This paper is an overview of the so-called second genitive in Russian, a nominal form available for a minority of Russian nouns but widely used with these nouns in certain contexts. In many ways, the second genitive is a secondary case. Thus, it may always be substituted with a regular genitive form, while the opposite is not true. A major subset of the contexts where the second genitive may be used fits into what is known as a functional category of partitive, so this form is sometimes called Russian partitive. To a certain extent, indeed, the second genitive is the form with which the regular genitive may be substituted in partitive contexts. The analysis of the distribution of the second genitive shows, however, that the partitive meaning is not the only function of this form. Not less if not more widespread are uses in combinations with prepositions. These and other types of contexts should be taken into account to build a comprehensive picture of the category distribution and functional load.
The article focuses on Russian constructions where the case of an NP is not acquired from the syntactic head. This phenomenon is characteristic, first of all, for comparative constructions with kak (Mozhet, mne, kak Vase, uexat’ v derevnju? ‘Maybe, I, like Vasja, should go to the village?’) and for constructiosn with comparative degree and the marker čem (Mne nado est’ bol’še, čem drugim). The experiment described in the work shows that mainly dative forms are copied, but genitive doubling is also possible. In dative constructions, the dative expresses PRO of the infinitive clause and / or and Experiencer of the modal predicate. The possibility of this non-structural marking results from several reasons: the nature of comparatives, which are intermediate between coordination and subordination; the possibility of avoid a non-canonical linear position of the standard of comparison (for constructions with the marker kak i). Constructions where non-finite verb forms are copied are organized similarly to case copying constructions. Finally, Russian has constructions outside the comparison domain where the form of two constituents must be identical, though only one of them acquires this form by means of canonical head-dependent relations. We also argue that the non-structural case assignment does not result from coordinate properties of comparative constructions. it is motivated by a rule not related to the head-dependent relations, the rule that can be called ‘syntactic doubling / copying’ and can be explained by the semantic symmetry between the object and the standard of comparison.