World of Science. Series: Sociology, Philology, Cultural Studies
World of Science. Series: Sociology, Philology, Cultural Studies

2022, Vol. 13, No. 2. - go to content...

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Zaharova E.V. [Material nouns under a semantic microscope: exercises for classes in modern Russian] World of Science. Series: Sociology, Philology, Cultural Studies, 2022, Vol. 13, No. 2. Available at: (in Russian).

Material nouns under a semantic microscope: exercises for classes in modern Russian

Zaharova Elena Valer’evna
Ulyanovsk State University of Education, Ulyanovsk, Russia

Abstract. The article presents a system of partial meanings of material nouns, which are most clearly realized in plural forms, uncharacteristic for this lexical and grammatical category. The ban on the formation of plural forms for material and abstract nouns denoting continual substances (substances, states, actions, processes) in the Russian language of recent decades has been violated with enviable regularity.

The plural forms, which appeared as a result of semantic transformations, concretization and subsequent terminology of meanings, smoothly move from a special scientific discourse due to the language of modern fiction, advertising, media, and no longer seem to be something unusual.

The purpose of the article is to create a holistic view of the semantic paradigm of material nouns through the consideration of individual meanings. The article analyzes the meanings, such as ʻsortʼ, ʻportionʼ, ʻobject made of a certain materialʼ, etc. In detail are presented the characteristics of the substance relevant for the distinguishing of the grouping ʻsortʼ.

The article is addressed to readers who teach or study the morphology of the modern Russian language, the translation of a scientific text, stylistics, the scientific style of speech for a natural science profile at advanced stages of learning Russian as a foreign language (certification levels B1, B2). The material will be of interest to teachers of Russian as a foreign language, especially those working with students from Southeast Asia, since in a number of languages of these countries quantitative representations are expressed differently.

The analyzed meanings of material nouns are illustrated with contexts taken from the National Corpus of the Russian Language, Internet sources.

Some lexemes were discussed earlier in the dissertation study “Features of the functioning of the category of the number of nouns with a potentially complete paradigm: on the material of the Russian language at the turn of the 20–21 centuries” (Moscow State Regional University, 2009).

Keywords: material nouns; grammatical semantics; specifying the meaning; metonymic transfer; plural; semantic paradigm

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