2019. № 2 (20), 256-268

 V.V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences)


The article is concerned with the comparison of Russian and English verbs of dirtying. The verbs under consideration are subdivided in either language into similar lexical groups, i.e. verbs of the result, of the way of dirtying and of the means of dirtying, yet the filling of corresponding groups is different. A much greater number of verbs of dirtying in Russian than in English, as well as the colloquial stylistic reference of the former in contrast to the neutrality of the latter, bring one to the conclusion that in English, in contrast to Russian, dirtying is not a communicatively relevant sense. The nature of meaning of Russian and English verbs of dirtying differs as well. Meanings of Russian verbs of dirtying are mostly results of semantic derivation, consisting in raising the presupposition of the basic meaning of verbs of various lexical classes to the level of assertion, whereas the meanings of the corresponding English verbs are non-derived. The analysis of the aspectual behavior of Russian verbs of each group reveals the difference between verbs of result on the one hand and both verbs of the way of dirtying and verbs of the means of dirtying on the other. The article addresses problems of translation as well. The wealth of verbal prefixal derivatives in Russian lacking in English results in difficulties one confronts while translating from Russian into English. This is why in English translations of Russian texts verbs of dirtying are often substituted with verbs of other lexical classes or omitted altogether.