Diachronic Semantic Changes of French Borrowed Vocabulary in the Russian Language

Document Type: Research Article


1 Kazan Federal University

2 N.A. Dobrolyubov Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistics University



An integrated approach to describing the adaptation of borrowed vocabulary from the initial stage of its functioning in the receiving language to its complete assimilation by the receptor language is one of the key stages in the analysis of diachronic changes in the lexical system of the language. The main method of such a study is the diachronous descriptive method, which allows us to trace the evolution of a borrowed lexical unit on different synchronous sections of the receptor language and the donor language. This article is devoted to the analysis of the process of semantic adaptation of foreign language lexical units in the lexical system of the Russian language. The object of the study is borrowings of French origin that were part of the Russian language from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The semantic mastery of gallicisms by the host language is considered in the aspect of the diachronous process of semantic archaization and innovation. The semantic development of borrowing within the framework of the dynamic processes of the lexical system of the Russian language leads to archaization, historicization, actualization of the meanings of borrowing, as well as to the emergence of innovations (new meanings) and homonyms in the borrowed term on the basis of the receptor language. These changes indicate the activity of the following processes in the lexical system of the Russian language: semantic archaization, derivation and secondary borrowing on the basis of the host language, the conversion of polysemant borrowing into homonyms.