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Die (Ohn)Macht zur Veränderung: (Morpho)Syntaktische Eigenschaften von Präfixen in slavischen Sprachen

Luka Szucsich

In the present paper, I examine different types of prefixes in Slavic lan­guages. One group of prefixes apparently influences event structure itself. They add resultative meaning by providing a specification of the resultant state which is often (at least historically) spatial, but synchronically no longer decomposable, i.e. idiosyncratic. Those prefixes may have effects on the argument structure of the derivationally modified verb. Added to simplex transitive and unergative verbs, they make the internal argument obligatory. Sometimes in those contexts they alter sortal restrictions concerning the internal argument. In recent literature, those prefixes are often called lexical or internal prefixes. Within a non-lexicalist derivational syntactic theory, the data suggest an analysis where those prefixes are generated in the comple­ment domain of the verbal lexical root (the category V).

The second group of prefixes, so-called superlexical or external pre­fixes, have aspectual/phasal and quantificational meanings. They do not directly influence the event structure by making internal arguments obliga­tory or changing selectional restrictions. However, this group of prefixes is quite heterogeneous with respect to alleged common properties like the compatibility with time span adverbials, the ability to form secondary imper­fectives, and the aspectual type of input they attach to. Nonetheless, the mentioned differences to lexical prefixes–the fact that lexical prefixes appear closer to the verbal root if co-occurring with superlexical prefixes, and the fact that superlexical but not lexical prefixes may be multiply inserted–suggest that superlexical prefixes are generated above the verbal root category (possibly as non-phrasal adjuncts).

Linguistische Beiträge zur Slavistik. XIV. JungslavistInnen-Treffen Stuttgart 2005. Hg. Ljudmila Geist und Grit Mehlhorn. München: Sagner 2008 (= Specimina Philologiae Slavicae 150), 177–196.