Jun 22 – 24, 2017
SISSA Main Campus
Europe/Rome timezone

Challenging late vocabulary insertion: Evidence from Russian

Jun 22, 2017, 3:20 PM
2h 10m
Lecture Hall Paolo Budinich (SISSA Main Campus)

Lecture Hall Paolo Budinich

SISSA Main Campus

via Bonomea 265, 34136, Trieste
Poster Freely Contributed Paper Poster 1


Varvara Magomedova (Stony Brook University)


In late insertion theories of morphology, phonological form can play no role in determining syntactic properties in the process of features interact with semantic ones when determining the choice of a morpheme. Russian expressive derivation provide evidence that phonological form must sometimes be considered before the presupposed Vocabulary Insertion step takes place. In this presentation, I analyze two types of evidence from Russian expressive forms: (suffixes that have both different meanings and phonologically conditioned distribution) and gender assignment. Pseudo-allomorphs. Although the [-ok, -ik, -čik] masculine diminutive suffixes were considered allomorphs in previous studies (Gouskova et al., 2015; Polivanova, 1967). The assumption is based on their distribution in Standard Russian, which is close to complementary and can be predicted from phonological factors, and on their assumed synonymy. In this paper, I demonstrate both corpus and experimental evidence that these suffixes have semantic differences that influence their distribution on a pair with phonological factors. Moreover, by manipulating phonological factors I could change the impact of semantic context in the experiment. Gender assignment. I have studied diminutive and augmentative forms using both web-search and experiments. Variation appears in gender assignment with every suffix that would pattern the resulting expressive noun to a different declension class than its base noun. This is not surprising considering the previous work on declension classes and gender (Corbett, 1982; Tarasenkova, 2010 among others). However, the fact that declension class does not define the gender, but only contributes to the choice of it, was not previously discussed. Other factors that contribute gender assignment are: gender markedness and existence of variants of an affix that belong to different declension classes (e.g. –išče class IB, -išča class II). The latter is not a feature and is difficult to account for inside a late insertion theory.

Primary author

Varvara Magomedova (Stony Brook University)

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