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Fragmente einer deskriptiv-quantitativen Oberflächensyntax des Russischen: Formen des nicht-einfachen Satzes

Horst Dippong

The article presents a simple way of describing the macro-structure of so-called Interp-sentences (InterpS). InterpSs are conceived as being the formal structure of an utterance, whose boundaries usually are made clear by intonation or punctuation (Interpunktion - lending the name to Interp-sentences). InterpS contain one ore more clauses (elementary sentence ElemS), clause being defined as having a finite predicate. Clauses of an InterpS are connected in one of three possible ways, coordinate, subordinate or parenthetically. Besides this, any clause has a certain position in the linear order of clauses in a particular InterpS, and resides on a certain level (main clauses on level one, clauses subordinate to a member of a level one clause are on level two, clauses subordinate to a member of a level two clause are on level 3 and so forth). By this triad, any clause’s position can be described uniquely and any InterpS can be given a simple description of its macro-structure under this particular perspective. Additional information is given to make this a useful descriptive device.
The device is put to use by analysing the InterpS-structure of texts of various origins, i.e. 19th century fine literature, journalist texts on ecological problems and linguistic texts. It can be shown, that these texts vary in various ways, for instance in depth (reaching a lesser deep or deeper level), length in linear order and so forth. Some generalisations are put forward, that might hold on a broader scale too, i.e. the impossibility of crossing constructions (let a be a subordinate clause to b, and c a coordinate clause to b, there will be no linear order acb or bca); a tendency to situate a subordinate clause within an InterpS close to the periphery, a strong tendency in 20th century texts, to let subordinate clauses follow their main clause in linear order of clauses in InterpS as well as to let subordinate clauses follow the other non-clausal sentence components with regards to ElemS.

Linguistische Beiträge zur Slavistik. VIII. JungslavistInnen-Treffen München 1999. Hg. Florence Maurice und Imke Mendoza. München: Sagner 2000 (= Specimina Philologiae Slavicae 131), 21–41.