Constraints on the position and interpretation of bare singular indefinites in Russian

Olga Borik

Abstract


In this paper, I discuss the distribution of bare singular indefinite nominals in Russian. I argue that these nominal phrases are full-fledged indefinites and can have both specific and non-specific indefinite interpretations. However, their appearance in the preverbal subject position is not common. I argue in this paper that this restriction exists because a specific interpretation, or, in other words, a referential reading, required for this position cannot be unambiguously established with BSgs without any additional sentential specification. Additionally, I discuss some consequences of my proposal, such as BSg subjects of individual-level predicates, and BSg subjects in thetic judgments.

Keywords


indefinite, Russian, specificity, topic

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.56.1.9-23

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Copyright (c) 2016 Olga Borik

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Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
(Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani) 

Print ISSN: 0024-3922
Online ISSN: 2350-420X