Tore Nesset, University of Tromsø:

Ideology in inflection - Sexism in a Russian Declensional Class

1. Introduction

Can sexist ideologies be reflected in inflectional classes? On the basis of a detailed analysis of Russian personal nouns in what I shall refer to as the "a-declension" the question can be answered in the affirmative. More specifically, the central claim of the paper is: The a-declension reflects sexist ideology through the myths of "women as the second sex", "woman as Madonna and whore" and "woman's place is in the home". The analysis brings together Russian linguistics, cognitive linguistics, gender studies and morphology in an unusual way, and the paper may be of interest for specialists in all these fields. For Russian linguistics the analysis is important because it formulates generalizations about the a-declension which to the best of my knowledge have not been made explicit in the literature before. This suggests that the approach may fruitfully be extended to other parts of the Russian declension system. For cognitive linguistics the paper is innovative because it applies a cognitive framework to a type of category which has not been much discussed from a cognitive perspective. The structure of categories has been a topical research problem in cognitive linguistics, but inflectional classes have received little attention so far. For cognitive linguistics the proposed analysis is also theoretically significant because it provides empirical evidence in favour of a cognitive approach. Without central notions like "construal" and "metaphorical extension" it is hard to see how one would capture the relationship between the Russian a-declension and sexist myths about women. Thus, the paper shows that a cognitive framework facilitates the formulation of generalizations which would otherwise not have been made explicit. For gender studies the paper may be of interest since it indicates that the linguistic means for the suppression of women may be so entrenched in the grammars of individual languages as to include inflectional classes, a concept which has not been subject to much discussion from a gender perspective. For morphological theory the analysis proposed in this paper is relevant in suggesting that inflectional classes may fruitfully be viewed as structured categories which mirror the culture of the people that use them. The paper is organized as follows. After a brief presentation of the object of study where the data material is divided into three subcategories (section 2), I explore the predominantly non-feminine subcategories in sections 3-5. Then, I relate nouns denoting female persons to the category in terms of the myths of "women as the second sex" (section 6), "woman as Madonna and whore" (section 7) and "woman's place is in the home" (section 8). Section 9 summarizes the contribution of the present study. Last but not least, the paper includes an appendix listing all non-feminine common nouns in the category under analysis.

2. The Object of Study

Russian has four declensional classes for nouns as illustrated in table 1. In this paper I shall explore personal nouns in class II in table 1. However, since the class is given different numbers in different traditions, I shall refer to it as the "a-declension" rather than the "second declension". This label is appropriate insofar as all members take the (phonemic) ending -a in the Nominative Singular.

Class I
Class II
("a-declension")
Class III
Class IV
Sg:
Nom
mál'chik 'boy'
dévushka 'girl'
kost' bone'
vinó 'wine'
Acc
mál'chika
dévushku
kost'
vinó
Gen
mál'chika
dévushki
kósti
viná
Dat
mál'chiku
dévushke
kósti
vinú
Instr
mál'chikom
dévushkoj
kóst'ju
vinóm
Loc
mál'chike
dévushke
kósti
viné
Pl:
Nom
mál'chiki
dévushki
kósti
vína
Acc
mál'chikov
dévushek
kósti
vína
Gen
mál'chikov
dévushek
kostéj
vin
Dat
mál'chikam
dévushkam
kostjám
vínam
Instr
mál'chikami
dévushkami
kostjámi
vínami
Loc
mál'chikax
dévushkax
kostjáx
vínax

Table 1: The Russian declensional classes

At this point two questions arise. Why nouns denoting persons? And why the a- declension? From the point of view of gender studies, these questions have a simple answer. If you are looking for sexist ideologies in language, you would clearly be most interested in personal nouns. You would also take the category where nouns denoting women tend to belong as your point of departure. In Russian this is the a-declension. However, among the personal nouns in the a-declension there are also non-feminine nouns. What I shall do in this paper is to investigate the relations between nouns denoting females and the rest in order to unravel the sexist structures in the category. I have divided the personal nouns in the a-declension into three subcategories given in table 2. In view of the programme outlined in the previous paragraph, it was natural first to extract all nouns denoting females into a separate subcategory (subcategory (a) in table 2). Among the remaining nouns in the a-declension, short forms of given names like Vanja (<Ivan) and Dima (<Dimitrij) stand out as a well-defined subcategory in regard of their form and function, as we shall see in section 3 below. These nouns constitute the core of subcategory (b) in table 2. Two small groups of nouns, viz. family relation terms like djadja 'uncle' and papa 'daddy', and a limited number of what I shall refer to as "address nouns", evince properties very similar to those of short forms of names. Accordingly they are placed in subcategory (b) along with proper names like Vanja and Dima. Short forms of girls' names like Tanja (<Tat'jana) and Sveta (<Svetlana) may seem problematic for this classification. Since they denote female persons, but are short forms of names with the same form and function as the corresponding male names, they could with equal right be assigned to subcategories (a) and (b). In the following I shall treat them as simultaneous members of both subcategories. By the same token, terms for female relatives like mama 'mummy' and tëtja 'aunt' are considered double members of subcategories (a) and (b.ii). Notice, however, that these practical decisions have no impact on any issue to be raised in this paper, because subcategories (a) and (b) are well-defined and interrelated in the same way, regardless of how short forms of girls' names and female kinship terms are classified. The remaining nouns are assigned to subcategory (c). I use the label "non-feminine common nouns" for this subcategory in order to highlight that it contains not only masculine nouns (which denote male persons), but also nouns of so-called common gender which allow both feminine and masculine agreement targets depending on the sex of the referent. Examples of the two types are given in (1) and (2). The nouns in subcategory (a), on the other hand, are only compatible with feminine agreement as illustrated in (3).

(1)	Masculine gender:
	a)	Ja	znaju	ètogo	strashnogo	volokitu.
		I	know	this.ACC.MASC.	terrible.ACC.MASC.	skirt chaser.ACC.
		'I know this terrible skirt chaser.'
	b)	*Ja	znaju	ètu	strashnuju	volokitu.
		I	know	this.ACC.FEM.	terrible.ACC.FEM.	skirt chaser.ACC.
		'I know this terrible skirt chaser.'
(2)	"Common gender" (examples from Iomdin (1980:456) ):
	a)	Ja	znaju	ètogo	neschastnogo	sirotu.
		I	know	this.ACC.MASC.	unhappy.ACC.MASC.	orphan.ACC.
		'I know this unhappy (male) orphan.'	
	b)	Ja	znaju	ètu	neschastnuju	sirotu.
		I	know	this.ACC.FEM.	unhappy.ACC.FEM.	orphan.ACC.
		'I know this unhappy (female) orphan.'
(3)	Feminine gender:
	a)	*Ja	znaju	ètogo	umnogo	zhenshinu.
		I	know	this.ACC.MASC.	intelligent.ACC.MASC.	woman.ACC.
		'I know this intelligent woman.'
	b)	Ja	znaju	ètu	umnuju	zhenshinu.
		I	know	this.ACC.FEM.	intelligent.ACC.FEM.	woman.ACC.
		'I know this intelligent woman.'

a)
Nouns denoting female persons
i)
Proper names:
Tat'jana (full form of first name), Tanja (short form of first name), Jur'jevna (patronymic), 
Kudrjavceva (surname)
ii)
Common nouns:
dama 'lady', zhenshina 'woman', deva 'maiden', vdova 'widow'
b)
Short forms of given names and related words:
i)
Short forms of names:
Vanja (<Ivan), Dima (<Dimitrij), Tanja (<Tat'jana), Lida (< Lidija)
ii)
Family relation terms: 
papa 'daddy', djadja 'uncle', mama 'mummy', tëtja 'aunt' 
iii)
"Address nouns":
dushen'ka 'darling', lapochka '(my) pet, darling, sweetheart', milochka 'dear, darling'
c)
Non-feminine common nouns:
p'janica 'drunkard', skrjaga 'miser', plaksa 'crybaby', brjuzga 'grumbler', ubijca 'murderer'

Table 2: Classification of personal nouns in the a-declension

Table 2 provides only a handful examples of each type. For more examples the reader may want to consult the appendix which contains all common nouns in subcategories (b) and (c) included in Zaliznjak (1977) .

3. The Schema [FAMILIARITY]

After this brief presentation of the object of study, we turn to a more detailed discussion of the three subcategories and the relations between them. I start from subcategory (b) which is of least complexity. I shall argue that the nouns in the three groups listed as (b.i)-(b.iii) in table 2 all denote persons engaged in an intimate relationship to the speaker. Therefore, I shall advance a general schema for all the relevant nouns, for which I shall propose the label [FAMILIARITY]. Short forms of first names are created by truncation of the stem (cf. Stankiewicz 1968:143ff. for detailed discussion) . Wierzbicka (1992:242) distinguishes between three types on formal grounds: forms with a palatalized ("soft") consonant in stem final position, forms with a non-palatal(ized) ("hard") consonant, and forms where the truncated stem is augmented by the suffix -sh. Examples are given in (4). Notice that both male and female names are attested in all three types.

(4)
	a)	Soft stems:	Vanja (<Ivan), Tanja (<Tatjana)
	b)	Hard stems:	Dima (<Dimitrij), Lida (<Lidija)
	c)	Stems in -sh:	Grisha (<Grigorij), Masha (<Marija)

The full forms (given in parentheses in (4)) belong to the first declension (male names) or the a-declension (female names), but a short form is always in the a-declension regardless of the declensional class of the corresponding full form. Thus there is a systematic relationship between the a-declensions and short forms of names, which makes them particularly relevant for the present study. The short forms may be augmented by various diminutive and affectionate suffixes. We shall return to these suffixes in section 4.2 below, since they are not restricted to proper names. Functionally, the short forms of Russian names evince some similarities to English nicknames like Tom (<Thomas) and Pam (<Pamela), although the analogy should not be taken too far. The Russian short forms of names are sometimes referred to as "hypocoristic", and this label gives a rough indication of their function. The most comprehensive analysis I am aware of is that of Wierzbicka (1992:245) who explicates the meaning of the three types in (5) in terms of the following formulae:

(5)
	a)	Soft stems (Vanja, Tanja):
		"I want to speak to you the way people speak to people whom they know well and toward whom 
		they feel something good, and to children"
	b)	Hard stems (Dima, Lida):
		"I want to speak to you the way people speak to people whom they know well. I don't want to 
		speak to you the way people speak to children"
	c)	Stems in -sh (Grisha, Masha): 
		"I want to speak to you the way people speak to people whom they know well and to children"

Is there a schematic meaning which covers all three types? On the basis of Wierzbicka's analysis the question can clearly be answered in the affirmative, since all formulae in (5) contain the component "I want to talk to you the way people talk to people whom they know well". I take this to indicate that short forms of given names imply a close relationship to the speaker; short forms are appropriate for persons who have a special status by virtue of their close relationship to the speaker. In order to capture this, I suggest the following general schema: "persons who stand out from the multitude by virtue of their intimate relationship to the speaker". The first part of the schema which refers to the "multitude" may seem cumbersome at this point. It is included in order to highlight that we are dealing with persons who enjoy a special status. As we shall see in sections 5 and 6 below, this is important for the discussion of sexism in the a-declension, which is the focus of the present paper. For ease of reference I shall use the mnemonic label [FAMILIARITY] for the schema. In the previous section I suggested that a number of family relation terms belong to the same subcategory as short forms of names. The most central terms are mama 'mummy', papa 'daddy', tëtja 'aunt', djadja 'uncle', babushka 'grandma' and dedushka 'grandpa'. The notion "family relation terms" should not be taken to indicate a biological relationship, insofar as the subcategory also includes njanja 'nannie'. On the other hand, not all terms for relatives are in the subcategory. Outside the a-declension, for instance, is brat 'brother'. It differs from the terms above functionally in that it tends not to be used as an address form, as siblings usually call each other by name. There is ample evidence in Russian for the grouping together of family relation terms and short forms of names. The first argument has already been hinted at. The family relation terms in question are used instead of proper names in addressing close relatives. In other words, family relation terms and short forms of names are in complementary distribution, which strongly suggest that they belong to the same category. In addition to this, however, there are also phonological and morphological properties that relate family relation terms to short forms of names. Both types have monosyllabic stems, in most cases without consonant clusters (Stankiewicz 1968:146) . Family relation terms display the same contrast between soft and hard stems as short forms of names, and according to Wierzbicka (1992:242) the contrast has the same semantic effect for both groups. Furthermore, family relation terms and short forms of names combine with the same diminutive and expressive suffixes, which, again, have the same semantic effect (Wierzbicka 1992:248f. and 266) . A further similarity, which has not been mentioned in the literature, is that both family relation terms and short forms of names have vocative forms with long stem vowel and no ending ([taùnJ] of Tanja and [maùm] of mama). Vocative forms (of this type) are not created from other nouns, so this is quite a strong indication of the affinity of family relation terms to short forms of names. Above I invoked the schema [FAMILIARITY] in order to account for short forms of proper names. Given the many similarities between family relation terms and short forms of names, one must ask whether the schema is compatible with family relation terms as well. It seems very reasonable to answer 'yes' to this question, because close relatives are indeed persons with whom one is engaged in particularly intimate relationships. A third subcategory that instantiates the [FAMILIARITY] schema are what one may refer to as "address nouns". Some examples are cited in table 2 above; for more examples see the appendix. According to Doleschal (1993:117) these are words for "zärtliche Anrede (meist zu Kindern)". Vaschenko (1984:63) describes them as "words with the meaning of affectionate or familiar address" (my translation. TN). I take this to indicate that they are pragmatic markers which signal an intimate relationship between speaker and addressee. Hence, they are compatible with the schema [FAMILIARITY].

4. The Schema [MARGINALITY]

The nouns we have considered in the previous section denote persons who stand out from the multitude with regard to their intimate relationship to the speaker. We now turn to the remaining non-feminine personal nouns in the a-declension (subcategory (c) in table 2). I shall argue that these nouns too denote persons who stand out from the multitude. The persons in subcategory (c), however, enjoy a special status by being placed at the endpoint of some scale. Accordingly, I shall advance a general schema for the subcategory, for which I shall propose [MARGINALITY] as a mnemonic label. I shall explore the scale of evaluation with respect to deverbal and deadjectival nouns in 4.1, then turn to denominative derivatives which evince marginality in terms of evaluation and size in 4.2. Some more marginal types are considered in 4.3.

4.1 Evaluation: Deverbal and Deadjectival Derivatives

Among the personal nouns in the a-declension deverbal or deadjectival derivatives are very common. Examples of some widespread derivational patterns are given in (6) where the corresponding verb or adjective is cited in parenthesis. For extensive discussions of the derivational patterns and the productivity of various suffixes, see čvedova (1980) and Vinogradov (1947) .

(6)

  1. nouns in -aka/-uka: pisaka 'scribbler' (pisat' 'write'), podljuka 'mean person' (podlyj 'mean')
  2. nouns in -aga/-uga: brodjaga 'tramp, down-and-out' (brodit' 'wander'), bednjaga 'poor fellow' (bednyj 'poor')
  3. nouns in -ala/-ila: podpevala 'yes-man' (podpevat' 'join (in singing)'), zubrila 'crammer' (zubrit' 'cram')
  4. nouns in -jca/-ica: ubijca 'murderer' (ubit' 'kill'), umnica 'clever person' (umnyj 'clever')
  5. Ø-derivations: zadira 'bully, trouble-maker' (zadirat' 'tear to pieces'), nadoeda 'pain in the neck' (nadoedat' 'to get on the nerves')

Deverbal and deadjectival nouns have the same semantic properties. As pointed out by Doleschal (1993:117) , their meaning consists of two components. First, the relevant nouns characterize a person with regard to a property or an activity, and secondly, they involve an evaluation of this person. The noun pisaka 'scribbler' in (6a) illustrates this. Like the class I noun (cf. table 1 in section 2) pisatel' 'writer' it denotes a person who writes, but insofar as it denotes a bad writer, pisaka also involves an evaluation, a nuance which is absent in pisatel'. The example suggests that evaluation may be characteristic of the a-declension as opposed to class I, so it may be worthwhile to elaborate on this concept, which, to the best of my knowledge, has not been made explicit in the literature on the nouns in question. We can think of evaluation as involving the mapping of certain properties or activities onto a scale which ranges from negative to positive values. Evaluation is culture specific as a certain activity or property may be evaluated differently in different cultures. For instance, consumption of alcohol is banned among muslims, whereas in other cultures it is thought of in neutral or positive terms. Cognitive linguistics allows us to make explicit the relationship between culture and evaluation. As an example, consider again pisaka. This noun is relevant for an experiential domain which we may label "knowledge and ability". We can assume an Idealized Cognitive Model (ICM Lakoff 1987) for this domain which we may explicate as the imperative "Be knowledgeable and able!". This ICM maps pisaka onto the negative pole of the evaluation scale, since pisaka denotes a person who performs the profession of writing badly and thus conflicts with the requirement of the ICM. In order to account for a broad range of deverbal and deadjectival nouns, one would need several ICM's. For instance, nouns like podljuka 'mean person' and zadira 'bully, trouble-maker' may be evaluated against, say, "Act morally!", and ubijca 'murderer' actualizes a closely related ICM which we may formulate as "Obey the law!". The more fine-grained the set of ICM's, the more adequate the analysis. However, further ICM's will not be discussed here, since what has already been said suffices to establish the relevance of evaluation for the nouns under scrutiny. According to Vaschenko (1984:63) negative evaluation is more widespread in the a-declension than positive evaluation. This impression is confirmed by the corpus presented in the appendix of the present paper, in which the majority of the non-feminine common nouns in the a-declension involve negative evaluation in terms of some ICM. There are, however, examples of positive evaluation as well. A case in point is umnica 'clever person' in (6d), which receives positive evaluation in regard to the ICM "Be knowledgeable and able!". At this point we may ask whether it is possible to formulate a general schema which subsumes nouns of both positive and negative evaluation. Both types involve extreme or polar qualities, i.e. qualities close to either endpoint on the evaluation scale. In other words we are dealing with persons who deviate from the norm of "ordinary" people in terms of their situation on the scale of evaluation. Against this background I would like to propose as a general schema "person standing out from the multitude by being placed at an endpoint of a scale". I have not mentioned the scale of evaluation in the schema even though this scale has been invoked in all examples discussed so far. However, as we shall see in 4.2 and 4.3, other scales will prove relevant, and I therefore prefer to let the schema be non-specific in regard to particular scales. As a convenient label for the schema I shall use [MARGINALITY]. This schema is so inclusive that it is compatible with many nouns outside the a-declension. For example, class I nouns like lgun 'liar' and vrun 'liar' are clearly negative. Hence, it might be argued, reference to evaluation is not sufficient to distinguish between deadjectival and deverbal derivatives in the two declensional classes. However, there is an important difference. Although it is not too difficult to find nouns in class I that involve evaluation, nouns of this type do not constitute the majority. Therefore, there is no sense in which evaluation can be considered characteristic of the first declension. On the other hand, almost all deverbal or deadjectival nouns in the a-declension involve evaluation. If one knows that a certain noun is related to an adjective or verb and belongs to the a-declension, one may infere with a high degree of probability that it involves evaluation. Evaluation may not be sufficient to predict membership in the a-declension. Nevertheless, we may at least (in the terminology of Lakoff 1987:146f.) say that it provides motivation in the a-declension. No such claim can reasonably be made for class I nouns despite the existence of scattered examples like lgun and vrun. Therefore it seems safe to conclude that [MARGINALITY] is a salient schema in the a-declension, but not in class I.

4.2 Size and Evaluation: Denominative Derivatives

We now turn from deadjectival and deverbal to denominative derivatives. I shall argue that they instantiate the [MARGINALITY] schema in that they denote persons that stand out from the multitude by virtue of their size or - in the same way as the deadjectival and deverbal nouns - in terms of evaluation. I shall argue that size and evaluation are related in terms of metaphorical extensions. As the corpus presented in the appendix of this paper testifies, personal nouns in the a-declension include numerous denominative derivatives in -in, -k or complex suffixes containing -k, e.g. -ochk and -ishk. A handful of examples are given in (7). The nouns in question may be derived from deverbal or deadjectival nouns of the type we explored in 4.1 (e.g. bednjazhka < bednjaga < bednyj 'poor' (adj.)), but they may also correspond to other nouns in the a-declension (e.g. sirotka < sirota 'orphan') or to class I nouns. The corresponding class I noun may be underived (idiotina < idiot 'idiot') or derived (lgunishka < lgun < lgat' 'lie' (verb)). The suffix -in is traditionally labelled "augmentative". This suggests that it refers to the parameter of size, i.e. that the nouns in question denote persons of big size. This is correct as far as it goes. For instance, nouns like detina are clearly used in order to indicate big size. Nouns of this type resemble the deadjectival and deverbal derivatives discussed in 4.1 insofar as they invoke a scale. All types can be said to denote "persons standing out from the multitude by being placed at the endpoint of a scale". Therefore, the schema [MARGINALITY] seems compatible with denominative derivations as well. However, the relevant scale for examples like detina is seemingly not evaluation, but rather physical size.

(7)

  1. -in: detina 'big fellow', idiotina 'idiot', molodchina 'fine fellow', kupchina 'merchant'
  2. -k: kroshka 'little one (affectionate of a child)', sirotka 'orphan', bednjazhka 'poor fellow'
  3. -ochk: kroshechka 'little one (affectionate of a child)', sirotochka 'orphan', bednjazhechka 'poor fellow'
  4. -ishk: lgunishka 'liar', aktërishka 'actor', trusishka 'coward'

Notice, however, that the scales of evaluation and size are closely connected. Consider idiotina and molodchina, which are augmentative derivatives from idiot 'idiot' and molodec 'fine fellow'. Here, the relevant parameter is not physical size, but rather evaluation, since what is augmented is the negative or positive property of the persons in question. Examples involving evaluation are more common than examples of physical size in my corpus, so Stankiewicz (1968:128) is probably right in claiming that augmentatives of personal nouns in -in are primarily expressive. Even when attached to evaluatively neutral nouns, derivatives in -in tend to achieve an evaluative nuance. A case in point is the pejorative kupchina which is derived from the neutral kupec 'merchant'. An even clearer illustration of the intimate relationship between size and evaluation is offered by the suffixes -k and -ochk. Traditionally nouns with these suffixes are labelled "diminutives". This would indicate reference to small size, and the nouns would be compatible with the schema invoking the scale of size, although the nouns in -k and -ochk refer to the other end of the scale than nouns in -in. This holds good for inanimate nouns. For instance, the diminutive knizhka of kniga 'book' designates a small book. However, among personal nouns it is more difficult to find examples where the parameter of size is foregrounded. In cases like kroshka, kroshechka, sirotka and sirotochka we are indeed dealing with persons of small size (and with the closely related property young age). However, the base nouns indicate small size themselves, and the main contribution of the suffix does not seem to be to emphasize smallness or low age. Rather, the suffixes give the nouns in question a nuance of endearment or pity. This is particularly clear for examples like bednjazhka and bednjazhechka which do not necessarily refer to small persons. Wierzbicka makes these nuances explicit in terms of formulae of the type we have discussed in section 4.1. The meanings of -k are extremely versatile and elusive, and Wierzbicka assumes slightly different formulae for different stem types. However, the components quoted in (8) are present in all formulae. In (9) the complete formula for -ochk is cited.

(8) Formulae for nouns in -k (excerpts, Wierzbicka 1992:268f.) :

  1. "I don't want to show that I feel something toward you of the kind that people feel toward children."
  2. "I don't want to show that I feel something good toward you [...]."
  3. "I want to speak to you the way people speak to people whom they know well."

(9) Formula for nouns in -ochk (Wierzbicka 1992:260) :

"I feel something good toward you of the kind that people feel speaking to small children."


Smallness is referred to in (8a) and (9) via the image of a child although the formula in (8a) is subtle in this respect. However, that the speaker does not want to show the "child-like" feeling, in fact implies that it exists. The formulae also relate the nouns in -k and -ochk to the parameter of evaluation insofar as the reference to "good feelings" in (8b) and (9) implies an evaluation. The formula in (8c) is included in order to show that nouns in -k and -ochk are also related to the subcategory of short forms of names discussed in 4.1 above. Recall that I advanced as a general schema for this subcategory "persons who stand out from the multitude by virtue of their intimate relationship to the speaker". As shown by (8c) distance to the speaker is also relevant for nouns in -k. The fourth suffix listed in (7), -ishk, is closely parallel to the other suffixes. Consider as an example lgunishka, which Ushakov's dictionary (1935) defines as a nichtozhnyj, melkij vral' (literally: 'paltry, small liar'). This definition includes reference to smallness, but Stankiewiecz (1968:132ff.) classifies -ishk as a pejorative suffix, and Bratus (1969:33) claims that nouns in -ishk "convey disparagement or a condescending irony". Thus the scale of evaluation is foregrounded rather than that of size. It is worth pointing out that a negative nuance arises not only when the suffix is attached to an already negatively loaded word like lgun 'liar'. The pejorative aktërishka from the neutral aktër 'actor' illustrates this. That diminutive and augmentative derivatives often take on evaluative or expressive nuances is a very common observation (cf. e.g. Stump 1993:1) , but generative linguists seldom attempt to explicate the relationship in their models. In cognitive linguistics, on the other hand, the relationship can be represented in terms of metaphors. I would like to propose SMALL IS BAD in order to capture the relationship between smallness and negative evaluation in nouns in -ishk. The relationship between positive evaluation and smallness in nouns in -k and -ochk can be accounted for in terms of the metaphor SMALL IS GOOD. We have also seen that augmentatives in -in are related to the scale of evaluation. This relationship can be accounted for in terms of the metaphors BIG IS BAD and BIG IS GOOD. At this point I would like to summarize the analysis in terms of the Langacker (1987:369ff.) style categorization network in figure 1. We have seen that not only denominative, but also deverbal and deadjectival nouns instantiate the schema "person standing out from the multitude by being placed at an endpoint of a scale" ([MARGINALITY] for short). Two scales have proved relevant, namely evaluation and size, as indicated by the two lower level schemas in the figure. They are connected by a dashed arrow symbolizing the metaphorical extensions from size to evaluation.

Figure 1: Marginality with regard to size and evaluation

Before leaving the denominative nouns in -in, -k, -ochk and -ichk we must ask to what extent the schema [MARGINALITY] is salient for denominative nouns in the a-declension. Readers with no prior knowledge of Russian should not get the impression that diminutives or augmentatives (with or without evaluative nuances) are not attested outside the a-declension, although the a-declension seems to have the richest system, especially as far as diminutive derivations are concerned. Therefore the meanings described above are not sufficient to predict that a noun would belong to the a-declension. Nevertheless the attested meanings provide motivation in Lakoff's (1987:146f.) terms, and are as such relevant for the linguistic analysis of the declension. In two cases, however, predictions do in fact hold. Augmentatives in -in and pejoratives in -ishk are always in the a-declension, even if the base nouns from belong to other declensional classes (cf. idiotina and lgunishka in (7a and d) above from the class I nouns idiot and lgun). In sum it seems safe to conclude that the schema [MARGINALITY] is characteristic of non-feminine denominative derivatives in the a-declension through reference to size and the related parameter of evaluation.

4.3 Other Nouns

The analysis summarized in figure 1 accounts for the majority of non-feminine personal common nouns in the a-declension. Nevertheless, it is not too difficult to find examples for which the scales of evaluation and size seem not directly relevant. In what follows I shall explore a number of apparent counterexamples of this type. I shall argue that they are in fact compatible with the schema [MARGINALITY] and therefore lend additional support to the proposed analysis. Consider first the nouns listed under (10). Although the meanings display some variation, all these nouns can be said to denote persons who, in various ways, occupy privileged positions in society, or, as in the case of sluga 'servant', underprivileged positions. At first glance these nouns may seem problematic for the analysis advanced in 4.1 and 4.2, since neither evaluation nor size appears directly relevant for their meaning. Notice, however, that the notion of "privilege" has something positive to it, and that persons in privileged positions may be described metaphorically as "big" ("big boss" etc.). Likewise, persons in underprivileged positions may be associated with negative values and described as "small". This suggests that the nouns in (10) are not totally unrelated to the nouns explored in 4.1 and 4.2. If one assumes a scale of positions in society ranging from prestigious to non-prestigious, the nouns in (10) designate persons who stand out from the multitude by being placed at the endpoint of this scale. In other words, what at first glance seem to be counterexamples to the proposed analysis, are in fact instantiations of the schema [MARGINALITY].

(10)

Among the non-feminine common nouns in the a-declension there are some borrowings. A handful of examples, mainly titles of oriental origin, are cited in (11). These nouns are closely related to the nouns in (11) above since they denote persons who occupy privileged or underprivileged positions in a hierarchy. Although clearly peripheral in the Russian language, these nouns are of some interest since they show that the subcategory has been able to attract borrowings.

(11)

Finally, we shall consider the nouns in (12), which do not form a coherent set. The notion of "scale" appears irrelevant for their semantics, so on the face of it they do not seem to fit into the subcategory. However, in a wider sense the nouns in question denote persons for whom the label "marginal" is appropriate. People normally write by the right hand, and in this sense levsha 'left-hander' denotes marginal persons. In the same way, nouns like tëzka 'namesake', dvo(jn)jashka 'twin' and tro(jn)jashka 'triplet' can be considered marginal since people normally have different names and are in most cases born one by one. Although nouns like these are not fully compatible with the schema [MARGINALITY] as defined in 4.1, they are partly compatible. Therefore they can be considered extensions from this schema (in the sense of Langacker 1987:369ff.) . In this way they are well motivated in the a-declension under the analysis advocated in the present study.

(12)

This concludes my discussion of non-feminine common nouns in the a-declension. We have seen that upon closer inspection apparently problematic nouns turn out to be fully or partly compatible with the schema [MARGINALITY]. Further nouns could have been considered. However, this would have been of limited interest since the discussion in 4.1 through 4.3 is sufficient to establish the salience of [MARGINALITY] for personal nouns in the a-declension. As we shall see in the following, this schema will play a central role in the analysis of sexist ideologies in the a-declension, which is the central concern of the present paper.

5. The Schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY]

We have now studied the subcategories of proper names and non-feminine common nouns in some detail. At this point one may ask whether and how these subcategories are related. In what follows I shall argue that they are related in that both subcategories instantiate the schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY]. At first glance one might think that proper names like Vanja and common nouns like pisaka 'scribbler' have nothing in common, except that both belong to the a-declension. However in the preceding sections I argued that the two subcategories instantiate the schemas [FAMILIARITY] and [MARGINALITY], respectively, and the definitions repeated in (13) below reveal that they share the semantic component "persons who stand out from the multitude". This component constitutes a general schema which I label [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY]. In other words, the schemas [FAMILIARITY] and [MARGINALITY] are related through the schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY] which they both instantiate.

(13)

  1. [FAMILIARITY]: Persons who stand out from the multitude by virtue of their intimate relationship to the speaker.
  2. [MARGINALITY]: Persons who stand out from the multitude by being placed at an endpoint of a scale.

In figure 2 I give a pictorial representation of the relationship between the three schemas in terms of a Langackerian categorization network (cf. Langacker 1987:369ff.) . All three schemas include three triangles which represent "the multitude" as well as one or two squares symbolizing the person "who stand out from the multitude". I interpret "stand out from the multitude" in terms of a categorization relationship in which a target (the person) is compared to a standard (the multitude, crowd) and found to deviate from it. In the figure I represent standard and target as circles which are linked to the multitude and the deviating person, respectively. The circle representing the target is given in heavy line in order to convey that the schemas have a nominal profile, i.e. do not designate a relationship, and in order to show that the denotatum is the person that stands out from the multitude. In all three schemas the circles are connected by an arrow which stands for the categorization relationship. The arrow is dashed in order to indicate that the target is not fully compatible with the standard, i.e. that we are dealing with an extension relation rather than a instantiation in Langacker's (1987:369ff.) terminology. This is common to all three schemas. In addition to this, the lower level schema to the left, which represents [MARGINALITY], includes a scale on which the deviating persons (represented as squares) are placed at the endpoints. In this way the figure conveys that the subcategory involves persons who stand out from the multitude by being placed at the endpoint of some scale. The representation of [FAMILIARITY] includes an extra circle with a capital S which represents the speaker. The deviating person (the square) is closer to the speaker than the multitude is. Thus, proximity on paper symbolizes degree of familiarity with respect to the speaker.

Figure 2: Relating non-feminine common nouns and short forms of names

6. Sexism: Woman as the second sex

If the argument in the preceding section is accepted, the question arises as to whether the third subcategory, that of women, is related to the remaining subcategories in a similar way. In this section, I shall argue that it is indeed the case that the three subcategories are related, but I shall show that a relationship can be established only if woman is construed as the second sex. This claim is interesting from the perspective of gender studies. Since the only way to establish a relationship is in terms of a sexist stereotype of women, I shall conclude that the a-declension reflects sexist ideology. Three construals of the concept "woman" (and "man") are readily conceivable:


In figure 3 I have tried to capture the differences between these construals in terms of pictorial representations of the same type as in figures 1 and 2 above. All schemas contain three squares marked with "W" which are linked to a heavy-line circle. This conveys that the schemas designate women. The schema [W] includes no further information since this construal does not refer to men. In the case of [W1] and [W2], on the other hand, the schemas involve another circle linked to three triangles, which represent the class of men. The two circles are connected by a dashed arrow representing an extension relation holding between the categories of men and women. The directionality of the relation captures the primary-secondary dichotomy. In [W1] woman is construed as primary because she is the standard to which man is compared, while in [W2] woman is the target of comparison, and hence construed as secondary compared to man.

Figure 3: Three construals of "woman"

The construal which will concern us most is [W2], which is intimately connected to the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir. In her classic text The second sex she analyses the relationship between the sexes in terms of a dichotomy between transcendence and immanence. Traditionally man has been the active, transcendent subject who has created the norms and defined the role of woman. Woman, on the other hand, has been a passive, immanent object; she has been made "the other". In this way, woman is understood exclusively through her relationship to man. This is exactly what the representation of [W2] in figure 3 captures: Woman is defined through a comparison with the man in which she is found different. A cognitive linguistic account in terms of categorization therefore seems appropriate. Simone de Beauvoir's aim was to unravel the sexist ideologies hidden in the myth of woman as the second sex. By stigmatizing woman as "immanent" the myth deprives her of the freedom to define her own role and to decide over her own life. Furthermore, the myth can be exploited by men in order to justify suppression of women's rights. As de Beauvoir herself puts it, "few myths have been more advantageous to the ruling caste than the myth of woman: it justifies all privileges and even authorizes their abuse" (Beauvoir 1993:270) . Clearly, then, the myth of woman as the second sex is sexist on a common understanding of sexism as discrimination against women. When woman is construed as the second sex, she is seen as different compared to men. In this way, men represent a "multitude" which women is regarded as standing out from. Now, if woman as the second sex can be described as a person who stands out from the multitude by being the "other" sex, this construal of woman is compatible with the general schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY] proposed in the preceding section. [W2] is an instantiation of [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY], in that both schemas pertain to persons standing out from the multitude, while [W2] involves additional specifications about the sex of the relevant persons. The consequence of this argument is important. What at first glance may appear to be an arbitrary lumping together of three unrelated subcategories turns out to be a well-defined category containing three subcategories that all instantiate a general schema. The a-declension is a category of persons who stand out from the multitude in terms of proximity to the speaker (short forms of proper names), extreme qualities (non-feminine common nouns) or sex (feminine nouns). In figure 4 I give a pictorial representation of the category. I have extended figure 2 by including the representation of woman as the second sex proposed above. It is important to notice that the two alternative construals of woman are incompatible with the schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY]. The construal of woman as the first sex is incompatible by profiling the standard, not the target in the categorization relationship, and the construal of woman independently of man is incompatible by not involving a categorization relationship at all. The upshot of this is that the analysis of the personal nouns in the a-declension as constituting a well-defined category can only be maintained as long as woman is construed as the second sex. In this way this construal is reflected by the category. Now, given that [W2] is sexist and is reflected in the category, we are in a position to conclude that the a-declension reflects sexist attitudes towards women.

Figure 4: "Woman as the second sex" in the a-declension

7. Sexism: Woman as Madonna and Whore

The discussion of the myth of woman as the second sex has suggested that the a-declension is not an arbitrary juxtaposition of three unrelated subcategories, because all three instantiate the general schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY]. In the following I shall suggest an even closer connection between the subcategories of non-feminine common nouns and women. I shall argue that they are related in terms of a set of metaphorical extensions which together reflect a stereotype closely related to "woman as the second sex", viz. "woman as Madonna and whore". At the heart of the myth of woman as the second sex is the concept of "otherness". Woman is regarded as different, and men tend to project onto women everything which they are not themselves. In this way, woman is associated with "extreme" qualities. These qualities may be both positive and negative. In de Beauvoir's words "woman is at once Eve and Virgin Mary. She is an idol, a servant, the source of life, a power of darkness; she is the elemental silence of truth, she is artifice, gossip and falsehood; she is healing presence and sorceress, she is man's prey, his downfall, she is everything that he is not and that he longs for, his negation as his raison d'être. [...] Under whatever aspect we may consider her, it is this ambivalence that strikes us first." (Beauvoir 1993:151f.) In this way a dualistic understanding of woman is created as a natural extension from the myth of woman as the second sex. As a convenient label for this dualism I shall use "woman as Madonna and whore". Notice, however, that this label should not be interpreted literally as relating women to the properties of Virgin Mary and whores exclusively. Rather it is employed as a cover term for a large set of stereotypes which together constitute the dualistic understanding of women by associating her simultaneously with positive and negative properties. The tendency to associate women with extreme qualities through the myth of "woman as Madonna and whore" allows us to deepen our understanding of the a-declension. Recall that nouns like pisaka 'scribbler' and umnica 'clever person', which involve evaluation, are characteristic for the subcategory of non-feminine common nouns. Thus, nouns of this type evince exactly such extreme qualities as the myth refers to, as was argued at length in section 4 above. Therefore, the myth provides a conceptual link between the subcategory of women and the subcategory of non-feminine common nouns. Technically, I represent the link in terms of metaphorical extensions in (14). The first mediates the relationship between woman and negative characteristics, the second captures the association with positive characteristics.

(14)


To avoid confusion, let me make my position fully explicit. I do indeed claim that the metaphors in (14) connect the subcategories of women and non-feminine common nouns. It is important to note, however, that it does not follow from this claim that (all) the relevant common nouns involve specifically "female" sins, vices and virtues. Such a position would clearly be incorrect in view of nouns like ubijca 'murderer' and p'janica 'drunkard', which are probably not first and foremost associated with women. Even clearer evidence is given by nouns like volokita 'skirt chaser' given its meaning and masculine syntactic gender. I have argued that the myth of "woman as Madonna and whore" is an integrated part of the category structure of the a-declension in that it relates the subcategories of women and non-feminine common nouns. I regard "woman as Madonna and whore" as sexist for the same reasons as "woman as the second sex" was considered a sexist myth in the previous section. Given this, the discussion of the metaphorical connections between the subcategories of women and non-feminine common nouns reinforces the conclusion made in the preceding section that the a-declension reflects sexist attitudes towards women.

8. Sexism: Woman's Place in Man's World is at home

Given that the subcategory of women is related to the subcategory of non-feminine common nouns in terms of an extension relation, one must ask whether a similar relationship holds between women and the third subcategory, viz. short forms of proper names. In this section I shall argue that a relationship can be established in terms of what Lakoff (1987:93) refers to as the "domain-of-experience-principle". Roughly, the two subcategories are related insofar as both pertain to the "private sphere". I shall suggest that this relationship provides another example of sexist ideologies in the a-declension. as a starting point for the discussion, let us draw a distinction between two experiential domains, which I shall refer to as the "private" and "public" spheres of life. The former is centred around the notion of 'home' and includes personal relationships to family and friends. The latter pertains to social macrostructures and includes a person's engagement in work, politics, mass media etc. The distinction is well known from the philosophy of Jürgen Habermas (1962) , where it is pivotal However, its importance goes beyond philosophy as it is reflected in the grammars of many languages, e.g. in systems of address forms. In Russian, for instance, the familiar form ty 'you' is used between relatives and close friends, i.e. within the private sphere, whereas the polite form vy 'you' is appropriate in the public sphere. In the previous section I argued that associating women with extreme qualities was a natural extension of the myth of "Woman as the second sex". Another, and arguably equally natural extension is to relate women to a restricted experiential domain of perceived secondary importance. According to traditional sexist practice, women are associated with the private sphere, whereas men play the primary part in the more prestigious public sphere. Women raise children and keep the house, while men are the main breadwinners. Men hold powerful positions in society and make the important decisions; women's place in men's world is at home. Needless to say, this "women's-place-is-in-the-home" myth is sexist, since it deprives women of influence in society (for discussion see Beauvoir 1993:186f.) . The association of women and the private sphere allows us to establish a conceptual link between the subcategories of women and proper names in the a-declension. As will be recalled from section 3, the relevant proper names are short forms like Vanja (<Ivan) and Tanja (<Tat'jana), which are used to address people who stand in an intimate relationship to the speaker. This may be close relatives and friends, i.e. persons pertaining to the private sphere. In the public sphere, where relations between people tend to be less close, people are most naturally addressed by means of full form of first name and patronymic, e.g. as Tat'jana Jur'jevna (literally Tat'jana, daughter of Jurij), or more formally by means of surname accompanied with title, e.g. professor Kudrjavceva 'professor Kudrjavceva'. However, a detailed discussion of address forms in Russian is beyond the scope of this article. What is important for present purposes is that there is a connection between short forms of proper names and the private sphere. Since both women and short forms pertain to this experiential domain, it allows us to relate the subcategories of women and short forms. In other words, these two subcategories are not only related through the schema [NON-PROTOTYPICALITY], but also in terms of the domain of experience which both subcategories belong to. However, the relation hinges on the sexist association of women with the private sphere, so once again we see that the a-declension displays sexism. In figure 5 I have incorporated the relations discussed in this and the preceding sections. Both are considered extension relations (and thus represented by dashed arrows) since they connect schemas that are not fully compatible. Notice, however, that the two extension relations are of different kinds. As argued at some length in the previous section, women are related to non-feminine common nouns in terms of metaphors. The relationship between women and short forms of proper names is mediated by what Lakoff refers to as the "domain-of-experience principle": "If there is a basic domain of experience associated with A, then it is natural for entities in that domain to be in the same category as A." (Lakoff 1987:93)

Figure 5: "Woman as the second sex", "woman as Madonna and whore" and "woman's place is in the home" in the a-declension

9. Summary. The Contribution of this Study

This concludes my discussion of sexist ideologies in the a-declension. The analysis can be summarized as follows:

The proposed analysis brings together Russian linguistics, cognitive linguistics, gender studies and morphology in a novel way, and has implications for all these fields. For Russian linguistics the analysis is important because it captures generalizations about the a-declension which to the best of my knowledge has not been made explicit earlier. But the proposed analysis also has implications that go beyond the a-declension. Personal nouns are (with a few exceptions) only found in class I or in the a-declension, and the analysis proposed in this paper makes one wonder about the role of class I. Is it a default category where all personal nouns end up if their semantic specification is not appropriate for the a-declension? Or does it have a more specific semantic motivation itself? These questions are, however, left for future research. For cognitive linguistics the proposed analysis is theoretically significant because it provides empirical evidence in favour of a cognitive approach. Without central notions like "construal" and "metaphorical extension" it is hard to see how one would capture the relationship between the Russian a-declension and sexist myths about women. Thus, the present study shows that a cognitive framework facilitates the formulation of generalizations which would otherwise not have been made explicit. In addition to this, the proposed analysis is innovative in the context of cognitive linguistics because it applies a cognitive framework to a type of category which has not been much discussed from a cognitive perspective. The structure of categories has received much attention in cognitive linguistics, but inflectional classes have been neglected so far. The focus on inflectional class is also innovative from the point of view of gender studies. The proposed analysis suggests that the linguistic means for the suppression of women may be so entrenched in the grammars of individual languages as to include inflectional classes. In word formation sexist terms like chairman can easily be replaced by neutral terms like chairperson. In syntax, rules of anaphoric reference to persons of unspecified sex can easily be changed from sexist he to neutral s/he. However, it is hard to see how the sexism unravelled in the present paper could be eliminated. Therefore the proposed analysis is likely to intrigue anybody interested in sexist ideologies in language. Finally, the present paper contributes to the field of morphology. For morphological theory the analysis proposed in this paper is relevant in suggesting that inflectional classes may fruitfully be viewed as structured categories which mirror the culture of the people that use them. This view of inflectional classes is quite diffrent from a traditional one, where they are considered purely grammatical objects devoid of semantic structure. It is my hope that this study may stimulate the interest of morphological theorists in cognitive linguistics.

Appendix

This appendix is based on the electronic version of A.A. Zaliznjak's (1977) Grammaticheskij slovar' russkogo jazyka (Grammatical dictionary of the Russian language), an authoritative dictionary of about 100 000 words. I have elicited all non-feminine common nouns in the a-declension. The list includes some obscure nouns, but on the whole it is likely to provide a good view of the category, given the size of the dictionary. The appendix consists of two lists, one for nouns of so-called common gender, and one for masculine nouns (cf. section 2). Different sources sometimes give conflicting information about gender, and the reader should bear in mind that in this respect the lists presented here are based exclusively on the information given by Zaliznjak. The glosses are from The Oxford Russian Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1993. Some nouns are not given in this or other available Russian-English dictionaries. For these nouns I provide English glosses based on the Russian definitions in D.N. Ushakov's (1935) Tolkovyj slovar' russkogo jazyka (Explanatory dictionary of the Russian language) and the academy dictionary Slovar' sovremennogo russkogo literaturnogo jazyka (1948-1965) (Dictionary of the contemporary Russian standard language). The glosses are not intended to convey all semantic nuances and connotations of the words, only to provide a rough indication of their denotation.

Nouns of Common Gender
zhadóba
cheapskate
golúba
(my) dear
ulyba
smiling pers.
p'jánica
drunkard
polénica
hero(ine) (folk poetry)
vól'nica
self-willed pers., child
skrómnica
modest pers.
úmnica
clever pers.
vozníca
coachman
tupíca
dolt, blockhead
ubíjca
murderer
otceubíjca
parricide, patricide
careubíjca
regicide
matereubíjca
matricide
chadoubíjca
infanticide
cheloveko-ubíjca
murderer
samoubíjca
suicide
synoubíca
filicide
sestroubíjca
sororicide
bratoubíjca
fratricide
detoubíjca
infanticide
krovopíjca
blood-sucker
propójca
drunkard
predtécha
forerunner, precursor
chúkcha
Chuchi (member of Siberian people)
deljága
pers. pursuing his/her own interests
miljága
nice pers.
stiljága
stilyaga (young pers. given to uncritical display of extravagant fashions in dress and manner
bednjága
poor fellow
skrjága
miser, skinflint
kochevrjága
obstinate pers.
simpatjága
likeable pers.
sutjága
litigious pers.
zdorovjága
pers. in the pink of health
tonkoshéja
thin-necked pers.
tolstoshéja
thick-necked pers.
zhuljábija
cheat, swindler
rakálija
rascal
párija
pariah, outcast
kanál'ja
rascal, scoundrel
pustomélja
idle talker, windbag
fílja
duffer, ninny
prostofílja
duffer, ninny
piskljá
whiner
mjámlja
mumbler; irresolute pers.
gúlja
(my) dear
chistjúlja
pers. with passion for cleanliness and tidiness
grjaznúlja
guttersnipe, slut
kroxotúlja
little one (affectionate of a child)
kaprizúlja
capricious, self-willed pers.
róxlja
dawdler
razínja
scatter-brain
sónja
sleepyhead
tixónja
demure pers.; prig
njúnja
sniveller, cry-baby
róvnja
equal
neróvnja
not equal
razmaznjá
ninny, wishy-washy pers.
rastérja
absent-minded pers. up to lose things
fufyrja
fastidious pers.; fop, dandy
tjútja
sluggish pers.
èrzja
member of Erzya group of the Mordvin people
zjúzja
sluggish pers.
bjáka
nasty pers.
zabijáka
squabbler, trouble-maker, bully
guljáka
idler; flâneur; playboy
krivljáka
poseur, pseud
raskorjáka
bow-legged pers.
pisáka
scribbler
bednjázhechka
poor fellow
nevelíchka
shortarse
vyskochka
upstart, parvenu
sálochka
"it" in tag (children's game)
mílochka
dear, darling
odinóchka
lone pers.
sirotínochka
orphan
lápochka
(my) pet, darling
cypochka
cutey
sirótochka
orphan
maljútochka
baby, tot
koljúchka
sharptongue
zljúchka
curmudgeon, crosspatch
vonjúchka
stinker
suxorúchka
pers. with withered arm
fitjúl'ka
midget
gúlen'ka
(my) dear
dúshen'ka
darling
páin'ka
good child
lápon'ka
(my) pet, darling
mordáshka
cutey
tro(jn)jáshka
triplet
dvo(jn)jáshka
twin
duráshka
fool
oborváshka
ragamuffin, ragged fellow
bebéshka
baby
lguníshka
paltry liar
shaluníshka
naughty child
vruníshka
paltry liar
boltuníshka
chatterbox
xvastuníshka
boaster, braggart
trusíshka
coward
prigotovíshka
pupil in pre-highschool class
balabóshka
chatterbox
króshka
little one (affectionate of a child)
dúshka
dear
ládushka
(my) dear
sosédushka
neighbour
shelkúshka
chatterbox
mílushka
dear, darling
sirotínushka
orphan
grjaznúshka
guttersnipe, slut
lápushka
(my) pet, darling
pobirúshka
beggar
zavirúshka
liar
vrúshka
liar
boltúshka
chatterbox
vertúshka
flake
xudyshka
emaciated, feeble child
malyshka
little child
golyshka
naked child, naked pers.
glupyshka
fool
zamuxryshka
poor specimen
korotyshka
stumpy, tubby pers.; squab
pustyshka
shallow pers.
podljúka
mean pers.
zljúka
curmudgeon, crosspatch
kanjúka
moaner, grumbler
goremyka
unlucky individual, victim of misfortune
nedotyka
pillock
prixlebála
sponger
ob"edála
scrounger
nadoedála
pain (in the neck)
obzhigála
kiln-worker
podgonjála
pers. who incides to (foolish) action
pritvorjála
pretender, sham; dissembler, hypocrite
podstrekála
instigator, firebrand
nasekála
abattoir worker
xnykala
cry-baby
vyzhimála
exploiter
podlipála
lickspittle, toady
prilipála
tiresome, clinging pers.
obirála
extortionist, bloodsucker
zadirála
bully, trouble-maker
obdirála
fleecer
obzhirála
scrounger
podmetála
roadsweeper
poddavála
pers. who gives up in games
pristavála
nuisance
dostavála
pers. who has access to something and is engaged in supplying it
zapevála
leader (of choir); fig. leader, instigator
podpevála
yes-man
opivála
drunkard who causes damage to others or her-/himself
vypivála
tippler
prizhivála
hanger-on, sponger, parasite
obduvála
cheat, trickster
zazyvála
barker
voobrazhála
show-off
strochíla
hack
lovchíla
smartarse, wise guy
mudríla
pernickety pers.
strashíla
scarecrow
somnámbula
sleep-walker, somnambulist
sataná
Satan
gulëna
idler; flâneur; playboy
smirëna
humble, meek pers.
slastëna
sweet-tooth
dubína
blockhead, numskull
derevénshina
(country) bumpkin
gromádina
giant
zhádina
cheapskate
exídina
slideball
uródina
freak, monster; ugly, morally depraved pers.
ostolópina
blockhead
orjásina
streak of piss
kisljátina
sourpuss
doxljátina
feeble, sickly pers.
merzljátina
pers. who finds it difficult to keep warm
idiótina
idiot
skotína
swine, beast
sirotína
orphan
shljápa
duffer (literally: hat)
rastjápa
muddler, bungler
shantrapá
worthless individual; scum, riff-raff
rastrëpa
sloven, scruff; tousle-head
tëpa
clumsy pers.
nedotëpa
duffer
shlëndra
layabout, lounger
xoléra
emaciated pers.; sarcastic pers.
shúshera
rubbish, riff-raff
zadíra
bully, trouble-maker
pridíra
caviller, fault-finder
tranzhíra
spendthrift, squanderbug
shishímora
cheat, swindler
taratóra
chatterbox, gabbler
provóra
smart aleck
pritvóra
pretender, sham; dissembler, hypocrite
obzhóra
glutton, gormandizer
prozhóra
glutton, gormandizer
úl'tra
extremist
kóntra
counter-revolutionary
nemchurá
German (pejorative)
fufyra
dandy, fop
pronyra
pushful pers.; sly-boots; intriguer
pláksa
cry-baby
kríksa
cry-baby
xnyksa
whiner, moaner
knigonósha
book-pedlar, colporteur
dorogúsha
(my) dear
gorjúsha
unlucky individual, victim of misfortune
krikúsha
squawling brat
milúsha
dear, darling
xromúsha
lame pers.
rodnúsha
(my) dear
kopúsha
dawdler
vtirúsha
creep; scoundrel, rascal
vrúsha
liar
levshá
left-hander
vypivóxa
tippler, boozer
tjúxa
clumsy pers.
grjaznúxa
guttersnipe, slut
pobirúxa
beggar
zavirúxa
liar
podláza
flatterer
proláza
creep; scoundrel, rascal
podlíza
lickspittle, toady
grymza
grumbler
egozá
fidget
podxaljúza
toady, lickspittle
nevézha
boor, lout
xanzhá
sanctimonious pers., canting hypocrite

Masculine Nouns
zhenoubíjca
tamadá
master of ceremonies, toast-master
èspáda
matador
rynda
rynda (bodyguard of tsars in Muscovite period)
voevóda
commander of army in medieval Russia
derzhimórda
autocratic and rude bureaucrat (from the name of a character in Gogol's play The government inspector)
iúda
Judas, betrayer
agá
rich man (from a Turkish/Persian title)
parnjága
boy, lad
chertjága
devil
salága
apprentice seaman
rasstríga
unfrocked priest/monk
júnga
ship's boy; sea cadet
parnjúga
boy, lad
slugá
servant
zabuldyga
debauchee, profligate
jaryga
constable; drunkard
djádja
uncle
xódja
Chinese (pej.)
sud'já
judge
sudijá
judge
párija
pariah, outcast
messíja
Messiah
vitíja
orator
dedúlja
grandfather
papúlja
papa, daddy
papánja
papa, daddy
ofénja
pedlar, huckster
gorshénja
potter
párja
boy, lad
dedúsja
grandfather
bátja
father; old chap, my dear
tjátja
dad, daddy
rubáka
brave soldier
kozhemjáka
pers. who prepares hides for tanning
vojáka
warrior; fire-eater
chertjáka
devil
sluzháka
campaigner; old hand, veteran
djádechka
uncle
mal'chíshechka
boy
pápochka
papa, daddy
djád'ka
uncle
dédka
grandfather
vejka
Finnish coachman
rassylka
delivery man, errand-boy
djáden'ka
uncle
pápen'ka
papa, daddy
báten'ka
father; old chap, my dear
tjáten'ka
dad, daddy
bózhen'ka
God (affect.)
muzhichónka
man
mal'chónka
boy
zasypka
mill-worker
podsypka
mill-worker
shtafírka
civilian, civvy
barbóska
coarse, rude pers. (lit. name given to house-dogs)
mal'chugáshka
boy
starikáshka
old man, old chap
chelovéchishka
person, human being
starichíshka
old man
mal'chíshka
boy
kupchishka
merchant
xáxalishka
fancy man
fanfarónishka
braggart
parníshka
boy, lad
syníshka
son
caríshka
tsar
pisaríshka
clerk
oficérishka
officer
aktërishka
actor
voríshka
thief
bratíshka
brother
aristokrátishka
aristocrat
plutíshka
cheat, swindler
dédushka
grandfather
pradédushka
great-grandfather
prapradédushka
great-great-grandfather
iúdushka
Judas, betrayer
djádjushka
uncle
bátjushka
father; old chap, my dear
zjátjushka
son-in-law, brother-in-law
téstjushka
father-in-law
góstjushka
guest
detínushka
big fellow
petrúshka
Punch
svátushka
matchmaker; son/daughter-in-law's father
chërtushka
devil
bát'ka
father; old chap, my dear
tját'ka
dad, daddy
vladyka
master, sovereign; member of higher orders of clergy
portnjázhka
tailor
slúzhka
lay brother
drúzhka
best man (at wedding)
jaryzhka
constable; drunkard
vyshibála
chucker-out, bouncer; rude fellow
menjála
money-changer
gromíla
burglar; thug
vorotíla
bigwig, big noise
kutíla
fast liver; hard drinker
zaprávila
boss
zdorovíla
strong pers.
pul'chinélla
wit, convivial fellow (from name of character in commedia dell'arte)
mullá
mullah
kárla
dwarf; pygmy
láma
lama
dalaj-láma
Dalai Lama
panchen-láma
Panchen Lama
sataná
Satan
durachína
fool
kazachína
Cossack
chelovéchina
person, human being
starichína
old man
muzhichína
man
kupchína
merchant
muzhchína
man
stariná
old fellow, old chap
staréjshina
elder
starshiná
sergeant-major; petty officer; leader
detína
big fellow
pápa
papa, daddy
pápa
Pope
ëra
idler, ladies' man
povésa
rake, scapegrace
pashá
pasha
papásha
papa, daddy
ríksha
rickshaw, jinricksha
júnosha
youth
chinúsha
bureaucrat
táta
dad, daddy
volokíta
skirt chaser
rádzha
rajah
magarádzha
Maharajah
xodzhá
Muslim honorary title 
glavá
head, chief
golová
head, chief
bónza
bonze; (fig.) superior, distant ps, bigwig
mirzá
Persian title
murzá
title of Tartar noblemen
vel'mózha
grandee

References