American-Immigrant Colloquial Russian as a Target for Lexical Interference

Irina Krasnova, Independent Scholar

The Russian language of Russians living abroad is more and more often becoming the focus of scholarly studies. The examination of the peculiarities of third-wave ÈmigrÈ Russian is interesting from both a linguistic and socio-cultural point of view.

One of the main aims of recent immigrants is to learn English as quickly as possible. The percentage of English-proficient immigrants is growing rapidly. At the same time, data show that American-immigrant Colloquial Russian is subject to the Lexical Interference of English. The aim of this paper is to explore regular lexical interference and borrowings from English, and the morphological integration of English lexical items into the Russian speech of the first generation of immigrants.

The emphasis of the presentation will be on the attempt to find an answer to the following questions: Do lexical innovations resulting from language contact with English lead to language loss or language acquisition? Is there any correlation between English-proficiency growth and Russian-proficiency attrition or even loss? The data for this study are taken from the mass media and literature, as well as from the oral speech of Russian immigrants living in North America.