The grammar of Russian preposition: theoretical aspects


At present, linguists do not have sufficient tools to strictly determine whether specific prepositional units belong to prepositions as a part of speech, so it seems relevant to consider the functional-grammatical field of prepositions, which includes both prepositions themselves and units that can function as prepositions. The aim of this article is to identify, classify and describe systemic paradigmatic relations within the functional-grammatical field of prepositions. The study was conducted on the material of a registry of 3,000 prepositional units, which were collected through a continuous sampling from dictionaries and specialized works, as well as by identifying all possible variants of prepositions on the Internet and the National Corpus of the Russian language. The paradigmatic relations of the units that already have lexicographic attribution were analyzed. As a result, the graphical, morphonological and word-formation paradigms of prepositional units were identified, and their morphosyntactic and semantic paradigmatic relations were detailed. The graphical paradigm is a series of variants of different types: alphabetic, written together or separately and uncodified. The morphological paradigm includes vocalized, accented, incomplete-vowel versions, truncated, softened, differentiated by accent and inflective variants. Within the word-formation paradigm the most productive roots of prepositional units are identified. For the morphosyntactic paradigm, the possible structural subtypes were identified: thus, the form of the prepositional noun and the form of the introduced actant were relevant. In addition, the regularities of paradigm formation were revealed for prepositional units expressing different types of semantic relations. For the semantic paradigm, the dependence of a particular paradigm subtype on the type of semantic relations expressed by the prepositional units has been revealed. Considering the functional and grammatical field of the preposition as a set organized by regular relations of different types, we can identify the grammar of the preposition. Understanding the systemic relations between prepositional units opens the way to predicting systematically possible linguistic units within the field in question.

About the authors

Ekaterina N. Vinogradova

Lomonosov Moscow State University

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7020-9289

PhD in Linguistics, Assistant Professor, the Department of Russian for Foreign Students in the Humanities, Faculty of Philology

1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russia

Lyibov P. Klobukova

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3234-1873

Doctor of Pedagogy, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Education, Professor, Honorary Professor of Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Head of the Department of Russian for Foreign Students in the Humanities, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University

1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russia


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