IN SEARCH OF “RUSSIAN URDU”: A POSSIBLE LINGUISTIC PHENOMENON IN THE MAKING

  • Alexandra Golikova

Abstract

This article begins with examination of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s concept of language and human “national spirit”, and how one influences the other; it then suggests a concept of language inertia based on Humboldt’s research of the Indonesian Kawi language. At the heart of this concept is an idea that, when a major culture influences a minor culture, it imposes its own language(s) on said culture and its language(s); however, the outcome of this process is a birth of an entirely different, entity that is neither of the two original elements. Such is the dialectic of linguistic imperialism. This thesis is then briefly illustrated within the paradigm of a Semitic language (Arabic) influencing Indo-European languages, using the examples from Persian and Urdu linguistic and literary theory, mostly from the works of Shams-i Qays (Persian) and Muhammad Husain Azad (Urdu). Finally, the author proposes a concept of “Russian Urdu”, that is to say, a Russian-based language/register created with the influence of Islamic tradition and Arabic, Persian and Turkic languages, but a language that would be one of secular, syncretic, interreligious communication, as well as a significant linguistic and aesthetic phenomenon, existing parallel to other existing languages without replacing any of them, much like Urdu was/is in India. A brief sample of such language is presented and further possibilities for research are mentioned.

Published
2020-05-06