Rhythmic Structures of Russian Prose and Occasional Iambs (a Diachronic Case Study)
The paper deals with the study on rhythmic structures of phonetic words conducted on the base of Russian novelistic prose of the initial three decades of the 20th Century. Due to the revolutionary changes in the society, Russian language has changed a lot during this period, at least on lexical and stylistic levels, and one could expect to find some transformations on its prosody level as well. To check this hypothesis, rhythmic dictionaries for 30 Russian writers were compiled, then they were compared with the reference probabilities which are considered as the standard ones for Russian prose texts. In order to research changes of language rhythmic structures over time, language prosody models were built for each of the three consecutive historical periods – the beginning of the 20th century (1900–1913), the periods of wars and revolutions (1914–1922), and the early Soviet era (1923–1930). The results of the quantitative study have shown that although language style characteristics (as well as techniques of versification) obviously changed, the basic language rhythmic features remained unchanged. Furthermore, they are in general close to the characteristics of probability in the distribution of standard rhythmic structures of the Russian language. In addition, for selected Russian poets – who wrote prose – occasional iambs were found in prose texts, and the comparative study of the language and speech models of Russian iambic verse was conducted.