Chapter published in:Language Contact in the Territory of the Former Soviet Union
Edited by Diana Forker and Lenore A. Grenoble
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 50] 2021
Analyzing Modern Chinese Pidgin Russian
Variability and the feature pool theory
The article is devoted to the analysis of specific varieties of Russian used by older Udihe and Nanai in the Primorsky and Khabarovsky territories. These codes are characterized by a high level of variability. It is shown that these are contemporary varieties of Chinese Pidgin Russian (ChPR), which was a means of communication between Russians and the local indigenous population before the 1960s. Invariable forms similar to pidgin are in free variation with inflected Russian forms. I argue that a stabilized pidgin or a creole may show no supervariability, with Tok-Pisin being an example. Stabilized Pidgins and Creoles are no more variable than languages with an ordinary history of formation. Thus, Chinese Pidgin Russian shows significant stability: different sources display similar or very close variants (for details, see Perekhvalskaya, 2008, 2013). This paper is a case study analysis of variability in modern forms of Chinese Pidgin Russian spoken in the Ussuri region of Russia: it presents linguistic processes occurring lately in the Chinese Pidgin Russian. In the course of its history, this variety underwent a stage of a relative stability followed by a more variable post-pidgin stage. The latter will be thoroughly analyzed in this paper. The Ussuri region is the territory annexed by Russia under the Aygun peace treaty in 1858–1860. It is bounded by the Amur river in the North, by the Ussuri and Vaku (after 1972 Malinovka) rivers in the West, and by the Sea of Japan in the East.
Keywords: Russian-based pidgins, variation, Udihe, language shift, pidgins and interlanguage
Chinese Pidgin Russian speakers
Literary sources of Chinese Pidgin Russian examples
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