The use of parallel corpora to investigate causation in Russian

Valentina Noseda

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


The paper deals with the expression of causation in Russian. In particular, it aims at testing the usefulness of parallel corpora in investigating what we could call ‘elliptic causation’. During a contrastive corpus-based analysis of Russian and Italian causative verbs, it was observed that when translating the Italian construction fare + infinitive (make + infinitive / to have something done) a valency reduction often occurs in Russian, so that a sentence like mi hai fatto chiamare? (did you have me called?) can be rendered as ty zval menja? A similar phenomenon had been previously observed in examples such as ja sšila sebe novoe plat’e, which can have both a causative (I had a new dress sewn) and noncausative interpretation (I sewed a new dress). In this case, the causative interpretation is related to the semantics of the verb, which denotes a service usually performed by a professional. However, the examples found in two Italian-Russian parallel corpora showed that this phenomenon can occur with different types of verbs. Such examples are analyzed with the aim of understanding the nature and the extension of this type of causation. From a methodological point of view, some observations will be made regarding the use of parallel corpora in this study.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)164-175
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • parallel corpora, contrastive analysis, causative verbs, ellipsis


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