2019. № 3 (21), 142-164

 National Research University Higher School of Economics, V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 


This article deals with the description of Russian discourse formulae in diachronic perspective. Discourse formulae are defined as easily reproduced phraseological constructions mostly used as isolated responds in the dialogs. Unlike traditional constructions, they do not have variables in their structure. The preceding remark of an interlocutor is what serves as a construction slot. Being emphatic and semantically bleached, discourse formulae are extremely dynamic diachronically, the changes of their form and semantics are observable even within a short span oftime, like two centuries. To get this diachronic information the list of Russian discourse formulae relevant for 19-20 centuries was arranged statistically by frequencies for every 10-years. Examples of old, obsolete formulae, new formulae which appeared recently and those which seem to be stable in frequency for the last two centuries, have been thoroughly analyzed. Through these examples one could see the mechanisms of pragmaticalization of a compositional word combination (i.d. turning it into fixed idiomatic expressions with pragmatic meanings), and also the reasons for formulae becoming obsolete and the origin of their structural and semantic instability.