Orthographic codification and social dynamics

2017. № 3 (13), 417-425

V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences


The article contains a generalized description of the modern policy in the field of orthographic codification. The basic regulations of this policy are developed on the basis of the traditions of academicism and the experience of creating an orthographic dictionary in new social and linguistic conditions. Today, the codification work in the dictionary is carried out directly in the process of written adaptation of words, many words are entered into the dictionary at the initial stage of its life in the Russian writing. Codifiers proceed from the concept of a word that is timely included in the vocabulary in a perspective form of writing has a chance to go quicker through the path of inevitable fluctuations. But in conditions of living adaptation processes in written practice it is often impossible to avoid such codification decisions that will not be accepted by the writing at once and will exist in parallel with the variants of the wording; such collisions are resolved on the basis of the normalization strategies adopted by codifiers. What is the codification activity of linguists today, how effective is it? Codifiers acting as the subjective factor of the writing, in the current social conditions have to deal with a significant decrease in its influence on the development of written standards, with increasing skepticism about the academic codification and orthographic dictionary. Moreover, the emergence of a competitive source of written rules, besides the dictionary and regulations in the form of public and corporate documents became a special feature of modernity. Norms of laws, statutes, registers, including writing norms — are legally binding, often fix misspellings, which leads to a conflict of written rules of the nationwide dictionary and regulations of the documents. In these circumstances, the purpose of the current activity of linguistic codifiers seen in the policy of reasonable conservatism, aimed at maintaining the traditional writing system, fixed in such native cultural tradition institutes as an orthographic dictionary and rules.