The main amendment to the Constitution.
I will not discuss the contents of constitutional amendments, since I’m not a lawyer, and a philologist. It amazes me the ignorance and absurdity of the phrase, personally made by the President as a major amendment. If such a phrase I came across in school essay, it would deserve at best a C-minus.
“The Russian Federation, United by a thousand-year history, preserving the memory of ancestors who have conveyed to us the ideals and faith in God, and the continuity of the development of the Russian state, recognizes the historically established state unity”.
The phrase opens with involved in trafficking, defining the Russian Federation as a “United thousands of years of history”. And ends of the verbal group claiming the same thing and the same words: “recognizes the historically established state unity”. What’s the meaning of the phrase? In the premise, and the conclusion. The only verb in all of this long sentence is “recognize”. Historically, the United recognizes its historic unity. The Russian Federation recognizes what already is. A complete tautology. Oil recognizes that oil.
There is an important notion in linguistics: actual division of the sentence into topic and bumps. The theme is the starting point of the utterance, marking what is referred to in the proposal. Remus is what is reported about the topic. Theme — the old, known, Remus — new, first time reported. For example, in the sentence “mom soap frame”, “mom” is the subject and “soap frame” — Remus. Very often the topic sentence is a group subject (a subject with its dependent parts of a sentence), and remoi — group predicate (a predicate with dependent members).
In the constitutional phrase of the twenty-six words, twenty-one theme expressed by the word, and Remus only five that repeat what is already contained in the subject (“recognizes the historically established state unity”). This is the worst sample organization of speech: stubby Remus is absorbed by a bulky subject and is practically reduced to nothing. The phrase “mom soap frame” much more meaningful.
“…ancestors who have conveyed to us… the continuity of the development…” Continuity cannot be transferred, because the succession is the transmission, what is transmitted from ancestors to descendants, that the descendants learn from their ancestors. In dictionaries of “continuity” is defined as “consistent transfer of something from one to another.” Therefore, “to convey the continuity of development” — is to pass a transmission that is transmitted during transmission.
Once again I will re-read this philological pearl of the constitutional thought. Three participial phrase — a verb. Three recurring lexical units: history — historically, the state of state, United, unity. They added semantic repetition: “transfer to continuity”. Frozen tongue, frozen idea, but in General, under the guise of constitutional fundamentals — wordy nonsense. This lack of meaning and movement in the key sentence says only one thing: the state itself “constitutive”, there is no development, no dynamics. The very logic of language is doomed to repeating themselves.
Mikhail Epstein, literary critic
© 2020, paradox. All rights reserved.