2019. № 3 (21), 202-213

 V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Instutute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences


The purpose of this study is to reveal to what extent the intuitive ideas of the equiva- lence of structurally similar German and Russian constructions correspond to their actual use. The empirical data are based on the Russian-German and German-Russian parallel corpora of the RNC (Russian National Corpus). We analyze such constructions as rodstvenniki rodstvennikami, no... ‘relatives are relatives but...’,mneniya mneniyami, a...‘opinions are opinions but...’, i.e. phrases structurally based on the pattern [P(X X-om),no/a Q] ‘X is X but Q’. Somewhat simplifying, such constructions can be labelled as “indicators of indifference”, because using this structure, the speaker puts the entity X outside the scope of relevant issues of discussion. Specific semantic features may come to the fore, such as downshifting of the relevance of the argument of the interlocutor or disagreement with his or her proposal, the purely concessive meaning or indifference of the speaker with regard to objective circumstances. At first glance, the pattern [P(X X-om),no/a Q] ‘X is X but Q’ has an equivalent in German, that is very close in both form and meaning, namely the constructional phraseme [X hin, X her]. The analysis allowed us to conclude that there is no functional equivalence between these structures. Their parallel use in authentic contexts from the RNC is extremely atypical. The present article discusses the reasons for the lack of functional equivalence between the analyzed constructions.