2015. № 3 (6), 413-448

Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences


The aim of the present article is to attempt to determine the extent to which corpora of parallel texts can serve as a useful instrument for solving problems of contrastive linguistics; i.e., for describing peculiarities in the functioning of Russian forms compared with those of another language. The study is based on empirical data taken from the Russian-English/ English-Russian and Russian-German/German-Russian parallel corpora of the RNC. We focus on lexical phenomena of these pairs of languages, particularly cross-linguistic equivalence connected with the language- specific nature of certain lexemes and the means for representing them in bilingual dictionaries. The materials of the parallel corpora give rise to questions as to how cross-linguistic lexical correlates should be represented lexicographically, especially if these correspondences are not equivalent in a strict sense. Our analysis of lexical units that lack standard equivalents in other languages indicates that parallel corpora can help identify both the non-trivial semantic and discursive properties of such words and the peculiarities of their cross-linguistic functional correspondences.