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A generative study of certain prefixal variants in Contemporary Standard Russian Blazicevic, Branko M.

Abstract

One of many language phenomena in Contemporary Standard Russian is the fact that besides the so-called regular prefixes, which in the process of Russian word-formation are the most common ones, there are also various prefixal variant forms used in particular phonological environments, in which the former do not occur. Alongside the regular prefixes, one of the largest groups of these variant forms is, for instance, the group with variants V0-and SO- (alternating with V- and S-, respectively), and other analogous forms with their distinct final vowel segment. An examination of such corresponding pairs of variant forms as S- and SO- leads to the conclusion that in the course of the historical development of the Russian language system, certain archiprefixes, or primary prefixes, underwent different phonological changes as the result of specific governing principles. The distribution of the prefixal related forms, like S- and SO-, provides evidence that in some early phonological environments certain primary prefixes developed into structurally more stable positional variants, their final segment being realized as the vowel segment o. The object of this study is: . a) firstly, to identify the main categories of the Contemporary Standard Russian (CSR) prefixal variants with the final vowel segment o, and those particular root morpheme segments which provide the environment essential for the resulting forms of the derivations of these prefixes; b) secondly, to determine from the data collected whether the initial root morpheme segments, with regard to their synchronic characteristics, are in any way instrumental in the realization of prefixal variants with the final o segment; c) thirdly, to systematize the significant data of prefixal and root morphemes into appropriate groups exhibiting common features; and, d) finally, by first positing the underlying representations of the prefixal variants with the final o segment and their correlating root morphemes, to generate the typical group examples by means of the relevant phonological rules and to derive their near-to-surface phonetic forms representing the broad phonetic features, as they occur at the stage at which some of the very latest phonological rules have not yet applied.

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