Nam ne pisalos’ i mečtalos’: alternating dative reflexive constructions revisited

Abstract : Our study deals with the dative reflexive construction identified through a double alternation: a nominative vs. dative marking of the subject and a non-reflexive vs. reflexive form of the verb, as in ja ne rabotaju ‘I do not work’ vs. mne ne rabotaetsja ‘I do not feel like working’. We argue that this construction subsumes two subtypes: subtype 1, taking one-argument verbs such as rabotat’ ‘work’, and subtype 2, occurring with two-argument verbs such as dumat’ ‘think’. In both subtypes, the shift from nominative to dative goes hand in hand with a decrease in subject agentivity. We show that the properties usually associated with subtype 1 and extended by various authors to the dative reflexive construction, such as modal reading, or the necessary presence of an adverbial or a negation, are not defining for the construction as a whole, nor for subtype 1. These properties merely facilitate the decrease in subject agentivity entailed by the nominative to dative shift, and the observed differences between the two subtypes are due to the initial semantic role of the subject, generally an agent in subtype 1 and an experiencer in subtype 2.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 2, 2017 - 4:37:54 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 11:28:26 AM

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Katia Paykin, Marleen Van Peteghem. Nam ne pisalos’ i mečtalos’: alternating dative reflexive constructions revisited. Russian Linguistics, Springer Verlag, 2017, pp.1-25. ⟨10.1007/s11185-017-9180-6⟩. ⟨hal-01532320⟩

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