Disentangling путать. An empirical analysis of one verb with prefix variation
This thesis explores prefix variation in one Russian verb, путать. As a simplex verb that uses four prefixes to form Natural Perfectives (с-, пере-, за- and в-), путать is a good example of a verb with extensive prefix variation. The thesis consists of three separate, yet related corpus-based case studies. In my first case study, I examine the constructions and internal arguments of the Natural Perfectives of the verb. Can the choice of prefix be predicted from these two factors? My findings for путать suggest that they can. My second case study examines the four aspectual relations of путать. Are the four Natural Perfectives of the verb Natural Perfectives to the same degree? Using Julia Kuznetsova’s method for measuring the strength of aspectual relations (Kuznetsova 2012), I argue that the four Natural Perfectives are Natural Perfectives to different degrees and that this, in turn, shows that Natural Perfectives constitute a radial category with much inner diversity. My third case study explores the Primary and Secondary Imperfective in the four “путать-triplets”. I show that путать and the Secondary Imperfectives are not synonymous. They have different prototypical constructions and differ in terms of telicity. I also suggest that the distribution of the two imperfective verbs in a triplet may be affected by aspectual strength.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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