Syntax and Semantics of Bare NPs : Objects of Intensive Reflexive Verbs in Russian

Olga Kagan, Asya Pereltsvaig

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Since the adoption of Abney’s (1987) influential proposal that noun phrases are (at most) DPs, the hypothesis that not all noun phrases in all languages are DPs has been widely debated. A particularly interesting case in this respect is presented by Slavic languages lacking overt articles such as Russian or Serbo-Croatian: are noun phrases in such languages ever DPs, always DPs, or sometimes DPs and sometimes not? For instance, Pereltsvaig (2006) argued that although some noun phrases in Russian are to be analyzed as DPs, others are not projected fully and only reach the level of QP or even remain bare NPs (the assumption that QP, which hosts numerals and quantifiers such as mnogo ‘many, much’, is projected below DP is supported most robustly by word order facts).1 Pesetsky (2007) considers a further range of noun phrases in Russian which he claims to be bare NPs. However, neither Pereltsvaig nor Pesetsky address the question of the semantics of such bare NPs, in particular, how they combine with elements in the verbal predicate to create the correct range of meanings. The present paper is aimed at filling this gap. More generally, it further contributes to the investigation of bare NPs and the interaction of their syntactic and semantic properties. The empirical coverage of the present paper is focused on the objects of the socalled intensive reflexive verbs in Russian, illustrated in (1) (the internal structure of these verbs is discussed in Section 1 below). The goal of the present paper is to provide a syntactic and a semantic account of the noun phrases that appear to complement intensive reflexives. Such noun phrases can appear in one of two case markings: genitive or instrumental.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Colloque de Synatxe et Semantique a Paris
EditorsOlivier Bonami, Patricia Cabredo Hofherr
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameEmpirical issues in syntax and semantics


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