How is the choice made by Nicholas II between "также" and "так же" in his Language Manifesto of 1900 correct?

Russian Language Asked on October 4, 2021

In his Language Manifesto of 1900, Nicholas II of Russia wrote:

Вмѣстѣ съ тѣмъ приняты во вниманіе потребности частныхъ лицъ, коимъ и впредь обезпечена возможность обращаться въ правительственныя установяенія на родномъ языкѣ также свободно, какъ они имъ пользуются въ общественной жизни и частномъ быту.

I’m puzzled by him choosing также instead of так же. I have always thought that the relevant grammar rule is very simple: I should choose также if I want to say also or in addition, whilst I should choose так же if I want to say in a similar manner or analogously. My interpretation of the above excerpt from the manifesto is as follows:

At the same time, we take into account the needs of private persons, who will continue to be provided with the opportunity to interact with administration bodies in the native language as freely as they use it in public and private life.

If I am right in my understanding of this excerpt, and if my understanding of the rule to choose between также and так же is correct as well, then the above sentence of the manifesto seems to be a perfect case to choose так же and a clearly wrong case to choose также. The choice made by the Tsar has shattered my feeling of certainty about the grammar rule.

How is his choice correct, or was he careless enough to make a grammar mistake in an official decree?

3 Answers

Since on the source site you gave a link to there is a typo or an OCR mistake in the word установяенія instead of the correct установленія, I decided to check the original printed version of the manifesto if также is also a digitizing mistake. I found it in a scan of "Полное собраніе законовъ Россійской Имперіи" and it is really также there (scan pages).

Также in that manifesto is definitely a mistake, and we'll never know at which stage it appeared. Также and так же were well differentiated already in the beginning of the 19th century. In his monumental Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian Language (1863–1866), Vladimir Ivanovich Dal (Dahl) wrote, volume 4, page 354, entry for the word "такъ":

Такъ же, такимъ же образомъ, способомъ, порядкомъ, одинаково. Задача эта рѣшается такъ же, какъ та. Пишутъ и также, и это правильно, гдѣ означаетъ: то жъ, то же, (нѣмцк. auch.) И я также пойду, также хочу, и мы также были тамъ.

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Anyhow, it was a mistake to have также in that sentence of the manifesto, let's blame the corrector who should have noticed it when preparing the document to be officially printed.

And finally, have a look at this Google Ngram chart. As you can see, during the last 220 years the relative frequency of также and так[ъ] же has not changed which means in the times of Nicolas II the rules for the choice of these two words were the same as now:

enter image description here

Correct answer by Yellow Sky on October 4, 2021

At the time this manifesto was composed, the closest thing to an authority on Russian orthography was Grot's Русское правописание.

It reads (97.7.3):

(Для образованiя составныхъ реченiй соединяются еще) … мѣстоименiе или нарѣчiе съ союзомъ, или два союза: тоже (нарѣч.), однакоже, также. Но когда выражается сравненiе, то слѣдуетъ писать: такъ же скоро; такъ же, какъ

The manifesto's spelling clearly violates this rule of the guide.

It's in good company. There are lots of texts in the corpus which also violate this rule:

  • Еще недѣлю онъ продолжалъ посѣщать насъ также часто, но все также ничего не говорилъ.

  • – Это ужасно! – также громко отвечал ей кто-то из группы.

  • По невероятной случайности, тетерев краем левого крыла попал между трех больших пальцев брата, которые он точно также инстинктивно сжал.

Answered by Quassnoi on October 4, 2021

Judging by modern rules, yes, it is a grammatical mistake. (Good spot!) Although I don't think Russian grammar was codified to the same extent in 1900 as it is today.

Your translation is quite accurate and so is your understanding of the также / так же rule.

But it is a mistake to judge a 1900 document by a 1956 rulebook. ;)

Answered by Sergey Slepov on October 4, 2021

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