with their characteristics and sources. It was proved that the indicator of the attractiveness of precedent names in Russian language teaching is the interest of foreigners in characters that are highly recognizable by native speakers, the reference to sources significant for native speakers, and the possibility to correlate them with the precedents from their native linguistic culture. The authors describe the specifics of selecting significant precedents for native speakers of a particular linguistic culture and suggest compiling a linguistic-cultural commentary on the language units studied, considering the realities of the country of the language under study. Moreover, the high interest of foreign students to the memes containing precedents shows the research perspective in terms of defining the principles of selecting the precedents and developing appropriate methodological recommendations.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):356-369
pages 356-369 views

Comprehensive diagnostics of the level of Russian language proficiency in a multiethnic Russian school

Khamraeva E.A., Kytina N.I., Bolmazova E.V.


The most important tool for the adaptation and integration of foreign-speaking children into the Russian educational space is the Russian language. In modern Russian schools, the most pressing issue is the assessment of the level of proficiency in Russian by foreign children, since in the situation of formed migration there is no common institutional complex for the diagnosis of these children's language and speech skills. It is necessary first of all to make diagnostic measurements of the ability of school children from migrant families to master school subjects in Russian. The lack of methodological tools of this kind complicates the process of adaptation of foreign language students to the educational space of the Russian school. This circumstance conditioned the tools for developing and implementing complex diagnostics aimed at determining the language skills and the level of speech competence not only of foreign-speaking children, but also of all students in educational institutions of the Domodedovo city district. The aim of the study was to determine the general didactic and methodological requirements for a foreign-speaking student in a Russian school, and to create an effective tool for defining the linguistic and socio-cultural competencies of this category of students. The research development of the diagnostic procedures carried out and their results aimed at determining the levels of Russian language proficiency among students of 5-9 grades in the polyethnic composition of the Domodedovo city district are presented. Within the framework of the study, methods of pedagogical observation, statistical method, method of diagnostic testing and expert evaluation, method of quantitative processing of the obtained data were applied. In the diagnosis 1248 students of Domodedovo city district schools took part. The testing was carried out in electronic format, which made it possible to obtain and process the results in the shortest possible time. The methodological basis for the research and development of testing materials was the manual by Elizaveta A. Khamraeva “Linguodidactic diagnostics” (the series “Russian school”), which includes tests for children aged 6-14 years, compiled on the basis of the meta-subject approach. The results of this study can serve as a content base for individual educational trajectories, based on the principles of differentiated learning, which will contribute to the successful learning of academic disciplines in accordance with the requirements of the Federal State Educational Standard in a modern multicultural school.

Russian Language Studies. 2023;21(3):370-386
pages 370-386 views

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