Proceedings of FDSL 9, Göttingen 2011
Edited By Uwe Junghanns, Dorothee Fehrmann, Denisa Lenertová and Hagen Pitsch
Natalia Mitrofanova & Serge Minor: The Syntax and Semantics of Directional Axial Expressions in Russian
The Syntax and Semantics of Directional Axial Expressions in Russian Natalia Mitrofanova & Serge Minor University of Tromsø Abstract In this paper, we discuss the syntactic and semantic properties of Russian directional axial expressions, and show that they differ from those predicted by existing analyses of PathPs. Based on these data we argue for the existence of a distinct type of Path heads that take phrases denoting functions from individuals to regions as complements, and have a more restrictive interpretation than the standard Path heads. 1 Introduction In this paper we discuss the semantic and syntactic properties of a subclass of spatial expressions in Russian. Specifically, we focus on expressions involving axial parts (cf. Svenonius 2006, 2010), i.e. morphemes that encode reference to subparts of an object identified with respect to a certain axis (e.g. front – back, top – bottom, etc.). We will refer to them as axial expressions. The following table provides a list of Russian axial expressions that involve reference to the axes ‘front – back’, ‘top – bottom’, and ‘left – right’: Table 1. Axial expressions in Russian Directional Locative Goal Source ‘above’ na-verx-u on-top-loc v-verx-u in-top-loc s-verx-u s-top-gen1 na-verx on-top.acc v-verx in-top.acc s-verx-u from-top-gen ‘under’ v-niz-u in-bottom-loc s-niz-u s-bottom-gen v-niz in-bottom.acc s-niz-u from-bottom-gen 1 The standard use of the s- prefix is to form Source expressions. Its semantic contribution in locatives is not completely clear to us, and this is why we have glossed it simply as s- in these cases. 172 Natalia Mitrofanova & Serge Minor ‘in front of’ v-pered-i in-front-loc...
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