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Abstract

This paper analyzes two Russian constructions, verbal impersonals in 3Sg similar to 3Pl and dative-predicative structures with a non-agreeing predicative and discusses the problem of lexical-syntactic interface and the borderline between lexicon and grammar. Productive constructions are defined as bilateral units and analyzed in the perspective of selective conditions imposed on lexical extension, not in the perspective of idiomaticity or non-compositionality. Languages with similar morphosyntax can develop similar constructions with one and the same underlying semantics but these constructions often show different scenarios of the lexicon-vs-grammar interaction. Modem Russian takes an intermediate position between languages where verbal impersonals and predicative structures are grammaticalized and languages where these constructions belong to the lexicon. The distribution of the impersonal patterns in 3Sg and 3Pl in Modern Russian encodes a non-trivial interaction of lexicon and grammar. The key factor in the stability of Russian dative-predicative structures is the distinction between three classes of adjectival stems and the preservation of stems blocking the derivation of predicates which denote inner states.

Authors

Zimmerling, Anton, V

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