Two Russian lexemes: VOZʹMI [i Y-ni] lit. ‘takeIMPER [and YIMPER]’ and VZJATʹ2 [i Y- nutʹ] lit. ‘to take and to do Y’

2023. № 2 (46), 9-25

Igor Mel’čuk
Observatoire de linguistique Sens-Texte, Université de Montréal
(Montréal, Canada)


The expressions of the form VOZʹMI [i Y-ni] lit. ‘take and do Y’ and VZJATʹ2 [i Y-nutʹ] lit. ‘to take and to do Y’— so-called mirative expressions—are described as combinations of the independent lexemes VOZʹMI and VZJATʹ2 with their actants. The paper offers a rigorous justification of this description: the representations of the mirative expressions under consideration on the semantic, the deep-syntactic and the surface-syntactic levels are given, as well as the full lexical entries for both lexemes (in the style of the Explanatory-Combinatorial Dictionary). The lexeme VOZʹMI is a signalative—an utterance that does not communicate information about the world, but signals some internal state of the Speaker, and the verb Y is treated as an actant of the lexemes VOZʹMI and VZJATʹ2.