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Title: Short-term morphosyntactic change : the development of the Russian predicate adjective, 1800-2000
Author: Long, Alison Jane
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
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It is well established that all languages undergo change. Such changes have been seen in the Russian language in a relatively short period of time, particularly in the area of morphosyntax. In order to quantify and examine such changes data from the Russian language was used (the Barentsen Corpus). The aim of his thesis is to quantify change in Russian predicate adjective usage over a two hundred year period, 1801 - 2000, and improve upon the statistical analyses of corpora. A Russian predicate adjective may take one of three forms; the short form (SF), the long form nominative (LF-N) and the long form instrumental (LF-I). It is widely recognised that short form usage is declining In Russian. This study set out to determine how and where this decline was taking place over the two hundred year period. This was done through examination of examples taken from the Barentsen Corpus, which were then divided according to pre-decided criteria and analysed statistically. The results were divided according to the specific grammatical element examined; verbs, nouns and adjectives. Overall, it was found, as expected, that the short form is in decline. Statistical analysis enabled the nature and time of the change, including its statistical significance, to be identified within the time period examined. Through the statistical analysis used in this study it was shown that specific areas of change were identified. For example, the increasing occurrence of the LF-I with semi-copula verbs was observed, and that different rates of change were observed in the time period examined depending on grammatical features and some lexical items (a group of adjectives favouring the SF). Therefore, the methods used in this study allowed the quantification of changes in choice of predicate adjective form, building upon previous work by Benson, Gustavsson and Bazenova.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available