• English
  • Русский

The Russian Construction “ya by na tvoyom meste/ty by na moyom meste” (“if i were you/if you were me”): about the Link between the I-sphere and the Choice of a Speech Genre

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0).

The construction analyzed in the article can be used both on the speaker’s initiative and in response to a request. It is characteristic of two speech genres, advice and compliment. The hypothetical substitution of ya (me) with ty (you) (ya by na tvoyom meste/if I were you) and ty (you) with ya (me) (ty by na moyom meste/ if you were me) can trigger conflict, to a greater or lesser extent. The relation between the action that provokes the utterance and the moment of speech, as well as the way in which speakers project their own behavior on addressees, may be the two variables determining the pragmatics of the construction. The study demonstrates that the construction ya by na tvoyom meste is more confrontational than its analog opening with the second-person pronoun (ty by na moyom meste) or with the possessive adjective “tvoy” (na tvoyom by meste ya). The speaker is entitled to a higher-rank control over the further development of the conversation and the interlocutor’s actions, claiming even those actions on the interlocutor’s part that are directed at third parties. Anteposition of the first-person pronoun (ya by na tvoyom meste) also demonstrates the speaker’s incapability of empathy. Postposition (na tvoyom by meste ya) may signal either knowledge of the addressee’s personality and the capacity for looking at things from the addressee’s perspective, or a claim to that knowledge and capacity. However, since the latter construction is less frequently used, both the actual and pretended knowledge and skill impose certain obligations.

  1. Benvenist E. Obshchaya lingvistika [General linguistics] Moscow, Progress Publ., 1974. 447 p. (in Russian).
  2. Buller K. Teorija jazyka [Language theory]. Moscow, Progress Publ., 2000. 501 p. (in Russian).
  3. Chiat S. If I were you and you were me : The analysis of pronouns in a pronoun”=reversing child. Journal of Child Language, 1982, vol. 9, iss. 2, pp. 359–379.
  4. DeCapua A., Huber L. ‘If I were you…’ : advice in American English”. Multilingua, 1995, vol. 14, pp. 117–132.
  5. Dementyev V. V. Nepryamaya kommunikatsiya [Indirect communication]. Moscow, Gnosis Publ., 2006. 560 p. (in Russian).
  6. Dementyev V. V. Teorija rechevyh zhanrov [Theory of speech genres]. Moscow, Znak Publ., 2010. 600 p. (in Russian).
  7. Gladrow W., Kotorova E. G. Contrastive study of speech behavior patterns. Speech Genres, 2015, no. 2(12), pp. 15–19 (in Russian).
  8. Kliushin P. V., Markasova Е. V. Pronounplay : the construction “negative particle + personal pronoun (you or i) + intensifying particle” in Russian. Russian Language Journal, 2013, vol. 63, pp. 225–247 (in Russian).
  9. Kopotev M. V., Markasova E. V. Iz v raznoj stepeni sossjuritizirovannogo materiala : giperbat i smezhnye javlenija po korpusnym dannym [“From of different kind saussuritized material”: Hyperbaton and related phenomena based on corpus data]. In: Korpusnaia lingvistika – 2011 : materialy mezhdunar. nauch. konf. [Corpus linguistics –2011 : Proceedings of the XVIIIrd International Conference], Saint Petersburg, RGPU im. A. I. Gertsena, 2011, pp. 199–204 (in Russian).
  10. Markasova Е. В. Tybik i Yabik. 2009. Available at: www.Gramma.ru (in Russian).
  11. Nesterova T. V. Nepriamye sposoby vyrazheniia intentsii «sochuvstvie» I «uteshenie» v obikhodnom obshchenii russkih [Indirect intention ways of “sympathy” and “consolation” in the Russian everyday communication]. Russkii iazyk za rubezhom [Russian language aboard], 2011, no. 5 (228), pp. 75–81 (in Russian).
  12. Norman B. Yu. Lingvisticheskaja pragmatika (na materiale russkogo i drugikh slavianskikh yazykov) [Linguistical pragmatics on the material of Russian and other Slavic]. Minsk, Izd. centr Belorus. gos. un-ta, 2009. 183 p. (in Russian).
  13. Sedov K. F. Kompliment – rechevoj zhanr suggestivnogo diskursa [Compliment as a speech genre of suggestive discourse]. Zhanry rechi : sb. nauch. st. Vyp. 7. Zhanr i yazykovaya lich’nost’ [Spech Gendres : coll. of sci. art. Iss. 7. Genre and linguistics persona] Saratov, ITs “Nauka” Publ., 2011, pp. 225–235 (in Russian).
  14. Sedov K. F. Rechevoe povedenie i tipy yazikovoi lichnosti [Speech Behaviour and Types of Linguistic Personality]. In: Kulturno-rechevaia situatsiia v sovremennoi Rossii [Culture and Speech Situation in Modern Russia]. Ekaterinburg, Izd-vo UrGU, 2000, pp. 298–312.
  15. Van Sin’i, Markasova E. V., Czen Lifu. Rechevoe dominirovanie v komedii A. S. Griboedova “Gore ot uma” : russko-kitajskie sootvetstvija [ Speech dominance in the comedy of A. S. Griboedov “‘Woe from wit” : correlations in Russian and Chinese]. Communicativnye issledovanija [Communicative Studies], 2016, no. 3 (9). Available at: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/rechevoe-dominirovanie-v- komedii- a- s- griboedova- gore-ot-uma- russko-kitayskie-sootvetstviya (accessed 17 May 2018) (in Russian).
Full Text (PDF):
(downloads: 149)