The semantics of verbal categories in Nakh-Daghestanian languages: Tense, aspect, evidentiality, mood and modality
The Caucasus is the place with the greatest linguistic variation in Europe. The present volume explores this variation within the tense, aspect, mood, and evidentiality systems in the languages of the North-East Caucasian (or Nakh-Daghestanian) family. The papers of the volume cover the most challenging and typologically interesting features such as aspect and the complicated interaction of aspectual oppositions expressed by stem allomorphy and inflectional paradigms, grammaticalized evidentiality and mirativity, and the semantics of rare verbal categories such as the deliberative (‘May I go?’), the noncurative (‘Let him go, I don’t care’), different types of habituals (gnomic, qualitative, non-generic), and perfective tenses (aorist, perfect, resultative). The book offers an overview of these features in order to gain a broader picture of the verbal semantics covering the whole North-East Caucasian family. At the same time it provides in-depth studies of the most fascinating phenomena.
The article discusses one argument in favor of descriptive theory of reference of proper names against the theory of direct reference which appeals to a famous example of the ship of Theseus. The author defends the latter theory by means of distinguishing the object of direct reference and its principles of individuation. The argument is discussed with reference to the works of H. Chandler, L. Linsky, S. Kripke, N. Salmon and other theorists.
This is an interdisciplinary volume that focuses on the central topic of the representation of events, namely cross-cultural differences in representing time and space, as well as various aspects of the conceptualisation of space and time. It brings together research on space and time from a variety of angles, both theoretical and methodological. Crossing boundaries between and among disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, philosophy, or anthropology forms a creative platform in a bold attempt to reveal the complex interaction of language, culture, and cognition in the context of human communication and interaction.
The authors address the nature of spatial and temporal constructs from a number of perspectives, such as cultural specificity in determining time intervals in an Amazonian culture, distinct temporalities in a specific Mongolian hunter community, Russian-specific conceptualisation of temporal relations, Seri and Yucatec frames of spatial reference, memory of events in space and time, and metaphorical meaning stemming from perception and spatial artefacts, to name but a few themes.
The article deals, in a typological perspective, with verbs describing sounds of inanimate objects (cf. the noise of a door being opened, of coins in somebody’s pocket, of a river, etc.). The analysis is based on the data from four languages (Russian, German, Komi-Zyrjan, Khanty), which were obtained from dictionaries, corpora and field investigation. We discuss, first, the primary meanings of these verbs and identify the parameters that underlie semantic distinctions between them (type of sound source and its features, type of situation causing the emission of a sound, acoustic properties of sounds). Then we consider the derived meanings of sound verbs, which are developed through metonymic and metaphoric shifts and analyze the mechanisms behind each of these shifts. Finally, we examine a type of semantic change in our data which cannot be explained in terms of either of those mechanisms and hence represents a separate kind of meaning shift.
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.
In this article we present the results of research into discourse features characterising a lexico-semantic group of synonyms denoting a human being: human being, person, individual, personality and man. The main tool for analysis was language corpora, which made it possible not only to determine more precisely the functional styles the lexemes tend to be used in, but also to describe thematic characteristics of the texts in which the analysed lexical units show the highest frequency of use
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.