5. The “Russian” attitude to time
This chapter explores the semantics and pragmatics of the Russian temporal syntactic phraseme ‘X to X’, which expresses either the speaker’s surprise at the fact that events go as planned (surprising punctuality interpretation) or the speaker’s surprise at the fact that unplanned events go as if they had been pre-planned (surprising fateful coincidence interpretation). While the construction is not unique, and occurs in other languages, its preferred interpretations are language-specific. The chapter demonstrates differences between Russian and English outlooks on time, based on their fundamental differences in linguistic worldviews. While in Russian surprising punctuality interpretation prevails, English favours the surprising fateful coincidence interpretation of this phraseme (see also Charlier, this volume on Mongolian temporality).