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Сказать-то сказал – Verben mit klitischem Demonstrativpronomen im Russischen

Thomas Daiber

Pages 312 - 330

Skazat’-to skazal – Verbs with clitic demonstrative pronouns in Russian

Studies on the pragmatic value and information-structuring function of lexical compounds with the particle -то in Russian have shown that the semantics of the compound refers to information which is contextually available to the hearer, as an appeal to activate this information. The appellative function may also be used to introduce a new theme in discourse which is loosely connected with an already introduced discourse topic. So far, studies about -то compounds were nearly exclusively concerned with non-verbal elements, while our study refers to verbal compounds in the infinitive (объяснять-то) or a finite form (говорим-то). Testing different collocations, the study confirms the finding of preceding studies that -то activates frame information which cannot be directly referred to by an immediately following anaphoric pronoun. Therefore, the imperfective aspect is predominant with the verbs used in a compound with -то. In contrast to single verbal compounds, the double constructions with “infinitive/finite verb + -то + finite verb” (читать-то читали, сказал-то сказал) refer to a finite state of affairs which can be referred to in an immediately following utterance. Pointing to semantic differences between the single and the double verbal compounds with -то, it seems that double verbal compounds in colloquial Russian act like periphrases for the lacuna in the aspect system – reference to present tense finite actions. The paper is no full-fledged analysis of the phenomenon but wants to draw attention to the interesting construction.

The article is written in German.


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