Pronominal expressions with “diabolical” nouns of the type [Ona uexala] čert znaet kuda ‘She went devil knows where’ in Russian

2012. № 2 (24), 5-22


The paper examines Russian expressions of the type [Она уехала] черт знает куда ‘[She went] devil knows where’ vs. [Она уехала] куда ее отправили ‘[She went] where she had been sent’ vs. Черт (ее/его) знает, куда [она уехала] ‘Devil knows (her/him) where [she went]’. These expressions consist of a pronominal lexeme called К-word (КТО ‘who’, КАКОЙ ‘what type of’, КУДА ‘where’, КОГДА ‘when’, etc.) and a phrase that can be free or a phraseme (idiom or collocation); if it is a phraseme, it icludes so-called “diabolic” noun (ЧЕРТ ‘devil’, БОГ ‘God’, ПЕС ‘dog’, ШИШ ‘fig [gesture]’, ХРЕН ‘horseradish’, etc.). A syntactic dependency description is proposed for these expressions (the top node being the К-word) as well as a general scheme for their lexicographic representation. A short typology of phrasemes is introduced: lexical phrasemes (subdivided into non-compositional, or idioms, and compositional—that is, collocations and clichés), morphological phrasemes and syntactic phrasemes.