Bad native speakers and poor writers

January 20, 2016


This picture was taken during a seminar on theoretical semantics at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences 15 January, 2016.

The slide reads “Bad profiles of native speakers”. Sorry, not exactly that – “Profiles of bad native speakers”. If you want to know how they are defined, you can look at the presentation at

Disclaimer: the guy in front of the screen is not just a bad and nasty native speaker but also a poor writer and speaker.

Happy New Year 2016

January 10, 2016

Happy New Year


Happy New Year 2016! Bon appetit! You are the meal.

TMP 2015 pics

November 18, 2015


Apostles Paul (Pavel Grashchenkov) and Andrew (Andrej Kibrik): a staged version of the newly discovered picture by El Greco ‘Apostles of language theory and linguistic typology’.

The TMP 2015 conference (and TMP is Typology of Morphosyntactic Parameters, as every grown-up individual knows) took place 14-16 October 2015 in Moscow, Moscow State Pedagogical University & Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences. The picture above shows one of our plenary speakers, Andrej Kibrik (r.), chairing one of the sessions 16 October, Pavel Grashchenkov (l.) giving a talk.


Yakov Testelets (standing) is asking a question. Atle Grønn (r.) is all attention.

We were happy to have great talks from the invited speakers, Atle Grønn (on the picture above), John Bailyn and Andrej Kibrik. See this link on the conference website


Generative grammar does not exclude discussion: our invited speaker John Bailyn (c.) and conference coorganizer, Ekaterina Lyutikova (r.).

I am grateful to my colleagues, members of the organizing committee Peter Arkadiev, Ekaterina Lyutikova and Yakov Testelets for the great organizational job.


Ekaterina Lyutikova and Peter Arkadiev are closing the sessions on 16 October.


The 16 October sessions were hosted by the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences. On the picture above you see the Institute’s director Vladimir Alpatov giving a talk. Andrej Kibrik (r.) is the chair.


Maria Usacheva is presenting her talk. Peter Arkadiev (l.) is the chair.

Our conference was a true feast both for those who like so called exotic languages, complexity and odd things and for those who enjoy regularity and predictions.

Grammaticalization is fun. Really. Especially – grammaticalization of nomina loci in Besermyan Udmurt. I am not kidding. If you have doubts, look at Maria Usacheva’s and Natalia Serdobolskaya’s handout These nominalizations are special.


Morhosyntactic parameters are rooted in many institutions. See Yuri Lander (High School of Economics), Nina Sumbatova (Russian State University for the Humanities, Valentin Vydrin (LLACAN – INALCO, Paris) – from left to the right. In the back row: Lyudmila Khokhlova (Institute for African and Asiatic Studies).


Think big. Andrei Kosenkov (c.) and Liza Kushnir (r). In the front row: Silje Susanne Alvestad. In the back row: Yulia Galliamina (l) and Maria Trubitsina (r).


Towards TMP 2016.  Peter Arkadiev and me are closing the TMP 2015 conference. In the front row: Maria Konoshenko, chair of the affiliated GeNSLing 2015 conference, and Andrej Kibrik. In the next row: Valentin Vydrin.


Let’s get ready to GRUMBLE!

August 29, 2015


For a while, I have been looking in vain for a post subject. I badly needed a subject related to linguistics and philology. Bingo! Finally I found my catch in sports news. A brilliant new lexicographic definition of the word ‘WHIMPERER’ provided by Dr. Maxim Mitrofanov, the general director of a very well-known football club. For some time, the journalists and football fans got the wrong idea that the head coach of this club, Mr. NN, is a whimperer, since he is used to complain about modifications in the standing orders. But Dr. Mitrofanov convincingly explained that this is not true to fact. “NN is not a whimperer. He is a professional who unexpectedly encountered an objective problem.” (quoted after: Http// ).

This is a new word in lexicography and a brilliant definition of concepts like WHIMPERER or GRUMBLER. Allow me to develop the analysis. I’ll put the emphasis on the semantic component ‘professional’. All of us sometimes unexpectedly encounter objective problems. If you do not grumble, you does not seem to be a professional (grumbler).

So let’s get ready to grumble!


And a final disclaimer. No negative feelings towards this esteemed football club and its equally distinguished general sponsor.

Academia edu profile

July 11, 2015


Welcome to my webpage on

The information about my publications will be regularly updated there.

The first!

June 25, 2015


No, that’s not a sports competition and not a song contest. This is kinda warning from the secretary board – you guys have only ONE minute left for your presentation. And the picture is taken at the first defense procedure in the history of our MA-programmes, this year it was ‘General and typological linguistics’.


Fathers and sons. Actually, rather daughters-in-science: Peter Arkadiev (far left, standing) and his MA-student Liza Kushnir (far right, standing).


Istoki (Russ. ‘origins’ or ‘backgrounds’). So reads the text behind the guy (Andrei Kosenkov). His MA-dissertation is about the origins and evolution of the suffixed article in Scandinavian languages.


The venue. Incidentally, the defence procedure took place in Mikhail Sholokhov’s room at SMSUH. Nobody from the group has chosen a topic related to Sholokhov’s analysis or text analysis of other art texts. This is natural, since the focus of this particular MA-programmes is a bit different -linguistic typology. But actually the MA-dissertation Yakov Testelets (on the picture above) was acting as opponent was about Russian grammar – WhyPs in Russian.


Listening to their fellow and preparing their own presentations. From left to right: Vlad Romashev, Lidia Kirpo, Roman Ronko, Liza Kushnir and Andrei Kosenkov.

Do not enjoy spring, since it comes to an end

May 26, 2015

Bert B

There are only few spring days remaining and it is time to repeat Bert Brecht’s sound advice in a slightly modified form.

The original reads: Nūtze die Jugend nicht, denn sie vergeht.

Basically spring is for young people or for those who wrongly consider themselves young when they get drunk or intoxicated.Mr. Mahler wisely dedicated a separate piece of music both to erratic youngsters (No. 3) and to erratic drunkards (No.5).


The First Volume of TMP-2014

April 1, 2015


My colleagues and me are happy to announce the publication of the first issue in the series ‘Proceedings of the Typology of Morphosyntactic Parameters 2014 conference’.

The edition and the series are to be quoted as:

Типология морфосинтаксических параметров. Материалы международной конференции «Типология морфосинтаксических параметров 2014». Вып. 1. Под редакцией Е. А. Лютиковой, А. В. Циммерлинга, М. Б. Коношенко. М.: МГГУ им. М. А. Шолохова, 2014. ISBN 978 -5 -8288 – 1555 -5. — 272 с.

Typology of Morphosyntactic Parameters. Proceedings of the International Conference “Typology of Morphosyntactic Parameters 2014”. Nr. 1. Ekaterina A. Lyutikova, Anton V. Zimmerling & Maria B. Konoshenko (eds.). Moscow, SMSUH Moscow, 2014. ISBN 978 -5 -8288 – 1555 -5. — 272 p.

The content of the book will soon be available for the download in the Russian national scientific publication data base SCIENCE INDEX (eLIBRARY.RU).

Meanwhile, you are welcome to download the papers here.

The following articles have been prepared with support from the Russian Science Foundation, project RSCF 14-18-02370:(1)Lyutikova & Zimmerling & Konoshenko, (2) Ganenkova, (3) Kosenkov, (4) Lyutikova, (5) Ronko, (6) Serdobolskaya & Kozhemiakina, (7) Sideltsev, (8) Zimmerling.

On behalf on my colleagues – scientific coeditors, I express our gratitudes to Andrei Kosenkov who prepared the lay-out, to Tamara Astakhova who helped with the organization and to Maria Koroleva who edited English summaries.



Е. А. Лютикова, А. В. Циммерлинг, М. Б. Коношенко
Теория грамматики и лингвистическая типология      —      p.5-11

Ekaterina A. Lyutikova, Anton V. Zimmerling, Maria B. Konoshenko (all – Moscow)

Grammar Theory and Linguistic Typology

Grammar Theory and Linguistic Typology

А. М. Галиева (Казань)
Индивидуализирующая семантика в системе татарских падежей     — p. 12-22

Alfiya M. Galieva (Kazan)

Individualizing Semantics in the System of Tatar Cases

Galieva 2014

Т. С. Ганенкова (Москва)
Семантика преверба по– и предлога по в современном литературном македонском языке   —    p.23-34

Tatyana S. Ganenkova (Moscow).

Polysemy of the verbal prefix po– and the preposition po in the Standard Macedonian

Ganenkova 2014

П. В. Гращенков (Москва)
Думая найти, или Некоторые наблюдения о регулярности несовместимого     —   p. 35-57

Pavel V. Grashchenkov (Moscow)

To Find Thinking.

Grashchenkov 2014

Е. Ю. Иванова (Санкт-Петербург), Г. М. Петрова (Бургас)
Кластеризация местоименных клитик в форме датива: допуски и ограничения в болгарском языке (с македонскими и сербскими параллелями)    —   p. 58-75

Elena Yu. Ivanova (Sankt-Petersburg), Galina M. Petrova (Burgas).

Clusterization of Pronoun Clitics in Dative Form: admissions and limitations in Bulgarian Language (with Macedonian and Serbian Parallel).

Ivanova & Petrova 2014

А. В. Косенков (Москва)
Выбор между вторым и третьим изафетом в башкирском языке  —     p. 76-83

Andrey V. Kosenkov (Moscow)

Choice between Second and Third Ezafe in Bashkir

Kosenkov 2014

Ю. К. Кузьменко (Санкт-Петербург)
К типологии суффиксации определенных артиклей      —    p. 84-119

Yury K. Kuzmenko (Sankt-Petersburg)

The typology of the suffixation of the definite article

Kusmenko 2014

Е. А. Лютикова (Москва)

Русский генитивный посессор и формальные модели именной группы   —   p.120-145

Ekaterina A. Lyutikova (Moscow) 

Russian genitive possessor and formal models of the noun phrase

Lyutikova 2014

П. С. Плешак (Москва)
Иерархия одушевленности и выбор посессивной конструкции в мокшанском языке    —    p. 146-164

Polina S. Pleshak (Moscow).

Silverstein’s hierarchy and the choice of possessive construction in Moksha

Pleshak 2014

Р. В. Ронько (Москва)
Проблемы синтаксиса конструкций с номинативом объекта при инфинитивном обороте в древнерусском языке  —   p. 165-177

Roman V. Ronko (Moscow)

The syntax of infinitival clauses with nominative direct objects in Old Russian

Ronko 2014

Н. В. Сердобольская, А. Д. Кожемякина (Москва)

Семантика сентенциального актанта и выбор модели согласования матричного глагола в мокша-мордовском языке    —  p. 178-198

Natalia V. Serdobolskaya, Anastasia D. Kozhemyakina (Moscow)

Semantics of the complement clause and the agreement pattern of the complement-taking verb in Moksha-Mordvin

Serdobolskaya & Kozhemiakina 2014

A. V. Sideltsev (Moscow)

Wh-in-situ in Hittite   —   p.199-222

Sideltsev 2014

А. В. Циммерлинг (Москва)

Коммуникативно-нерасчлененные предложения: семантика и деривация   —   p. 223-252

Anton V. Zimmerling (Moscow)

Thetic sentences: semantics and derivation

Zimmerling 2014

Аннотации и ключевые слова  —  p. 253


Summaries and keywords    —   p. 260


Сведения об авторах    — p. 266

Svedenija ob avtorah_RU

Authors and affiliations    —  p. 269

Authors & Affiliations RU_ENG

Pour être outchonyj

February 8, 2015


Recently, I read a short notice on the web that Russian government has plans to cancel some official ‘professional’ holidays including the Day of Russian Science, 8 February. I have never been aware of such a holiday which may be a fault of my own: every year, I forget to celebrate the 25th of January, though I have background knowledge that it is the founding day of my alma mater, Lomonosov Moscow University.  My lazy mind is more attached to traditions than to anniversaries. I have vague memories that we had had a ‘Day of Science’ in the university, but surely not in February.

A day later, 8 February, I read on the same website that the Prime Minister of Russia congratulates us with the Day of Russian Science. I was amused and amazed. I googled the web and saw that 8 February is the day when the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded, in 1724.  The holiday itself was established in 1999. Now, when the state seemingly tries to get rid of the national Academy of Sciences, it is logical to cancel the holiday too. All the more, lots of stupid asses like me do not recognize this holiday. That’s OK. But please do not introduce new holidays, like the Day of Eurasian Science or the Day of Outworldly Science.

Happy New Deadlines 2015

January 13, 2015


The New Year holiday is just a bridge between pre-New Year depression and post-New Year depression.

Nothing special happens, except for the fact that when the holiday week is over, you suddenly understand that the best part of the New Year is over and will never come again.

The New Year is also a good cause to ignore some passing deadlines, if you are living in a regime, when you have to write abstracts, papers, annual reports and other junk stuff. It was actually your worst deadline, and you are supposed to have produced and submitted all that crap in superhuge quantities before.

But now, you get up with a New Year hangover (a general condition, even if you are a boring abstainer) and see that new deadlines are already awaiting you. You do not see any sense in your work, but still it may be your main reason to live and to move on on the beaten path. You only lack the pre-New-Year mess and excitement when you tried to fit the old deadlines.

So…Coraggio and happy new deadlines 2015!


As a very good poet (later quoted by a fashion novelist and lesser poet of the XX century) once put it in 1856:


Загородись двойною рамою,

Напрасно горниц не студи.

Простись с надеждою упрямою

И на дорогу не гляди.