West Caucasian relative pronouns as resumptives
In polysynthetic West Caucasian languages, the morphological verbal complex amounts to a clause, with all kinds of participants cross-referenced by affixes. Relativization is performed by introducing a relative affix in the cross-reference slot which corresponds to the relativized participant. However, these languages display several cross-linguistically rare features of relativization. Firstly, while under the view of the verbal complex as a clause this affix appears to be a relative pronoun, it is an unusual relative pronoun because it remains in situ. Secondly, relative affixes may appear several times in the same clause. Thirdly, relative pronouns are not expected to occur in languages with prenominal relative clauses. Fourthly, in the Circassian branch, relative pronouns are identical to reflexive pronouns. These features are explained by considering relative prefixes to be resumptive pronouns. This interpretation finds a parallel in the neighboring East Caucasian languages, where reflexive pronouns also show resumptive usages. Finally, since in some West Caucasian languages the relative affix is a morpheme with a dedicated relative function but still shows properties of a resumptive pronoun, our data suggest that the distinction between relative pronouns and resumptive pronouns may not be so clear as is usually assumed.
This paper discusses the morphological and syntactic means of expression of participants in morphology and syntax of West Circassian (Adyghe) focusing on the argument vs adjunct characteristics of these means. West Circassian provide evidence for the non-discretness of the argument/adjunct contrast but also shows the necessity to distinguish between argument/adjunct properties in morphological expressions and in syntactic expressions.
In this paper I will analyse the syntactic properties of valency-changing derivations and other syntactic processes in Adyghe (a language of the West Caucasian family spoken in the Republic of Adygheya and the Krasnodar region of Russia, and also in some countries of western Asia such as Turkey). My aim is to determine whether these processes testify to syntactic ergativity or accusativity in Adyghe, or whether they in fact shed no light at all on the question of Adyghe alignment behaviour.
In the present paper, I base my analysis of syntactic ergativity on the evidence of valency-changing derivation only. I choose not to consider other pivot properties related to ergativity / accusativity (coordination reduction, relativization, subordinate clauses etc.; see Dixon 1994; Van Valin and LaPolla 1997). It seems to me more justifiable to restrict myself to the data presented by derivational behaviour alone, since in a single article it is impossible to analyse the whole range of data related to ergativity in a polysynthetic language like Adyghe; moreover, the valency-changing derivational system may be organized ergatively, for example, while other syntactic processes are organized accusatively, or vice versa.
The processes analysed in this paper can be divided into two groups, based on the kind of information they provide about ergativity in Adyghe.
First of all, there are derivations which can be regarded as semantically motivated (though syntactic motivation can also be proposed for these processes).
Secondly, there are derivations which are only compatible with transitive verbs, namely the inadvertitive and potential. These transformations are more significant for our analysis, since they show that Adyghe is syntactically ergative.
The volume presents several papers on Mehweb, a one-village language spoken in the central part of Daghestan, a republic of the Russian Federation.
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.