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PeriphrasisThe Role of Syntax and Morphology in Paradigms$
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Marina Chumakina and Greville Corbett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265253

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265253.001.0001

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Periphrasis in Tundra Nenets1

Periphrasis in Tundra Nenets1

Chapter:
(p.77) 4 Periphrasis in Tundra Nenets1
Source:
Periphrasis
Author(s):

Irina Nikolaeva

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265253.003.0004

A detailed picture of periphrasis in Nenets (Uralic) presents a typologically rare instance of periphrasis in a nominal paradigm (as opposed to more familiar verbal periphrasis). Previous accounts treated Nenets nouns as an uncontroversial example of periphrasis, but this chapter demonstrates that a closer look reveals a more complicated picture. It argues that the choice between the usage of the periphrastic dual form and the numeral ‘two’ (which takes the singular) correlates with definiteness and/or discourse givenness. In addition, analysis of this rare instance of periphrasis in a noun system reveals interesting aspects of the way the number system works in the language. The chapter also investigates the periphrastic realization of verbal negation, where the auxiliary carries the information of the verb type. For intransitive verbs, the type is either ‘subjective’ or ‘reflexive’ and there are, surprisingly, arguments in favour of treating these as purely morphological classes.

Keywords:   linguistics, morphology, syntax, Nenets, nominal categories, dual number, negation, information structure

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