The Image of a Man and a Woman in the Mirror of Russian Comparisons: About Adverbs with the Prefix Po- and Their Culturally Signifi cant Meanings

2022. № 1, 7-18

Nadezhda M. Devyatova

 Institute of Humanitarian Sciences, Moscow City Pedagogical University (Russia, Moscow)



The article deals with adverbs with the prefi x ‘po-muzhski’, ‘po-zhenski’ (in a masculine way, in a feminine way, correspondingly) and their place in the system of Russian comparison. The article reveals specifi cs of the semantics of the units, their culturally signifi cant meanings in the analysis of compatibility in comparison with synonymous constructions — comparative phrase ‘kak zhenzshchina’, ‘kak muzhcina’ (as a woman, as a man). The main difference lies in the fact that the semantics of adverbs is formed by constant features, while comparative phrases and subordinate clauses can name different features — both constant and situational. Differences also concern the nature of the assessment. The image of a woman in an adverb acts as a positive image, while comparative turns are more diverse in terms of evaluation.The comparative image that forms the semantics of the corresponding adverbs is a positive image that refl ects features of appearance, habits, speech behavior, etc. The article also reveals the semantics of the word po-zhenski in comparison to the words po-babii, po-babski. The adverb po-zhenski here acts as a stylistically neutral unit, the meaning of which is formed due to the typical positive qualities of a woman. The place of adverbs in the comparative system of the Russian language is determined by the fact that they fi ll a gap in the language, acting as a way of expressing a reference comparison, expanding the repertoire of its means. They also have a special comparative paradigm. Unlike constructions with the HOW conjunction, they can express a fi gurative and reference comparison and do not express a logical comparison.

For citation:

Devyatova N. M. The Image of a Man and a Woman in the Mirror of Russian Comparisons: About Adverbs with the Prefi x Po- and Their Culturally Signifi cant Meanings. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2022. No. 1. Pp. 7–18. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170017965-0.