Comparing corpus and experimental approaches: A study of syntactic properties of the Russian enclitic že

E. A. Valova, N. A. Slioussar

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Corpus and experimental approaches in linguistics are often seen as incompatible, and there are very few studies of grammatical phenomena that rely on both of them, without one or the other being subsidiary. In this paper, we would like to show that they are complimentary and can be fruitfully combined on the example of Russian phrasal enclitic že. We analyze various factors influencing its position in the sentence, in particular, whether it obeys Wackernagel's law, which applied to phrasal enclitics in Old Russian. Data from the National Russian corpus show that že appears in the strict Wackernagel's position in the absolute majority of cases in the main subcorpus and the newspaper subcorpus, while the subcorpus of spoken Russian exhibits more variation. Corpus data allow tracing diachronic tendencies and identifying several factors (primarily, the semantics of že). Experimental data let us estimate the role of these and other factors on a carefully balanced set of examples. Apart from syntactic and semantic factors, the age and educational level of participants was demonstrated to influence the results.

Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)806-816
Number of pages11
JournalKomp'juternaja Lingvistika i Intellektual'nye Tehnologii
StatePublished - 2016

Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Corpus approach
  • Experimental approach
  • Phrasal enclitics
  • Russian
  • Wackernagel's law

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