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A word-based approach to Russian derivational morphology with the suffix {+к(а)}

Shalal, Fadhel (2018) A word-based approach to Russian derivational morphology with the suffix {+к(а)}. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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In Russian, there are derivational suffixes which are distinguished by the uniform manner in which they form surface words. These suffixes keep the same phonological/orthographic composition and are found with surface words derived only from a particular base, as seen with {+тель} and {+ость}. However, the suffix {+к(а)} displays more complexity than the suffixes above. While the Item-and-Arrangement morphemic approach seems acceptable when morphemes are organised in a linear arrangement, such as демократ /demokrat/ ‘democrat (m.)’ > демократка /demokratka/ ‘democrat (f.)’, this approach cannot be generalised over other coinages due to the mismatch of the following: 1) the orthographic correspondence as illustrated by болгарин /bolgarin/ ‘Bulgarian (m.)’ > болгарка /bolgarka/ ‘Bulgarian (f.)’; and 2) the semantic relatedness as found with вода /voda/ ‘water’ > водка /vodka/ ‘vodka’. Moreover, the formation of this suffix possibly differs from other counterpart suffixes that denote similar functions/meanings. For instance, this suffix expresses the diminutive meaning as found by дед /ded/ ‘grandfather’ > дедка /dedka/ ‘grandfather (dim.)’. However, the majority of suffixes that denote diminutiveness are masculine, such as {+ок} (город /gorod/ ‘city’ > городок /gorodok/ ‘small city’); {+ик} (дом /dom/ ‘house’ > домик /domik/ ‘small house’); {+чик} (роман /roman/ ‘novel’ > романчик /romanchik/ ‘small novel’), etc. One of the outcomes of this study is a contribution to the debate on morphological models from a morphological perspective only. Other approaches (e.g. psycholinguistics, frequency of occurrence, corpus-based study, experimental-based study, and prototype-radial model) are employed to determine which model describes the word formation process in Russian. I identify the correlation of productivity of {+к(a)} with its mental representation and frequency factor. Also, I demonstrate the effect of relative frequency on coinages of {+к(a)} using corpus materials. The reaction time of native speakers is tested to evaluate whether coinages of {+к(a)} are mentally perceived according to storage or compositional process. Finally, I provide a new look at the semantic distribution of {+к(a)} based on ‘prototype theory’ which connects multiple meanings/functions of {+к(a)} according to ‘family relatedness’ concept. My data on {+к(a)} come from a variety of sources, such as dictionaries, corpora, and an online experiment. I make use of data from a number of Russian dictionaries to ascertain the scope of use of this suffix and provide information on its semantics. Corpora data, however, constitute a more representative source of modern language usage, and I use them to assess the importance of frequency of occurrence. Finally, I employ experimental data to test whether the cognitive perception of native speakers supports a single-route account of word-formation. The suffix {+к(а)} has a substantial influence in Russian since it provides a multiplicity of semantic meanings. It is used in forming a larger number of words compared to other suffixes. Its formation includes a variety of linguistic phenomena which are associated with word formation process (e.g. additive morphology, subtractive morphology, allomorphy, and mutation). This complexity requires explanation. After providing such an explanation and comprehensive details about suffixation in Russian, it will be argued that {+к(a)} can serve as an appropriate tool in order to assess the performance of models of word-formation; it is therefore used to test our hypotheses. I find that the word-based approach represented by the Word and Paradigm (WP) gives a more convincing explanation of linguistic phenomena associated with {+к(а)} and offers a better explanation for the description of {+к(а)} than other approaches, particularly a morpheme-based approach represented by the Item and Arrangement model (IA) or a process-based approach represented by the Item and Process model (IP).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Russian and Slavonic Studies (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.752610
Depositing User: Mr Fadhel Shalal
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 10:01
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:56
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21306

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