Article published in:Subjects in Constructions – Canonical and Non-Canonical
Edited by Marja-Liisa Helasvuo and Tuomas Huumo
[Constructional Approaches to Language 16] 2015
► pp. 253–291
From canon to monolith to clusters
A constructionist model of subjecthood in Russian
The status of oblique subjects is a contested topic. Subjecthood is typically defined relative to syntactic tests in formal approaches and different tests have been proposed in the literature. However, they have not been applied systematically to cover a wide range of constructions such as oblique subjects in Russian. This study presents a clustered model of subjecthood building on ten construction types and twenty features of subjecthood in Russian based on construction grammar and Keenan’s (1976) study. The structure of the model indicates that Russian has two clustered subject constructions: the nominative and the dative. These types motivate the deviations displayed by the other constructions. Hence, subjecthood is defined as a fully motivated network structure.
Published online: 14 January 2015
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