Pure Case and Prepositional Case in Russian

Per Durst-Andersen*, Elena Lorentzen

*Corresponding author for this work

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By considering Russian case as the nominal equivalent to mood whereby its semantic functions are emphasized at the expense of its syntactic functions, it is demonstrated that the nominative, accusative, vocative and genitive cases constitute a mini system in which the nominative and the accusative function as the indicative denoting local reference, the vocative as the imperative demanding local reference and the genitive as the subjunctive denoting non-local reference. At the same time, the genitive enters into another subsystem together with the dative and the instrumental in which they express three different viewpoints, which equally apply to the pure as well as the prepositional case systems. Within the prepositional case system, the accusative and the locative are treated by the notion of contact, while the genitive, dative and the instrumental are treated by the lack of contact—prepositional analogues to the notion of local reference and non-local reference. It is suggested that the notion ‘contact’ has had a clear retroactive influence on the function of the accusative in the pure case system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRussian Linguistics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)177-221
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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