Dažь vъ nja poja obrjašče krivo…: on the conjunction daže and the status of the «da + praesens» construction in Old Russian

2014. № 2 (28), 180-190

Anna V. Ptencova, Lomonosov Moscow State University


The article proposes a hypothesis of the origin of Old Russian conjunction daže ‘if’, wherein it is supposed to derive from the da + praesens construction with particle že (which probably had an adversative meaning) inserted into it secondarily. This view is similar to the hypothesis put forward by A. A. Zalzinjak of the origin of Old Russian conjunction dati introducing purpose clauses. Zalzinjak supposes this conjunction to be connected directly with the construction da + praes. If the hypothesis of the origin of daže is valid, ‘imperativeness’ and ‘optativeness’ may not be the only two meanings initially attached to the construction in question: it could also express conditionality (like the Modern Russian construction pust’/puskaj + verb). The use of conjunction daže ‘if’ was not restricted to literary language: examples of it are found in documents (e.g. Mstislavova gramota).