Skip to main content

How ‘here’ and ‘now’ in Russian and English establish joint attention in TV news broadcasts

Как эквиваленты ‘here’ и ‘now’ в русском и английском устанавливают совместное внимание в теленовостях

Abstract

This article presents a thorough investigation of the five Russian deictic words that correspond to the English meanings ‘here’ and ‘now’: zdes’, tut, sejčas, teper’ and vot. We analyze data from the Russian National Corpus and data from Russian TV news broadcasts. On the basis of the corpus data, we propose a radial category network consisting of nine subcategories, which encompass all five words, and show that although the deictic words have overlapping distributions, they all have distinct ‘radial category profiles’ in the sense that they display different centers of gravity in the network. We advance the ‘Minimal Adaptation Hypothesis’, according to which language makes adaptations that are as small as possible, when applied to a new setting, such as the one created by TV.

Аннотация

В статье представлено тщательное исследование пяти дейктических слов русского языка, соответствующих английским ‘here’ и ‘now’: здесь, тут, сейчас, теперь и вот. Мы проанализировали данные Национального корпуса русского языка, а также данные русских телевизионных выпусков новостей. На основе данных корпуса мы предлагаем радиальную сеть значений, состоящую из девяти подкатегорий и описывающую все пять дейктических слов. Мы показываем, что, хотя исследуемые дейктические единицы пересекаются в их распределении, каждая из них имеет свой ‘профиль радиальной категории’, иными словами, свой центр тяжести в рамках предложенной радиальной сети значений. Мы также выдвигаем ‘гипотезу минимальной адаптации’, согласно которой приспособление языка к новым условиям функционирования, таким как условия телевидения, оказывается по возможности минимальным.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Notes

  1. Examples from TV network news explored in the present study are excerpted from the NewsScape Library of International Television News, a unit of the University of California Library. It is a searchable but not yet public online database (http://tvnews.library.ucla.edu, authentication required). After each example from TV network news we provide a link to a webpage where the reader can watch the relevant video clips. For the convenience of the reader, throughout the article the relevant deictic words in numbered examples are italicized. All the video clip links were last accessed in November 2012.

  2. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

  3. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

  4. The Russian National Corpus (RNC) is available at www.ruscorpora.ru. Unless otherwise indicated, all numbered examples in Sects. 3 through 6 of the present study are culled from the RNC.

  5. We performed Pearson’s chi-squared test (X-squared=99.5196, df=4), which gave p-value < 2.2e-16, i.e. the number 0 … 22 with fifteen zeros before 22. The p-value measures the likelihood that the observed differences could be due to chance. Since 2.2e-16 is the smallest number the stastitics software package R operates with, for all practical purposes the likelihood that the observed differences could be due to chance is zero. Although an observed difference is not likely to be due to chance, this does not necessary mean that the relevant factors have a large impact, i.e., that the effect size is large. In order to investigate the effect size of the factors involved in Table 1, we computed a Cramer’s V value. R provided a Cramer’s V value =0.6, which is considered a large effect size (King and Minium 2008, pp. 327–329).

  6. The authors would like to thank Stephen M. Dickey for drawing our attention to this example.

  7. It is worth pointing out that tut is very often followed by the particle že, which, as argued by Rakhilina and Letuchiy (2012), emphasizes that the event in question takes place right after another event, i.e., is part of a chain of consecutive events.

  8. Note in passing that word order is of relevance in sentences like (15)–(17). In (15), for instance, sejčas could be replaced by teper’, but only if teper’ was placed in sentence-initial position (teper’ ja vam rasskažu). Sentences (15)–(17) involve perfective verbs, but imperfective verbs are also attested in examples of this type:

    1. (i)

      Sejčas budem čaj pit’.

      Now we are going to drink tea.’   (V. F. Panova. Volodja. 1959)

    1. (ii)

      Dal’nejšie rezul’taty teper’ budut opredeljat’sja itogami raboty komissii.

      ‘Future results will now be determined based on the conclusions of the committee’s work.’

        (A. Kuraev. Ugrozy s vozduxa i iz kosmosa rastut, odnako okončatel’nyj oblik edinoj kompleksnoj sistemy PVO-PRO poka ne opredelen. Vozdušno-kosmičeskaja oborona. 2004.02.15)

  9. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

  10. These conclusions are corroborated by statistical test. Comparison of the numbers for sejčas and teper’ on the one hand and tut on the other reveals that the observed differences are statistically highly significant: Pearson’s chi-squared test (X-squared=167.4934, df=2) gave p-value < 2.2e-16. The effect size is large: Cramer’s V-value = 0.7. Comparison of the numbers for sejčas and teper’, on the other hand, shows that the differences between these two deictic words are not statistically significant: Pearson’s chi-squared test (X-squared=3.0945, df=3) p-value = 0.3773. Notice that for the purposes of statistical analysis we did not distinguish between subcategories S1a and S1b, and that we did not include S3 in the analysis, since this subcategory is not attested in our databases.

  11. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

  12. The relationship between deictic words and gesture has recently been studied in great detail by Talmy (2011).

  13. We limited ourselves to situations where anchors or reporters addressed the viewers directly, since these are the situations relevant for blended joint attention.

  14. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

  15. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

  16. http://vrnewsscape.ucla.edu/mind/2012-05-17_Popcorn.html.

References

  • Chernova, D. (2010). Figurative use of the past tense in Russian: a case study. Poljarnyj Vestnik, 13, 33–47.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fauconnier, G., & Turner, M. (2002). The way we think. Conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grenoble, L. A. (1998). Deixis and information packaging in Russian discourse (Pragmatics & Beyond. New series, 50). Amsterdam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grišina, E. A. (2008). Častica vot: varianty, ispol’zuemye v neprinuždennoj reči. In A. Mustajoki, M. V. Kopotev, L. A. Birjulin, & E. Ju. Protasova (Eds.), Instrumentarij rusistiki: korpusnye podxody (Slavica Helsingensia, 34, pp. 63–91). Helsinki.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grønn, A. (1999). Subjektiv-modale partikler i russisk. En semantisk og pragmatisk analyse av partikkelen vot [Special issue]. Universitetet i Oslo. Slavisk-baltisk avdeling. Meddelelser, 81.

  • Haspelmath, M. (1997). From space to time. Temporal adverbials in the world’s languages (LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics, 30). München.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heine, B., Claudi, U., & Hünnemeyer, F. (1991). Grammaticalization. A conceptual framework. Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hopper, P. J., & Traugott, E. C. (2003). Grammaticalization (2nd edn.). Cambridge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Jakobson, R. (1936). Beitrag zur allgemeinen Kasuslehre. Gesamtbedeutungen der russischen Kasus. In Études dédiées au Quatrième Congrès de Linguistes (Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague, 6, pp. 240–288). Prague.

    Google Scholar 

  • King, B. M., & Minium, E. W. (2008). Statistical reasoning in the behavioral sciences. Hoboken.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kuznetsova, J., Plungian, V., & Rakhilina, E. (this volume). Time as secondary to space: Russian pod ‘under’ and iz-pod ‘from-under’ in temporal constructions.

  • Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, fire, and dangerous things. What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Langacker, R. W. (2008). Cognitive grammar. A basic introduction. Oxford.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Makarova, A., & Nesset, T. (this volume). Space–time asymmetries: Russian v ‘in(to)’ and the North Slavic Temporal Adverbial Continuum.

  • Mel’čuk, I. A. (1985). Semantičeskie ėtjudy. I. ‘Sejčas’ i ‘teper’ ’ v russkom jazyke. Russian Linguistics, 9(2/3), 257–279.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nesset, T. (2011). Space–time asymmetries in Russian prepositions: preliminary analysis. Poljarnyj Vestnik, 14, 45–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nesset, T. (2012). One or several categories? The Old Church Slavonic no̧-verbs and linguistic profiling. Russian Linguistics, 36(3), 285–303.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nesset, T., Endresen, A., & Janda, L. A. (2011). Two ways to get out: radial category profiling and the Russian prefixes vy- and iz-. Zeitschrift für Slawistik, 56(4), 377–402.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nikiforidou, K. (2010). Viewpoint and construction grammar: the case of past + now. Language and Literature, 19(3), 265–284. doi:10.1177/0963947010370253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nikiforidou, K. (2012). The constructional underpinnings of viewpoint blends: the past + now in language and literature. In B. Dancygier & E. Sweetser (Eds.), Viewpoint in language. A multimodal perspective (pp. 177–197). Cambridge.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Nikolaeva, T. M. (1985). Dejktičeskie časticy i izolirovannaja situacija. Dejksis situacii v celom. Russian Linguistics, 9(2/3), 281–288.

    Google Scholar 

  • Padučeva, E. V. (1996). Semantičeskie issledovanija. Semantika vremeni i vida v russkom jazyke. Semantika narrativa. Moskva.

    Google Scholar 

  • Plungian, V., & Rakhilina, E. (this volume). Time and speed: Where do speed adjectives come from?

  • Plungjan, V. A. (2010). Počemu jazyki takie raznye. Moskva.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rakhilina, E. V., & Letuchiy, A. B. (2012). Time and place in adverbial space. Paper presented at the conference Time and Space, March 28–31, 2012, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Recanati, F. (1995). Le présent épistolaire: une perspective cognitive. L’information grammaticale, 66, 38–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Talmy, L. (2011). Target cuing. Talk presented at the 9th China International Forum on Cognitive Linguistics (CIFCL-9). July 3–9, 2011. Beijing, China.

  • Tomasello, M., & Farrar, M. J. (1986). Joint attention and early language. Child Development, 57(6), 1454–1463.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wierzbicka, A. (1980). The case for surface case (Linguistica Extranea. Studia, 9). Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tore Nesset.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nesset, T., Endresen, A., Janda, L.A. et al. How ‘here’ and ‘now’ in Russian and English establish joint attention in TV news broadcasts. Russ Linguist 37, 229–251 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11185-013-9114-x

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11185-013-9114-x

Keywords

  • Joint Attention
  • News Broadcast
  • Discourse Management
  • Temporal Meaning
  • Mere Mirror Image