Voprosy Jazykoznanija

Bimonthly peer-review journal founded in January 1952 is the leading Russian academic journal devoted to linguistics.


  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences


  • Russian Academy of Sciences

The journal is published under the auspices of Department of Historical and Philological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

About the journal

The journal welcomes original research on linguistic theory, areal, typological, and comparative linguistics, sociolinguistics, computational and corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, and related fields. 

Preference is given to papers that make a theoretical contribution or present new empirical data of general interest. Papers assessing minor language-specific descriptive problems, as well as those dealing with “cultural concepts”, “linguistic consciousness”, literary science, and folklore studies are generally discouraged; the editorial board reserves the right to decline such articles without further consideration.

To submit a manuscript, please register and fill in the article submission form.

Current Issue

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No 1 (2023)

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Russian gosudar’ ‘sovereign’: Нistory and etymology
Uspenskij B.A.
In the first half of the 15th century, the word gospodar’ appears in the title of the Grand Princes of Muscovy. In the 16th–17th centuries, gospodar’ was replaced by gosudar’. How did these terms correlate? When exactly and how did this change take place? All researchers, without exception, believed that gosudar’ is the result of a transformation of the word gospodar’, but none of them could explain how it could happen. Meanwhile, these words, apparently, are not related at all: gosudar’ and gospodar’ have different origin, and one form cannot be received from the other. Gospodar’ is obviously connected with such words as Gospod’ ‘Lord’, gospodin ‘master’, etc.; but what is the origin of the word gosudar’? The article offers a solution to this question.
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):7-18
pages 7-18 views
What micro-diachronic analysis can tell us about unmarked indefinites: Evidence from Russian
Pekelis O.E.
 The paper deals with the evolution of Russian unmarked indefi nite pronouns, also known as bare interrogatives, since the 18ᵗʰ century. The Russian National Corpus data suggest that the distribution of unmarked indefinites both in modern Russian and in the Russian language of the 18ᵗʰ–19ᵗʰ centuries is not in line with previous proposals. Surprisingly, unmarked indefinites are more frequent in some specific contexts compared to non-specific contexts such as imperatives or subjunctive clauses. I argue that the distribution of Russian unmarked indefi nites can be accounted for by some sort of economy principle: due to the lack of a marker of indefiniteness, unmarked indefinites tend to be used in contexts that are strongly biased toward a certain interpretation of an indefinite in terms of specificity (specific known vs. specific unknown vs. non-specific). This analysis, as I suggest, correctly predicts two typological tendencies reported on unmarked indefinites in the literature.
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):19-53
pages 19-53 views
Grammaticalization, lexicalization, and pragmaticalization: Russian constructions with the preposition PO
Vinogradova E.N.
The article describes Russian constructions including the preposition po with respect to grammaticalization, lexicalization, and pragmaticalization as processes often conflicting in linguistic studies. A corpus of constructions with po was created based on specialized dictionaries; dictionary entries in question were critically checked in order to identify all the functions of a particular construction. Some of these constructions required more precise definition of their functions in language and speech. As a result, a typology of constructions including po based on dictionary labels (prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, predicatives, particles, parenthetical words) had to be expanded by adding the class of discourse formulae. The parenthetical constructions including po turned out to be very heterogenous, so they were categorized as follows: parenthetical constructions without any possible argument vs. parenthetical constructions with obligatory or optional argument. Besides that, literature on grammaticalization, lexicalization, pragmaticalization, and some other “-izations” was scrutinized; a consistent approach to them was selected and thus the collected constructions were correlated with the abovementioned linguistic processes. Analysis of the study corpus shows that formation of adverbs and predicatives corresponds to lexicalization; a relationship between notions of lexicalization, phraseologization, and idiomatization is illuminated. We demonstrate on the examples of specific linguistic units that prepositions and conjunctions follow some parameters of grammaticalization, taken broadly (E. Traugott et al.). ragmaticalization, viewed as a subclass of grammaticalization or as a separate process, can be revealed in evolution of particles and discourse formulae; parenthetical constructions are shown to be at the intersection of lexicalization and pragmaticalization. In conclusion, notions of constructionalization and multi-functionality are characterized; multi-functionality is stated to be a typical feature of the constructions analyzed.
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):54-87
pages 54-87 views
North Russian prefix Z-: Between phonetics and morphemics
Nefedova E.A.
The paper discusses the status of the formant z-, represented in the vocabulary of Arkhangelsk dialects of Russian. It mostly occurs on verbs, less often on words of other parts of speech. Consideration of its status concerns several aspects, such as phonetic position, semantics, correlation with synonymous prefixes, and area of usage. The formant z- in Arkhangelsk dialects is used both before obstruents and sonorants and /v-vʲ/. In the process of functioning, it moves from phonetics to morphemics, expanding the range of its meanings and, as a result, acquiring the capability to be used analogically to the prefixes vz-, za-, iz-, s-. The correlation between the semantics of z- and vz- is explained by the phonetic simplifi cation of [vz] before a consonant, whereby the resulting z- inherits all the meanings of vz-. In turn, the prefixes vz-, iz-, za-, s- show semantic commonalities, and this explains the possibility of formations with z- synonymous not only to formations with vz-, but also with iz-, za-, s- in the following meanings: ‘committing an action, bringing an action to the desired limit, result’ — a meaning common with the prefixes vz-, iz-, za-, s-; ‘upward direction of an action or movement’ — a meaning common with the prefixes vz-, za-; ‘starting an action’ — a meaning common with the prefixes vz-, za-; ‘performing a single action’ — a meaning common with the prefix vz-. Thus, the formant z- receives the status of a prefix, synonymous in all meanings to the prefix vz- and partly synonymous to the prefixes iz-, za-, s-. The conclusions about the genesis of the prefix z-, based on the analysis of the material of the Arkhangelsk dialects, are confirmed by the data of dictionaries of other Russian dialects, including those that are not in direct contact with the Belarusian and Ukrainian languages. The results of the study correlate with the problem of the general arealogy of Slavic dialects, aimed at revealing the relations between different languages, which represent their comparability.
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):88-102
pages 88-102 views
Finiteness in morphology and syntax: Evidence from Abaza
Arkadiev P.M.
The article surveys morphological and syntactic ramifi cations of finiteness and nonfiniteness of verbal forms in the polysynthetic Abaza language (Northwest Caucasian, Karachay-Cherkessia). In Abaza, a whole range of morphological phenomena exhibit more or less robust correlations with dependent resp. subordinate status of the clause. However, I show that none of these phenomena can be treated as an unequivocal indicator of (non)finiteness, paying particular attention to several types of verbal forms that combine morphological features of both finiteness and nonfiniteness. Hypotheses motivating these “paradoxical” constellations of properties are put forward.
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):103-131
pages 103-131 views
Tocharian A manuscript №№ 144–211 from Šorčuq: The new data. I
Itkin I.B.
The article provides a general description of the Tocharian A manuscript №№ 144–211 according to the publication of Tocharian A texts by E. Sieg and W. Siegling (1921). This manuscript is a collection of stories about prince Nanda, the half-brother of Buddha, and Sundari, his beloved. Many fragments of this manuscript, both published and still unpublished, join together. The article publishes two leaves made up of joined fragments — A 144 + THT 2485 and A 171+156 + THT 2543 + THT 2265 — with a detailed commentary and translation. The first leaf describes the beginning of Buddha and Nanda’s journey to the Himalayas and, further, to the world of the Thirty-three Gods (Skr. trayastriṃśa-). The second leaf presents a dialogue between two followers of Buddha — the young women Viśākhā and Preṣikā. A whole variety of elaborately used figures of speech (realization of the metaphor, chiasmus, deliberate syntactic ambiguity, etc.) allows to call this dialogue, whose text can be reconstructed almost fully, a pearl of the Buddhist literature of the Early Middle Ages.
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):132-150
pages 132-150 views
Semantics of linguistic sign in the light of the asymmetrical dualism theory: Possible extensions
Zolyan S.T.
We address a possible development of a semiotic theory based on the principle of asymmetric dualism proposed by S. Kartsevsky. We identify its differences from the Saussurean view of sign and demonstrate that, while Kartsevsky adopts the principle of differentiation, he supplements it with a dynamic understanding of intrasystem relations. This makes it possible to construct multidimensional semiotic models describing how new meanings are generated due to the sign’s asymmetric dualism. We consider the semantics of linguistic sign as a structure in the state of dynamic equilibrium. Thus, we clarify Kartsevsky’s concept of transposition, supplementing it with a concept of disposition (situation of the initial semiosis).
Voprosy Jazykoznanija. 2023;(1):151-168
pages 151-168 views

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