Complement clauses of verbs of fear often contain expletive negation, which is negative marking without negative meaning. Expletive negation in fear-complements regularly co-occurs with non-indicative moods, such as subjunctive, conjunctive, or conditional. The aim of this paper is to provide a diachronic explanation for the phenomenon of expletive negation in complement clauses of fear-verbs. Based on data from various languages, I will show that cases of expletive negation after verbs of fear can be divided into several groups, each with a different origin. Fear complement clauses can derive from embedded polar questions, paratactic constructions expressing a wish, or from negative purpose clauses. Complement clauses with polar questions usually contain an indicative verb form, while clauses based on the expression of a wish often have non-indicative verb forms. The paper also discusses cases in which expletive negation is lost.
In many languages of the world, the forms in the irrealis domain (subjunctive, conjunctive, conditional) are also used in complement clauses. The set of verbs that require subjunctive complementation is similar but not identical across languages. The paper identifies Russian verbs licensing subjunctive in complement clauses, either as the only option or as an alternative to the indicative. Basing on the Russian National Corpus, a list of these predicates is compiled, with relative frequencies of subjunctive vs. indicative for each predicate. The main result of the study is distinguishing two types of subjunctive complement clauses. Most predicates belong to the group which is similar to purpose clauses with чтобы, both semantically and syntactically. The subject of the main predicate is involved in the situation described by the subordinate clause by wishing it to be realized, by intention, or causal relations. The second, minor group includes epistemic uses of чтобы with e.g. сомневаться and other predicates in the context of negation, interrogation and other constructions expressing low probability.
The Russian subjunctive particle by can be used in constructions that lack any finite verb form, such as constructions with infinitives, predicative adverbs, predicative adjectives, nouns and other nominal parts of speech. I compare the properties of these constructions and argue that all verbless subjunctives share a common semantic component – a positive evaluation of the given situation, most often a wish. Further, unlike ordinary subjunctive with past tense forms, verbless constructions do not express counterfactuality. They also represent main clause phenomena: they are not used in subordinate clauses. Finally, a survey of subjunctive verbless constructions attested in the texts of the 19th century shows that the evolution of the optative meaning took place relatively recently.
Though the Russian infinitive is a non-finite form, it is frequently used independently, with or without the subjunctive particle by. This paper is an attempt to answer the question whether independent infinitival constructions should be considered as a result of insubordination (the term by Nicholas Evans). Basing on the data from Russian National Corpus, two semantic types of infinitival constructions are isolated. One may be referred to as evaluative infinitive (Emu by ostat'sja odnomu ‘It’s better if he stays alone’). The second construction may be called counterfactual non-evaluative infinitive (Ne minovat' by emu tjur'my, no pomogli rodstvenniki ‘He had all chances to go to prison, but his relatives helped him out’). Comparing these constructions with infinitival conditional clauses shows that the evaluative infinitive is a result of insubordination of the protasis of conditional clause, while the semantics of the non-evaluative counterfactual infinitive is a simple sum of the meanings of the infinitive and subjunctive categories.
This study considers the use of the subjunctive in universal conditional concession (UCC) clauses of the type Kto by ni prishel, vsekh puskali (‘Whoever would come was admitted’). In these contexts, the use of the subjunctive cannot be explained by the irrealis component of its semantics, because it can be substituted with the indicative and apparently introduces real situations. A corpus analysis of this type of subordinate clauses suggests that here the subjunctive designates non-referential, habitual situations. The claim is supported by the evidence from the choice of aspect — in indicative UCC clauses, the predicate cannot be perfective whereas the use of the subjunctive removes this constraint.
I consider constructions that involve the modal verb moch' or the modal adjective dolzhen and the subjunctive particle by. I argue that, with respect to the subjunctive, these modals behave differently from regular verbs. Their subjunctive is often functionally identical to the indicative; in contexts where other verbs obligatorily take the subjunctive form, these two predicates may use the indicative. The main factor that controls omissibility of the subjunctive particle is shown to be an epistemic interpretation. I consider some typical cases where the subjunctive and the indicative are synonymous for these predicates, and those where they are not. Thus, in the apodosis of conditional constructions the particle is often omitted, although, in general, Russian prefers a symmetrical use of the subjunctive in both protasis and apodosis. On the other hand, when in the protasis, the particle is not omitted. The subjunctive is often used with the modals for pragmatic purposes, such as politeness. The paper is based on the data from the Russian National Corpus.
Russian subjunctive is expressed by an analytical form which consists of subjunctive particle by (b) and past indicative or infinitive or a few predicative adverbs and adjectives. The subjunctive particle is an enclitic. It often merges with subordinate conjunctions, which yields words functioning as conjunctions and containing the subjunctive particle. Historically, the particle by in conjunctions can be traced back to the marker of subjunctive. Synchronically, however, the group is not homogenous. The aim of the paper is to find out which of the conjunctions with by should be considered as containing the marker of subjunctive, and test whether the particle can or can not be separated from the conjunction. Four criteria are used. The first and the second, namely, (a) the forms available in the subordinate clause with the conjunction and (b) the possibility of repetition of the particle by with the second predicate shows that comparative conjunctions do not synchronically contain the subjunctive marker. The third and fourth criteria, namely (c) the omission of the particle by and (d) its ability to be separated from the conjunction by another words give different results.
This book is a study of the Russian subjunctive and the grammatical uses of the subjunctive particle бы (б). The author adopts a broad view of the Russian subjunctive and provides a unified account of uses of by with the morphological past alongside uses with the infinitive and predicatives, grouping all of these types into center and periphery. Dobrushina provides a detailed analysis of the subjunctive in the main as well as in a wide range of dependent clauses, including relative, conditional, concessive-conditional, purpose and complement clauses, basing the study on quantitative data obtained from the Russian National Corpus. The Russian subjunctive is compared to the category of irrealis in a wider typological context.