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Ihar Klimau. Qualifications of literary–written language of Kievan Ruś: historiography of an intricate question.

In article for the first time on the bibliographic sources the history of views and qualifications of literary–written language of Kievan Ruś is considered. It is ascertained that traditional view saw there only the Old Church Slavic lan­guage, borrowed from southern Slavs. This language had an admixture of East Slavic speech elements, unequal in various scripts and genres. But then in the USSR in 1930—40–th there was a treatment which em­phasized primacy and indigenity of East Slavic speech in old scripts, approving existence of Old Ruśian language. The author points out that the principal ground for such treatment were mainly manipulations with a material very selectively taken from ancient texts. This treatment groundless recognized that during an epoch of Kievan Ruś East Slavs had great culture and advanced writing. Such indi­genous theory has been actively accepted and then supported by Stalin autho­rity which it possibly itself inspired. However after Stalin’s death the faults and short­comings of this theory already could be criticized public since this treat­ment generated too many problems. Nevertheless during Soviet time very little scientists divided an opposite view ac­cording to which literary–written lan­guage of Kievan Ruś  was Old Church Slavic. Efforts of the majority of the Soviet scientists have been directed on correcting of the theory with the pur­pose it to save and / or adapt for the new facts. The theories offered by Vino­gra­dov, Vinokur and Jefimov, Uspenskij, and Larin which inherently represented a compromise between a science and patriotic ideology relate to such efforts. All similar theoretical constructions unfortunately were based on too narrow and selec­tive base of proofs. Despite of decades of intensive searches evidently the traditional view that only the Old Church Slavic is literary–written language of Kievan Ruś remains most close to the facts. However unbiassed research in this field is complicated by myths and speculations created during the Stalin era.