' () XIV-XV .' - 'Litera' - NotaBene.ru
Journal Menu
> Issues > Rubrics > About journal > Authors > About the Journal > Requirements for publication > Editorial collegium > Editorial board > Peer-review process > Policy of publication. Aims & Scope. > Article retraction > Ethics > Online First Pre-Publication > Copyright & Licensing Policy > Digital archiving policy > Open Access Policy > Article Processing Charge > Article Identification Policy > Plagiarism check policy
Journals in science databases
About the Journal

MAIN PAGE > Back to contents

The functioning of the pronoun () in Russian business writing of the XIV-XV centuries.

Skripka Veronika

ORCID: 0000-0003-4360-2661

PhD Student, Department of Russian Language, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University; Junior Researcher, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

119019, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Volkhonka, 18/2








Abstract: The article examines the functions performed by the demonstrative pronoun () in business texts of the XIV-XV centuries, written on the territory of the Moscow Principality, Novgorod and Pskov lands. Examples of usages were analyzed and combined on the basis of what function demonstrative pronouns have in each case (anaphoric, articular, determinative function (word-substitute subordinate clause), cataphoric). In the case of an anaphora, an analysis of the antecedent was performed an expression naming the object, person or situation to which the pronoun refers. Particular attention is paid to the syntactic role of pronouns substantives, attributives and substantive attributives and how it affects their use. As a result of the study, three main functions that the pronoun in question performs were identified: anaphoric, articular and determinative function. The specifics of how the syntactic role of pronouns affects its use in an anaphoric function have been clarified: for example, substantives usually refer to objects and situations, but are practically not used to refer to people. Substantive attributes, on the contrary, most often serve to refer to the previously mentioned people and in just one case refer to objects. The first reliable examples of pronouns in the articular function, in our opinion, can be attributed to the XV century. Part of the article is devoted to what features pronouns have in the articular function and how it can be distinguished from anaphora. In the entire corpus of texts considered, only three examples of the cataphoric function of the pronoun were found, and the pronoun in the deictic function was not recorded at all.


demonstrative pronouns, historical morphology, history of demonstrative pronouns, monuments of business writing, spiritual certificates, contractual documents, anaphora, article function, cataphora, correlative words

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

This article will consider the functions performed by the demonstrative pronoun t (tot) in business texts of the XIV-XV centuries. Characterizing the meaning of the pronoun in question, we will distinguish between the pronoun-substantive that (pronoun-noun), the pronoun-attributive that, that, that (pronominal adjective, agrees with the noun) and the substantive attributive that, that, that. Unlike the substantive that, which is always used in the neuter gender and singular and varies by case, the form of the substantive attributes, their gender and number depend on the antecedent of the pronoun. By the term "demonstrative pronoun t (tot)" we will understand all three groups of these pronouns, since with all syntactic differences, their functions are largely similar.

Examples are given in simplified spelling (and the iotized and ? are replaced by i, ? by e, the ligature of uk by y, ? by o). After each example, the source is indicated, then the number of the diploma in the publication: C diplomas of the Great Russian center [Cherepnin], N Novgorod diplomas for [Diplomas of Veliky Novgorod and Pskov, pp. 9-315], P Pskov diplomas for [Diplomas of Veliky Novgorod and Pskov, pp. 317-338]. All examples are numbered, the pronoun in question is underlined with a solid line and highlighted in bold, and the antecedent to which it refers is underlined without bold.

1. The main function of the demonstrative pronoun t should be called anaphoric: it refers to the previously mentioned objects, people or situations.

1.1. The substantive most often refers to the previously mentioned subject or situation described in previous statements. For example, items such as gold items (offer 1), a fee of 2 altyn (2), purchased plots (3):

(1) I gave my Seed 4 caps of gold, 3 belts of gold, 2 bowls of gold from a woman's coat, a saucer of gold from a woman's coat with a stone, and I also gave him 2 plague of gold big C1a, 1339 (that is, gold things);

(2) And from the boat the toll from the board is two altyns, and more then (about) the toll is n?t C59a, 1456. (to 2 altyn);

(3) CE buy Dement have Linhy de Onasch i have Matte village in CHT father HY volodga: earth mountain i uralskoy, i in the Bench of ucastok... i Zimne ton of ucastok. And yes, Dementia is all over that half of the forty-year-old N180, 1475 (that is, the plots bought by Dementia)

In examples (4-6), it refers to the previously described situations:

(4) (Merchant Ivan Meat) having called our brother Novgorodchev... and showed them the goods of the clouds and gold; and you wanted to get out of our brother N56, 1417 (that is, the actions of the merchant);

(5) And I went to the Horde to C(a)ryu galawati people on CNS Mikhail, and ESMI BB b(coolant)Lu, will and in C(a)R(e)W, as he was commanded, and date so usand then us not ysmenu 6, 1371 (then action Prince Dmitry Donskoy at the behest of Khan);

(6) don't take out [su]t then[b]the reigns of the great Horde, according to your peers from Novagorod and from Novgorod suburbs, and in that Novugorod were changed by N15, 1371 (that is, the expulsion of the governors of Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich from Novgorod)

As for the reference to people, the substantive is practically not used in this function. Only a few examples were found where the antecedent was slaves or masters:

(7) And my princess dast my daughter from my serfs for five families, and after that all my serfs in the settlement with their wives and children, 22, 1423.;

(8) And whom will I take out (get V. S.) together with ogorodnikov (i.e. masters in the construction of fortifications V. S.) and masters, and to my great Kn(I)zyu and my children two lots, and to my brother that third of the C56a, 1450-1454.

It can be assumed that the reason for choosing the substantive in this case was the low social status of these people. In other cases, other ways of referring to the previously mentioned people are used.

The special functioning of the substantive that in the XIVXV centuries, different from the attributives and substantive attributives, can be compared with the position of the substantive that in modern Russian. According to E. V.Paducheva, "it seems more natural to consider the substantive this separately from the demonstrative pronoun this" [Paducheva, 1982, p. 80].

1.2. The pronoun-attributive that, that, that in the anaphoric function forms an indicative nominal group with the noun (for example, that person; the term E. V. is used.Paducheva [Paducheva, 2010, p. 158]). Such a phrase can refer to situations, objects, and people. The already named word (9) may be repeated as a noun in the indicative nominal group, or a synonym (10-11) may be used:

(9) Give your goods to the lost people, you just don't get lost, there are more than two hundred dead people in that product, N44, 1373. the same phrase dead people;

(10) Give them usp in the granary 30 boxes of rye, 30 oats in the right m?ra in Novogorotsk. And to take them themselves to the monastery in N115, 1460 a synonym was used: instead of rye, oats, it was used.

(11) My grandson kn(I)z (b) Vasilei paid his debt three hundred rubles without two hundred, and Luzhevsky paid one hundred rubles, and four hundred rubles remained behind him, and my prince Vasilei Vasilyevich would have granted, would have taken that silver on my grandson, 28, 1433 a synonym is used: four hundred rubles silver.

The index nominal group, as E. V. noticed.Paducheva, may also refer "to such an object, the presence of which in the described situation follows from the meaning of the words, although this object is not named by any separate unit of the surface level" [Paducheva, 2010, p. 159]. Herbert G. Clark called this phenomenon "bridging" [Clark]. In the studied letters such examples are also found:

(12) Our brothers were beaten on the sea by 12 people in the same boat, and you brought the goods of the rosboiniki to you N44, 1373; you are the goods of our brothers from the robbed ship;

(13) In the same way, your fatherland is named after the Lake and the Lake volosts, and the Mozhaisk volosts and from the surrounding areas, what will be full of that (i.e., military booty and prisoners V. S.) about me and about my children... and give us the same Ts32, 1434; that's full prisoners or military booty with Mozhaisk possessions, captured at the time when the fatherland was named the Belozersk Principality.

1.3. Substantive attributes in the anaphoric function compete with the pronoun of the 3rd person on-his. They refer to the previously named people. In this position, in most cases, preference is given to the pronoun hehis, but in some few cases an indicative pronoun is used (only about 10 examples for the entire corpus of the studied letters, not counting repetitions of the same type of constructions in similarly constructed documents):

(14) And a serf or ladle to enter the Tfr volost, and then, the prince, to issue H7, 1304-1305.

(15) And he came from Novogorod, Esif Vasilyevich, son of posadnich, and from the life of Timofia Ivanovitch; with them he ended the world N70, 1440-1447.

(16) And if a Kilich is sent to the Horde, and what will happen to him, or the Tatar ambassador will come, and he will honor the King, 1402.;

Only one example of the reference of a substantial attribute to objects was found in the entire studied corpus:

(17) Another strip of land in the same forest poly, exchanged it in Selyusha for Pavlov, and gave it to the other in Romanov in?[re]ti land H170, 1475.

Apparently, in the function of the pronoun of the 3rd person, the demonstrative pronoun was used infrequently to refer to people or objects, although there was such a possibility.

2. The demonstrative pronoun t (tot) in letters may also perform a function close to the function of a definite article. This applies only to attributive pronouns. Pronouns in this function are used differently from the way indicative pronouns are used in modern languages (in modern Russian, according to the description of E. V.Paducheva [Paducheva, 2016], I. I. Revzina [Revzin] and in Ibero-Romance languages according to the description of E. M.Wolf [Wolf]).

Firstly, demonstrative pronouns should not be used with proper names. E. M.Wolf notes that the demonstrative pronoun "does not go well with words that are individualized in their very meaning. These include personal pronouns, proper names, certain descriptions" [Wolf, p. 117]. I. I. Revzin writes that the demonstrative pronoun "distinguishes one object belonging to a class ... If the whole class consists of one object, then the use of this one is, strictly speaking, incorrect" [Revzin, p. 122].

Neither in the charters of the Great Russian center, nor in the Novgorod and Pskov charters in the XIV century, combinations of demonstrative pronouns with proper names are not recorded. However, since the XV century, such examples have appeared, initially with geographical names; the first recorded example is in the Novgorod charter of the first quarter of the XV century.:

(18) Here buy a pop Maxim ... a river of Yarenga from the mouth to the upper reaches ... And then the river of Yarenga between the Dvinsky end from Murokanda along the stream N135, 1 chet. XV century .

Such examples have been reflected in the charters of the Great Russian center since the middle of the XV century .:

(19) And from Yurievskikh from my villages I give him my own purchase, Turabevskii villages all, oprisno Bereznikov da Ratkova da Olexina, and then Olexino gave me the princess Euphrosyne Ts57, 1451.

In Pskov and Novgorod charters from the middle of the XV century . there are uses of demonstrative pronouns with people 's names:

(20) The young people of kuptsini Ivan and Kuzma complain to us about your brother, that he, without knowing God, supported our kuptsin... we are greatly surprised that thei Ivolt has no right to repair P336, 1463-1465.

(21) Behold, Minya Vasiliev's son bought his own land and his daughter from Nikon from Filomov's son And tiun Tishkov asked Nikon: did you sell your participating lands in the Lyalin pogost and in the tonyakh, and did you take 17 forty-year-old lands on it, and half a belly of rye? And Nikon taco recl: sold yesmi, mister, to that Mini his participating lands H220, 1472.

It should be noted that in example 21, an index group with a proper name occurs in a recording of direct speech (perhaps not verbatim transmitted, but rather in the reconstruction of this utterance by the author of the document). The text of the certificate is a memorandum, which first contains the text of the bill of sale on behalf of the Mini, and then describes the situation of oral confirmation of the transaction by the seller Nikon in a conversation with tiun. In this case, it is difficult to unambiguously restore the previous context of the conversation between tiun and Nikon, however, it seems to us that the pronoun here also performs not an anaphoric function, but an article function: that Minya is not just a previously mentioned person, but a participant in the transaction already familiar to the speaker and the reader, and the index group does not refer to any first mention of Mini (which, perhaps, was not in the conversation), and emphasizes certainty (the same Minya).

In business writing, the demonstrative pronoun demonstrates another feature: it can be used to permanently designate the same object or person without introducing additional characteristics and without changing its categorization. This is also unusual for demonstrative pronouns of modern languages: as E. M. writes.Wolf, "constructions with any determinants can participate in the primary repetition with a personal or demonstrative pronoun or article. Subsequent references to the referent can be decorated with different types of single designations, including personal pronouns, proper names, etc., but not demonstrative pronouns ... Demonstrative cannot serve for permanent designation of the referent" [Wolf, pp. 117-118].

In the charters, examples of the use of the indicative nominal group as a permanent neutral designation can be found both in the XIV and in the XV century in the texts of all the studied territories:

(22) And when you heard, Ignat forcefully took the goods from our brothers, and you also took the goods. And now we are so happy... give your goods to the people who died, you just didn't get it, there are more than two hundred people who died in that product, N44, 1373.

(23) And my princesses are from the Moscow villages, my village is repaired with all the villages and the village of Khvostovskoye... my princesses come from the same volost and eat their own tribute... if the tribute or I come, and my princesses will give from the same volost and eat the village by the rosette, she will have. And the volost and the village of my Princess to her belly, and on her stomach in the volost and the village to my Prince Ivan Ts20, 1406

The pronoun in the two types of contexts given above does not so much refer to the antecedent in the previous sentences, as it emphasizes the prominence of the subject (what was mentioned before), its definiteness, therefore its function in these cases can be called articular. At the same time, the demonstrative pronoun does not become mandatory for use in certain types of contexts, therefore it cannot be called an article (for more information about the criteria for grammaticalization of demonstrative pronouns: [Diessel, p. 118].

3. Another function performed by the pronoun t (tot) is called differently by various researchers. This is a function of a correlative word with a relative subordinate, or a determinative (a term used in the "Russian Corpus Grammar" [Kholodilov]), or a substitute word for a subordinate clause [Krzhizhkova, p. 144].

In these constructions, the pronoun tot serves as one of the means of communication between the subordinate and the main clauses in the composition of a complex sentence. The substantive attributes of that and the substantive of that in this function are the apex of the subordinate clause the word in the main part from which the question is asked to the subordinate clause. The attributive pronouns toth in this function form an indicative group with the noun the vertex of the subordinate clause.

Is it possible to say that this function of pronouns differs from the anaphoric one already considered? In some contexts, this is not obvious. In sentences with a dependent clause preceding the main one, the pronoun, as well as in the anaphoric function, refers to the previously mentioned object, person or situation. Such relative sentences are A. A. Zaliznyak and E. V.Paduchev is called "archaic type" sentences. If, on the contrary, the dependent clause is after the main one, then they can be attributed to the "classical type" proposals [Zaliznyak, Paducheva]. In archaic sentences, the function of demonstrative pronouns really resembles an anaphoric one:

(24) And which also sat pouplana with the princes at Aleksandr, when Yaroslav, when Vasili, when Dmitry, when Andrew, for those of selekh coons mate have stica and the ground to Novugorodu H12, 1317

(25) And which court(s) pulled to the city to Moscow under our o(t)tsh, t? courts and n(s)ncha pulled to the city of Ts11, 1389

However, the difference between the determinative function and the anaphora is that the pronoun does not just refer to the previous context, but contains the meaning of the subordinate clause and embeds it in the main clause: in example 24, on the villages bought under the mentioned princes. Without an indicative pronoun in such sentences, both the dependent clause and the main clause would lose their meaning. So the pronoun participates (almost on a par with the allied word) in the formation of the syntactic connection between clauses. The special role of the demonstrative pronoun in such constructions has already been noted earlier: "The correlative word in the main sentence acts as a certain "staple". The sentences establish the ratio: ... which + sushch., ... that + sushch." [Historical grammar of the Russian language. Syntax. A complex sentence, p. 64].

In the "classical type" sentences, the difference between the anaphoric function and the determinative function is more noticeable. Sentences with this clause order (main dependent) will continue to prevail in modern Russian. The pronoun in this case refers "forward" to the following text:

(26) And the one, the one whom the kn(I)zyu serves, whoever he is, according to him with the kn(I)z(e)m, whom the kn(I)zyu serves C31, 1434.

(27) And he needs to look for people who have taken beer and honey for their fines, and let him go to Pskov P336, 1463-1465.

The meaning of pronouns in sentences of archaic or classical type does not change, because they perform the same function the determinative.

This function can be possessed not only by demonstrative attributive pronouns as part of an indicative group, but also by substantive attributives (28) and substantive pronouns (29).:

(28) And whoever steps on this ground (whoever breaks the contract V. S.), God and the Holy Mother of God N18, 1375 g.

The substantive attributes refer to the people described in the subordinate clause, and the substantive, due to its meaning, can refer to the widest possible antecedent, for example, to the entire situation described in the dependent clause:

(29) And what you, g (o)s (go) are not great, on us, on your brother(s), on the younger, it was on the heart, and then you, g(o)s (go) not, on this our finishing back all to us left C41, 1445

Thus, the determinative function is one of the main ones for the pronoun t. It is interesting to note that in the future, in the system of demonstrative pronouns in modern Russian, this function will remain assigned to the pronoun that, while the main carrier of the anaphoric function will be the pronoun this.

4. The pronoun t has a cataphoric function in only three examples from the entire corpus of letters studied. All of them were found in Novgorod charters. Two cases are related to the transmission of direct speech on the letter:

(30) Worship from the Prince from Michael to the Lord. That is, now, I say: with [b br]atom of my own, I am old, I am Daniel alone and I am Ivan... H4, 1296-1301.

(31) Dmitry Kizha, the posadnik, and Olfrom the Grasshopper came, and they said to you: We tell you according to the man of the Cross that your goods are in Full R?k? and robbers are caught N71, 1441.

In the third case, the pronoun explains the concept-situation what is lynching:

(32) And the lynching is four rubles; and the lynching is: who, having seized Tatya red-handed, let him go, and he will return the promise, and our peers are satisfied with the order, otherwise the lynching; and after that lynching, N88, 1397 (list of XV-XVI centuries.)

Apparently, this was an unusual use for t, and after describing the situation, the speaker repeats that already in an anaphoric function: ino the lynching. An example is found in the letter-list, perhaps the phrase was constructed differently in the original letter.

5. Summing up, we note that the pronoun t (tot) is characterized by three main functions: anaphoric, articular and the function of the determinative (substitute subordinate clause). It could also be used in a cataphoric function, but rarely. It is noteworthy that there is no deictic function in this list. In the Proto-Slavic period, according to Antoine Meyer's reconstruction, the pronoun *t b participated in the ternary deictic opposition and marked the object in relation to the person being spoken to (which corresponded to Lat. iste) [Meillet, pp. 438-440.]. However, already in the Old Slavic language, demonstrative pronouns "were not connected in any way with the face of the participants in the dialogue," nevertheless, the pronoun t could be used in the deictic function [Kuznetsov].

Although deixis is not widely reflected in the written text, we were able to find examples of the pronouns si (sei) and on (oni) in the deictic function in the studied letters, but not a single example for t. It can be said that in the studied period (XIVXV centuries) in business writing, the pronoun t was not used in the deictic function. In the modern Russian literary language, the pronoun that is regularly used in the deictic function, but in modern Kursk dialects, according to the observations of E. A. Galinskaya, there is a pronoun that is used "only anaphorically" and does not have a deictic function [Galinskaya, p. 75]. Perhaps, in the Kursk dialects, the pronoun so-andso, a descendant of t, reflects its ancient feature - the absence of a deictic function.


Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The article presented for consideration "The functioning of the pronoun t (tot) in business writing of the XIV-XV centuries.", proposed for publication in the journal "Litera", is undoubtedly relevant, due to the consideration of historical grammar and the development of the features of business correspondence. It should be noted that in the study the author considers both the theoretical basis of the problem field concerned and the practical problems. The research was carried out in line with modern scientific approaches, the work consists of an introduction containing the formulation of the problem, the main part, traditionally beginning with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, a research and a final one, which presents the conclusions obtained by the author. Structurally, the article consists of several semantic parts, namely: introduction, literature review, methodology, research progress, conclusions. The article presents a research methodology, the choice of which is quite adequate to the goals and objectives of the work. The author turns, among other things, to various methods to confirm the hypothesis put forward. This work was done professionally, in compliance with the basic canons of scientific research. We note the scrupulous work of the author on the selection of material and its analysis. The bibliography of the article contains 16 sources, among which both domestic and foreign works are presented. However, like any major work, this article is not without drawbacks. First, let's pay attention to the quality of the bibliographic list. Thus, the article does not contain references to fundamental works such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. A greater number of references to authoritative works, such as monographs, doctoral and/or PhD dissertations on related topics, which could strengthen the theoretical component of the work in line with the national scientific school. Secondly, it is unclear why the author neglects the generally accepted principle of compiling a list - first the works are in Russian, then in a foreign language. It seems surprising that the dominance of articles and books, as well as textbooks(!), published back in the USSR period, we are convinced that linguistics has made serious progress in 2022, and it is extremely rash to rely on the postulates of the 1960s and 1980s. However, these remarks are not essential and do not relate to the scientific content of the reviewed work. In general, it should be noted that the article was written in a simple, understandable language for the reader, typos, spelling and syntactic errors, inaccuracies in the text of the work were not found. The work is practice-oriented, representing the author's vision of solving the issue under consideration. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and graduate students of specialized universities. The article "The functioning of the pronoun t (tot) in business writing of the XIV-XV centuries" is recommended for publication in the journal from the list of the Higher Attestation Commission.
Link to this article

You can simply select and copy link from below text field.

Other our sites:
Official Website of NOTA BENE / Aurora Group s.r.o.