Gouskova and Bobaljik 2022

Gouskova, Maria and Jonathan David Bobaljik. 2022. The lexical core of a complex functional affix: Russian baby-diminutive -onok. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 40:4, pp. 1075–1115. [pdf][doi]

Like other syntactic elements, affixes are sometimes said to be heads or modifiers. In Russian, one
suffix,-onok, can be either: as a head, it is a size diminutive denoting baby animals, and as a modifier,
it is an evaluative with a dismissive/affectionate flavor. Various grammatical properties of this suffix
differ between the two uses: gender, declension class, and interaction with suppletive alternations,
both as target and trigger. We explore a reductionist account of these differences: the baby diminutive
comprises a lexical morpheme plus a functional nominalizing head, while the evaluative affix is the
lexical morpheme alone. We contend that our account is superior to two conceivable alternatives:
first, the view that these are homophonous but unrelated affixes, and second, a cartographic alternative,
whereby diminutives attach at different levels in a universal structure.

Comments Off on Gouskova and Bobaljik 2022

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.