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The Unaccusativity PuzzleExplorations of the Syntax-Lexicon Interface$
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Artemis Alexiadou, Elena Anagnostopoulou, and Martin Everaert

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199257652.001.0001

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Syntactic Unaccusativity in Russian

Syntactic Unaccusativity in Russian

(p.207) 8 Syntactic Unaccusativity in Russian
The Unaccusativity Puzzle

Maaike Schoorlemmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses two syntactic configurations in Russian that are restricted to transitive and unaccusative verbs. These constructions show evidence of syntactic unaccusativity; that is, of a syntactic encoding of whatever lexical feature is the basis of the distinction between unaccusative and unergative verbs. Sections 8.2 and 8.3 are devoted to the first diagnostic context: distributive po-phrases. The second diagnostic context involves telic aspectuality and Russian aspectual morphology. The relevance of telic aspectuality and the role of the internal argument for the Russian aspectual system is laid out in Section 8.4. Section 8.5 extends its application by focusing on the derivation of imperfective forms of verbs as a diagnostic for the presence of an internal argument, and therefore of an unaccusative verb in the case of intransitivity. Section 8.6 argues for a way of using this test to identify underived unaccusative verbs. Section 8.7 addresses the issue of identifying specific linking rules that are active in Russian. The conclusions are summarized in Section 8.8.

Keywords:   Russian, syntactic configurations, transitive verbs, unaccusative verbs, aspectual system

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