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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013


Edited By Gerhild Zybatow, Petr Biskup, Marcel Guhl, Claudia Hurtig, Olav Mueller-Reichau and Maria Yastrebova

The proceedings of the 10 th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages in Leipzig 2013 offer current formal investigations into Slavic morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and information structure. In addition to papers of the main conference, the volume presents those of two special workshops: «Formal Perspectives and Diachronic Change in Slavic Languages» and «Various Aspects of Heritage Language». The following languages are addressed: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Resian, Slovak and Slovene.
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Against the SLP-status of the Russian pere-superiority


← 146 | 147 →Kristina Gehring

Baltische Föderale Immanuel-Kant-Universität Kaliningrad

The following paper discusses a rather small subpart of the larger debate about prefixed verbs in Russian and the questions of how prefixes can be categorized and of which function they assume. The focus of this paper will be on the Russian prefix pere- (‘over’) in its superiority-reading. I will show that pere-superiority does not fit the generally assumed SLP-criteria and, therefore, it cannot be classified as an SLP (i.e. counter to the view presented in Romanova 2006: 257). In short, I will argue against the widely accepted assumption that prefixes like pere-superiority that carry a stable, adverbial- or measure-like meaning automatically have to belong to the pattern of SLPs. According to the LP-/SLP-distinction, the prefix in the given reading has not yet been discussed in the respective literature in detail.

Decompositional syntactic accounts of verbal prefixation propose that prefixes in Russian and other Slavic languages fall into at least two different groups called lexical (LP) and superlexical prefixes (SLP). In the following paper I will call this approach the Prefix-Split-Theory. Proponents of this account argue that the former occupy a VP-internal position in the syntactic tree, whereas the latter merge outside the VP-complex (see Ramchand 2004; Svenonius 2004; Romanova 2006; Tatevosov 2008).

The fact that prefixes in Slavic languages, and in Russian in particular, fall into at least two different groups is already mentioned by Isačenko (1962), who draws a...

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