Цены растут, зарплата падает: актантная структура глаголов ‘увеличения’ и ‘уменьшения’ в русском языке
Our study examines the motivation of the syntactic properties of metaphorical verbs in the Russian lexicographic types ‘increase’ and ‘decrease’ (‘fall,’ ‘rise,’ ‘collapse,’ ‘drop,’ etc.). Using corpus research methods, we demonstrate that syntactic properties of metaphorical verbs in these lexicographic types are motivated not so much by their syntactic properties in their direct meanings, but by the semantics and pragmatics of their figurative meaning. In turn, the morphosyntactic realization of their semantic arguments and the frequency distribution of their syntactic arguments are motivated by cognitive factors. We demonstrate that the semantic argument of the quantitative difference between the initial and resulting values is more frequently expressed syntactically than either the argument of initial value or the argument of the resulting value. This may be due to the way people present and perceive information, especially in the language of the media. Speaking about difference is lexically more economical, requires less background knowledge from the addressee and often produces a greater impression on an unprepared listener. Next in frequency of expression is actant A3, and actant A2 is expressed rarely and only together with A3. This is due to the well-known cognitive tendency to goal bias, originally formulated for verbs of motion.