Short term morphosyntactic change

Křížkova (1968) - STMC bibliography


Křížkova, Helena. 1968. Predikativnaja funkcija prilagatel´nyx i suščestvitel´nyx i struktura predloženija, Československá Rusistika 13. 210-219.


The article addresses variation in the form of predicate nouns and adjectives in constructions with different types of verbs. The author suggests that there is a single basic structure, namely “ verb plus noun/adjective in the instrumental ”. Other forms of predicate nominals may be derived from this by applying rules that take into account the type of the verb (copula, semi-copula or full verb), and the form (e.g., finite, infinitive, gerund, participle).

The author argues against the prevalent view that the choice between nominative and instrumental predicate nouns is conditioned semantically: that is the nominative is used to express temporally unrestricted properties, while the instrumental is used for properties anchored to a particular moment. Křížkova claims that this semantic differentiation between the two cases is bleached in the contemporary language.

Instrumental adjectives, being the basic predicate form she suggests, may be replaced either by long form nominative or by short form adjectives. Choice in all cases is conditioned by sentence structure. Additionally, there some formal and semantic properties of adjectives along with stylistic factors that condition the choice between nominative long form and short form adjectives.

Texts investigated

Fiction, popular scientific, journalistic, political texts published between 1936 and 1968.

  • Kataev, V. Beleet parus odinokij (1936)
  • Leonov L. Russkij les (1953)
  • Lenč L. Edinstvennyj svidetell´ 1956
  • Paustovskij, K. Zolotaja roza (1956)
  • Newspaper “Pravda” (exact year unknown)
  • Èrenburg I. Ljudi, gody, žizn ´ (1965)
  • Materialy XXII s´´ezda KPSS (1961)
  • Po sledam drevnix kul´tur (exact year not given)
  • Iz žizni drevnej Moskvy (exact year not given)


The calculation is made for the whole corpus and for some of the individual works. Occurrences of adjective forms are counted for the past and for the present tenses, occurrences of noun forms are counted for the past. No other parameters are taken into consideration in the calculations. Results are presented in percentage figures, raw numbers are not given. Calculations are made on the first 100 pages of each work. In the present tense, constructions with the zero copula, passive voice and sentences with rad were not counted.

Which data from the source were used

Statistics from the source are presented in the database in their entirety.

Project members

Prof Greville G. Corbett
Dr Matthew Baerman
Dr Dunstan Brown
Dr Alexander Krasovitsky
Dr Alison Long

Period of award:

September 2004 - May 2008


Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) - RG/AN4375/APN18306