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Russian constructions with nu i in parallel corpora

From the book Productive Patterns in Phraseology and Construction Grammar

  • Dmitrij Dobrovol’skij and Ludmila Pöppel


The present paper describes a family of Russian constructions on the basis of parallel corpus data. We focus on the constructional pattern nu i X (literally: well and X). This pattern is a phrasal template with an abundance of instances. The two basic groups of nu i N consist of constructions expressing surprise, bewilderment or admiration, plus these with a negative nuance. Constructions in both groups have different degrees of idiomaticity ranging from full idioms to free word combinations. Another aspect of our investigation concerns the degree of language specificity of the Russian constructions under analysis. The higher the degree of language specificity, the more approximate is any way to translate a given unit into another language. Our analysis shows that the pattern nu i X is a language specific unit of the Russian constructicon, and that the degree of language specificity is more important for bilingual lexicography, teaching of foreign languages and translation studies that the degree of phraseologicity. For these contrastive purposes it is more effective to describe such units in terms of Construction Grammar. The empirical data have been collected from the corpus query system Sketch Engine, subcorpora of parallel texts OPUS2, and the Russian National Corpus (RNC), subcorpora of parallel texts.

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