Four Ways to Tremble in Russian: A Case Study of a Radial Category

Anastasia Kobzeva

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Russian; language; linguistics; near-synonyms; radial category; linguistic profiling


Many dictionaries and other lexicographic resources often describe near-synonyms using one another, which makes it difficult for a foreign language learner to make a choice between them. Although it is true that near-synonyms can be used when referring to the same state of affairs, they often involve different construals, insofar as they represent different ways of viewing the situation in question. Quite often, not all alternatives are possible in a given context, but it is not an easy task to pinpoint which alternative is possible in which context. In this study I consider a group of nearly synonymous verbs with the meaning ‘tremble’ in Russian and attempt to build a radial category network of meanings based on corpus data. I show that the network accommodates the similarities among the verbs, but at the same time also brings out the differences among them.


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Copyright (c) 2016 Anastasia Kobzeva

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