LINGUIST List 29.1179

Thu Mar 15 2018

Books: Old Russian Birchbark Letters: Dekker

Editor for this issue: Michael Czerniakowski <>

Date: 27-Feb-2018
From: Maarten Frieswijk <>
Subject: Old Russian Birchbark Letters: Dekker
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Title: Old Russian Birchbark Letters
Subtitle: A Pragmatic Approach
Series Title: Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics
Published: 2018
Publisher: Brill

Book URL:

Author: Simeon Dekker
Hardback: ISBN: 9789004362383 Pages: 220 Price: Europe EURO 99
Hardback: ISBN: 9789004362383 Pages: 220 Price: U.S. $ 119

This study is devoted to a corpus of Old Russian letters, written on pieces of birchbark. These unique texts from Novgorod and surroundings give us an exceptional impression of everyday life in medieval Russian society. In this study, the birchbark letters are addressed from a pragmatic angle. Linguistic parameters are identified that shed light on the degree to which literacy had gained ground in communicative processes. It is demonstrated that the birchbark letters occupy an intermediate position between orality and literacy. On the one hand, oral habits of communication persisted, as reflected in how the birchbark letters are phrased; on the other hand, literate modes of expression emerged, as seen in the development of normative conventions and literate formulae.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Russian (rus)
Language Family(ies): Slavic Subgroup

Written In: English (eng)

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---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

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Page Updated: 15-Mar-2018