The Russian Locative and Accusative and Their Relation to Time and Space

Per Durst-Andersen, Elena Lorentzen

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The paper analyzes the uses of the Russian accusative and locative in which they are directly opposed to one another. It is demonstrated that in spatial contexts the accusative denotes change of contact, whereas the locative denotes permanent contact. This is a manifestation of the crucial distinction between dynamicity and stativity within the prepositional case system of Russian in which the accusative and the locative are regarded as contact cases while all others are regarded as non-contact cases. In temporal contexts the notion of time is treated as space when the locative is used – either as location or a set of elements. This means that the accusative is alone in expressing time in its own right, where the speaker makes contact with a timeline. In addition, the semantic contribution of the prepositions v ‘in’ and na ‘on’ to the accusative and locative cases is shown.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)200-227
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Permanent contact vs. change of contact
  • Stativity vs. dynamicity
  • Set vs. timeline
  • Interiority vs. exteriority
  • Time as space

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