LINGUIST List 17.3023|
Sun Oct 15 2006
Diss: Linguistic Theories/Morphology/Syntax: Billings: 'Approximati...'
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Approximation in Russian and the Single-Word Constraint
Message 1: Approximation in Russian and the Single-Word Constraint
From: Loren Billings <billingsncnu.edu.tw>
Subject: Approximation in Russian and the Single-Word Constraint
Institution: Princeton University
Program: Slavic Languages
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1995
Author: Loren A. Billings
Dissertation Title: Approximation in Russian and the Single-Word Constraint
Dissertation URL: http://roa.rutgers.edu
Subject Language(s): Russian (rus)
Leonard H. Babby
Russian quantifiers are known for their complexity. This dissertation
investigates expressions of indefinite quantity--specifically,
accusative-assigning 'about' of approximate measure.
This preposition has undergone a somewhat unique diachronic change which
now requires that its complement consist of only a single word. I chronicle
the advent of the single-word restriction (LONE-WD), showing historical
data with multi-word complements of s. Adjective-noun and numeral-noun
complements were once attested; Russian now requires only one word after .
This study investigates various apparent exceptions to LONE-WD, which are
violated only under very specific circumstances. These exceptions clarify
the morphosyntax of
-- paucal numerals ('two' through 'four' and the fractions 'half' and
-- 'prequantifier' adjectives,
-- syntactic compounds (adjective-noun sequences which inflect separately but
are treated by the syntax as a single word), and
-- large-quantity numbers ( 'thousand' and greater).
Distributions of special genitive-singular and -plural forms, assigned only
by quantifiers, are shown to be distinct: Only paucal numerals in
morphological nominative case assign 'ADPAUCAL' genitive-singular forms
(such as end-stressed <ˇcaSA> 'hours'); a number of elements, not just
numerals, trigger 'COUNT' genitive-plural forms (<ˇcelovek> 'people').
Other constructions discussed include 'approximately',
approximative inversion, <`etak> 'about', and 'several':
Quantification is not a syntactic category but a semantic feature for which
is unmarked; is quantificational only if its sister is a
quantifier. Otherwise is merely proximative: 'near'. Tests confirm
that quantificational heads a prepositional phrase within the noun
phrase. While most prepositional quantifiers have this structure,
accusative-assigning is the relativized head of a hybrid phrase due to
Numeral-noun complements of undergo approximative inversion--the noun
moving to specifier position--to circumvent LONE-WD. Approximative
inversion is likewise subject to a variant of LONE-WD, which requires a
single PROSODIC word in the quantified constituent. When inversion is
impossible a pleonastic count noun is inserted instead.
An Optimality-Theoretic model is proposed, formalizing LONE-WD and
constraints requiring prosodic contiguity and exceptions to LONE-WD caused
by words expressing more closely defined measure.
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