This paper is a research of binary structures with the introductory phrase better (to) say in Dostoyevsky’s literary work. The focus of analysis is on semantic relationships between the components of binary structures. The aim of analysis is to examine semantic relationships between the components of binary structures and identify the writer’s purposes of speech in syntactic structures with the expression better (to) say on the basis of semantic relationships.
Based on the analysis, it can be concluded that the author’s main purpose of speech when using binary structures with the introductory phrase better (to) say in sentences is the creation of duality in the depiction of characters and events, opinions, assessments and feelings as well as conversations. The paper describes the author’s speech purposes and the ways of their expression such as concretisation of actions and characteristics, etc., resulting in focusing the reader’s attention on the respective object, presenting actions and characteristics in a broader context or from a different perspective, including F.M. Dostoyevsky’s play with contrasts.
There are various types of semantic relationships between the components of binary structures with the introductory phrase better (to) say – first of all the components can be synonyms or antonyms. Moreover, it can be concluded that in analysed syntactic structures with components not being synonyms, the centrifugal force of added corrections causes ambiguity of depicted actions and characteristics and may even reveal paradoxes of interpreted reality.
The results of analysis presented in this paper might be used in literature courses at schools and universities dealing with peculiarities of F. M. Dostoyevsky’s language and style.
Duality, binary structures, introductory phrase, concretisation, semantic relationships, connotation, synonymy, play with contrasts.