The aim and purpose of the present paper is to analyse the linguistic features of pre-Revolutionary elite and to examine the ways of expression of cultural identity through different correlations between historical, social, cultural and individual characteristics in the Russian language of the initial generations (those having left Russia as adults). We also try to answer the question to which elements in a language system first yield to the influence of other languages and according to what principles. Material for the study has been supplied by memoirs of the representative of the so called «First Emigration Wave», Vladimir Khoromansky (1889-1983). These manuscripts, which are stored at Columbia University, in the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European Culture, are of great interest to historians of culture, daily life and language of Russian abroad.
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