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La Référence Nominale et L'emploi de L'imperfectif Constatif dans les Questions Oui-Non et Wh- en Russe

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Noun's reference and the constative use of the imperfective aspect in yes-no and wh- questions in Russian.

The present paper attempts to establish the general semantic restrictions on the constative use of the Russian imperfective aspect in yes-no and wh-questions. The main conclusion of the proposed analysis is that all cases of the constative use of the imperfective aspect in questions are submitted to the multiplicity of hypothetical occurrences restriction. This restriction makes the constative use of the imperfective possible only if the hypothetical situation described in the question can have more than one occurrence even if the question concerns only one of all possible occurrences. This restriction is imposed on the lexical content of the VP. Special attention is drawn to the cases where the VP contains a nominal expression, since the referential or non-referential content of the noun belonging to the VP appears to be the principal factor influencing the possibility of the constative use of the imperfective.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1993-01-01

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