Universals and specifics of ‘time’ in Russian

Anna Nikolaevna Gladkova

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter addresses the question of universal and language- and culture-
specific traits in conceptualisation of ‘time’. It tests the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) hypothesis that semantic universals time and now should be
found in Russian. It demonstrates that vremja and sejčas are Russian exponents
of these primes, while the close-in-meaning terms pora, teper’, and nynče
are semantically complex. The chapter formulates culturally salient attitudes
to time in Russian, such as ‘change’, ‘persistence’, ‘things being outside people’s
control’, on the basis of the analysed words. It argues that NSM can be regarded
as an effective tool in the ‘time’-related linguistic research due to its universal
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace and Time in Languages and Cultures:
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage, Culture, and Cognition
EditorsLuna Filipovic, Kasia M. Jaszczolt
Place of PublicationAmsterdam The Netherlands
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789027273604
ISBN (Print)9789027223913
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHuman Cognitive Processing (HCP) Cognitive Foundations of Language Structure and Use
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISSN (Print)1387-6724


  • cultural attitudes
  • Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM)
  • Russian
  • semantic universals
  • time

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