Russian adjective pronoun VSJAKIJ: Semantics and idiomatics

2020. №1, 7-26

Anna A. Zalizniak a
Elena V. Paducheva
a Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Institute of Informatics Problems of the Federal Research Center “Computer Science and Control” of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Moscow, Russia;


The word vsjakij, as well as ljuboj, každyj and vse, includes in its meaning the logical operator “universal quantifier”; sentences with these words have a logical structure ∀(х) Р(х). Yet the linguistic properties of all these words are signifi cantly different. The article discusses current and diachronic semantics of the word vsjakij, as well as the semantics of the phraseological units of which it is part. The paper demonstrates that the use of the idiomatic unit vo vsjakom slučae in modern Russian is characterized by the coexistence of the “old” and “new” norms and should be described using the “bisynchronic method” proposed by P. Garde. We observe a particular meaning of vo vsjakom slučae, that of a marker of non-evidentiality, indicating a lowering of the epistemic status of the previous statement from fact to a plausible hypothesis. We also describe the mechanisms of semantic derivation in the field of pronouns whose meaning includes the idea of choice.

For citation:

Zalizniak Anna A., Paducheva E. V. Russian adjective pronoun vsjakij: Semantics and idiomatics. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2020, 1: 7–26.


The paper was written with fi nancial support of RFBR, grant No. 17-04-00554 (section 1) and Russian Science Foundation, grant No. 18-18-00462 (sections 2–3). We are grateful to the reviewers for their comments.