Individual Style of Dostoevsky: Dimensions of Investigation

Cover Page

Cite item


The article examines the existing approaches to the study of the individual style of the writer. We call these approaches models of individual style. We distinguish lexical model, syntactical model, narrative model and the model of intertextual relations. Specific features of the lexical model consist of the frequency distribution of certain words in text formation. The frequency distribution of lexical items reflects the importance of certain meanings and conceptual areas for a given author. The syntactic model of individual style is based on identifying characteristic syntactic constructions that have a high frequency rank for a particular author. The narrative model characterizes the way the story is organized. The units of the narrative model are the components of the plot and the operations that are performed on these components (moving, eliminating fragments of the narrative, combining episodes and scenes, introducing some components of the plot into others). Intertextual relations, that is, a set of semantic and formal references to other texts of the same or other authors, form an intertextual model, which also is unique for every writer. The above mentioned models complement each other and, taken together, make it possible to describe the specific features of the unique speech practices of the writer. Models of individual style are illustrated by the examples from Dostoevsky’s works. Modern corpus data technologies make it possible to more strictly develop the models of individual style, enhancing their objectivity by the implementation of quantitative methods. This article is a part of a project, initiated by Yu.N. Karaulov and E.L. Ginzburg.

About the authors

Analoly N. Baranov

Russian language institute of RAS

Author for correspondence.

PhD, professor, leading research scientist, Russian language institute of the RAS

18/2, Volkhonka str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 119019

Dmitrij O. Dobrovol’skij

Russian language institute of RAS; Institute of Linguistics of the RAS; Stockholm University


PhD, professor, leading research scientist, Russian language institute of the RAS, Institute of Linguistics of the RAS, Stockholm University

18/2, Volkhonka str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 119019; 1, Bol’shoy Kislovsky, Moscow, Russian Federation, 125009; 10691 Stockholm, Sweden

Natalia A. Fateeva

Russian language institute of RAS


PhD, professor, leading research scientist, Russian language institute of the RAS

18/2, Volkhonka str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 119019


  1. Fateeva, N.A. Idiostyle (individual style) In Krugosvet Encyclopedia: URL: enc/gumanitarnye_nauki/lingvistika/IDIOSTIL_INDIVIDUALNI_STIL.html (accessed: 10.01.2021). (In Russ.).
  2. Zolyan, S.T. (1986). On the problem of describing the poetic idiolect (based on the poetry of L. Martynov). News of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Series of literature and language, 45(2), 138—148. (In Russ.).
  3. Blinkina, M.M. (1998). Age of heroes in the novel War and Peace. News of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Series of literature and language, 57(1), 18—27. (In Russ.).
  4. Paducheva, E.V. (1996). Semantics of Narrative In Semantic research. Moscow: Shkola “Jazyki russkoj kul’tury”. pp. 193—418. (In Russ.).
  5. Fateeva, N.A. (1996). Verse and prose as two forms of idiostyle existence [dissertation]. Moscow. (In Russ.).
  6. Dostoevsky, F.M. (1972—1990). Complete works in thirty volumes. Leningrad: Nauka. (In Russ.).
  7. Bakhtin, M.M. (2020). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Moscow: Russian dictionaries, Jazyki slavjanskoj kul’tury. (In Russ.).
  8. Mozoleva, D.A. (2009). Representation of the emotional sphere of the protagonists of the novels “Idiot” and “Crime and Punishment” by F. Dostoevsky. News of Higher Schools. Series “Humanities”, 1, 130—134. (In Russ.).
  9. Fedotova, E.E. (2017). Linguistic representation of the cognitive-mental sphere “mental activity” in the works of F.M. Dostoevsky [dissertation]. Krasnodar. (In Russ.).
  10. Arutyunova, N.D. (1996). Dostoevsky’s style in the frame of the Russian picture of the world In Poetics. Stylistics. Language and culture. In memory of Tatyana Grigorievna Vinokur. Moscow: Nauka. pp. 61—90. (In Russ.).
  11. Karaulov, Yu.N. (2014). About Dostoevsky’s Idioglossary In Dostoevsky’s Word 2014. Idiostyle and picture of the world. Moscow: Leksrus. pp.107—114. (In Russ.).
  12. Karaulov, Yu.N. (2014). From the dictionary of the writer’s language to the knowledge of his world In Dostoevsky’s Word 2014. Idiostyle and picture of the world. Moscow: Leksrus. pp. 115—131. (In Russ.).
  13. Muminov, V.I. (2016). Peculiarities of the use of classifiers of indefiniteness of sign in the novel “Idiot” by F.M. Dostoevsky. Bulletin of Udmurt University. History and Philology Series, 26(6), 25—30. (In Russ.).
  14. Lobov, L.P. (1927). From observations of Dostoevsky’s verbal techniques. Collection of the Ob-va ist., Philologist., Philos. and social Sciences at Perm University, 2, 6—13. (In Russ.).
  15. Baranov, A.N. (1996). Official words as an object of study of the author’s lexicography (at least vs. at least in the literary texts of Dostoevsky) In Dostoevsky’s Word. Moscow: Azbukovnik. (In Russ.).
  16. Sharapova, E.V. (2018). Abnormal compatibility of intensifiers in the language of F.M. Dostoevsky [dissertation]. Moscow. (In Russ.).
  17. Shaikevich, A.Ya., Andryushchenko, V.M. & Rebetskaya, N.A. (2003). Statistical Dictionary of the Dostoevsky Language. Moscow: Jazyki slavjanskoj kul’tury. (In Russ.).
  18. Simina, G.Ya. (1957). From observations of the language and style of the novel by F.M. Dostoevsky “Crime and Punishment” In Studying the language of the writer. Leningrad: Uchpedgiz. pp. 105—157. (In Russ.).
  19. Sevbo, I.P. (1981). Graphic presentation of syntactic structures and stylistic diagnostics. Kiev: Naukova Dumka. (In Russ.).
  20. Ivanchikova, E.A. (1979). The syntax of Dostoevsky’s fictional prose. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.).
  21. Prince, G. (1973). A grammar of stories. The Hague, Paris: Mouton.
  22. Mandler, J. & Johnson, N. (1977). Rememberance of things parsed: story structure and recall. Cognitive Psychology, 9, 111—151.
  23. Mandler, J. (1984). Stories, scripts, and scenes. Aspects of schema theory. London: Psychology Press.
  24. Olker, H.R. (1977). Fairy tales, tragedies and ways of presenting world history In Language and modeling of social interaction. Moscow: Progress. pp. 408—440.
  25. Lehnert, W.G. (1982). Plot units: a narrative summarization strategy In Strategies for natural language processing, Lehnert W.G., Ringle M.H. (eds.). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 375—412.
  26. Schmid, V. (2003). Narratology. Moscow: Jazyki slavjanskoj kul’tury.
  27. Barsht, K.A. (2007). Dostoevsky’s Narrator: “Mirror Narration” and Apostolic Testimony. Literary Journal, 21, 75—87. (In Russ.).
  28. Vinogradov, V.V. (1961). Authorship problem and style theory. Moscow: Hudozhestvennaja literatura. (In Russ.).
  29. Bulgakova, N.O. & Sedelnikova, O.V. (2015). Portrait of Stavrogin: on the question of the peculiarities of F.M. Dostoevsky in the novel “Demons”. Journal of Wellbeing Technologies, Special issue (15), 235—239. (In Russ.).
  30. Pisareva, K.V. (2017). The poetics of detail in the novels of F.M. Dostoevsky 1860s—80s: the wardrobe of the characters [dissertation]. Smolensk. (In Russ.).
  31. Tammi, P. (1992). Notes on polygeneticity in Nabokov’s prose In Problems of Russian literature and culture. Helsinki. pp. 181—194. (In Russ.).
  32. Apresyan, Yu.D. (1966). Ideas and methods of modern structural linguistics. Moscow: Prosveshhenie. (In Russ.).

Copyright (c) 2021 Baranov A.N., Dobrovol’skij D.O., Fateeva N.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies