Diachronic evolution of Russian standard markers kako and aky


  • Irina Kobozeva Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • Natalia Serdobolskaya Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences/Pushkin State Russian Language Institute




Old Russian, manner, comparison, equative constructions, similative construction


Modern Russian uses the same marker kak ‘how’ to introduce the standard in equative and similative constructions. Historical grammars claim that the same polysemy is found in Old Russian, where three markers, kako, aky and jako, are used interchangeably. Based on the analysis of chronicles and documents of the 11th–15th centuries and queries in the Russian National Corpus, we show that it is not the case: the markers kako and aky are distributed functionally. In the 11th–15th centuries kako is predominantly used in specific contexts which we propose to call “implicit parameter equative” (IPE), while aky is the main standard marker in similatives. In the 16th and 17thcenturies kako expands onto similative and equative constructions. The 18th century sees the complete loss of akyand the fossilization of the equative construction including the correlative pairs such as tak(oj)… kak, stol’… kak and others. As for the marker jako, it is a general subordinator that can be used in all the relevant contexts.


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How to Cite

Kobozeva I, Serdobolskaya N. Diachronic evolution of Russian standard markers kako and aky. LTC [Internet]. 2021Jan.1 [cited 2021Oct.21];1(1):257-8. Available from: https://typologyatcrossroads.unibo.it/article/view/13431