Boris Aleksandrovich Larin: The Free Element of Colloquial Speech

Keywords: B. A. Larin; lexicography; dialectology; dialect dictionaries; sociolects; argot; writer’s language dictionaries; colloquial speech


This article considers the contribution to philology made by B. A. Larin, a professor at Leningrad University. He formulated many ideas which remain relevant today. They include a comprehensive description of writers’ language, dialectal nondifferential dictionaries, lexicographic analysis of the vernacular of Moscow Rus’ between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, studies on urban colloquial speech (argot and jargon in particular), analysis of semantic lexical dominants relying on the diachronic approach, and discussions of principles of historical phraseology, etc. The scholar not only solved many issues connected with modern philology but also laid the foundations for further research. One of Larin’s main research interests was semantics, to which he devoted many of his works. In his study of semantics, he relied on a multi-dimensional examination of living colloquial speech both synchronically and diachronically. His most important ideas and projects related to this sphere: the colloquial language of Muscovite Rus’ in its everyday written form and notes made by foreigners; the living idiomatised speech of the Praying by Daniel the Immured; urban argot, Pskovian dialects, and the dialects of Pechora and Nekrasov Cossacks; the colloquial speech of Nizhny Novgorod examined through the prism of Gorky’s autobiographical trilogy, etc. The majority of his ideas became long-term research projects which have already been realised to a large extent in dictionaries co-authored by Larin’s students at the interdepartmental lexicographical centre of the University of St Petersburg.

Author Biography

Valery Mokienko

Dr. Hab. (Philology), Professor, St Petersburg State University.

7/9, Universitetskaya Embankment, 199034, St Petersburg, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-0264-0576


Anikin, A. E., Kornilaeva, I. A., Mladenova, O. M. (1993). Iz istorii russkikh slov. Slovar’-posobie [From the History of Russian Words. A Reference Dictionary]. Moscow, Shkola-Press. 236 p.

Bol’shakova, N. V., Kostyuchuk, L. Ya. (Eds.). (2017). Pskovskie govory i ikh issledovateli (k 100-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya S. M. Gluskinoi i 50-letiyu vykhoda 1-go vypuska “Pskovskogo oblastnogo slovarya s istoricheskimi dannymi”) v 2 ch. [Pskov Dialects and Their Researchers (For the 100th Birthday of S. M. Glushkina and the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Issue of the Pskov Regional Dictionary with Historical Data). 2 Parts]. Pskov, Logos. Part 2. 288 p.

Bushui, A. M., Mokiyenko, V. M. (Eds.). (1987). Professor Boris Aleksandrovich Larin : Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ po slavyanskomu i obshchemu yazykoznaniyu (k 95-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya) [Professor Boris Aleksandrovich Larin: Bibliographic Index on Slavic and General Linguistics (for His 95th Birthday)]. Samarkand, Izdatel’stvo Samarkandskogo universiteta. 151 p.

Dmitriev, P. A. (Ed.). (1993). Voprosy teorii i istorii yazyka. Sbornik statei k 100-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya B. A. Larina [Issues of the Theory and History of Language. Collection of Articles for the 100th Birthday of B. A. Larin]. Leningrag, Izdatel’stvo Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. 248 p.

Dolgushev, V. G. (2009). Sobirateli vyatskikh slov. Posobie po kursu “Lingvisticheskoe kraevedenie” [Collectors of Vyatka Words: A Guide for Linguistic Regional Studies]. Kirov, Izdatel‘stvo Vyatskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. 147 p.

Gerd, A. S. (Ed.). (2003–2014). Seliger. Materialy po russkoi dialektologii. Slovar’ [Seliger. Materials on Russian Dialectology. Dictionary]. St Petersburg, Tver’, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta, Izdatel’stvo Tverskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Iss. 1–6. 218 + 188 + 332 + 520 + 232 + 127 p.

Gerd, A. S., Volkov, S. Sv. (Eds.). (2007). Slovar’ “Moleniya” Daniila Zatochnika [The Dictionary of Praying by Daniel the Immured]. St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. 236 p.

Grachev, M. A., Mokiyenko, V. M. (2008). Russkii zhargon : istoriko-etimologicheskii slovar’ [Russian Jargon: Historical and Etymological Dictionary]. Moscow, AST-Press Kniga. 336 p.

Hendriks, P., Schaeken, J. (1961–1986). Tönnies Fenne’s Low German Manual of Spoken Russian. Pskov, 1607 / ed. by L. L. Hammerich, R. Jacobson, E. van Schooneveld, T. Starck and Ad. Stender-Peterson; pref. by R. Jakobson and E. van Schooneveld : in 4 Vols. Kobenhavn, Slavic Department, Leiden Univ.

Holmes L. E. (2012). War, Evacuation, and the Exercise of Power: Тhe Center, Periphery, and Kirov’s Pedagogical Institute, 1941–1952. Lanham, MD, Lexington Books, pp. 75–92.

Holmes, L. E. (1942–1943). A Troubled Evacuation: Boris Aleksandrovich Larin and Kirov’s Pedagogical Institute [manuscript]. In Personal archive of V. Mokiyenko.

Ivashko, L. A. (Ed.). (2003–2005). Slovar’ russkikh govorov Nizovoi Pechory v 2 t. [Dictionary of Russian Dialects of the Lower Pechora. 2 Vols.]. St Petersburg, Filologicheskii fakul’tet Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. 553 + 470 p.

Korshunkov, V. A. (2010). Vyatskaya dialektologiya v litsakh [Vyatka Dialectology in Focus]. In Gur‘yanova, N. P., Korshunkov, V. A. (Eds.). Gertsenka : vyatskie zapiski. Kirov, Gosudarstvennaya universal‘naya oblastnaya nauchnaya biblioteka imeni A. I. Gertsena. Iss. 17, pp. 258–262.

Larin, B. A. (1931). Zapadnoevropeiskie elementy russkogo vorovskogo argo [Western European Elements in Russian Thieves’ Argo]. In Yazyk i literatura. Vol. 7, pp. 113–130.

Larin, B. A. (1948). Parizhskii slovar’ moskovitov 1586 g. [Parisian Dictionary of Muscovites in 1586]. Riga, Latviiskii gosudarstvennyi universitet. 212 p.

Larin, B. A. (1959). Russko-angliyskii slovar’-dnevnik Richarda Dzhemsa (1618–1619 gg.) [Richard James’ Russian-English Dictionary and Diary (1618–1619)]. Leningrad, Izdatel’stvo Leningradskogo universiteta. 423 p.

Larin, B. A. (1963). O filologii blizkogo budushchego [On the Philology of the Near Future]. In Filologicheskie nauiki. Nauchnye doklady vysshei shkoly. No. 1, pp. 186–196.

Larin, B. A. (1977). Istoriya russkogo yazyka i obshchee yazykoznanie. (Izbrannye raboty) [History of the Russian Language and General Linguistics. (Selected Works)]. Moscow, Prosveshchenie. 224 p.

Lehmann, V., Udolf, L. (2004). Russkaya zhargonologiya v trudakh B. A. Larina [Russian Study of Genres in the Works of B. A. Larin]. In Lehmann, V., Udolf, L. (Hrsg.). Normen, Namen und Tendenzen in der Slavia: Festschrift für Karl Gutschmidt zum 65. Geburtstag. München, Verlag Otto Sagner, pp. 243–257.

LFM – Isserlin, E. M. (Ed.). (1981). Leksika i frazeologiya “Moleniya” Daniila Zatochnika [The Vocabulary and Idioms of the Praying of Daniel the Immured]. Leningrad, Izdatel’stvo Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. 232 p.

Likhachev, D. S. (1977). O Borise Aleksandroviche Larine [On Boris Alexandrovich Larin]. In Larin, B. A. Istoriya russkogo yazyka i obshchee yazykoznanie. (Izbrannye raboty). Moscow, Prosveshchenie, p. 9.

Marszk, D. (1999). Substandard. In Jachnow, H. (Hrsg.). Handbuch der sprachwissenschaftlichen Russistik und ihrer Grenzdisziplinen. Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz-Verlag, pp. 614–638.

Mokiyenko, V. M. (1985). L. V. Shcherba, B. A. Larin i filologiya budushchego [L. V. Shcherba, B. A. Larin and the Philology of the Future]. In Slavica Tartuensia. I. Tartu, Izdatel’stvo Tartuskogo gosudarstvennogo unidersiteta, pp. 88–100.

Mokiyenko, V. M. (1999). Printsip leksikograficheskoi polnoty i slavyanskaya frazeografiya [The Principle of Lexicographic Completeness and Slavic Phraseology]. In Slavyanskaya filologiya. St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. Iss. 8, pp. 56–70.

Mokiyenko, V. M., Nikitina, T. G. (2000). Bol’shoi slovar’ russkogo zhargona : 25 000 slov i 7 000 ustoichivykh sochetanii [The Great Dictionary of Russian Jargon: 25,000 Words and 7,000 Set Phrases]. St Petersburg, Norint. 720 p.

Mzhel’skaya, O. S. (Ed.). (2000). Slovar’ obikhodnogo russkogo yazyka Moskovskoi Rusi (XVI–XVII vv.). Proekt [Dictionary of the Everyday Russian Language of Muscovite Russia (16th–17th Centuries). Project]. St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. 64 p.

Otkupshchikov, Yu. V. (2001). Ocherki po etimologii [Essays on Etymology]. St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. 480 p.

POS – Pskovskii oblastnoi slovar’ s istoricheskimi dannymi [Pskov Regional Dictionary with Historical Data]. (1967–). Leningrad, Izdatel‘stvo Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. Vols. 1–.

SATG – Slovar’ avtobiograficheskoi trilogii M. Gor’kogo [Dictionary of the Autobiographical Trilogy of M. Gorky]. (1974–1990). Leningrad, Izdatel‘stvo Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Iss. 1–6. 316 + 299 + 289 + 310 + 349 + 345 p.

SGRK – Gerd, A. S. (Ed.). (1994–2005). Slovar’ russkikh govorov Karelii i sopredel’nykh oblastei [Dictionary of the Russian Dialects of Karelia and Adjacent Areas]. St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. Iss. 1–6. 512 + 448 + 415 + 688 + 664 + 995 p.

SORYa XVI–XVII vv. – Mzhel’skaya, O. S. (Ed.). (2004–2019). Slovar’ obikhodnogo russkogo yazyka Moskovskoi Rusi (XVI–XVII vv.) [Dictionary of the Everyday Russian Language of Muscovite Russia (16th–17th Centuries)]. St Petersburg, Izdatel’stvo Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta, Nauka.

Walter, H., Mokiyenko, V. M. (2007). Bol’shoi russko-nemetskii slovar’ zhargona i prostorechii [The Great Russo-German Dictionary of Slang and Vernacular]. Moscow, Vostok – Zapad. 828 p.

Walter, H., Mokiyenko, V. M., Nikitina, T. G. (2005). Tolkovyi slovar’ russkogo shkol’nogo i studencheskogo zhargona : okolo 5 000 slov i vyrazhenii [The Dictionary of Russian School and Student Slang: About 5,000 Words and Phrases]. Moscow, AST, Astrel‘, Tranzitkniga. 361 p.
How to Cite
Mokienko, V. (2019). Boris Aleksandrovich Larin: The Free Element of Colloquial Speech. Quaestio Rossica, 7(3), 903–916.
Hereditas: nomina et scholae