Department of Russian Linguistics of Philological Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State Unversity

The Russian Language Department of Lomonosov MSU

The Russian Language Department is a multifunctional research centre where the history of Russian and its modern system are investigated in a wide range of aspects. The main of them are: Russian phonetics and grammar, lexical system and word formation, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, stylistics and speech standards, language teaching methodology, and also historical phonetics and grammar, etymology, paleography, palaeoslavistica, the history of Russian literary language and Russian dialectology. Information technologies applied in teaching and research are also developed here.

The professors and lecturers of the department teach 30 disciplines at all the divisions of the faculty, advise the research carried out by students and post-graduates, deliver special courses and seminars. They also teach students at other faculties and branches of Moscow State University, deliver public lectures and master-classes in other Russian and foreign universities. They carry out linguistic expertise, review new course books, textbooks, manuals and dictionaries edited in Russia. Some professors of the department are members of the Orthography Committee in Russian Academy of Sciences.

Each year the department publishes new scientific works, course books and manuals in all the scientific spheres mentioned above. Interactive course books, electronic dictionaries and testing systems are developed here as well.

The department collaborates with a lot of partners abroad. The series of textbooks has been prepared with Tehran University (Iran) and The Humboldt University in Berlin. Professors of the department deliver lectures in universities of Spain, Italy, China, some of them are honorary professors of European and Asian universities.

There are 3 laboratories working within the Russian Language Department:

  • The Laboratory of Etymology
  • The Laboratory of Dialectology
  • The Laboratory of General and Computational Lexicology and Lexicography

The Laboratory of Etymology

In 1959 the research group was organized by academician N. M. Shanskiy to create a fundamental multivolume Etymological Dictionary of Russian Language. The first volume was issued in 1963, ten volumes have been issued up to nowadays. The results of the research have been published in collected works ‘Etymological Investigations of Russian language’, including articles on etymology, historical lexicology and word formation.

The members of the research group have issued a number of etymological dictionaries of loanwords, The School Dictionary of Loanwords, The Dictionary of the Language of Tales by Ivan Krylov and The Dictionary of the Language of the Comedy ‘Woe from Wit’ by Alexander Gribojedov, etc. They regularly publish articles and reviews in journals: ‘Russian Language at School’, ‘Russian Language at School and at Home’, ‘Science and Life’, etc.

The Laboratory of Dialectology

This laboratory was opened within the department of Russian language in 1948 (professor K. V. Gorshkova was the head of it). Since 1956 regular expeditions have been organized to gather the material for the multivolume Archangelsk Regional Dictionary. 13 volumes of this dictionary have been issued up to nowadays. The Archangelsk Regional Dictionary is unique by the coverage of the material and by lexicographic principles applied. The vocabulary described equals 180000 dictionary units. It reflects the richness of Russian lexical system, dialect polysemy and synonymy.

Also the members of the research group have published ‘The Reverse Dictionary of Archangelsk Dialect’, ‘The Expressive Dictionary of Dialect Personality’, collected works "The Archangelsk dialect: word formation, lexical system, semantics’ and the teaching manual ‘Russian Dialectology’.

The Laboratory of General and Computational Lexicology and Lexicography

The research group was organized in 1981 to study issues of general and applied lexicology; the laboratory of General and Computational Lexicology and Lexicography was based on it in 1992 (supervised by A. A. Polikarpov). The key areas of activity here are the following: theoretical investigations of a natural language, creating text corpuses of Russian language and research within them, creation and investigation of vocabulary databases, developing bundled software. The tools of automatic and automated text analysis and investigation of Russian, English and other vocabularies have been designed here as well.

The members of the research group have developed the Corpus Information Investigation System (CIIS) based on poetry and drama by Alexander Pushkin (‘client — server’ version). Also The Frequency-Semantic Dictionary of Anton Chekhov Poetic Language has been prepared here. The software system for modeling the statistic structure of texts has been developed and applied in the laboratory.

© Philological Faculty of Lomonosov MSU, 2005–2024. Contents — Anastasia Urzha, support — Alexander Varlamov