The Russian Deverbal Noun in -ije and the Expression of Abstract Events in Contemporary Standard Russian

Misbach, Michael, Slavic Languages and Literatures - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Elson, Mark, AS-Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLAV), University of Virginia

This dissertation analyzes the ways in which events are expressed abstractly in Contemporary Standard Russian (CSR) and why this is significant. The author takes the position that the role played in such expression by nouns in -ije is only one of many, with other prominent means being that of the infinitive, то-subordinate clauses (so-called то, что constructions), borrowed nouns in -инг (sometimes the suffix alone being borrowed), and nouns in -ø (zero morpheme). The dissertation consists of a functional analysis of the grammar of CSR, a textual analysis of literary translations, as well as a survey of native speakers of CSR. Throughout the dissertation, the author’s native language, English, is used as a point of comparison, as it features a relatively versatile means of expressing events abstractly in the gerund (verbal noun in -ing). Commentary regarding textbook presentations of the topic is also included with the hope that language instructors give greater consideration to event abstraction in the classroom. A tangential chapter compares Russian to five other Slavic languages (Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Bulgarian) to determine whether or not any broader tendencies as to event abstraction within the Slavic language family are observable. Because it appears that West Slavic languages more readily express events abstractly, a proposal is made as to the possible cause of such a difference.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Russian, Abstract Nouns, Abstraction, Language Instruction, Deverbal Nouns, Slavic Languages, Linguistics
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