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Ekaterina Kislova (Moscow)

“Church Slavonic” and “civil” orthography of the Russian language in manuscripts and printed texts of the 18th century

After the reform of the alphabet in 1710, the Russian “civil” orthography began to form. This process was characterised by both repulsion and adoption of the rules and principles of the Church Slavonic orthography. This interaction has been continuing throughout the 18th century. The system appeared to include not only printed texts, in which the opposition of the civil and Church Slavonic orthographies was accompanied by a change in the font, but manuscripts as well. In these orthographic oppositions spellings marking text as written within the frame of the Church Slavonic (traditional, “sacred”) or civil (new, “secular”) orthography arose and acquired semantic significance. Thus, the opposition of “civil” and “Church Slavonic” texts correlated in a complex manner with the font, orthographic principles, and the language in which they were created. As a material for my research I use mid-18th century homilies printed almost simultaneously in the Church Slavonic and civil orthography, their surviving originals, and handwritten copies of texts published in the Church Slavonic or civil orthography.