Codified norm vs. intuitive norm, or two centuries with ikhnij

2013. № 2 (26), 181-204

Ekaterina R. Dobrushina, St. Tichon’s Orthodox University


The paper based on the Russian National Corpus analyzes the usage of the pronominal adjective ихний ‘their’ as compared to the possessive invariable pronoun их ‘their’ in Russian throughout the 19th — 21th centuries. According to native speakers' perception of its normative status several periods are discerned. We argue that the incomplete rejection of the lexeme ихний in Standard Russian is explained by non-possessive meanings that the word ихний has developed, rather than by a gap in the pronominal adjective system.