Article: PDF
DOI: 10.26170/ FK20-02-08
Abstract: The article is relevant because of the semantic ambiguity in the interpretation of impersonal sentences in Russian, and the diverse approaches to categorizing the subject. The object of the analysis is the semantic subject of an utterance as a property of the predicate. The goal of the study is to prove that all Russian impersonal sentences contain a semantic subject and the lexical meaning of predicate verbs allows to distinguish a well-defined, concrete meaning of the subject in the utterance. A set of linguistic methods, including component analysis, context analysis, and transformation method, was used to address specific problems. The materials studied are impersonal sentences describing the environment, natural phenomena. The material was sourced from the dictionaries, Russian National Corpus and modern mass media. The study helped to identify which particular aspect of the subject semantics is reflected in the impersonal predicate. There is qualitatively a different correlation between a subject and an action: in objective reality an action does not exist in isolation, it is a function of a subject; hence the structure of a sentence is determined not only by a predicate, but by mutual correlation between subject and predicative components. The analysis of Russian impersonal sentences proved that all predicates including impersonal verbs describing natural phenomena have a potential subject valence. The subject component is either explicated in the utterance as a semantic-syntactic position, or it does not find expression at the surface level, remaining implicit. In this case an event is presented indiscretely. The predicate verbs in impersonal sentences under analyzed group have a maximum high predictive ability to determine the semantics of their subject actant, since they are reference oriented. Unfilled position of a subject corresponds to a particular reference which is identical to an incorporated subject in the lexical meaning of a verb predicate. The results of study can be applied to fundamental research on semantic syntax, typological syntax, lexical semantics, as well as to teaching Russian in colleges and schools.

For citation

Mikhailova, O. A., Mikhailova, Ju. N. (2020). The Semantic Subject in Russian Impersonal Sentence. In Philological Class. 2020. Vol. 25 ⋅ №2. P. 93-102. DOI 10.26170/ FK20-02-08.