The paper focuses on a two aspectual morphemes in Moksha Mordvin (< Mordvin < Finno-Ugric). The first of them, the Frequentative, has four phonologically conditioned allomorphs, -ənd-, -n’ə-, -s’ə-, and -kšn’ə-. These affixes used to be sepa-rate morphemes in Proto-Finno-Ugric, but ended up as having the same meaning and being complementarily distributed. A remnant of a more archaic stage of lan-guage evolution is the Avertive marker, -əkšn’ə-, only different from one of the Fre-quentative allomorphs by one phoneme, which can hardly be a coincidence. A dia-chronic hypothesis about how iterative-avertive polyfunctionality could have arisen is suggested.
This paper discusses new facts on comparative constructions in Circassian languages that contribute to a theoretical debate about the semantics of comparatives. We argue that Circassian comparatives provide the direct evidence for the combination of two recent insights into comparative semantics: the theory of two loci of degree quantication in such constructions and theories postulating exhaustivity or maximisation at the edge of the standard clause.
The paper studies Russian metalinguistic comparatives. Specifically, it argues that Russian exhibits three single meta-comparatives (skoree ‘sooner’, bol′še ‘more’, and lučše ‘better’, lit.), which are derived as a result of grammaticalisation of corresponding standard comparatives and three double meta-comparatives (skoree bol′še, bol′še skoree, and skoree lučše). From a morphological and syntactic point of view, these meta-comparatives are quite distinct from standard comparatives. Unlike standard comparatives, they have only synthetic forms, are ungrammatical with Genitive and show prosodic restrictions and linearly syntactic preferences. Moreover, the metacomparatives are divided into two major groups: skoree, bol′še, skoree bol′še, bol′še skoree vs. lučše, skoree lučše. Each of these two groups imposes specific restrictions on a syntactic category and/or grammatical form of the two compared phrases. Last but not least, due to a relatively free combination of skoree with other single meta-comparatives, which results in double metacomparatives, the paper reveals that skoree is the most grammaticalised metacomparative in Russian.