2018. № 3 (17), 41-68

 Vinogradov Russian language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences



The article deals with two connected phenomena in East Middle Russian dialects of Vladimir-Povolzhje group. One of them, jokanje in the dialect of Tatarovo, Ozhigovo and Nula (Murom region, Vladimir district), was analyzed using the data recorded in 2012 and 2014 from 13 people born in 1921–1959. Jokanje occurs in the pretonic syllable in the place of *e, *ь, *ě before hard consonants (n’oslá, v’ornúl, b’odá) and is rep- resented in 60 % of the 1100 relevant examples; in the rest of them the unrounded vowels are pronounced (n’eslá). Besides the well-known conditions in which jokanje is not realized in Russian, in Murom dialects it doesn’t occur before hard hissing consonants [š], [ž], [ž:]. This points out that the hardening of these consonants took place lately in Murom dialects. Jokanje occurs in 85 stems of different morphological classes and morphonological types; thus the dialect has preserved the results of phonetic change е>o before hard consonants that took place after the coincidence of *e, *ь, *ě in the unstressed syllables. Besides the words of Slavic origin, jokanje occurs in Church Slavonic proper names and in very few borrowings from European languages. In the sociolinguistic aspect, jokanje is a dialectal phenomenon consciously eliminated by the speakers who intend to speak correctly, as the analysis of the recordings of the teacher’s speech (1925) shows. There is no jokanje in speech of the people born in 1946–1959, the teachers and the director of the club, who preserve some other dialectal features. People with specialized secondary education, with non-peasant professions, independently of the date of birth (1925–1944), have small quotas of words with jokanje (below 20 %). The quota of jokanje examples in the speech of women who studied for seven years or less and then worked in the farm depends on the date of birth: women born in 1936 have 40 % of jokanje examples, in 1920s — 50–80 %, and so does a man born in 1939 who studied for 5 years, finished the courses and worked as a tractor operator. The man belongs to the group of the most archaic speakers, and not to the group of women of his generation.

The late hardening of ž, š in Murom dialect is concluded from the analysis of the system of jokanje and proved by the data from the neighboring Gorodec dialects. In the dialect of Sobolevo (Jurjevec district, Ivanovo region), the soft ž’, š’ occur before and after the soft consonants (kóš’k’i, rán’š’e) and before front vowels [i], [е] (ž’il, š’еr’s’t’). This situation is a result of hardening of ž’, š’ in the end of the word, before hard consonants and back vowels a, o, u. Hard hissing consonants are pronounced before *e, *ь “in jokanje position”, and soft hissing consonants — before *e, *ь followed by soft consonants.