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Working paper

Englishization of Russian and bilingual lexical variation

Linguistics. WP BRP. НИУ ВШЭ, 2013. No. WP BRP 05/LNG/2013.
This paper aims to show that due to the increase in mass English-Russian bilingualism the notion of lexical variation generated by Englishization should not be restricted to the traditionally studied opposition of English loanwords vs. their host language equivalents, but should be broadened to embrace a wider range of Englishized lexical units. This will include borrowings from English, recurrent English-Russian code-switches, and a number of intermediate phenomena between them. This paper argues that there is a tendency for different Englishized lexis expressing the same denotational semantics not to be ousted in the process of assimilation, but rather to be settled in a series of variants which index different contextual information and render different socio-pragmatic connotations, especially in written discourse in various domains. Bilingual lexical variation, one of the most visible trends in modern Russian, testifies to the increase in its Englishization, facilitates the process of further Englishization, and contributes to the formation of Russian English.