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Swiss Cheese for Lazy Speakers: Verb Omissions in Russian and Czech


Mazara, J (2010). Swiss Cheese for Lazy Speakers: Verb Omissions in Russian and Czech. In: Grønn, A; Marijanovic, I. Russian in Contrast. Oslo: University of Oslo, 231-242.

Abstract

In this paper, I examine a specialty of colloquial Russian – the omis- sion of verbs – and compare it to the possibilities of verb omission in Czech, where this phenomenon is rather rare. The omissions in question are to be separated from compulsory ellipses, which will not be taken into account in this paper. They are also not to be regarded as zero lexemes, which are elusive to attempts of reconstruction. The nature of this third kind of omis- sion itself presents a frame for the comparison, since these omissions can be placed along two scales, that of ambiguous/vague vs. unequivocally re- coverable and free formation vs. phraseologically bound phrase. The comparison of verb omissions in the two languages along these scales em- phasizes the restrictions of omissions in Czech and the high degree of free- dom in Russian. Moreover, verb omissions in Russian can lead to changes in the meaning of a sentence, whereas they seem to be merely a stylistic device in Czech.

In this paper, I examine a specialty of colloquial Russian – the omis- sion of verbs – and compare it to the possibilities of verb omission in Czech, where this phenomenon is rather rare. The omissions in question are to be separated from compulsory ellipses, which will not be taken into account in this paper. They are also not to be regarded as zero lexemes, which are elusive to attempts of reconstruction. The nature of this third kind of omis- sion itself presents a frame for the comparison, since these omissions can be placed along two scales, that of ambiguous/vague vs. unequivocally re- coverable and free formation vs. phraseologically bound phrase. The comparison of verb omissions in the two languages along these scales em- phasizes the restrictions of omissions in Czech and the high degree of free- dom in Russian. Moreover, verb omissions in Russian can lead to changes in the meaning of a sentence, whereas they seem to be merely a stylistic device in Czech.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:02 Mar 2011 16:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:48
Publisher:University of Oslo
Series Name:Oslo Studies in Language
Number:1
ISSN:1890-9639
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://www.journals.uio.no/index.php/osla/article/view/116
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-46312

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