Za-perfectives in Russian motion verbs
The linguistic expression of spatial and temporal relations shows considerable structural parallels (Bach, 1986; Filip, 1999; Langacker, 1987; Talmy, 2000; Verkuyl, 1993). Prefixes with spatial origins mark the perfective aspect in Russian. Prefix za- (a cognate of the preposition za) is one of the most productive aspectual markers (Chertkova, 1996; S. V. Sokolova, 2009). It exhibits high semantic variation in addition to its aspectual contribution. When attached to verbs of motion, za- expresses the beginning or the end of an event, as it interacts with lexicalized construal of motion events known as determinacy. A number of works have addressed the semantics of za alone (Braginsky, 2008; Janda, 1986; Keller, 1992; Paillard, 1991) or in connection with other prefixes (Flier, 1975; Gallant, 1979; Schooneveld, 1978), but no model has been proposed to account specifically for the begin/end opposition in za-perfective verbs of motion.In this dissertation I offer an account of the begin/end opposition in za-perfective verbs of motion, informed by the recognition of symbolic nature of linguistic structure (Langacker, 1987), spatio-temporal homology (Talmy, 2000), and the pervasive use of grammatical categories for the expression of entrenched patterns of perspective in human experience. Employing the notions of boundedness, scanning, viewpoint extension, plexity, and reference frames (Langacker, 1987; Levinson, 2003; Talmy, 2000), I develop an integrated account of aspect, determinacy, and za-.I show that construals enforced by aspect and determinacy represent conceptualization strategies embodied in spatial experience. I argue for a strong connection between the semantics of the prefix za- and the preposition za. I expand on the original Tyler and Shakhova's (2008) account of za's polysemy to accommodate for the begin/end pattern of za-. I argue that za- is a spatially motivated construal-structuring modifier of events, whose extensions in different reference frames gravitate towards different ways of conceptualizing internal structure of motion events ultimately motivating the begin/end pattern. I further determine that in contexts with determinate verbs, unlike other goal prefixes, za- omnivorously collocates with different types of prepositional phrases expressing goal. I confirm this claim in a corpus study of prefix-preposition collocations.
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