Skrebtsova T.G. Parenthetical Verb Phrases with the Russian Verbs govorit’ and skazat’: A Constructional Approach


Tatiana G. Skrebtsova

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Linguistics, St. Petersburg State University

Universitetskaya Emb., 7-9-11, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia

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Abstract. The research urgency is explicable due to the fact that parenthetical phrases are complicated in their essence, which is stipulated by their semantic and syntactic peculiarities. However, traditional approaches to the description and classification of parenthetical expressions are marked by heterogeneity, subjectivity and blurred boundaries between the posited groups. The paper suggests a novel perspective on the phenomenon from a construction grammar viewpoint. Theoretical prerequisites of construction grammar are claimed to ensure a well-integrated, systemic framework to account for parenthetical expressions. The key advantage is seen in the specific interpretation of the notion of construction, according to which constructions allow for a certain degree of lexical variation. Parenthetical word combinations with the verbs govorit' and skazat' are analyzed within structural and semantic aspects. The author has identified parenthetical verb phrases of various abstraction degree, listed them in hierarchical structures, and revealed their semantic interrelations. The parenthetical combinations with the verbs govorit' and skazat' are noted to be brought together in a constructional network, which on the one hand reveals intrinsic systematic arrangement of the corresponding language unit, and on the other hand demonstrates its openend character, external links and capability of replenishment with new items. The overall picture thus corroborates the vision of language as an integrated network of constructions of various degree of complexity.

Key words: parenthetical word, construction grammar, hierarchy of constructions, constructional network, discourse marker.

Citation. Skrebtsova T.G. Parenthetical Verb Phrases with the Russian Verbs govorit' and skazat': A Constructional Approach. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2022, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 108-117. (in Russian). DOI:

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