CLARUS – Constructional Landscape of Russian Syntax: Modeling native speakers’ knowledge for second language learners

Principal investigator: Anna Endresen

Project title: CLARUS – Constructional Landscape of Russian Syntax: Modeling native speakers’ knowledge for second language learners

Summary of the project:

The CLARUS project focuses on the syntactic level of Russian grammar and takes a constructionist usage-based approach to syntax. The project has three components that will provide empirical, theoretical, and pedagogical contribution accordingly.

The main objective of Component 1 is to build and calibrate the Russian Constructicon, a free open-access electronic resource that offers a searchable database of Russian constructions accompanied with thorough descriptions of their properties.

Component 2 entails exploration of the collected data on Russian constructions. In particular, it will study syntactic constructions from the perspective of aspect, the most pivotal and versatile category of Russian grammar.

Component 3 aims to create new research-based pedagogical materials for learners of elementary and intermediate Russian. In particular, the development of the Russian Constructicon will strategically target those constructions that are most essential for learners of Russian. The new pedagogical materials will be included in the Oahpa! learning platform, thus contributing to the on-going TWIRLL project (“Targeting Wordforms in Russian Language Learning”, 2017-2020) of the CLEAR group.

The work on the Learner’s Constructicon for Russian had started by the CLEAR group long before CLARUS (cf. Janda et al. 2018). The CLARUS project contributes to this work by regularizing the existing version of the database of Russian multi-word constructions and by supplying it with additional empirical linguistic material. In particular, the CLARUS project harmonizes the classification system employed in the Constructicon, investigates families and clusters of constructions, and carries out corpus data analyses in order to identify missing constructions and describe the semantic and syntactic constraints on their open slots.

Link to the project result:

The Russian Constructicon – new version at;

The Russian Constructicon – old version at

Project duration: 2018 – 2022

Key publications:

Janda, Laura A., Anna Endresen, Robert Reynolds. 2019. Aspectual opposition and rivalry in Russian are not discrete: New evidence from experimental data. Russian Linguistics: International Journal for the Study of Russian and other Slavic Languages 43(3), 249-271. Here

Key conference presentations:

Anna Endresen, Anna Klezovich, Olga Lyashevskaya, Daria Mordashova, Maria Nordrum, Ekaterina Rakhilina, Francis Tyers, and Valentina Zhukova. 2019. Building a Constructicon for Russian: How to identify families of constructions? Presented at the 15th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC-15). Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan, August 2019.

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