Russian verbs with fixed order of complements and properties of complement clauses

2018. № 2 (36), 180-198

Alexandr B. Letuchij, Higher School of Economics, National Research University / Vinogradov Russian Language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia


The article focuses on the ordering of arguments in Russian. The central class of phenomena is represented by verbs having a clausal complement that has a fixed position with respect to other arguments and the matrix verb. I mostly analyze verbs like ščitat’ ‘consider’, rassmatrivat’ kak ‘regard as’, trebovat’ ‘request, require’, which require the clausal complement to be situated after the nominal object, but not before it. I seek to find the reasons for this restriction, which is in general not characteristic of Russian syntax. The conclusion is that it results from several factors: the syntactic weight of complement clauses, looseness of syntactic link with the head, compared to nominal arguments, and so on. The data of other Russian constructions (e. g., coordinate structures) also show that clausal constituents tend to be situated after nominal ones.