What are the principles of language reform Karamzin?
The famous writer Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin continued the development of the literary language, which was begun by his predecessors, and is also known as a theoretician of the new principles of the language, called the “new syllable”. Many historians and literary scholars consider this the beginning of a modern literary adverb. On the principles of language reform Karamzin, we will discuss in this article.
Language and Society
Like all great things, Karamzin’s ideas were also criticized, so his assessment of his activities is ambiguous. The word-writer N. A. Lavrovsky wrote that it was impossible to speak of Karamzin as a reformer of the language, since he did not introduce anything new, but merely repeats what was achieved by his predecessors - Fonvizin, Novikov, Krylov.
Ya. K. Groth, a well-known philologist, on the contrary, wrote that thanks to Karamzin, “pure, brilliant” prose appeared in the Russian language and that it was Karamzin who gave the language “decisive direction”, in which he “continues to evolve”.
Belinsky wrote that a “new era” had come into the literature, meaning the Karamzin language reform. In the 10th grade, they get acquainted not only with the work of this remarkable writer, but also emphasize on sentimentalism, which was approved by Nikolai Mikhailovich.
Karamzin and his followers, among whom was young V.A. Zhukovsky, M.N. Muravyev, A.E. Izmailov, N.A. Lvov, I.I. Dmitriev, adhered to the historical approach to the language and stated: “language is social phenomenon ", and changes with the development of the environment in which it operates.
Karamzin focused the "new syllable" on the norms of the French language. He argued that in noble society should write the same way as they say. It is necessary to disseminate the literary language, since the nobles mostly communicated in French or in common parlance. These two tasks and defined the essence of the language reform Karamzin.
The need for language reform
When creating the “new word”, Karamzin pushed off from the Lomonosov “three calms”, his ode and meritorious speeches. The reform carried out by Lomonosov met the requirements of the transition period from ancient literature to the new.Then it was still premature to get rid of Church Slavs. Lomonosov's “three calms” often put writers in a difficult situation, which had to use outdated expressions where they were already replaced by new, more elegant and soft, colloquial expressions.
Shishkovists and Karamzinists
At the end of the 18th century, A. S. Shishkov, A. A. Shakhovsky, and DI Khvostov visited the literary salon of Derzhavin. They were supporters of classicism, which went against Karamzin's language reform. Shishkov was known as a theorist of this society, and his supporters were called "shishkovists." The publicist A. S. Shishkov was so reactionary that he was even an opponent of the word “revolution”.
"Glory to the Russian language, that there is not even an equivalent word for this," he said.
Speaking as a defender of the autocracy and the church, Shishkov was opposed to "foreign culture." He was against the domination of Western speech and made up words from the age-old Russian patterns. This position led him to reject the principles of Karamzin's language reform. Shishkov, in fact, revived outdated Lomonosov "three calm".
His supporters ridiculed the supporters of the "new word". For example, comedian Shakhovskoy. In his comedies, contemporaries saw barbs directed at Zhukovsky, Karamzin, Izmailov. This intensified the struggle between supporters of Shishkov and the followers of Karamzin. The latter, wanting to make fun of the pine cones, even composed a phrase, supposedly of his authorship: “A good person is coming from the lists at a shame through a ramp in the sand pit and with a spotting.” In modern language it sounds like this: "The handsome man walks along the boulevard from the circus to the theater in galoshes and with an umbrella."
Down with Old Slavonic
Karamzin decided to bring together literary and colloquial languages. One of his main goals was the liberation of literature from ecclesiastical Slavism. He wrote that the words "stun us," but never reach "the heart." However, it was impossible to completely abandon the Old Slavic, since their loss could have caused great harm to the literary language.
To summarize, Karamzin’s language reform was as follows: outdated Slavic ideas are undesirable: Koliko, Ubo, Abie, ponezhe, and others. Karamzin said that it was impossible to say “commit” instead of “do” in conversation.“I feel, it seems, the sweetness of life,” said Izdeta. But no one would say that, Karamzin argued, especially a young girl. And, moreover, no one will write the word "Koliko."
“The Herald of Europe”, whose editor was Karamzin, even published in verses: “It’s quite a bit worse, in light of evil,” by virtue of the truth.
Old Church Slavism is allowed, which:
- they were poetic in nature (“I lit it in the sky”);
- used for artistic purposes (“If there are no fruits on it”);
- being abstract nouns, they will be able to change the meaning in a new context (“Great singers have been with us, but their creations have been buried for centuries”);
- act as a means of historical stylization (“I put down my dignity and spent my days in works dedicated to God”).
Ode to short sentences
The second rule of language reform Karamzin was the simplification of stylistic designs. Lomonosov's prose cannot serve as a model, he said, as his long sentences are tedious and the arrangement of words does not correspond to the “flow of thoughts.” In contrast, Karamzin himself wrote in short sentences.
Old Slavonic unions Koliko, Paki, Elias, Yako and others.replaced by allied words how, when, so, because, which, where, what. He uses the new word order, which is more natural and corresponds to the course of human thought.
The “prettiness” of the “new syllable” was created by structures that were close in form and structure to phraseological combinations (the sun was the light of the day, moving to the mountain monasteries was death, the bards of singing were poets). Karamzin often quotes one or another author in his works, and inserts excerpts in foreign languages.
The third principle of Karamzin's language reform was to enrich the language with neologisms, which were firmly established in the main vocabulary. Even in the era of Peter the Great many foreign words appeared, but they were replaced by words that existed in the Slavic language, and in an unprocessed form were too heavy for perception (“fortecia” - fortress, “Victoria” - victory). Karamzin attached to foreign words the endings in accordance with the requirements of grammar (aesthetic, audience, serious, enthusiasm).
Introducing new expressions and words into the text, Karamzin often left them without translation, being sure that the foreign word is much more elegant than Russian. He often can be found instead of "nature" - "nature", "phenomenon" instead of "phenomenon."
Over time, he revised his views and replaced “In the letters of the Russian traveler” foreign words by the Russians: “voyage” for the journey, “fragment” for the passage, “gestures” for action.
Karamzin sought to ensure that the Russian language had words capable of expressing more subtle shades of feelings and thoughts. Working on language reform, Karamzin (a brief summary of his principles above) and his supporters introduced many words into an artistic, journalistic, scientific speech:
- Borrowed words (billboard, boudoir, crisis, etc.).
- Semantic and morphological tracing (inclination, division, location, etc.).
- The words composed by Karamzin himself (falling in love, touching, public, industry, future, etc.), but some of these words did not take root in the Russian language (infantile, present).
“Beautiful” and “pleasant” language
Giving preference to the words that create “pleasantness” in expressing feelings and experiences, Karamzinists often used diminutive suffixes (berezhok, the shepherd boy, chicks, footpath, villages, etc.). For the same “pleasantness” they introduced words that create “prettiness” (curl, lily, turtle-dove, flowers, etc.).
According to the Karamzinists, “pleasantness” is created by those definitions that, in combination with various nouns, acquire different semantic shades (tender sonnet, delicate sound, tender cheeks, tender Katya, etc.). To give the narrations a sublime tonality, they widely used the proper names of European artists, ancient gods, heroes of Western European and ancient literature.
Such is the language reform of Karamzin. Having emerged on the basis of sentimentalism, it became a perfect embodiment. Karamzin was a gifted writer, and his “new syllable” was perceived by all as a model of the literary language. In the first half of XIX, his reform was met with enthusiasm and generated public interest in the language.