Mixed Buryat-Russian oral speech: lexico-morphological features

Research article
Issue: № 3 (31), 2022


A feature of the modern language situation on the territory of the Republic of Buryatia is the Buryat-Russian bilingualism. Currently, the Buryat and Russian languages ​​have the same legal status, but the scope of the Buryat language is gradually decreasing and is now used in everyday communication. As a result of the intensive development of mass bilingualism, everyday Buryat colloquial speech is characterized by the active penetration of an increasing number of Russian-speaking units. Speech, especially of young people, is characterized by frequent unmotivated transitions to Russian and vice versa. Of course, this phenomenon is closely related to both external and internal factors. Nevertheless, this is the Buryat language, which retains the typological features of the agglutinative structure of the language in morphology, in the paradigm of inflectional forms.

1. Introduction

There is a close, stable and long-term interaction between the Russian and Buryat languages, which led to the emergence and development of the Buryat-Russian and Russian-Buryat types of bilingualism. Recently, there has been an active development of the Buryat-Russian bilingualism. Globalization and active intercultural interaction are reflected in the language situation by contradictory trends. On the one hand, in the modern world, bilingualism, multilingualism predetermine success, mobility, on the other hand, the question of preserving the Buryat language is even more acute, the dominance of the Russian language is sometimes alarming. The purpose of this article is to characterize the mixed Buryat-Russian oral speech, to analyze the lexical and morphological features. Research objectives: - to study the language situation and describe the current state of bilingualism; - to give a lexical and morphological description of the mixed Buryat-Russian oral speech; - to identify the features of the transition from the Buryat language to Russian.

2. Main results

Lexical borrowings from the Russian language have gone through different stages of phonetic adaptation. The complete subordination of the sound structure of Russianisms to the phonetic laws of the Buryat language was in the 18th-19th centuries, for example: мэшээг «bag», пеэшэн «oven», нетулда «no», боошхо «barrel», гулапхаа «dove», хоошхэ «cat», лепёошхо «cake», шисноог «garlic», etc. In the Soviet and post-Soviet period, words retain the phonetic appearance of the source language, but the law of vowel harmony is taken into account in the endings, numerical and case forms are formed according to the rules of the Buryat language, for example, фермэ, мешогууд, пеэшэнэй etc.

The borrowing of Russian words was caused by the borrowing of the objects themselves, things and concepts that were previously absent from the Buryats and became an organic part of the active vocabulary of the Buryat language.

In the literary Buryat language, borrowings are in many cases used in parallel with Buryat terms: түсэб/план «plan», заhабари/ремонт «repair», түрүүлэгшэ/председатель «chairman», наци/үндэhэ яhатан «nation», событи/ушар хэрэг «event». In the spoken language, there is a clearly visible tendency to use Russian words instead of the original Buryat ones, which is a consequence of the mass Buryat-Russian bilingualism. For example, in colloquial speech, they would rather say: Ехэ знанитай хүн instead of ехэ мэдэсэтэй хүн a person with great knowledge”, международно конференци instead of уласхоорондын конференци «international conference», secret voting instead of nuus voting «secret voting», городой хүнүүд instead of хотын хүнүүд «city people», простудиться болохо instead of хүйтэ абаха «catch a cold» etc.

Foreign language elements refer to various lexical grammars logical categories of words, a large number are represented by nouns, verbs, adjectives, numerals, adverbs, as well as introductory words, phrases and conjunctions. There are such examples when nouns are accompanied by words of other parts of speech (adjectives, verbs, pronouns, numerals), for example: Этнографическа музейдэ билет абааб «I bought a ticket to the ethnographic museum», Английскэ уроктоо юу хэдэгбтэ? «What are you doing in English class?» or the noun is presented without accompaniment of words of other parts of speech as an inflectional blotch: Манай хүбүүн контрактаар ошонхой «Our son left on a contract», Университет ошоо  “Went to university”.

Russian verbs with the truncated formative of the infinitive into -ть are integrated into the oral mixed utterances by adding the Buryat language suffix -ла to the stem: Цырен лама али гэртэ принималдаг бэ? «In which house does Tsyren Lama take?», Мүнөө жэл манай басаган ЕГЭ сдавалха «This year, the daughter will take the Unified State Examination». S.S. Namdakova in the article «Grammatical Features of Russian Inclusive Verbs in Oral Speech in the Buryat Language» writes: «Verbs of the Russian language with affixes of Buryat connective participles, for example: пережива-л-жа, копи-л-жо, работа-л-жа, строи-л-жо, отдыха-л-жа etc.». Also, verbs were found in mixed utterances that add to their stem the affixes of dividing participles of the Buryat language: распределя-л-аад, участвова-л-аад, репетировэ-лээд, звони-л-оод etc. [7, P. 64].

The verbs of the Russian language in combination with the auxiliary verb forms of the Buryat language form mixed forms and do not violate the syntactic structure of the Buryat sentence: Хүбүүмни үглөөдэр выписываться болохо «Our son will be discharged tomorrow», Волноваться болоо гуш? «Worried?». S.M. Babushkin notes: «If you look at the material from the point of view of different parts of speech, then in Buryat colloquial speech, in addition to numerous borrowings of nouns and adjectives, there is a significant number of verbs. Some of them have Buryat counterparts, but young people often use Russian words. There are so many of these words that even those who do not know Buryat are often able to catch the main idea of ​​the conversation from borrowed words» [1, P. 35].

Adjectives, numerals are less represented than nouns and verbs, for example: Мүнөөдэр ехэ интереснэ кино харааб «Today I watched a very interesting movie», Выезднэ бригадада шуhа тушаахада болохо «You can donate blood to the visiting team», Хажуудаа заботливо хүнтэй байхада гоё даа «Good, when there is a caring person nearby», Первэ уроктоо ошохо гуш? «Are you going to the first lesson?»

Adverbs, conjunctions, introductory words and phrases are often woven into colloquial speech: Энэ эм уухада хорошо «It’s good to drink this medicine», Дополнительно абахада болохо «You can take extra», Как всегда юумэ мэдэхэгүй «As always, you don’t know anything», Если что – намтай ошожо шадаха гуш? «If anything, can you come with me?». In oral speech, pronouns are very rarely represented: Вон те номуудые асарагты «Bring those books».

The choice of words by bilinguals to express their thoughts is combined images of cultures. Speakers, feeling the lack of language units, use those words that are closer, in the surface structure of memory, words from the Russian language are more often used. In the format of unconscious communication in the Buryat language, according to P.P. Dashinimaeva, the stronger - often reproduced and perceived - sign of the Russian language easily "jumps in" according to the principle of competition of signs, because its Buryat equivalent looks like a powerless and feeble opponent. Of course, with vigilant observance of monocode, you can pull out (activate) it and launch it into communication by applying effort. It is here that the beginning of the beginning of the return of the language to functional recovery comes» [3, P. 218]. According to E.V. Khilkhanova, it is easier and more natural for bilingual Buryats to convey someone else's speech in its original form than to translate it into their own national language. The author, considering the linguistic consequences and mechanisms of switching codes in the speech of bilingual Buryats, writes: «In the speech of bilingual Buryats, the category of subjectivity tends to be expressed in Russian, i.e. additional information explicitly or implicitly expressed in the judgment (information about the nature of the relationship between real phenomena, evaluative qualifications, local-temporal orientation, as well as metatextual connections) is given mainly in Russian. The Buryat language usually expresses «objective», propositional information. In other words, in a situation of passive national-Russian bilingualism, the transition to a majority language at the speech level is carried out primarily when expressing metatextual connections and subjective, deictic information» [9, P. 120].

3. Conclusion

The material studied by us shows that the alternation of units of the Buryat and Russian languages ​​occurs easily and without disturbance of host language rules. Russian words make up a fairly significant layer of vocabulary in colloquial speech, sometimes taking up to 40%. Speech, especially of young people, is characterized by frequent unmotivated transitions to Russian and vice versa. Of course, this phenomenon is closely related to both external and internal factors. Nevertheless, this is the Buryat language, which retains the typological features of the agglutinative structure of the language in morphology, in the paradigm of inflectional forms.

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