Back to Results

< Previous   Next >

Russian khotʹ is a colloquial particle whose exact function is difficult to determine. khotʹ can be translated as 'at least', 'even', 'although', 'for example', 'as much as' and others, depending on the context. The particle demonstrates unusual semantic and syntactic properties that conventional approaches are unable to fully explain. Viewing khotʹ as having a symbolic role that combines its syntactic and semantic features allows a more unified picture. The particle identifies a situation as marginal to a construed prototype in a speaker's mental space. This role operates within four general contexts: An axiological context, a context of knowledge and perception, a context of logical possibility, and an exemplary context. This symbolic role gives a unified meaning of the particle - an indicator of a marginal situation with respect to a construed norm. It is this symbolic approach that gives the most insight into a speaker's use of the word.