Speech Culture

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Speech Culture


the degree to which speech corresponds to the norms of the literary language; the field of linguistics devoted to the problem of standardization of the literary language and to specific norms and correct usage criteria, which are intended to perfect language as an instrument of culture.

The development of speech culture as an independent linguistic discipline is linked with the development of Russian linguistics in the Soviet era. The idea of conscious regulation of linguistic processes that was brought forward by Baudouin de Courtenay was carried further in the works of his pupils L. V. Shcherba, L. P. Iakubinskii, and E. D. Polivanov, as well as by G. O. Vinokur, V. V. Vinogradov, and others. The concept of “linguistic policy”—organized control of the process of linguistic development—was formulated. A department of speech culture was formed in 1952 at the Linguistics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (known as the Russian Language Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR since 1958). Dictionaries, special radio broadcasts, television, magazines, and other media help to promote speech culture.

The problems of speech culture are also treated in other countries. In Czechoslovakia, for example, the Prague Linguistics Circle has been concerned with speech culture problems; journals devoted to speech culture are published regularly in a number of European countries, including the German Democratic Republic (Sprachpflege, since 1952), Poland (Poradnik językowy, since 1901), and Czechoslovakia (Kultura slova, in Slovak).


Vinokur, G. O. Kul’tura iazyka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1929.
Obnorskii, S. P. Kul’tura russkogo iazyka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Krysin, L. P., L. I. Skvortsov, and B. S. Shvartskopf. “Problemy kul’tury russkoi rechi: (Obzor).” Izv. AN SSSR: Otdelenie literatury i iazyka, 1961, vol. 20, no. 5.
Vinogradov, V. V. “Russkaia rech‘, ee izuchenie i voprosy rechevoi kul’tury.” Vopr. iazykoznaniia, 1961, no. 4.
Vinogradov, V. V. “Problemy kul’tury rechi i nekotorye zadachi russkogo iazykoznaniia.” Ibid., 1964, no. 3.
Kul’tura russkoi rechi: Annotirovannyi ukazatel’ literatury. Moscow, 1962.
Kostomarov, V. G., and B. S. Shvartskopf. “Raboty po voprosam kul’tury rechi (1962-1965).” Vopr. iazykoznaniia, 1965, NO. 4.
Aktual’nye problemy kul’tury rechi. Moscow, 1970.

B. S. SHVARTSKOPF [13-1777—4]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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