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The project aims to address the fundamental problem of the study of linguistic expressions, the interpretation of which goes beyond the scope of propositional semantics.


In the course of our project we will analyze the subset of such expressions, viz. various structures with lexical repetitions: tautologies, either propositional (kto pridet, tot pridet ‘the one who will come, will [come]’) or equative (druz'ya est' druz'ya ‘friends are friends’); constructions with identical word forms (lyudi kak lyudi ‘people are like people’, leto tak leto ‘let it be summer’); and grammatically conditioned repetitions (On ne priglasil ni Vasyu, ni Petyu ‘He invited neither Vasya nor Petya’). More specifically, we plan to explain the properties of the structures under consideration, their functioning in language and interaction with other formal and informative elements within the framework of a number of state-of-the-art linguistic theories concerning, in particular, metalinguistic negation, subjectivity, the interpretation of generic sentences, information structure, as well as theories and models of translation. We will also analyze factors that encourage the speaker to choose these structures despite there being simpler alternative formulations, both for communication in the native language and for translation.


We will collect and investigate the data within the framework synthesising various methods, including corpus, introspective, and experimental, and make the collected material publicly available in the form of a database, where the obtained information concerning lexical repetition will be accumulated and structured. The innovative character of the planned project can be justified, firstly, by the fact that the analyzed patterns will receive a principled explanation within general linguistic theories, which, with a few exceptions, were not applied to this data both in Russian and in other languages. Next, we will use experimental methods which were rarely applied in previous studies. Finally, we will develop an information database of the mentioned structures with lexical repetitions. Thus, a multidimensional study of lexical repetition as a specific linguistic phenomenon within the framework of general linguistic theories will lead to important and universal generalizations concerning the regular patterns of language functioning, the relationship between form and meaning in linguistic structures, and certain semantic universals.


11 Universitetskaya Embankment, room 107

199034 St. Petersburg, Russia

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