JSL Volume 20 No.2
From the Editor 149
On the Relationship between Gemination and Palatalization in
Early Romance Loanwords in Common Slavic 151
Hans Robert Mehlig
Hybrid Predicates in Russian 171
A Phonetically Natural vs. Native Language Pattern:
An Experimental Study of Velar Palatalization in Serbian 229
Catherine Ringen and Vladimir Kulikov
Voicing in Russian Stops: Cross-Linguistic Implications 269
Ljudmila Geist. Die Kopula und ihr Komplemente:
Zur Kompositionalität in Kopulasätzen 287
Björn Hansen and Jasmina Grković-Major, eds. Diachronic
Slavonic syntax: Gradual changes in focus 299
Index to Volumes 1–20 311
On the Relationship between Gemination and Palatalization in Early Romance Loanwords in Common Slavic
Abstract: This paper discusses how geminates in Early Romance loanwords were treated in Common Slavic. The proposal is that there was a tendency for Romance geminates to be replaced by palatalized consonants in Slavic, possibly via an early palatalized geminate stage in Slavic itself. This proposal receives support from the close relation between gemination and palatalization found in other Indo-European languages and presents a more systematic account of the phenomenon than other available explanations.
Hans Robert Mehlig
Hybrid Predicates in Russian
Abstract: Apart from elementary predications that can be classified clearly as Activities or Accomplishments, Russian has elementary predications that are hybrid in their actionality and can be classified as Activities as well as Accomplishments. With regard to the category of aspect in Russian, these hybrid predications are characterized by the fact that they can be coded perfective not only by a paired perfective verb but also by a so-called delimitative procedural verb. The first part of this paper examines the conditions under which elementary predications can be interpreted as hybrid. Two different types of hybrid Accomplishments will be distinguished. First, there are hybrid Accomplishments where the Activity component is conceptualized as a homogeneous continuous process and thus fulfills the principle of arbitrary divisibility. In this case the imperfective aspect, which forms the basis for coding the Accomplishment as perfective by a delimitative procedural verb, has durative-processual meaning. Second, there are hybrid Accomplishments where the Activity component consists of several randomly ordered subevents and thus fulfills the principle of cumulativity. In this case the Activity component has conative meaning. The second part shows that elementary predications that are not hybrid in their actionality can be reclassified in their actionality by temporal distributivity and in that case are also characterized as hybrid. The third part deals with predications with an inner argument modified by quantifying determiners and measure expressions. I show that these predications likewise allow a reclassification by temporal distributivity. However, this is only the case if the extent of the entities involved in the situation is determined in advance.
A Phonetically Natural vs. Native Language Pattern: An Experimental Study of Velar Palatalization in Serbian
Abstract: Two experiments test the naturalness hypothesis of velar palatalization. This hypothesis, based on surveys of various languages with velar palatalization, states that if a language has palatalization before [e], then it will have palatalization before [i], but not necessarily vice versa. Serbian is a prima facie counterexample to this generalization in certain morphosyntactic contexts, including the present-tense paradigm examined in this paper. In this context, Serbian palatalizes a velar stop [k] to a palatoalveolar affricate [ê] before [e] but not before [i]. Two experiments are conducted to test whether Serbian-speaking children and adults generalize from the existing pattern of palatalization before [e] to the natural pattern of palatalization before both mid and high vowels. The results from the first experiment show that children conform to the phonetically natural pattern but adults do not. These results suggest that speakers must be exposed to the pattern that “violates” the phonetically natural one for a substantial period of time before overwriting the phonetically natural pattern. The results from the second experiment, artificial pattern learning, show that the type of task and the type of palatalization (before [i] or [e]) play a crucial role, while age does not. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that subjects are more likely to choose a phonetically natural form presented to them than to volunteer it.
Catherine Ringen and Vladimir Kulikov
Voicing in Russian Stops: Cross-Linguistic Implications
Abstract: This paper presents the results of an investigation of voicing in utterance-initial and intervocalic stops in monolingual Russian speakers. Prevoicing was found in over 97% of the lenis stops; over 97% of the intervocalic stops were fully voiced. Utterance-initial fortis stops were pronounced as voiceless unaspirated and had short positive VOT. Intervocalic fortis stops were completely voiceless except for a short voicing tail into closure. These results are relevant for typological studies of voicing. Some studies of languages with a two-way contrast between initial stops with prevoicing and short lag VOT have reported that prevoicing is less robust than what might be expected. These findings have been attributed to influence from another language without prevoicing. Our results with monolingual speakers of Russian support these claims. Our results are also relevant for the debate about the laryngeal feature in aspirating languages, which often have some voicing of intervocalic lenis stops. Such voicing has been attributed to passive voicing, in contrast with active voicing that occurs in true voice languages such as Russian. We found that the voicing in Russian is much more robust than the intervocalic voicing in aspirating languages. This difference is explained if the features of contrast are different in the two types of languages: [voice] in the case of Russian and [spread glottis] in the case of aspirating languages.