Expressions denoting parts of the whole in Russian.

2018. №2, 29-52

Igor M. Boguslavsky
Kharkevich Institute for Information Transmission Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 127051, Russian Federation;
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, 28660, Spain;


The paper addresses a variety of expressions that quantitatively characterize an object or a situation by stating that this object or situation forms a certain part of another object or situation. Some of these expressions are polovina ‘half’, tret’ ‘a third’, četvert’ ‘a fourth’, procent ‘per cent’, bol’šinstvo ‘majority’, men’šinstvo ‘minority’, napolovinu ‘by half’, vdvoe ‘twice’, na N procentov ‘by N per cent’, v bol’šinstve (svoem) ‘for the most part’, etc. I am interested in how the meaning of these expressions interacts with meanings of other words in the sentence. In other words, what is the Whole and what is the Part in each case? The issue is investigated in terms of valencies and their instantiations.