The article describes semantic roles of instrumental case (tvoritel’nyj padezh) in Russian and other Slavic languages. Its functions as the instrument, agent, route, temporative, vehicle, comparison, nominal predicate and object of action, and their place in human mental world are considered. Examples of izosemic (standard) and non-izosemic realization of these functions are provided. It is concluded that each semantic role is associated with the specifi c range of lexemes. The idea of interdependence or syncretism of meanings of the instrumental case is discussed. Examples from modern fi ction, where the opposition between certain functions of instrumental case is neutralized, worn off, are provided too. It is hypothesized that in certain discourse circumstances the instrumental case becomes the symbol of common dependency of noun from verb.
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