Russian pseudosynonymous verb-preposition constructions: a construction grammar approach

2013. № 2 (26), 91-111

Irina V. Jakovleva, Ulyanovsk State University


This study focuses on three groups of Russian verb-preposition constructions: 1) constructions with “verbs of speech and thought”: govorit’ o YLoc / govorit’ pro YAcc meaning ‘to speak about Y’; 2) “verbs of sorrow” constructions: skuchat’ o YLoc / skuchat’ po YDat meaning ‘to miss Y’; 3) constructions with “verbs of directed contact”: bit’ v YAcc / bit’ po YDat meaning ‘to bang against Y’. Constructions in each group are often considered synonymous due to their interchangeability in most contexts. However, according to Ruscorpora data, there are contexts that prove this interchangeability impossible. Analysis of Ruscorpora data in terms of CxG reveals that the semantic differences between two constructions in each group are connected with the restrictions which the construction as a whole imposes on the semantics of its components. In this case such restrictions are brought about by the semantic roles of the prepositions.