Goal of research: The aim of the project is to describe the mechanisms of language change in Russian caused by the social, political, cultural, and technological factors in the present-day communication space.
Methodology: The project uses various methods of modern linguistics. We apply semantic and discourse analysis as well as methods common in pragmatics centered around Gricean maxims, speech act theory, politeness theory, etc. We also make use of experiments and often employ corpora and surveys for our study, since these methods allow us to obtain information that cannot be inferred from introspection.
Empirical base of research: We use a wide variety of electronic resources as an empirical base of the research project, such as corpora of Standard as well as Non-Standard Russian and texts downloaded from the Web. The choice of sources depends on the research objectives. For instance, in order to study lexical change we use written corpora, but we have to recourse to spoken corpora and poetic corpora in order to study phonological change.
Results of research: The main outcome of the project is “The Dictionary of Language on the Internet.RU” (2016), which is an innovative lexicographic resource covering new words, collocations and technical terms used on the Web. This approach is really novel for Russian linguistics, because the language of the Web has been developing since the end of the 20st century, but is has been neglected or even stigmatized by linguists. Even though there are some online dictionaries of the Russian language of the Internet, they are mostly not up to lexicographic standards.
Another range of important research problems covered within our project lie within the scope of phraseology, lexicology and lexical semantics. They are discussed in the works by M. Krongauz, A. Baranov, and A. Somin, who study the emergence of new meanings, metaphors, etc., and the mechanisms of their development.
An important issue is also studying language attitudes. Papers by M. Krongauz describe conflicts caused by language change, whereas A. Somin compares the attitudes to Russian in Belarus and Russia, which yields interesting results related to sociolinguistics, politics, and the perception of Belarusian identity.
The research of A. Piperski covers methodological issues, such as the use of corpora for studying language change. These findings are applied to specific topics within the recent history of the Russian language, such as stress variation and change in the language starting with the 18th century and onwards.
Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results: The results of the project can be used in teaching Russian as a native language and in composing prescriptive dictionaries, grammars, etc.