Development of polysemy of anaphoric adjectives

2020. № 3 (25), 168-179

O.Yu. Boguslavskaya Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, Moscow)


The paper studies the mechanisms of the polysemy development of anaphoric adjectives takoj ‘such,’ drugoj ‘another,’ inoj ‘different,’ etot ‘this,’ tot ‘that’ and some other similar words. Such common sources of polysemy as metaphor and metonymy are not typical for them. Nevertheless, all of these words are polysemic and according to dictionaries, each of them has no less than four meanings. We identified the following major sources of polysemy for this lexicographic type. 1) Transition from anaphoric to deictic uses, which is characteristic of the whole group. 2) Elimination of certain semantic components, which results in valency reduction in some cases. For example, the main anaphoric sense of takoj ‘such’ assigns the properties of an object mentioned earlier to the noun to which takoj is linked. However, one of the senses derived from this one only signals that the object has some properties that will be presented later, without assigning these properties to any other object. Cf. U menja takoe predchuvstvie, chto on uzhe ne vernetsja sjuda “I have such a presentiment that he will not come here again.” 3) Development of special types of comparative constructions which states that two objects or situation have the same degree of some property. Cf. U syna ne bylo takogo jarkogo darovanija, kak u otca “The son did not have such a brilliant talent as his father.” 4) Adding new semantic components. For example, inoj ‘different’ adds the idea of indefiniteness in cases like Inye ljudi ot prirody nadeleny bol’shoj fizicheskoj siloj “Some people are endowed by nature with great physical fortitude.” 5) Nominalization.