Where To Find All Russian Grammar Forms?

28 Ноябрь 2011 Автор: Категория: Russian

 Russian National Corpus, Национальный корпус русского языка, the National Corpus of the Russian language, semantical, morphological and orthographic description, Russian grammar, Russian diminutive, Russian nouns

Each Russian grammar textbook reminds me of a ZOO, where furious beasts sit in their cages / grammar tables are like tamed rabbits. However, each language is a wild forest. This is why, I’d like to share with you one interesting and serious website. According to these metaphors, I could call it a lexical guidebook with a grammar GPS.

The Russian National Corpus (Национальный корпус русского языка/ the National Corpus of the Russian language) has been created by the Institute of Russian language, Russian Academy of Sciences. Russian, like other major world languages, has its own corpora. It’s an interesting instrument for language learning.

Some characteristics. This website includes almost 200 million words and 350 million word forms that have full semantical, morphological and orthographic description.

It has representative and well-balanced collections of texts. This means that such a corpus contains, if possible, all the types of written and oral texts present in the language (various genres of fiction, journalistic, academic, and business, as well as dialectal and sociolectal, texts). The proportion of text types in the corpus is based on their share in real-life usage at the time of composition.

So, this website is a collection of modern texts. Plus, you can use the system of tags to find the words and expressions that include specific grammatical and semantic features.  I’d like to show you a manual for 3 different ways to work with The Russian National Corpus.

Example-1.

Teacher asked you to write a sentence with машина едет/car rides. Go to the search the Corpus. Then write these words here and see results. (AБВ is an online keyboard).

I assume it is a kind of productive cheating, because students need to learn more words and see the context of this expression. However, be careful. Lots of Russian sentences are too long in comparison to English speech habits. So, these corpora often show parts of sentences – i.e. subordinate clauses. All  you need is to cut some conjunctions here and there.

The next step is to choose the shortest and clearest constructions (or the longest and the most difficult). All you need is to paraphrase the contents. However, be careful. Lots of Russian sentences are too long in comparison to English speech habits. So, these corpora often show parts of sentences – i.e. subordinate clauses. It’s not a problem. Cut some conjunctions and commas here and there, and change the words.

Russian National Corpus, Национальный корпус русского языка, the National Corpus of the Russian language, semantical, morphological and orthographic description, Russian grammar, Russian diminutive, Russian nouns

2. …машина едет между двух рядов могучих тополей… –> Машина едет между высоких сосен.

3. …машина едет, а колеса не крутятся. –> Машина не едет, а колеса крутятся.

I assume it is a kind of productive cheating, because students need to learn more words and see the context of this expression.

Example-2

Working with grammar features.

We have a strange fantasy to find sentences with слон / an elephant in the Genitive singular. Why do we need it? For example, we are not sure in the endings we chose. We would like to see verbs and adjectives that can be used with this animated noun. Once again, we go to the search the Corpus. We write 1 simple word слон.

Russian National Corpus, Национальный корпус русского языка, the National Corpus of the Russian language, semantical, morphological and orthographic description, Russian grammar, Russian diminutive, Russian nouns

We click on the link select. Don’t worry about cases. This professional resource includes all the archaic grammar forms and old-fashioned words that you can meet in the modern texts. For example, чашка чая is the Genitive singular (normal), but чашка чаю is the Genitive-2 singular (old-fashioned). We use it to stress some emotions or characters. Be free to click the Genitive-1 and Genitive-2, if you wish. Nothing wrong with it at all.

Russian National Corpus, Национальный корпус русского языка, the National Corpus of the Russian language, semantical, morphological and orthographic description, Russian grammar, Russian diminutive, Russian nounsIf you want to get the Prepositional case, click the Locative and Locative-2. The pure Locative case exists in the other Slavic languages. We, average people, know only the Prepositional case with two types of endings (рассказывать о лесе / жить в лесу). But linguists distinguish two types of the Locative case in the modern Russian texts. Use them both and sleep quiet. :)

We also have traces of the Vocative case. That is a grammar dinosaur, because lots of people don’t remember about this case at all. However, when people call each other, they can say, Миш, Саш, Вань instead of Миша, Саша, Ваня. We also use sometimes such archaic forms as Боже (God – Бог), отче (father – отец, priest), мати (mother – мать, мама). The Adnumerative case = constructions like три часа, два часа.

Well, we don’t want any difficult and archaic cases for our слон. So, we press OK –> and get the tags S,gen,sg in the window Gramm features. Then we press Search and get 600 documents about 1 lonely elephant within the meaning of possession or absence. Hm, not so many people thought about it…

Example-3

Working with grammar and semantic details.

We want to look for nouns with a meaning of home tools; in the Nominative case, plural. You know what you should do. Click on the Gramm. features. Then chose noun, nominative, plural. Press OK. Tags are S,nom,pl. Then go to the Semantic features. Click Select. Click tools and appliancees, including tools, vehicles. You will find more features (diminutives forms, positive/negative evaluation) in the other sections.

Russian National Corpus, Национальный корпус русского языка, the National Corpus of the Russian language, semantical, morphological and orthographic description, Russian grammar, Russian diminutive, Russian nouns

Pres OK. Semantic tags look like r:concr & (t:tool | t:tool:instr | t:tool:transp). Press Search. –> Found 40 725 documents, 709 821 contexts. All the words are with stresses. You can download all these pages. Also, you can see the most frequent wordforms and lemmas at the end of the first page. Lemma is the canonical form or citation form of a word. The Russian National Corpus has also the set of the spoken texts. Anyway, languages live in our heads, not in the computer programms.  So, people are better than the most ingenious appliances.

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