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.
Created by the School of Linguistics of the Faculty of Humanities at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, the Corpus of Russian Student Texts (CoRST) includes texts belonging to such genres as answers to various questions, argumentative statements, essays, course papers etc., which were written either spontaneously (in the classroom) or as prepared texts (at home) by students in Bachelor's degree programs. In the process of studying academic writing, students pass through different stages of understanding how to structure academic texts. At each stage, the interference of different styles and genres, the heterogeneous nature of received speech patterns as well as low levels of self-correction lead to inevitable systemic errors in grammar and grammatical stylistics, semantics and text pragmatics. The deviations from standard speech reflect both the stadial nature of academic writing skills and the processes characteristic of speech system dynamics in general; the formation of new customary (usual) norms on the remains of obsolete (conservative) norms demonstrates the limits of variability in the usage of words and word forms. These deviations are marked by a system of tags developed and optimized by the Corpus team (N. A. Zevakhina, S. S. Dzhakupova, Yu. M. Kuvshinskaya, S. Yu. Puzhaeva, with active assistance from colleagues and students). The error markup contains lexical, morphological, and discursive information. The grammatical section shows the frequency of deviations from morphological and syntactical patternsare connected with the slackening of a number of constructions. For example, there are such challenges as the broadening of a number of ‘light’ verbs (units devoid of semantic value and satisfying the syntactic needs of a statement, whose lexical meaning is delegated to a governed word); the choice of case for governed nouns; comparative and intensifying constructions; and anaphoric usage. The article considers specific examples marked with the tag “agreement error” (agr). The motivation for markup when choosing a marker for a speech fragment is discussed.