The egocentric semantics of the word požaluj

2018. № 1 (35), 74-84

Elena V. Paducheva, Federal Research Center“Computer Science and Control", Russian Academy of Sciences; Moscow, Russia


The word požaluj ≈ ‘perhaps’ is egocentric: it presupposes a speaker. In this paper an “ideal” požaluj is proposed, such that all other occurrences of požaluj can be derived from this ideal using contextual considerations: požaluj P = ‘the speaker, upon reflection in the process of the speech act, decides that P’. For example, Požaluj, tebe lučše vsego budet sejčas ujti = ‘upon reflections during the speech act I have decided that it would be better for you to go away now’. Attention should be paid to the ambiguity of the word decide. In fact, decide may denote either a volitive act, i.e. decision about an action, as for example in Ja požaluj poedu letom v Bolgariju, or a purely mental act, as for example in Ja podumal, čto ona, požaluj, prava.