‘Nu-drop’ in Russian verbs: a corpus-based investigation of morphological variation and change
In the present article we are offering a corpus-based analysis of nu-drop in Russian verbs, the process whereby certain verbs with the suffix -nu- omit this morpheme in past tense forms. We will explore phonological, morphological and syntactic/semantic factors and show that inflectional and derivational morphology are the most important for nu-drop. Our study of the inflectional and derivational morphological categories yields a polarized general picture; the categories display either close to 100% Ø-forms (i.e. forms without -nu-) or close to 0% such forms, while no categories are in the middle of the scale. Moreover, a diachronic survey of the development between the 19th and 21st centuries indicates increasing polarization, insofar as increasing percentages of Ø-forms are attested among forms with high percentages of Ø-forms, whereas decrease is characteristic of forms with low percentages of Ø-forms.
SiteringRussian Linguistics : International Journal for the Study of the Russian Language (2011) (online first)
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