Constructional profiles as a measure of synonymy antonymy happiness and sadness in russian
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“Constructional Profiles as a Measure of Synonymy/Antonymy: ‘happiness’ and ‘sadness’ in Russian”. Laura A. Janda University of Tromsø Valery Solovyev University of Kazan’. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”.

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Constructional profiles as a measure of synonymy antonymy happiness and sadness in russian

“Constructional Profiles as a Measure of Synonymy/Antonymy: ‘happiness’ and ‘sadness’ in Russian”

Laura A. Janda

University of Tromsø

Valery Solovyev

University of Kazan’


Happy families are all alike every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

--opening line from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

vs.


Overview

Overview

  • Constructional Profiles

    • What are they

    • Constructions relevant for ‘sadness’ & ‘happiness’

  • Sadness synonyms

    • Dictionaries vs. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis

  • Antonyms: Happiness synonyms

    • Dictionaries vs. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis

  • Combined analysis of synonyms and antonyms


Where the data come from

Where the data come from

  • Russian National Corpus (http://www.ruscorpora.ru) >120M words

  • Biblioteka Maksima Moškova (http://lib.ru/) >600M words

  • 500 sentences extracted and coded for use of preposition & case


Constructional profile

Constructional Profile

  • A constructional profile is “the distribution of relative frequencies of constructions associated with a given word”

  • There are about 70 constructions of the form “[(preposition) [noun]case]” in Russian

  • The null hypothesis is that all nouns should have equal frequency in all constructions

  • But only about 6 (or fewer) constructions are needed to characterize a given noun

  • Example of constructional profile of vostorg ‘ecstasy’


Laura a janda university of troms valery solovyev university of kazan

‘from’

‘in’

‘with’

‘into’

‘agent’


Sadness in russian

‘Sadness’ in Russian

  • grust’, melanxolija, pečal’, toska, unynie, xandra

  • The constructions they appear in:

    • v + Acc ‘into’

    • v + Loc ‘in’

    • Inst: Agent

    • s + Inst ‘with’

    • ot + Gen ‘from’

    • (Direct Object)

    • (Other Constructions)

Graphs will show only these five,

as percentages

Hierarchical Cluster Analysis

is computed from all data


V acc into

v + Acc ‘into’

Nesmotrja na saxarnuju bolezn’, on soxranjal ešče umstvennye sposobnosti, no smert’ blizkix ljudej povergla ego v krajnjuju grust’.

[Not-looking on sugar disease-Acc, he retained still mental faculties-Acc, but death-Nom near people-Gen cast him-Acc in extreme sadness-Acc.]

‘In spite of his diabetes, he continued to retain all his mental faculties, but the death of people near to him cast him into extreme sadness.’


V loc in

v + Loc ‘in’

Ej na um ne pridet, čto suprug iznyvaet v toske o poterjannyx minutax truda i vdoxnovenija.

[Her-Dat on mind-Acc not comes, that spouse-Nom pines-away in sadness-Loc about lost minutes-Loc labor-Gen and inspiration-Gen.]

‘It doesn’t occur to her that her spouse is suffering in sadness over the minutes of work and inspiration that he has lost.’


Inst agent

Inst: Agent

Kto iz živuščix, tomimyj unyniem, ne predavalsja takomu pereboru ne sostojavšixsja žiznennyx variantov?

[Who-Nom from living-Gen, tormented sadness-Inst, not indulged such inventory-Dat not happened life’s variants-Gen?]

‘Who among mortals tormented by sadness, has not indulged in an inventory of all the things that didn’t happen in their life?’


S inst with

s + Inst ‘with’

Ox, smertyn’ka moja prixodit, podumal Arefa s unyniem.

[Oh, death mine-Nom approaches, thought Arefa-Nom with sadness-Inst.]

‘Oh, my death is approaching, thought Arefa with sadness.’


Ot gen from healing from disease

ot + Gen ‘from’: Healing from disease

Samoe lučšee lekarstvo ot xandry èto čtenie.

[The best medicine-Nom from sadness-Gen that reading-Nom.]

‘The best cure for sadness is reading.’


Ot gen from cause

ot + Gen ‘from’:Cause

Podumajte, ètot čelovek umer ot melanxolii!

[Think, that person-Nom died from sadness-Gen!]

‘Just imagine, that person died of sadness!’


The sadness nouns

The ‘sadness’ nouns

  • They can’t all be the same:

    Uxodiš’, i ja gljažu vsled tebe s grust’ju, no bez toski.

    [Depart, and I-Nom look following you-Dat with sadness-Inst, but without sadness-Gen.]

    ‘You leave and I watch you go with sadnessgrust’, but without sadnesstoska.’

  • Dictionaries differ on how synonyms are grouped:

    • Most usual grouping: grust’, pečal’, toska vs. melanxolija, unynie, xandra

    • Disagreements over unynie:

      • Apresjan et al. 1997: unynie goes with pečal’

      • Aleksandrovna 1989: unynie goes with melanxolija and xandra

      • Evgen’evna 2001: unynie goes with grust’ and xandra

      • Švedova 2003: unynie goes with grust’, melanxolija and xandra


Laura a janda university of troms valery solovyev university of kazan

‘Sadness’

Hierarchical Cluster

xandra

melanxolija

grust’

unynie

pečal’

toska


Happiness in russian

‘Happiness’ in Russian

  • likovanie, naslaždenie, radost’, udovol’stvie, vostorg

  • Antonyms are words that are virtually identical, but differ in one value

  • ‘Happiness’ nouns focus on the same constructions in their constructional profiles as ‘sadness’ nouns

  • Dictionaries differ widely in grouping of ‘happiness’ synonyms

    • Aleksandrova 1998: naslaždenie & udovol’stvie vs. radost’ & likovanie vs. vostorg

    • Švedova 2003 and Abramov 1994: naslaždenie & udovol’stvie vs. likovanie, radost’ & vostorg


Laura a janda university of troms valery solovyev university of kazan

‘Happiness’

Hierarchical Cluster

naslaždenie

radost’

udovol’stvie

likovanie

vostorg


Laura a janda university of troms valery solovyev university of kazan

‘Sadness’ & ‘Happiness’

Hierarchical Cluster

Group 1

Group2

Group 3

unynie

pečal’

udovol’stvie

grust’

radost’

melanxolija

toska

xandra

likovanie

vostorg

naslaždenie


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Constructional profiles give us data on the behavior of synonyms/antonyms

  • Constructional profile data can be used in Hierarchical Cluster Analysis

  • Hierarchical Cluster Analysis shed light on the relations between synonyms and antonyms


Post conclusion was tolstoy right

Post-conclusion: Was Tolstoy right?

  • We can’t say for sure, but

    • ‘sadness’ and ‘happiness’ nouns have a lot in common

    • there are more “outliers” among ‘sadness’ nouns


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