Cancellation of "yatya" and "fits" became a tragedy for the Russian language

In October 1918, the Soviet government passed a decree"On the introduction of new spelling", ordered to print all newspapers, magazines, books and official documents under other rules.

The letters "nine," "phi", "and decimal" were excluded from the alphabet, being replaced by e, f, and and.Eliminated hard mark ъ after a consonant at the end of a word. Prefixes ending in зbefore the deaf consonants turned into prefixes on с. In the genitive case of adjectives, participles and pronouns instead ofAgo / Yago required to writewow / him In the nominative and accusative cases of the feminine and neuter gender of adjectives, participles and pronouns instead ofs /iя -s / s. In the genitive singular case, the feminine personal pronoun instead of her -her. Finally, from the replacement of “yatya” to е exceptions were made: instead of the plural nominative feminine on should write theyinstead of feminineone, one, one - alone, alone, alone.

That seems to be the whole reform. It was not too difficult to carry it out on the territory controlled by the Bolsheviks - all the print media there were seized by the Soviet authorities and fully controlled, there was censorship, which no one “yat” could slip through. The revolutionary sailors reformed the spelling simply - they went to the printing houses and destroyed the letters of forbidden letters. And since the letter ъ It was banned and not prohibited; the revolutionary consciousness of the proletariat, losing itself in front of this aporia, decided to act in a Bolshevik manner — it was also destroyed. For many decades, much of the Soviet books and most of the newspapers were printed with an “apostrophe” - a diacritical sign instead of a solid one: “From the AUKP (b) Congress”.

The reform was discussed before the revolution - the teachers' congresses complained that peasant children were suffering from memorizing words with “yatyami”, and this prevented them from comprehending literacy. The Academy of Sciences even created a special Orthographic Subcommittee, in which well-known linguists Fortunatov and Shakhmatov dominated. However, this did not make the reform strictly scientific, if in such a case science was possible at all: reformers were guided by their ideological or scientific prejudices.

Academician F. F. Fortunatov was the most prominent representative of the linguistic school of young grammar students, who always and everywhere looked for strict phonetic correspondences. Of the two principles of spelling, mixed in Russian spelling - historical (as is customary) and phonetic (as heard) - Fortunatov, like many other supporters of the reform, defended the second. That is why he fanatically fought with “yat”, which in his view was pure phonetic nonsense, not corresponding to any living sound that differed from е (in fact, many defenders of unreformed spelling hear this sound, but this may be a figment of their imagination).

With the "fit", which smashed the elegant spelling of his initial through the triple Firt, being required in the patronymic "Fedorovich", Fortunatov fought for personal reasons.

Academician Shakhmatov was a prominent dialectologist, that is, he worked with the oral sound of words. In his view, the history of the Russian language was, by and large, reduced to the history of oral speech, which is supposedly mirrored in written records. His work with written texts (analysis of Russian chronicle writing) brought so many arbitrary hypotheses and fantasies into this area that historians have not even raked them for more than a hundred years.

At the same time, Alexey Alexandrovich was a fiery cadet, a supporter of every kind of progress and sanctified with his scientific authority numerous dubious innovations, such as the appearance of "Ukrainians".

The proposals of the academicians were met with a hostile reception by the scientific community and the public, and especially by writers and poets, whom the reform deprived of many expressive means. There was no sign that the king would accept this reform. But Beztsar came, the Provisional Government gathered scientists (already without the deceased Fortunatov, but under the leadership of Shakhmatov) and once again approved the reform, which, however, no one wanted to accept. Too obvious was the parallel with the deprivation of the double-headed eagle of the crown and the abolition of honoring in the army, which led to its imminent disintegration.

The Bolsheviks did not ask anyone about anything. They simply adopted two decrees - the first, January 1918, applied only to Soviet official publications, the second, which was carried out in an atmosphere of red terror, was already universal. Even those who were in agreement with the content of the reform and he himself worked on it, she made the most painful impression.

It was an act of dictatorship, confident in its right to ruin the life of society and to design a utopian new world.

The correction of the letters went along with the correction of dates on the calendar, the attack on the churches, the opening of the relics and the burying of the representatives of the “Black Hundred Bourgeoisie” taken hostage.

Shakhmatov was seriously worried about his involvement in the ongoing cultural catastrophe. “In part, what’s happening is our fault,- he said in the summer of 1918, even before the reform was forced. - The meeting in which we adopted a new spelling was Bolshevik ... We are also destroyers. ” Alas, the epiphany was too late: in the summer of 1920, Shakhmatov died in Petrograd from starvation. He published his last works using the old spelling.

But let us return to the time when agitation for new spelling was carried out with the help of language, and not Mauser. The performances of that time now make a strange impression. For example, the paper saving argument was widely used - as much as 3,5% due to the victory over the “warmer”, but due to the thickening i to иhalf a percent weaned off back.

Particular emphasis was placed on the needs of mass education of the peasantry, which the spelling adopted at that time supposedly interfered terribly. This was just two slyness.

First, the overwhelming majority of young peasant conscripts were literate by that time, and they didn’t interfere in any way. The natural change of generations, the implementation of the school program outlined by the tsar before the war and the introduction of education for women would make Russia a universal literacy country without any red "educational program." On the contrary, a revolution with accompanying shocks delayed the spread of literacy for many years.

Secondly, the reform did not simplify the fight against illiteracy; it only replaced some errors with others, more gross ones. It became impossible to make a mistake in the “yat” because of the abolition of “yatya”, but quite often there were mistakes in the very suffix that the Soviet authorities allegedly brought closer to the people: to replace wow on -avo as most Great Russians actually say, notfromlike no one ever says. In other words, one book norm was replaced by another, phonetically even more distant from living speech.

Did this help in the fight against illiteracy? Not. But it helped to hide illiteracy.

The new, simplified spelling made the mistakes of yesterday’s proletarians, who had become party secretaries and security officers, less noticeable.

Much has been said in the promotion of reform and that the language is developing and therefore spelling must take into account new realities in order to keep up with the times. The argument is highly absurd.

First, the historical principle of spelling, which has prevailed in the English language for many centuries, did not prevent it from becoming the leading language of the global information world, while this language is changing much more actively and faster (and geographically more multi-vector) than the rather conservative Russian. No one is trying to demand from the Anglo-Saxons to write: “Duiuspikinglish? ”-“ Esaidu! HauaikenfajndSolcbereckijkafidral? "

Secondly, if the spelling is reformed every time phonetics move in the language (let's not forget that in different geographic areas of the same language, not to mention dialects, it is different), then reform will have to be carried out every few decades, taking into account including transient language mods, like “padonkaffsky” pronunciation, which was popular a decade and a half ago.

Thirdly (and mainly), the language develops not so quickly. Without artificial language disasters, such as those that Peter I or the Bolsheviks staged, the language practically does not change during the life of one person.

The above-mentioned young grammar formulated the theory of linguistic continuity - representatives of neighboring dialects or successive generations understand each other perfectly, but there is no understanding at the opposite ends.

Whether this theory is true or not, the fact remains that the modern Russian citizen will not have much difficulty in understanding the speech of Avvakum, who seems to him a grandfatherly rural dialect, while it has not only lexical, but also grammatical differences from our language:

“The little chicken was black; two eggs per day brought robes for food, by God's command to help our need; God built it this way. On the sled luck, while strangled by sin. And now I feel sorry for the chickens that will come to mind. Neither chicken, nor chyudo was: during the whole year two eggs were given per day; one hundred rubles with her plyuvino matter iron! And that bird was animated, God's creation, fed us, and she immediately with us pined porridge from the cauldron, or she would take the fish, and she would bite the fish; but we were given two eggs against a tovo for a day. Thank God, all who built the good! "

Between us are two reforms of spelling and primer - Peter and the Bolshevik. At the same time, the handwritten text of Avvakum will be overwhelmingly incomprehensible to the majority of us - precisely because we were divided by two writing reforms that ruthlessly crossed out so-called extra letters.

This fact reveals, perhaps, the main secret and the main tragedy of reform. The Bolsheviks, as before Peter the Great, were guided not so much by the desire to open the road to knowledge, as by the exact opposite - by the desire to block it.

Whole layers of book culture turned out to be able to only "in a new way" behind seven seals. It was important for the emperor-reformer that instead of the old church books and chronicles a new generation of educated people read arithmetic, trigonometry, and “Honest youth mirrored”. It was just as important for the Bolsheviks that the proletarians embedded in the new way of life experienced the discomfort (sometimes physical) of old books and could easily digest mainly Engels's Correspondence with Kautsky.

And there already could roll anything, including the censor metamorphosis of the word "God", which was strictly punished to print only with a lowercase letter (in the above Avvakum text given after 1963, all capital letters in the name of God I stamped manually).

In this case, the ban did not apply to Satan.

As a result, in the USSR published in 1976, as part of the thirty-volume collected works of Dostoevsky's novel “Demons” (and without that actually forbidden), there was a downright graphic blasphemy: “But Satan knows God; how can he deny it. ”

Sometimes it seemed to conspiracyists that the transformation of the prefix without в devil (unbelievably unbelievable) was invented only in order to “bestovert” the unclean.

Even pre-reform spelling with its “yatiyami” and “yeryami” at the end of words, of course, would suppress the development of the linguistic cancer of the Soviet era — all sorts of abbreviations and abbreviations. In the world of "yatiy", "Abyrvalgu" was not too comfortable. “Glavnachupr” with the “era” at the end would look abracadabra, and not a spell of higher power.

Over a hundred years, the result is achieved. The average man in the street, not burdened by an attack on humanitarian education, postpones a book published according to previous spelling norms, declaring that he "does not read old Russian." It sincerely seems to him that this is a different language.

Between the average carrier of new spelling and classical Russian literature, in other cases, there is a wall almost higher than between us and Avvakum. I will not give a textbook example about "World" and "miR"beaten by Tolstoy in his epic. Take Pushkin's "Prophet": "And the sting of the wise serpent / my frozen lips / put in the bloody right hand"- 95% of readers will tell you what is said here. "The wise sting of the serpent,"rather than "The sting of the wise serpent".

But at least Pushkin is typed in the old way. Blok was far less fortunate (by the way, the categorical opponent of reform) —the new spelling simply rewrote his poem “Russia”. The original was: “Rossиme beggar rossиI, / Your gray hut is to me, / Your wind songs are to me - / Like tears of the first love! ”

Blok's tears of first love turned into Soviet editions in "Tears first love". From the one who loves Russia as his first love, the hottest, most tender and pure, the poet turned into a whiner who cries every time he loves (probably from grief and self-pity), and roughly the same applies to Russia.

Of course, this cultural default caused a genuine indignation among many. Ivan Bunin could not see books published "in a new way." Ivan Ilyin called the new spelling "crooked" and dedicated a special diatribe to it. In the Russian-speaking period, Vladimir Nabokov refused to give novels to publishers who print using Bolshevik spelling. Dmitry Likhachev received five years of Solovkov in 1928 for a report on the old spelling, in which he viewed the Soviet reform not as a step forward - towards development, but as a step backwards - towards the primitivization of the language.

From the moment when the press of the communist dictatorship withdrew from Russian literature, there was an opportunity to restore the use of historical Russian spelling, at least in private. A wave of reprints of pre-revolutionary editions has passed;

In liberal fashion, fashion on “yati” and “ery” quickly passed, as soon as the old became associated not just with the “anti-Soviet”, but really with the old — Orthodoxy, autocracy and the Russian people.

But there are a lot of people who write according to historical rules more or less correctly. Even special textbooks on Russian spelling are published, such as M. S. Teikin's book Notes on Russian Spelling. There are publishers like the Nizhny Novgorod "Black Hundred", focused mainly on the pre-reform spelling.

Is it realistic to return to this spelling of the whole society?

Difficult question, but after the example of the return of an entire people to a long-forgotten language and a dissimilar writing (I mean the revival of Hebrew in Israel), to return a few letters and correct a couple of rules is not so difficult.

The main thing is not to forget that the written language, the written tradition is not just a visual recording of oral speech. Writing has its own history and contains powerful layers of undiscovered information about the language. Spelling, especially when it is etymological and historical, rather than purely phonetic, in itself teaches the one who observes it, the history of the language, talks about its past and shows connections that, due to changes in the sound of words, are sometimes not obvious.

From the Russian spelling, which survived, I recall, not one, but two whole reformations, Bolshevik and Peter, very much that is cleaned, but almost nothing, except letters ё и th, not added. Therefore, for the royal spelling connoisseur, there is no problem in understanding what is written in Soviet spelling, but not vice versa. A connoisseur of the pre-Peter spelling will understand both the pre-revolutionary and the Soviet, although he will marvel at their primitiveness.

Therefore, I, thinking about the cultural counter-reform that our people and civilization need in almost everything, would not be limited to the boundary of the 1918 of the year, but would threaten some of the “achievements” of 1708.

The lessons of Church Slavonic language now being promoted to our school can contribute to this deep counterreform. Anyone who can read (both in writing and verbally) “Our Father” in Slavonic will somehow cope with Marshak.



Yegor Kholmogorov

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