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ERIC Number: ED526367
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-3590-6
Analysis of the "-sja" Passive of Russian Verbs of Governing and Wanting as a Conceptual Integration
Min, Junghee
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago
This dissertation represents a study of the formation of "-sja" passives of Russian verbs of governing and wanting. I explore five imperfective verbs of governing: "zavedovat" "manage"; "komandovat" "command"; "pravit" "govern"; "rukovdit" "direct"; and "upravljat" "manage"; as well as four imperfective verbs of wanting: "iskat" "seek"; "trebovat" "demand"; "prosit" "request"; and "zelat" "desire". Despite being roughly synonymous at the semantic level, although not completely substitutable for one another, these verbs display divergent and seemingly erratic characteristics in the oblique passivization. The differing acceptability of the formation of "-sja" passives of the verbs suggests that there are constraints on the use of the "-sja" passive constructions of these verbs other than the predicate-argument structure itself as a determiner of transitivity. The observations in my dissertation show the importance of conceptual motivation in explaining the continuum of transitivity of the verbs. The analysis here is framed within the theoretical framework of Cognitive Grammar with the application of corpus-based methods to empirically examine the usages of the verbs. The analysis of the distribution of the most frequent complements reveals that each verb of governing and wanting differs in terms of the structure of its prototypical center and periphery of its semantic structure. For the verbs of governing, the greater association with human patients or metonymic extensions for human referents a verb displays, the more likely the formation of "-sja" passives is blocked. While an association with human referents with initiative power is clearly a decisive factor in passivization, it cannot be a single, universal source. The construal of forceful and asymmetrical energy flow from trajector to landmark represented by a verb also plays an important role in predicting the likelihood of passivization. The verbs of wanting represent a different degree of potential control or influence over a goal which is sought after, which in part can be explained by the case usage of object. The more likely a verb is to take an object in the genitive case, the less likely it is to form "-sja" passives. Furthermore, the semantic properties inherent to the prepositions like "u" and "ot" suggest a channel of energy transfer or contact. Within Cognitive Grammar the structuring and symbolization of conceptual content is important in understanding grammatical construction types. This main tenet of Cognitive Grammar can be applied to oblique passivization. The grammatical structure of passivization and the transitivity continuum of the verbs is motivated by their semantic properties. The syntactic constraints on the occurrence of a construction can be predicted from the meaning of that construction, as illustrated by this study of oblique passivization. A grammatical category represents a way of conceptualizing experience in the process of encoding it and expressing it in language. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A