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Russian Pidgin

From:Y.Penzev <isaacp@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 5, 2002, 19:01
Russian Pidgin

As I promised long long ago, here is a paragraph from "Social Linguistics"
by V.D.Bondaletov, Moscow, 1987

"Pidgin Languages" (pp.58-59)
...Trade contacts brought to existance so called "Kyakhta dialect" (from the
town name on the Russian-Chinese border). It was sometimes called "the
Chinese dialect of the Russian language" and was described in mid 1800's by
S.I.Cherepanov. This "dialect" is based on Russian with maximally simplified
(in Chinese manner) grammar, without declension and conjugation. Kyakhta
Pidgin was used by Chinese merchants from Maimachen City (not far from
Kyakhta) and Russians because of lack of knowledge. For Russians such
language seemed "corrupted"; using it was called "to talk Chinese".
 Here are its main features.
 1. Russian words without difficult consonant clusters are pronounced
without changes, but as if all syllables are stressed: |xoroSo| < *khorosho
'good', |moloko| < *moloko 'milk'.
 2. If there are consonant clusters, they are diluted with epentethic vowel:
|poroSu| < *proshu 'please', |duva| < *dva 'two', |Zareko| < *zharko 'hot'.
 3. Reflexive verbs end in -iza: |boiza| < *bojatjsja 'to be afraid',
|poderiza| < *derutsja 'to fight'. Prefix po- is often added to verbs:
|poguli| < *guljatj 'walk', |poxodi| < *khoditj 'go'.
 4. Instead of long, difficult words paraphrases are used: |jaz1ka mjoda|
'eloquence' (lit. honey tongue), |ruka sapogi| 'gloves' (lit. hand boots).
 5. Nouns, adjectives, numerals, pronouns have only one form for all cases
and numbers, ofetn deformed: |semjona| 'Simon', |doma| < *dom 'house',
|loSaki xwosa| < *loshadj + khvost 'horse tail', |wchera deni| < *vchera +
denj 'yesterday', |medvedi koZe| < *medvedj + kozha 'bear skin'.
 6. Comparative degree is formed by adding a word |lutSeSe| < *luchshe
'better': |lutSeSe belenki| 'whiter'. Superlative degree uses a word
|Sipiki| < *shibko 'very (coll.)': |Sipiki belenki| 'the whitest'.
 7. Ordinal numerals are the same as cardinal: |odina| 'one', 'first';
|duva|, |teri|, |tSot1re|, |pjati|, |Seseti|, |sema|, |vosema|, |devjati|,
 8. Personal pronouns are derived from possessive (|moja| 'I', |twoja|
'thou', |jevo| 'he'). Oblique form is made by adding a particle |za| with no
clear sematics: |za moja| 'to me', 'at my place', 'mine'.
 9. Verb tense is specified by words |b1lo| for preterite, |jesa| for
'present, |budu| for future: |poguli b1lo| 'walked', |poguli jesa|
'walk(s)', |poguli budu| 'will walk'.
 A sample dialogue:
-- Ilisandera, za tibi kaka podumai za moja priSel jesa? (Alexandra, what do
you think, why have I come?)
-- Poguli jesa, gospodine Dalai. (To visit [us], Mr. Dalai).

That's all, folks,
enjoy it,


Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>