Morphologic amber constructions with morphemes {mezh} and {mezhd}

2020. № 2 (40), 33-87

Аlexandr N. Barulin
Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences


The paper is devoted to morphological, morpho-syntactic, and semantic analysis of the
Russian morphemes {MEZH} and {MEZHD} and compounds containing these morphemes
as the first component. The analysis is based on the author’s morphological theory the essentials of which are given in the 1st paragraph, in development since 1977. For the adequate
analysis of compounds containing the above-mentioned morphemes, the notion of recursive
operation changing a taxonomic status of a language unit (ROCTS, [Barulin 2018]), or otherwise
the amber operation for brevity, is used. The amber operation executes the taxonomic
status change of any language unit, be it an ideophone, syllable, or a phrase, into the derivational
base. That is, it changes the morpheme’s syntactics in the way that it can move either to
the higher or to the lower level in the root–clitic–affix hierarchy. Examples showing the advisability
of this conversion are also provided: separable prefixes in German, or transition of
the copula from root to clitic in Turkish, or transition of prepositions from clitics to prefixes
in Russian, or finally, transition of clitics to root-morphs in English. The paper also deals with
the issues of grouping allomorphs and variomorphs with different constructive status into a
morpheme. The last part of the paper is devoted to the rules of choice between synonymic
root-clitic compounds containing MEZH and MEZHDU.