Currently, the Head of the Department is Vladimir Mikhailovich Alpatov, Ph.D., Dr.habil., Prof., a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Department of Languages of East and Southeast Asia was established in 1987 by Yury Yakovlevich Plam (Ph.D).
In 1994 the Department was headed by a prominent specialist in general and oriental linguistics, grammar and typology, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vadim Mikhailovich Solntsev (1928-2000). He studied the Chinese and Vietnamese languages as well as a number of other Southeastern Asian languages. He employed these data to develop topics in general linguistics, in particular concerning isolating languages. As the Director of the Institute of Linguistics, Head of the Department of Languages of Eastern- and Southeastern Asia, Vadim Solntsev (1928-2000) extended the research sphere of the Department, bringing in the languages of China and Southeastern Asia.
Since its foundation, the Department has been devoted to the study of isolating languages of Southeastern Asia (Chinese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, etc.) from the viewpoint of general linguistics.
The most important area of the Department's projects was Russian-Vietnamese linguistic fieldwork which focused on the languages of the indigenous peoples of Vietnam. The fieldwork was supervised by Vadim Solntsev and Nina Solntseva (Ph.D).
For several years (1988-2004) the Department of Languages of East and Southeast Asia held international conferences on Chinese linguistics: "Current issues of Chinese linguistics", "Chinese linguistics", "Chinese linguistics. Isolating languages".
One of the most important projects carried out by the Department was the publication of the "New Large Vietnamese-Russian Dictionary" (2012), the joint work of Russian and Vietnamese lexicographers.
Since 2013, the Department has been headed by a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Alpatov.
Currently, the study of Asian and Eastern Asian Languages (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese) is being conducted in the following areas:
- Theory oriented study of these languages, issues in their typological attribution.
- Establishing the theoretical apparatus for these languages, parts of speech dilemmas in isolating languages. The study of national philological traditions.
- Functioning of these languages in the context of globalization under the growing pressure of other languages, e.g. English.
- Literary language standardization, state policy in the language standardization.
- Various functional language varieties, particularly urban, youthspeak and media-slang in China, Vietnam and Japan, ways to replenish slang, problems of its normative assessment, lexicographic fixation, its introduction into the language teaching process.
- Cultural issues and the study of the image of the studied countries in Russia and its dynamics in the 19th-20th centuries (Japan).
- Linguo-culturological analysis of phraseology, intertextuality and precedence.
- New Media Language.
- Phraseological dictionaries
The issues of grammar and pragmatics of the Japanese language, the language culture in its aspects, such as the use of language in different spheres of life, peculiarities of views on the language and the linguistic world-image are the object of the works of Vladimir Alpatov (full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences). He also studies Japanese language standardization. The methods of maintaining and improving the language norm chosen in Japan are of great interest in organizing such activities in Russia. The problems of the connection between language and society, language and culture in Japan are also dealt with in Alpatov's work.
In 2018 Vladimir Alpatov published the book "Slovo i časti reči" (The Word and Parts of Speech). It examines the "eternal" problems of linguistics connected with word choices and their main classes – parts of speech. They have been studied for a long time in various linguistic traditions. Originally, they were singled out without strict criteria and only based on linguistic intuition. Since the end of the 19th century, numerous attempts have been made in various scientific paradigms to refine these criteria, but they gave contradictory results. There are divergent approaches to the allocation of words to parts of speech in Russian and Japanese traditions: in both traditions, there are ideas about the word as the main unit of the language and parts of speech as their most significant classes, but their linguistic properties differ significantly. E.g., in the Japanese tradition a word is not a linguistic, but rather a psycholinguistic unit. The human brain contains a set of units (lexicon), rules for their compatibility (syntax) and modifications (morphology). Units can have different properties and are classified in a certain way in the human mind.
In another book "From Aristotle to Computational Linguistics" published in 2018 for a wide audience, Vladimir Alpatov examines the goals and purposes of the science of language, the main problems that linguists deal with, and the history of their study. It is noted that the study of language primarily aims at obtaining answers to three main questions: "How does language work?", "How does language develop?" and "How does language function?". In different periods the focus of linguists on the questions was different. The book also pays great attention to Japanese issues.
Among other works by Vladimir Alpatov, there are studies devoted to the impact of the linguist's native language on his/her concepts, the criteria for distinguishing between language and dialect, the influence of globalization on the development of languages, etc. The history of Japanese linguistics, cultural interaction between Russia and Japan, problems of Japanese studies are observed.
The work of Ksenia Antonyan is devoted to the study of Chinese grammar in the typological aspect, the processes of grammaticalization in the Chinese language, based on desemantization of the second components of compound words. The object of the research is the system of verbal modifiers in the Chinese language and the development of several verb categories, such as aspect, orientation category and the category of the possibility/impossibility of achieving the result through action. Ksenia Antonyan also explores the cognitive mechanisms of grammaticalization – metaphor and metonymy. Other areas of her research are the language system of the People's Republic of China, the issues of replenishing the vocabulary and standardization of the national Chinese language Putonghua, modern Chinese lexicography and the history of Chinese linguistics.
The works of Nikolay Voropaev are devoted to the study of Chinese phraseology based on the theory of precedence developed within the framework of general linguistics. The study examines the phenomenon of precedent and the peculiarities of its manifestation in the Chinese language and culture, identifies a basic set of precedent names, develops a methodology for their description, compiles reference books of precedent names and related phraseological units of various types. The author establishes a connection between the phenomenon of precedent and the phenomenon of dian'gu, studied in the framework of traditional Chinese philology and European linguistics. Nikolay Voropaev is the author of several dictionaries and textbooks of the Chinese language.
The research interests of Valentina Andreeva include the phraseology and lexicology of the Vietnamese language. The research embraces the development of phraseological units classification of the Vietnamese language, analyzes the original and borrowed Vietnamese phraseological units. The study also involves phraseological variation in the Vietnamese language and functioning of phraseological units in the Vietnamese mass media in both traditional and modified forms. Valentina Andreeva also investigates the sources of replenishment of the phraseological fund of the language with new units, studies changes in the lexical composition of the Vietnamese language, especially the vocabulary and phraseology of youth slang.
Research results are applied to practical phraseography. Valentina Andreeva is the author and editor-in-chief of fundamental vocabularies of the Vietnamese language.
In 2012 the “New Large Vietnamese-Russian Dictionary” was published in 2 volumes. It was prepared in the Department within the framework of international cooperation of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences. As a fundamental lexicographic work, the dictionary received great acclaim both in Russia and Vietnam. The Vietnamese side expressed a wish to publish a second edition of the Dictionary due to the insufficient number of copies of the first edition (800 copies). The Department is currently preparing the second edition.
Currently, Valentina Andreeva is working on the "Vietnamese-Russian phraseological dictionary with a cultural description", which is created using linguo-culturological, cross-cultural and cognitive approaches. It will allow to more fully understand the specifics of phraseological units and the peculiarities of the phraseological system of the Vietnamese language, to identify national and cultural connotations of keywords and concepts of culture included in phraseological units. Now an alphabetical list of the dictionary in the amount of about 4000 dictionary entries is being formed, the principles of the lexicographic description of phraseological units are being developed following various zones of the dictionary: semantic, grammatical, illustrative and cultural.
Publications of the Department (monographs; details on the department members' pages)
- Alpatov Vladimir. Japonija: jazyk i kul’tura. [Japan: language and culture] — 2008.
- Alpatov Vladimir. Kategorii vežlivosti v sovremennom japonskom jazyke.[ Courtesy categories in modern Japanese] - Otv. red. I. F. Vardul’. - Izd. 5-e. – 2014. – 145 s.
- Alpatov Vladimir. Japonistika. Teorija jazyka. Sociolingvistika. Istorija jazykoznanija. [Japanese studies. Language theory. Sociolinguistics. History of linguistics]. — 2017.
- Alpatov Vladimir. Obraz Japonii v Rossii (1850-1945). [The Image of Japan in Russia (1850-1945)] — 2017.
- Alpatov Vladimir. Jazykoznanie. Ot Aristotelja do komp’juternoj lingvistiki. [Linguistics. From Aristotle to computer linguistics] — 2018.
- Alpatov Vladimir. Slovo i časti reči. [Word and parts of speech] —2018.
- Alpatov Vladimir. Istorija lingvističeskix učenij. Učebnik i praktikum dlja akademičeskogo bakalavriata. 5-e izd., pererab. i dop. [History of linguistic studies. Textbook and workshop for academic bachelor's degree] —2018.
- Antonjan Ksenija. Morfologija rezul’tativnyx konstrukcij v kitajskom jazyke. [Morphology of effective constructions in the Chinese language] - 2003.
- Voropaev Nikolaj. Kitajskojazyčnyj precedentikon. [Chinese-language precedent] —2013.
- Voropaev Nikolaj. Kitaj: imena na vse vremena. Precedentnye personaži. Lingvokul’turologičeskij slovar’-spravočnik dlja izučajučšix kitajskij jazyk, kul’turu, istoriju, literaturu Kitaja. [China: names. Precedent characters. Linguoculturological dictionary-reference for students about Chinese language, culture, history, literature of China] — 2015.
- Komarova Irina. Tibetskoe pis’mo. [Tibetan writing] – 1995.
- Nguen Tuet Min’. Aspekty funkcional’noj morfologii. Funkcional’no-semantičeskaja kategorija pobuditel’nosti v russkom i v’etnamskom jazykax. [Aspects of functional morphology. Functional-semantic category of motivation in Russian and Vietnamese languages] — 1999. — 2-e izd.: Nikolaj Solncev. — 2000.
- Solncev Vadim. Vvedenie v teoriju izolirujučšix jazykov: V svjazi s občšimi osobennostjami čelovečeskogo jazyka. [An introduction to the theory of isolating languages: Due to the general characteristics of the human language] — 1995.
- Solncev Vadim. V’etnamskij jazyk. [Vietnamese language] —1999.
- Materialy Rossijsko-V'etnamskoj lingvističeskoj èkspedicii [Records of Russian-Vietnamese linguistic expedition]. – Vadim Solnсev, Nina Solnсeva, Irina Samarina (2001).
Dictionaries and reference material:
- Novyj Bol’šoj v’etnamsko-russkij slovar’ v dvux tomax (Okolo 80000 slov i vyraženij). — Valentina Andreeva, Nguen Tuet Min’. - T. I (A-K) 1276 p., T. II (L-Z) 1270 p. — 2012. [New Large Vietnamese-Russian dictionary in two volumes]
- Alёšina I.E. V’etnam: Karmannaja ènciklopedija. — 2001. [Vietnam: Pocket Dictionary]
- Bol’šoj v’etnamsko-russkij slovar’, I tom. — Nina Solnceva, Valentina Andreeva, V.V. Ivanov, Vu Lok, Nguen Van Txak, Nguen Tuet Min’. — 2006. [The Comprehensive Vietnamese-Russian Dictionary, Volume I]
- Vadim Mixajlovič Solncev. — Materialy k biobibliografii učenyx. Serija literatury i jazyka. - Vyp. 25. – Elena Barinova . — 1999. [Materials for the biobibliography of scientists. Literature and Language Series]
- V’etnamsko-russkij slovar’. — Čan Van Ko. M., 2001. [Vietnamese-Russian dictionary]
- Muzykal’nyj učebnyj slovar’. Ok. 1000 slov. — Mosk. gos. konservatorija im. P.I.Čajkovskogo, In-t jazykoznanija Ros. akad. nauk — Tat’jana Taktašova, Nina Basko, Elena Barinova. — 2003. [Musical Training Dictionary]
- Kitajsko-russkij i russko-kitajskij slovar’ s proiznošeniem. - Ma Tjan’juj, Nikolaj Voropaev. – 2020. – 416 p. [Chinese-Russian and Russian-Chinese dictionary with pronunciation]
- Russko-v’etnamskij slovar’ muzykal’nyx terminov. 1500 slov. — Elena Barinova, Nguen Van Txak. — 2008. [Russian-Vietnamese Dictionary of Musical Terms. 1500 words]
- Russko-laosskij slovar’. 24000 slov.- red. Lev Morev (LevMorev, Jurij Plam, Saad Bandasak, Sengtjan Bandasak). — 2004. [Russian-Laotian dictionary. 24000 words]
- Sovremennyj russko-kitajskij slovar’. – Nikolaj Voropaev, Ma Tjan’juj, Dèn Cze, Semёn Ivanov. — 2012. — 384 p. [Modern Russian-Chinese Dictionary]