Russian Language Journal


parentheticals, vvodnye slova, corpus-based study, L2 language acquisition


Parenthetical expressions referred to as vvodnye slova in Russian have remained on the periphery of Russian linguistics. This is, no doubt, due to the fact that they are heterogeneous and difficult to define as a category. Traditional and more recent approaches to vvodnye slova are discussed. Vvodnye slova play a key role in expressing authorial stance and in organizing and providing cohesion to texts. On the basis of these two main functional characteristics, an argument is made for the inclusion of vvodnye slova in Russian Language L2 curricula. This corpus-based study establishes frequency patterns for semantic sub-groups of vvodnye slova across written and spoken registers of Russian using data from the Russian National Corpus. The ramifications of the corpus-based results for Russian language pedagogy are discussed and strategies for teaching vvodnye slova in the L2 classroom are presented.