Volume 40, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This article offers a diachronic analysis of the concept of “cyclic” time in Russian, more specifically of temporal adverbials such as ‘in the morning’ and ‘in the spring’ that refer to the diurnal and annual temporal cycles in nature. It is argued that evidence from diachrony bears on important theoretical questions: Is the sensitivity to “cyclic” time in language due to cultural factors? How does the external factor of culture interact with language internal factors in the formation of temporal concepts? The proposed analysis indicates that the linguistic development in Russian does not mirror changes in cultural practices and values. Instead, the main burden of explanation is placed on a language internal factor, namely the general drift towards more analytic constructions in Russian, which I argue paved the way for the concept of “cyclic” time as reflected in the grammar of the Russian language today.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anstatt, Tanja
    1996‘Zeit’: Motivierungen und Strukturen der Bedeutungen von Zeitbezeichnungen in slavischen und anderen Sprachen. Munich: Verlag Otto Sagner.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Børtnes, Jostein
    1988Visions of glory: Studies in Early Russian hagiography. Oslo: Solum and Humanities Press International, INC: New Jersey.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 1989 The literature of old Russia. In Charles A. Moser (ed.), The Cambridge history of Russian literature. Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Coulson, Seana & Cristobal Pagán Cánovas
    2013 Understanding timelines: Conceptual metaphor and conceptual integration. Cognitive Semiotics5.1-2. 198–219.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Dąbrowska, Ewa
    2004Language, mind and brain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Dickey, Stephen M
    2008 A prototype account of the development of delimitative po in Russian. In Dagmar Divjak & Agata Kochanska (eds.), Cognitive paths into the Slavic domain, 326–371. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Divjak, Dagmar S
    2015 Exploring the grammar of perception: A case study using data from Russian. Functions of Language22(1). 44–68. doi: 10.1075/fol.22.1.03div
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.22.1.03div [Google Scholar]
  8. Evans, Vyvyan
    2003The structure of time: Language, meaning, and temporal cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hcp.12
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.12 [Google Scholar]
  9. 2005 The meaning of time: Polysemy, the lexicon and conceptual structure. Journal of Linguistics41. 33–75. doi: 10.1017/S0022226704003056
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226704003056 [Google Scholar]
  10. 2013Language and time: A cognitive linguistics approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781107340626
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107340626 [Google Scholar]
  11. Faarlund, Jan Terje , Svein Lie & Kjell Ivar Vannebo
    1996Norsk Referansegrammatikk. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Fauconnier, Gilles & Mark Turner
    2008 Rethinking metaphor. In Raymond W. Gibbs (ed.), The Cambridge handbook of metaphor and thought, 53–66. New York: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511816802.005
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511816802.005 [Google Scholar]
  13. Filin, Fedot P
    1965–Slovar’ russkix narodnyx govorov. Leningrad/St. Petersburg: Nauka.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Foster, Russell G. & Leon Kreitzman
    2004Rhythms of life. London: Profile books.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Geertz, Clifford
    1966Person, time, and conduct in Bali (Yale University Cultural Report Series no. 14). New Haven: Yale University.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gladkova, Anna
    2012 Universals and specifics of ‘time’ in Russian. In Luna Filipović & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Space and time in languages and cultures: linguistic diversity, 167–188. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hcp.37.13gla
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.37.13gla [Google Scholar]
  17. Grannes, Alf
    1986 Genitivus temporis in early Eighteenth Century Russian. Russian Linguistics10. 53–60. doi: 10.1007/BF02551593
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02551593 [Google Scholar]
  18. Guiraud-Weber, Marguerite
    2011 La perception du temps chez les Russes et les Français. InEssais de syntaxe russe et contrastive, 327–334. Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l’université de Provence.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Haspelmath, Martin
    1997From space to time. Temporal adverbials in the world’s languages. Munich and Newcastle: Lincom Europa.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Humboldt, Wilhelm von
    1907/1968Wilhelm von Humboldts Werke, vol. 7. Berlin: B. Behr’s Verlag (reprinted 1968 by Walter de Gruyter & Co.).
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Il’ina, Nadežda E
    1996 Rost analitizma v morfologii. In Elena A. Zemskaja (ed.), Russkij jazyk konca XX stoletija. Moscow: Jazyki russkoj kul‘tury.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Ipat’evskaja letopis’
    1998Volume 2 of Polnoe sobranie russkix letopisej. Moscow: Jazyki russkoj kul’tury.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Jakovleva, Ekaterina S
    1991 Vremja i pora v oppozicii linejnogo i cikličeskogo vremeni. In Nina D. Arutjunova (ed.), Logičeskij analiz jazyka: kul’turnye koncepty, 45–51. Moscow: Nauka.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. 1992 Jazykovoe otraženie cikličeskoj modeli vremeni. Voprosy Jazykoznanija4. 73–83.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 1994Fragmenty russkoj jazykovoj kartiny mira (modeli prostranstva, vremeni i vosprijatija). Moscow: “GNOZIS”.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Janda, Laura A
    1993A geography of case semantics. The Czech dative and the Russian instrumental. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110867930
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110867930 [Google Scholar]
  27. Janda, Laura A. & Valery Solovyev
    2009 What constructional profiles reveal about synonymy: A case study of Russian words for SADNESS and HAPPINESS. Cognitive Linguistics20(2). 367–393. doi: 10.1515/COGL.2009.018
    https://doi.org/10.1515/COGL.2009.018 [Google Scholar]
  28. Johnson, Mark
    1987The body in the mind. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Klein, Wolfgang
    1994Time in language. London/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 2009 How time is encoded. In Wolfgang Klein & Ping Li (eds.), The expression of time, 39–82. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110199031
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199031 [Google Scholar]
  31. Lakoff, George
    1993 The contemporary theory of metaphor. In Andrew Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and thought, 202–251. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139173865.013
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173865.013 [Google Scholar]
  32. Lakoff, George & Mark Johnson
    1980Metaphors we live by. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Lakoff, George & Rafael E. Núñez
    2000Where mathematics comes from: How the embodied mind brings mathematics into being. New York: Basic Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Langacker, Ronald W
    2008Cognitive grammar: A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331967.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  35. Landau, Barbara & Lila R. Gleitman
    1985Language and experience: Evidence from the blind child. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Lavrent’evskaja letopis’
    1997Volume 1 of Polnoe sobranie russkix letopisej. Moscow: Jazyki russkoj kul’tury.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Lomonosov, Mixail V
    1755/1972Rossijskaja Grammatika. St. Petersburg: Akademija Nauk. (Facsimile edition: Leipzig 1972).
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Makarova, Anastasia & Tore Nesset
    2013 Space-time asymmetries: Russian v ‘in(to)’ and the North Slavic temporal adverbial continuum. Russian Linguistics37(3). 317–345. doi: 10.1007/s11185‑013‑9115‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11185-013-9115-9 [Google Scholar]
  39. Malaxovskaja, L.S
    1958 Tvoritel’nyj vremeni. In Samuil B. Bernštejn (ed.), Tvoritel’nyj padež v slavjanskix jazykax, 222–245. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Akademii nauk.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Menzel, Thomas
    2008 Temporaladverbien oder Kasusfunktion: Der Instrumental der Zeit im Russischen, Polnischen und Serbischen/Kroatischen. In Sebastian Kempgen , Karl Gutschmidt , Ulrike Jekutsch & Ludger Udolph (eds.), Deutsche Beiträge zum 14. internationalen Slavistenkongress Ohrid2008, 263–275. Munich: Verlag Otto Sagner.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Mikhaylov, Nikita
    2012Tvoritel’nyj padež v russkom jazyke XVIII veka. Uppsala: Uppsala University.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Moore, Kevin Ezra
    2014The spatial language of time. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hcp.42
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.42 [Google Scholar]
  43. Nesset, Tore
    2004 Case assignment and image schemas: Russian temporal adverbials. Studies in Language28(2). 285–320. doi: 10.1075/sl.28.2.02nes
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.28.2.02nes [Google Scholar]
  44. 2013 How Russian became typologically unusual: The history of Russian temporal adverbials with v ‘in(to)’. Scando-Slavica59(1). 32–57. doi: 10.1080/00806765.2013.800722
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00806765.2013.800722 [Google Scholar]
  45. 2015How Russian came to be the way it Is. Bloomington: Slavica Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Núñez, Rafael E
    2009 Numbers and arithmetic: Neither hardwired nor out there. Biological Theory4(1). 68–83. doi: 10.1162/biot.2009.4.1.68
    https://doi.org/10.1162/biot.2009.4.1.68 [Google Scholar]
  47. Ostrowski, Donald
    (ed.) 2003The Pověst’ vremennykh lět: An interlinear collation and paradosis. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Pavlova, Rumjana
    1977Prostranstvennye konstrukcii v drevnerusskom jazyke v sopostavlenii s drevnebolgarskim jazykom. Sofia: Izdatel’stvo Bolgarskoj akademii nauk.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Panov, Mixail V
    (ed.) 1968Morfologija i sintaksis sovremennogo russkogo literaturnogo jazyka. Moscow: Nauka.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Peškovskij, Aleksandr M
    1914Russkij sintaksis v naučnom osveščenii. Moscow: Tipografija M. V. Sablina.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Rosenberg, Daniel & Anthony Grafton
    2010Carthographies of time: A history of the timeline. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Seuren, Pieter A.M
    2013From Whorf to Montague: explorations in the theory of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682195.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682195.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  53. Sinha, Vera da Silva , Chris Sinha , Wany Sampaio & Jörg Zinken
    2012 Event-based time intervals in an Amazonian culture. In Luna Filipović & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Space and time in languages and cultures: linguistic diversity, 15–35. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hcp.37.05das
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.37.05das [Google Scholar]
  54. Slovar’ russkogo jazyka. (Malyj Akademičeskij slovar’, fourth edition) 1999 Moscow: Russkij jazyk.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Slovar’ russkogo jazyka XI–XVIIvv. 1975–. Moscow: Nauka.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Toporov, Vladimir N
    1961Lokativ v slavjanskix jazykax. Moscow: Izdatel’ stvo Akademii nauk SSSR.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Turner, Mark
    2014The origin of ideas. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Vendler, Zeno
    1957 Verbs and times. Philosophical Review66.143–160. doi: 10.2307/2182371
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2182371 [Google Scholar]
  59. Weisgerber, Leo
    1929Muttersprache und Geistesbildung. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Wierzbicka, Anna
    1980The case for surface case. Ann Arbor: Karoma Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. 1992Semantics, culture, and cognition: universal human concepts in culture-specific configurations. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. 1997Understanding cultures through their key words: English, Russian, Polish, German, and Japanese. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. 2005 Russkie kul’turnye skripty i ix otraženie v jazyke. In Anna A. Zaliznjak , Irina B. Levontina & Aleksej D. Šmelev , Ključevye idei russkoj jazykovoj kartiny mira, 467–499. Moscow: Jazyki Slavjanskoj kul’tury.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Whorf, Benjamin Lee
    1956Language, thought, and reality. Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf (edited and with an introduction by John B. Carroll ). Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Zaliznjak, Anna A. & Aleksej D. Šmelev
    2005 Vremja sutok i vidy dejatel’nosti. In Anna A. Zaliznjak , Irina B. Levontina & Aleksej D. Šmelev , Ključevye idei russkoj jazykovoj kartiny mira, 39–50. Moscow: Jazyki Slavjanskoj kul’tury.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Zaliznjak, Anna A. , Irina B. Levontina & Aleksej D. Šmelev
    2005Ključevye idei russkoj jazykovoj kartiny mira. Moscow: Jazyki Slavjanskoj kul’tury.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): diachrony; Russian; temporal adverbials; time in language
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error