The paper focuses on one syntactic restriction on the use of the interrogative pronoun čto ‘what’. Contrary to kto ‘who’, čto disfavours constructions where it is syntactically parallel and co-referent to the anaphoric pronouns on ‘he’, ona ‘she’, and ono ‘it’. For instance, in the construction kogo “ego” (lit. ‘who “he”’), which the Russian speakers use to find out what the antecedent of the anaphoric ego is, the pronoun čto cannot be used if its form differs from the form of the anaphoric pronoun. For example, the context — Ja ego kupil. — Čto “ego” ‘- I bought it. — What “it”’ is impossible, because the interrogative pronoun employs the “inanimate” inflection type, the accusative čto being identical to the nominative, while the anaphoric pronoun follows the “animate” type, where the accusative form ego is identical to the genitive one. I consider possible explanations of this fact and conclude that neither a purely formal explanation in terms of form identity, nor a semantic one, based on the referential properties of the pronouns, are satisfactory. The most plausible explanation is rather that in some constructions, grammatical characteristics of the two pronouns (including animacy and, to some extent, gender) must coincide, and the morphological animacy is even more important here than the semantic one. Key words: animacy, interrogative pronouns, anaphoric pronouns, inflection type.
The paper investigates the well-known passage of Alexander S. Griboedov's comedy The Woes of Wit ("Gore ot uma"), where the protagonist Chatsky characterizes the Russian people as bodryi nash narod (Act 3, Scene 22). It is the earliest known context for this word combination. Its semantics, seen in the broader context of the Russian national discourse of the epoch, demonstrates interaction of Old Russian and Western European language patterns. We propose a reconstruction of the sources of Griboedov's innovation.
The article continues the trend of other researchers’ publications that demonstrate the opportunities of the poetic subcorpus of the Russian National corpus. The question is, what issues related to the history of Russian poetry can be solved with the help of the corpus. In the first part of the article there is a pilot study of attraction of lexical units to poetic meters. The study is conducted with the use of collostructional analysis. As the test material we use “metapoetics terms” — those which are traditionally used when describing the process of creating poetry. Almost all of them are attracted to iambic verse. The only exception is the word “trochee” that appears more frequently in trochaic lines. The second part of the article reconstructs the poetic tradition, which a poem by Fyodor Tyutchev “Last cataclysm” follows. The poem is considered as composed of a set of poetic formulas (repeated text fragments), each of them with its own history, origin and frequency in Russian poetry. Clarifying these aspects for each formula helps to represent the genesis of the whole poem
The system of political succession in pre-Mongol Russia was that every prince, a descendant of Vladimir the Great in the male line, possessed the right to power, the right to land. The amount of power privileges during prince’s life was determined by rules of genealogical seniority, and only to a certain extent, by the personal qualities of the member of the dynasty himself. The combination of these factors made it possible to move up or down the hierarchical ladder. Under these conditions, some parameters of dynastic life are very substantial, not directly connected with either the position that member of the clan occupied in a “staircase” system by birth or his individual qualities. Since the time of Yaroslav’s the Wise heirs there was a peculiar discrimination against young princes who lost their fathers during the life of their grandfathers, and sometimes simply relatively early orphaned. On the other hand, adult Rurikids, who lost their sons or were childless, were appreciably infringed upon their dynastic rights. Although the right to rule of such Rurikid was not disputed, he virtually loses the ability to hold senior most prestigious thrones. Over time, the Rurikids started to produce special protective means aiming to protect the members of the clan from this kind of dynastic inferiority.
The paper investigates the dynamics of the text of Kl. 3:11 in the Apostolos MSS of different types (commented, continious, aprakos), focusing on the pericope as a whole as well as the regular variations and the role of the current authoritativw versions of the text. The text dynamics of the Kl. 3:11 suggests that the Slavic translation of the Apostolos catene (Apostolos with commentaries) was based on the tradition reflected in the Skoplje and Karakallou MSSs - both of them related to the Macedonian book tradition.
The goal of the study is to show links between lexical and social diachronic change. The study is conducted in the culturomics framework (Michel et al 2011). In contrast to the Big data approach the study promotes the idea of medium data, i.e. amount of data which allows both to make quantitative and qualitative analysis.The research is based on the data from Russian National Corpus (ruscorpora.ru). The study pursues changes of context frequencies for the lexeme road in the period from 1800 till 2000, and correlates the observations with social and economic progress as well as change in conceptual language space
The article addresses a new form of city urban communication, namely, car stickers. By this term I mean non advertising inscriptions and slogans that car owners stick to glasses, doors and bumpers. I regard these stickers as a small speech genre. In the beginning the situation where this genre is used is briefly described. The main properties of communication in the situation of road traffic are interactivity, a wide use of language game, creativity and concurrence. The interaction of participants in this sphere of communication is covered by three main sub-situations: “driver ↔ driver”, “driver ↔ road police officer” and “driver ↔ pedestrian”. The stickers can realize various communicative strategies and functions: information, excuse, warning, self-affirmation, threat, appeal, and so on. Another parameter that distinguishes the stickers is thematic content. It can include the following categories: road traffic in general, personal information about the driver, political and patriotic discourse. A large number of stickers, for instance, expressions of gratitude have only a phatic function. The article also includes a comparison between the stickers and communication in internet chats, which is also to a high extent regulated by the anonymity of participants.
The review discusses a representative set of studies within such a new trend of cognitive research as neuropoetics. Basic premises of this research area are traced, among which of special interest are guiding principles and research questions touched upon in cognitive poetics as a previous attempt to investigate poetry on the junction with cognitive science constituing disciplines. A brief overview of neuroimaging methods is provided, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography with registration of event-related potentials (ERP) of human brain. The studies into neural correlates of classical British poetry reception using these methods are discussed, including some attempts to test specific hypotheses about “functional shifts” in William Shakespeare's works. As an example of investigation how cultural practices influence human brain, the neuroimaging studies into the impact of fiction and poetry reading experience on the brain correlates of poetry reception are addressed. A complementary research area is formed by a local set of experiments studying neural correlates of lyrical improvisation. Last but not least, a number of studies using eyetracking and pupillometry in poetry reading ara analyzed. Some results of comparative studies of prose and poetry reading are outlined, together with eyetracking experiments probing into the reception of some literary techniques (enjambments) and versification elements (rhyme). Some possible research perspectives are proposed.
“If you don't sin - you cannot repent”: concerning paradoxes of salvation in Rus’ and Byzantium Viktor Zhivov developed the idea that there existed in Orthodox Christian culture a perception of Salvation as a result of pure chance, luck or a trick. The extreme example of such attitude is the following paradox: “If you don't sin - you cannot repent, if you do not repent - you are not saved, consequently, if you do not sin, you cannot be saved”. Al- though such sophistry is a Russian invention, we can trace among Byzantine “spiritually beneficial tales” some vivid illustrations thereof.
Old Churhc Slavonic orthography is considered to be as an essential tool for textual critisism. Since autonomous written usage is controlled by the lunguistic reflexion of scribe(s), the description of „unusual“ phenomena, i.e. deviation from scribal usage as attested by witnesses and resulted by the influence of the earlier stages of textual transmission is of importance for textual criticism. On the base of comparison of original Churhc Slavonic texts composed by Climent of Ohrid, Naoum of Ohrid and Constantine of Bulgaria it has been proved that Moravian (West Slavic) traces in the orthography of some Old Churhc Slavonic glagolitic manusripts may not go back to the earliest period of Church Slavonic linguistic history, but represent variety of Western and South Slavic linguistic features, which was typical for the literary tradition established by the disciples of Methodius in the Western regions of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. The analysis of phonetic and orthographic features of the Old Churhc Slavonic manusripts of Old East Bulgarian origin makes it possible to assertain that the earliest East Slavonic office menaia do not correspond with the literary heritage of the Eastern regions of the First Bulgarian Kingdom, but are related with Church Slavonic linguistic usage of South-Western origin.
The article based on the Russian National Corpus and Internet usage analyses functioning of colloquial verbs 'ubirat's'a' and 'igrat's'a'; types of meanings and pecularities of contextual usage of these units traditionally interpreted as non-normative are under scrutiny; the usage of reflexives that refer and do not refer to the initial transitive verbs they are formed from is compared. According to S.Sai, the functioning of Russian reflexive verbs system is determined not only by semantic relations that link certain reflexive verbs with their non-reflexive derivational bases, but also by associative relations within different semantic groups of reflexive verbs, irrespective of their derivational characteristics. The article attempts to clarify if there are reasons to reject the verb “igrat’sya” as incorrect on the basis of its derivational base “igrat’” being intransitive verb. Other reflexive verbs motivated by intransitive verbs are analyzed including reflexives created occasionally by analogy with normative derivatives. In this analysis we apply S.P.Obnorsky’s idea on “-sya” as intransitivity marker making this meaning morphologically expressed. Most probably such verbs as “igrat’sya” and “ubirat’sya” belong to colloquial register, implement natural Russian linguistic system potentiality and are more or less explicitly differentiated from their derivational bases in terms of semantics and pragmatics.
The paper focuses on typical mystakes in writenn speech made by first-year students learning a new register of their native language. Interpretation of the reasons for these 'risk points' in vocabulary and grammar characteristic of contemporary Russian speech is given. Mistakes in a written text can be different. Primary mistakes are caused by the lack of competence, while secondary mistakes result from author’s attempt to correct the text. The secondary mistakes often arise when the author thinks over different ways to express his/her idea. In this situation, mistakes are caused by the conflict of different formulations. The secondary mistakes are evidences of author’s high competence. Authors generally are able to correct these mistakes and find good variants to replace the wrong word or expression. One of the main tasks of the courses in Russian language is to encourage students to work with texts, look for the best formulations for their ideas.
The correct (prescriptive) or incorrect usage of grammatical constructions is regulated by the tradition of codification. The standardizing practice is based on the analysis of reference texts and the logic of the language’s grammatical system. Therefore, the same phenomena can be interpreted as corresponding to or deviating from the norm, depending on the corpus of sources taken as the basis of a normative description. The article uses the data from the Russian Learner Corpus, the Russian National Corpus and the Internet to analyze the cases of plural predicates with the subject kto — ranging between those accepted by recommendation norm (apart from its most rigorous version represented in school practice) and peripheral ones, typical of everyday and colloquial speech. Grammatical, semantic and pragmatic reasons for the predicate coordination in the plural have been discovered. Among the factors defining the choice of plural predicates are the supporting components in the context of the plural form (determinative t’e; quantifier vs’e; the predicate of the main clause or of the independent statement in the pretext — in echo-questions or parallel constructions; the predicate of the subordinate clause, depending on the relative construction kto prishl’i; the supporting name or substantive at the top or in the nearest context, including the position beyond the limits of the statement); the semantics of multiple subject of action; the semantics of the predicate (not presuming taking actions alone); the type of grammar construction, including the model under consideration (e.g. kto, kak n’e tur’isty, znayut or on’i kto uyehal’i, a kto ostal’is’).
The paper proposes a corpus analysis of a Russian adjective slavnyj. Its semantic evolution is analyzed through its distribution in XVIII-XXI centuries texts, including the main types of its usages, its main meanings, and possible shifts from one meaning to another. It is shown that the initial semantics of ‘being famous’ that the adjective slavnyj expresses up to the beginning of the XIX century gives rise to the idea of strong positive evaluation. Slavnyj is very frequent as a positive marker during the XIX century, and then it gradually loses its intrinsic expressiveness. Nowadays, this adjective became much less frequent, having undergone a peculiar meaning shift: it marks a moderate compliment. While the grammaticalization pattern of slavnyj represents a well known shift ‘famous’ => ‘good’ (as a specific case of a more general pattern ‘differing from the others’ => ‘good’) widely attested crosslinguistically, the further stage of the semantic evolution of the word slavnyj appears to be more exotic.
The article describes the linguistic behavior of the introductory phrase stalo byt’ (literally became to be, meaning roughly ‘so’) in the Russian language of the XVIII - XXI centuries. The data from the Russian National Corpus show that this construction acquired additional senses over the centuries. Firstly it was used as a reason and cause marker, then it also developed two discourse meanings: paraphrase and returning to a previous theme. Our data show that this development is correlated with the increasing use of stalo byt’ in dialogues. In the Russian language of the XVIII – XIX centuries there was a variant of stalo byt’ – a single introductory word stalo (literally became), the difference between the constructions being rather stylistic than grammatical. Stalo while being the most preferable and prestigious in the language of the XVIII century, by the beginning of the XIX century became to sound archaic and thus vernacular. Finally, by the end of the XIX century parenthetical stalo almost disappeared. We suppose that this kind of semantic development from circumstance role marker to discourse unit must be typical for a class of lexical items and we plan to do some further research on it.