The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling Lunch 4/30 - Lena Karvovskaya

Speaker: Lena Karvovskaya (MIT/Universiteit Leiden)
Title: Complex relatives in Russian
Time: Thurs 4/30, 12:30-1:45
Place: 32-D461

I will discuss the intensifier “sam” in Russian (which is similar to English “himself” in its “emphatic reflexive” function). The intensifier “sam” can combine with a reflexive pronoun. Two agreement patterns are possible in this case, “sam” can either agree in case with the internal argument (the reflexive) or it can agree in case with the external argument (the subject). The second agreement pattern is puzzling, because the intensifier is not a part of the subject constituent.

I will present the properties that correspond to each of the agreement patterns and argue that we are dealing with two different constructions: in one case the intensifier is a modifier of the reflexive, in the other case it adjoins to the vP and receive its case marking as the result of agreement with the subject.