Mehweb. Selected essays on phonology, morphology and syntax
The volume presents several papers on Mehweb, a one-village language spoken in the central part of Daghestan, a republic of the Russian Federation.
This paper describes the nominal morphology of Mehweb. It deals with the following issues: noun structure, plural formation, the oblique stem, case formation and use, and irregular locatives. In this paper I analyse both the structure and the semantics of these forms.
The paper describes the morphology of the verb in Mehweb, a Dargwa lect of central Daghestan, Russia. The description is partly based on previous research (Magometov 1986, Sumbatova unpublished) and partly on the field data the author has been collecting from 2009 to the present. Mostly, formal morphology of synthetic verb forms and complex verbs are discussed.
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 article presents the history of the Longman dictionary that has become a bestseller all over the world. Revealing the translation of the lexicographic idea into practice, the author tells us about the scholarly disputes that accompanied the development of the principles of a new type of English dictionary.
The paper is an analysis of the concessive domain in Agul (Lezgic, East Caucasian). The main means to express concession in Aghul is a dedicated concessive converb. Also described are constructions with the optative and the temporal converb and conditional concessive constructions.
The form whose main function is to express indirect commands, called the third person Imperative, Jussive or Exhortative, when compared to the prototypical (second person) Imperative, shows semantic and formal similarities and distinctions at the same time. The study describes formal and functional patterns of Jussive and places this category within the typology of the related categories, such as Imperative and Optative, based on data from six East Caucasian languages (Archi, Agul, Akhvakh, Chechen, Icari and Kumyk). Five formal patterns of Jussive are attested in these languages, including a specialized form, constructions derived from want, from tell him to do and from make him do and the Optative. Jussive forms may express such meanings as third person command, indirect causation, permission, indifference towards the accomplishment of an action and an assumption. While the Jussive is crucially different from the second person Imperative in that it introduces a third participant, this article shows that it is the addressee, not a third person, who is the central participant of a Jussive situation from both formal and functional points of view.
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.