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OT: Russian and Ukrainian (was: Re: semi-OT: bilingual communication)

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Saturday, January 25, 2003, 11:50
Isaac wrote:

> It's pretty common here in Ukraine to here two people conversating, one in > Russian, and the other in Ukrainian. I even have such an exapmle in my > family, when my Mom talks in Russian to my wife, and she replies her in > Ukrainian, and they seem having no trouble to communicate. > > And since both my wife and I are linguists, we sometimes find ourselves > spontaeneously talking one to the other either in a foreign language both > (mostly English), or (less often) in language pairs like Ru-Uk, En-Uk, > He-Ru, Es-En etc. but just exchanging a couple of replics as in the > situation you described (because she doesn't know much Hebrew, and I'm not > fluent in Spanish). >
I wonder how much Russian and Ukrainian differ. I'm taking my first year of Russian language (ja uc^u inostrannye jazyki i literatury v milanskom universitete, v severnoj Italii;-), and I've come across an interesting passage in Lermontov's "Geroj nas^ego vremeni" where the dialogue is held half in Russian, and half in a language I can't recognize. Here's the passage (from Z^urnal Pec^orina, c^ast' pervaja): Pec^orin: Gde, chozjain? Ukrainian boy: Nema. P.: Kak? sovsem netu? U.b.: *Sovsim* [...] P.: Ty chozjaskij syn? U.b.: *Ni* P.: Kto z^e ty? U.b.: Sirota, ubogoj. P.: A u chozjajki est' deti? U.b.: *Ni*; byla doc^' [...] P.: S kakim tatarinom? U.b.: A *bis* ego znaet! I really can't figure out wether this is Ukrainian or simply a Southern Russian dialect. The passage is set in Taman', which I suppose to be a Russian speaking region of Ukraina (not far from Kerc^, IIRC), but I'm not sure. I knew Ukrainian shifts Russian /O/ to /i/ (or /M/, perhaps) under certain conditions I fail to remember: Ru.: nos, Uk.: nis, whereas the text above shows lots of /E/ > /i/ going on (_sovsem_ vs. _sovsim_, _net_ vs. _ni_, _bes_ vs. _bis_). Where exactly do you live and study, Isaac? Luca