Boye, K. P. Kehayov (eds.): Complementizer Semantics in European Languages
Review of the edited volume Boye, K. & P. Kehayov (eds.). 2016. Complementizer Semantics in European Languages. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. Retrieved 22 Nov. 2017, from https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/455040
In many languages of the world, the forms in the irrealis domain (subjunctive, conjunctive, conditional) are also used in complement clauses. The set of verbs that require subjunctive complementation is similar but not identical across languages. The paper identifies Russian verbs licensing subjunctive in complement clauses, either as the only option or as an alternative to the indicative. Basing on the Russian National Corpus, a list of these predicates is compiled, with relative frequencies of subjunctive vs. indicative for each predicate. The main result of the study is distinguishing two types of subjunctive complement clauses. Most predicates belong to the group which is similar to purpose clauses with чтобы, both semantically and syntactically. The subject of the main predicate is involved in the situation described by the subordinate clause by wishing it to be realized, by intention, or causal relations. The second, minor group includes epistemic uses of чтобы with e.g. сомневаться and other predicates in the context of negation, interrogation and other constructions expressing low probability.
This book is a collection of articles dealing with various aspects of grammatical relations and argument structure in the languages of Europe and North and Central Asia (LENCA). Topics covered with respect to individual languages are: split-intransitivity (Basque), causativization (Agul), transitives and causatives (Korean and Japanese), aspectual domain and quantification (Finnish and Udmurt), head-marking principles (Athabaskan languages), and pragmatics (Eastern Khanty and Xibe). Typology of argument-structure properties of ‘give’ (LENCA), typology of agreement systems, asymmetry in argument structure, typology of the Amdo Sprachbund, spatial realtors (Northeastern Turkic), core argument patterns (languages of Northern California), and typology of grammatical relations (LENCA) are the topics of articles based on cross-linguistic data. The broad empirical sweep and the fine-tuned theoretical analysis highlight the central role of argument structure and grammatical relations with respect to a plethora of linguistic phenomena.
The volume includes proceedings of the 23th Scandianvian Conference of Linguistics (SCL 23) that was held at Uppsala University 1–3 October 2008. It includes studies covering a wide spectrum of approaches to linguistics, for example, cross-linguistic typological studies, linguistic variation and language change in contact situations as well as studies relating to bilingualism and to second and foreign language learning.
In Standard Average European (SAE), addressees of speech verbs are marked with dative or, in languages lacking cases, with dative-like prepositions. This merger is commonly explained through a metaphor: the information transferred in a speech act is said to be construed as the object being transferred, or Theme, and the addressee as its Recipient. This status of the addressee as a derived concept, a metaphor of the Recipient, and its dative marking in many languages rather than in SAE alone, is the reason why the addressee is usually not considered to be a separate semantic role. Based on data from East Caucasian languages that use different marking for Recipients and addressees of speech, I argue that speech addressees constitute a separate semantic role, also an animate Goal, but not a metaphor of the Recipient. Focusing on case marking assigned by the main speech verb, speech acts are shown to be construed in East Caucasian as spatial configurations: the crucial component is their directedness towards the addressee. In the conclusion, I come back to SAE and question the status of the dative addressees. Taking into account that the dative often develops from lative markers, it is suggested that, in the languages with dative addressees, one should also consider an alternative to the conventional explanation: merging the Recipient and the addressee in one marking may result not from a metaphorical extension but from formal under-specification of two different animate Goals.
In the paper, the classes of labile verbs (verbs which can be transitive or intransitive without any formal changes) are analyzed on the data of European and North Caucasian languages. The main conclusion is that there is a semantic difference between classes of labile verbs in the two language groups under analysis. In European languages, predicates with low semantic transitivity are labile (for instance, motion verbs and phasal verbs), while in Caucasian languages, lability is more characteristic of verbs with high semantic transitivity (verbs of destruction and similar verb classes).
The paper is dedicated to the initiative of universal dependences (UD), with aim to develop cross-linguistically consistent annotation scheme of grammatical analysis. The purpose of this initiative is in simplification of cross-language research, unification of interlanguage linguistic typology, building a foundation for the automated multilingual systems and the universal cross-language text parser.
In the first part of the paper we describe the main problems of grammatical analysis of the multilingual text, advantages of unification of language features, the purposes of the project of universal dependences. Also we give the brief history of creation of the project. On the example of three languages – Russian, English and German we discusses the basic principles of universal dependences, such as morphology and syntax features.
In the second part of the article on the example of predicative we illustrate how to conduct corpus researches using UD. The article defines the technique of automatic identification of predicatives and examines their frequency distribution in the Russian UD corpus and a semantic categorization of the most often used predicatives.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
The Incongruity Theory of Humor in its different forms states that the cause of laughter is the perception of something that violates our mental patterns and expectations. It seems particularly true of comic absurdity which is based on a deadpan violation of established norms of logic and convention. The current paper explores linguistic mechanisms that underlie the comic effects in the works of Mikhail Zoshchenko, one of the great satirists of Soviet Russia. Zoshchenko is well-known for his simplified writing style which imitates the language and mentality of “the simple people” while at the same time mocking the nascent Soviet officialdom and its demands for the popular accessibility of art. The paper considers Zoshchenko’s narrative through the prism of conventional implicatures (Grice 1961, Karttunen and Peters 1979, Horn 2004, Potts 2005, 2007), or meanings that are not directly stated in the utterances, but implied by the speaker; e.g. Even John solved the problem implies that it was it was not expected of John to solve it. In successful communication, implicit meanings form the shared background of conversational partners; violation of these shared norms may be used to create comical effect. One of the most conventionalized societal norms and one Zoshchenko most frequently violates is the value of human life and, hence, solemn attitude to death. The narrator in Zoshchenko’s stories repeatedly implies otherwise, thus creating a comical portrait of the mentality of Homo Soveticus. Consider a quote from “The story about a greedy dairy woman”: “So, her husband died. At first she probably took it lightly. - A-a, she thought – no big deal… But then she realized – yes, this is a big deal!... Eligible bachelors are not running around in bunches. And then, of course, she started grieving” (shift in emphasis; the cause for grief is not the husband’s death but its inconvenience for the surviving wife). The story “A restless old man” (about an old man who lives in a communal flat and falls into lethargic stupor taken by his family and neighbors for death and then after waking up really dies) is based on violating the same conventional implicature. Throughout the story the narrator implicitly creates the image of death as an inconvenient occurrence and of a deceased person as an unwanted piece of waste. The harshly comic effect is achieved by implicatures about the shallow emotional impact of death (“And then of course there is aggravation: because the room is small and here is a superfluous element”, “If my husband, this surviving idiot, ordered the hearse right away, then the wait for it would have only been three days”; “The summoned doctor reassured everybody that now the old man is bona fide dead”); by violation of semantic compatibility rules whereby the seemingly dead old man is alternately referred to as an animate being (“The dead man is lying and demanding the last tribute to be paid to him”, “The babysitter is afraid to be in the room where a dead person is living”) or inanimate object (“There is so little space that there is even nowhere to pile up the old man”; “I am going to pile him up in the hall, let him wait for the hearse there”).
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.
The article examines the main trends in the study of the Stalinist period and the phenomenon of Stalinism in connection with the mass opening of the archives.