The article explores a sense of duty as a language-specific concept in the Russian language conscience. In this regard, the National Russian Corpus is more appropriate because a conceptual configuration of an analyzed concept is not present in “finished” form in any single utterance but may be reconstructed only on the totality of all possible utterances. The specific conceptual configuration is manifested in many ways: distribution, ability to accumulate some Russian “key ideas”, predisposition to be associated with some emotional attitudes, propositional and metaphorical models. According to the National Russian Corpus, a sense of duty is defined, in different contexts, in relation to human responsibilities such service and work; related concepts such responsibility, conscience, dignity and honor; related emotions and feelings such pride, joy, celebration, obedience, fear and guilt. The propositional model, built on the National Russian Corpus, includes information that predicates applied to duty vary with the position in the syntactic structure of the proposition. As a semantic object duty is felt, carried, carried out, executed, violated, transgressed, known, remembered and forgotten. As a semantic subject duty is redefined over the categorical boundaries in terms of propositional models appropriated for an inner voice, human being, breaking load, or power. Keywords: Russian language, language picture of the world, corpus analysis, language-specific words, propositional model, conceptual metaphor, social conventions.
This paper presents an overview of Russian and foreign existing approaches that have been practiced in relation to the compilation of lexical minima. Special attention is paid to the most influential English-speaking tradition, as well as the German-speaking tradition. The purpose of the review is to follow the development of lexical list science and also to define the criteria list compilers should be oriented in order to compose the best lexical minima for the modern user. The first chapter of the article discusses Russian approaches to the lexical minima compilation, the second chapter discusses the approaches used abroad, the third chapter compares domestic and foreign traditions and summarizes the review. The review given in the article gives grounds for the conclusion that the creation of LM requires a combination of both statistical and communicatively oriented methods. In addition, to compile an up-to-date and reliable corpus it is necessary to have an equal proportion parts of the data analyzed: in addition to the fiction texts corpus, authors should refer to the oral corpus data, as well as sources diverse in style and genre, such as newspaper, art and academic corpses, and internet speech corpus.
This paper is a first step towards a corpus-based description of the semantics of Russian pronouns in intensional contexts. Having justified the use of corpus in (formal) semantic research, I delineate a particular issue within the topic: whether a given pronoun is interpreted de se or de re in counteridentity contexts.
A counteridentity context is a clause within the scope of a counterfactual (clause or adverbial) that affects the identity of a real individual, e.g. if I were you, were I you, etc. If a pronoun such as I, my or the Russian reflexive possessive svoj is used in such a context, two options are theoretically possible: either it picks out the speaker’s real self (de re), or it refers to the identity assumed by the speaker in the contrary-to-fact situations introduced by the counterfactual (de se).
Using data from the GICR corpus (approx. 20 billion tokens), I show that for the Russian first-person singular pronoun ja and its corresponding possessive moj, de se reference is possible but de re interpretation is more frequent. The opposite holds for the reflexive sebja, whereas svoj is interpreted de se with no exception. Special attention is paid to situations where more than one referential strategy is possible. The paper concludes with a couple of observations relevant for the future formal accounts of de se reference.
The present study investigates word-order realizations in spoken Russian by bilingual speakers whose first languages are among the autochthonous languages of Russia, namely Daghestanian (Nakh-Daghestanian and Turkic), Siberian (Northern Samoyedic), and Far Eastern (Southern Tungusic) languages. In particular, we focus on the order of head and modifier in genitive constructions realized in spoken Russian by such bilinguals. Whereas in Standard Russian the neutral word order in genitive constructions is N + GEN, the varieties of Russian spoken in Daghestan, Siberia and the Far East often show the opposite order in such constructions, i. e., GEN + N. With the present corpus-based investigation, we aim at determining whether such variations in word order are to be interpreted as the result of syntactic calquing from 106 the speakers’ first languages (all showing GEN + N as the neutral word order in genitive constructions), or rather as a general feature of spoken Russian. To answer this question, we compare the results of the analysis of genitive constructions carried out on corpora of Russian spoken in Daghestan, Siberia and the Far East, as well as on the corpus of spoken Standard Russian of the RNC (Russian National Corpus). To understand what factors could determine the choice of a specific word order, we have analyzed our data not only based on the position of the genitive in such constructions, but also with respect to the semantics of the relation between the head noun and the genitive, the status of the genitive along the animacy scale, and the “weight” of the genitive modifier (i.e., one word vs. two or more words).
This paper re-examines theoretical constructs used in the analysis of Russian word stress employing data from speakers with acquired surface dyslexia, a symptom which is characterized by an impaired lexical access and preserved grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules. Russian stems have been traditionally analysed as lexically accented or unaccented, with a default rule deriving surface stress in the latter. In the present study, we found no differences in the production of accented and unaccented stems. Instead, the analysis of errors revealed that the significant factors determining stress placement include stress neighbourhood and stress position. The speakers produced fewer errors in consistently spelled words, and there was a strong tendency to shift stress to the final syllable in consonant-final words and to the penultimate syllable in vowel-final words. These results indicate that the distributional properties play an important role in stress assignment in both accented and unaccented stem types.