Seliger-Torzhok dialect of the village Luzhnikovo and its surroundings

2020. № 2 (40), 227-291

Anna V. Malysheva
Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(Moscow, Russia)
Alexandra V. Ter-Avanesova
Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(Moscow, Russia)


The publication presents some features of the phonetics and grammar of one Seliger-
Torzhok dialect and samples of transcribed records from three informants.
Quantitative analysis of the occurrence of allophones of the phonemes /a/, /o/, /e/ in the
first pretonic syllable after “soft” consonants showed a fairly stable “yakanje” in the idiolects
of informants born in the village Sitnikovo in the early thirties of the 20th century, and the
tendency to “ikanje” in the speech of the informant from the village Osovets, born in 1941.
The idiolects of all three informants are characterized by a complex, apparently transitional
system of vocalism. In particular, there is a partial distinction between the phoneme /a/, on the
one hand, and the phonemes /o/ and /e/, on the other hand.
Functional features of the reflexive particle in the dialect are considered, some of them are
not found anywhere except in small areas within the territory of Seliger-Torzhok dialects.
In the collection of texts recorded in the village of Luzhnikovo and its surroundings, the
perfect predicates make up about 80% of the total number of usages of past participles.
Luzhnikovo dialect, as well as the other Seliger and Torzhok dialects, shows a tendency to
use both subject- and object-oriented sh-participles in perfect constructions. These participles,
which in most Russian systems are used only in “subjective resultative” constructions, are
also found in the Luzhnikovo dialect in “objective resultatives”, but do not completely displace
n/t-participles in this position; they are less common in active “possessive resultative
constructions”. Thus, all three known diathetic types of sh-perfect constructions are found in
the dialect, as well as “objective resultatives” with n/t-participles. All types of perfect constructions
except “possessive resultative” and “objective resultative” with n/t-participles can
be extended by the phrase “preposition u + genitive” denoting the subject (agent). A remarkable
feature of the Luzhnikovo dialect is the usage of “u + genitive” in “subjective resultative”
constructions with intransitive verbs as predicates. This must be a characteristic of the
East of the Russian “perfect area”; a tendency to unify the phrase “u + gen.” as the marker of
the subject in the sh-perfects is observed. The absence of the subject in “objective resultatives”
with n/t-participles is also an important feature of the Luzhnikovo perfect system,
which brings it closer to the Eastern Russian, primarily central and South-Eastern resultative
systems. At the same time, both agreement and the absence of agreement between the syntactic
subject and n/t-participle, as well as both “truncated” and “non-truncated” forms of participles
in case of disagreement are attested in Luzhnikovo and unite the dialect with the Pskov-
Novgorod area. In the Luzhnikovo dialect, the recorded impersonal constructions mainly use
n/t-participles of transitive verbs.