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LINGUIST List 19.700

Sun Mar 02 2008

Diss: Morphology: Steriopolo: 'Form and Function of Expressive Morp...'

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        1.    Olga Steriopolo, Form and Function of Expressive Morphology: A case study of Russian

Message 1: Form and Function of Expressive Morphology: A case study of Russian
Date: 02-Mar-2008
From: Olga Steriopolo <olgasteriopolohotmail.com>
Subject: Form and Function of Expressive Morphology: A case study of Russian
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Institution: University of British Columbia
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Olga Steriopolo

Dissertation Title: Form and Function of Expressive Morphology: A case study of Russian

Dissertation URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/424

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Subject Language(s): Russian (rus)

Dissertation Director:
Martina Wiltschko
Hotze Rullmann
Gunnar Ólafur Hansson

Dissertation Abstract:

I conduct a detailed case study of expressive suffixes in Russian. I show
that although the suffixes under investigation have the same function
("expressive"), they differ significantly in their formal properties. I
identify two major semantic types of expressive suffixes: attitude and size
suffixes. Attitude suffixes convey an attitude of the speaker toward the
referent. Size suffixes both convey an attitude and refer to the size of
the referent.

I argue that the two different semantic types map onto different syntactic
types. Attitude suffixes are syntactic heads, while size suffixes are
syntactic modifiers. As heads, attitude suffixes determine the formal
properties (syntactic category, grammatical gender and inflectional class)
of the derived form. As modifiers, size suffixes do not determine the
formal properties of the derived form. Attitude suffixes can attach both to
category-free √Roots and to categories (n/a/v), while size suffixes can
only attach to a noun category.

I investigate the functional and formal properties of Russian expressive
suffixes in a systematic way, which has not been done before. In doing so,
I analyze how expressive suffixes pattern along several kinds of criteria
(gender/class change, category change, subcategorization). An important
byproduct of this analysis is that I show how grammatical gender of an
expressive form can be predicted from its inflectional class (combined with
animacy and natural gender of the base).

One implication of this analysis is that I show that the formal properties
of expressives are no different from those of non-expressives
(descriptives), as both expressives and descriptives can attach as heads or
modifiers either to √Roots or categories. Another implication is that the
formal criteria which I develop for a small set of expressive suffixes in
Russian can be extended to set up a cross-linguistic typology of expressives.

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