Aims and Scope
Earlier empirical studies on valency have looked at the phenomenon either in individual languages or a small range of languages, or have concerned themselves with only small subparts of valency (e.g. transitivity, ditransitive constructions), leaving a lacuna that the present volume aims to fill by considering a wide range of valency phenomena across 30 languages from different parts of the world. The individual-language studies, each written by a specialist or group of specialists on that language and covering both valency patterns and valency alternations, are based on a questionnaire (reproduced in the volume) and an on-line freely accessible database, thus guaranteeing comparability of cross-linguistic results. In addition, introductory chapters provide the background to the project and discuss its main characteristics and selected results, while a series of featured articles by leading scholars who helped shape the field provide an outside perspective on the volume’s approach. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in valency and argument structure, irrespective of theoretical persuasion, and will serve as a model for future descriptive studies of valency in individual languages.
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.
Semantic roles have continued to intrigue the linguists for more than four decades now, starting with determining their kind and number, with their morphological expression, and with their interaction with argument structure and syntax. The focus in this volume is on typological and historical issues. The papers focus on the cross-linguistic identification of semantic-role equivalents, on the regularity of, and exceptions concerning change and grammaticalization in semantic roles, the variation in encoding the roles of direction and experiencer in specific languages, presenting evidence for identifying a new semantic role of speech addressee in Caucasian languages, on semantic roles in word formation, and finally a cross-linguistic comparison of the functions and the grammaticalization of the ethical dative in some Indo-European languages. The book will be of interest to anyone involved with case and semantic roles, with the syntax semantic interface, and with semantic change an grammaticalization.