Russian converbs – temporal interpretation and information structure


  • Maria Filiouchkina Krave ILOS, UiO



This paper presents a study of Russian converb constructions (non-finite verb forms used for adverbial subordination) and their interpretations, addressing the question of whether their semantic diversity could be explained in terms of vagueness (i.e. converbs are assumed to have one basic (vague) meaning, but may receive additional readings as a result of various linguistic as well as extra-linguistic factors) or polysemy (i.e. converb meanings can only be analyzed by listing all the different interpretations as a disjunction). Using compositional semantics, I present a temporal calculus for Russian converb sentences, arguing for a unified account of the semantics of converbs (a temporal overlap relation attributed to the converb suffix ‘-(j)a’ and the meaning of temporal anteriority encoded by the converb suffix ‘-v’). I conclude that these temporal meanings are the basic vague meanings of the two converb constructions, even though their realization is subject to constraints imposed by co-text or context.




How to Cite

Krave, Maria Filiouchkina. 2010. “Russian Converbs – Temporal Interpretation and Information Structure”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 1 (1).