Historical overview of connections between the English and Russian languages
The master’s thesis deals with connections between the English and Russian language throughout history. The languages have been intertwining and borrowing linguistic items from each other since the 16th century onwards. The basic questions of the thesis are: when did the languages come into contact for the first time and how did the linguistic items of one language integrate into the other language. The first half of the thesis answers the first question. By analysing books on general history, it is concluded that the first direct contacts date back to the 16th century. After brief histories of both languages, the thesis focuses on the 18th and 19th centuries when the connections between the languages reached their peak. The following parts of the thesis expose the actual English words that were integrated into the Russian language and vice versa. After analysing Sorokin’s dictionary on the Russian language of the 18th century and Little’s historical dictionary on English, we realize that the English language had more impact than Russian. The number of English words in Russian is significantly higher than the number of Russian words in English. The borrowing of the words was the result of trading connections between Britain and Russia, and of the Russian wish to become powerful on the sea, put Russia on the European map and enjoy cultural prestige. There are some literary examples presented in the following chapter where we can see the actual usage of some words. The last chapter includes some contemporary examples of English words integrated into the Russian language.