The <i>la</i>-form: Russian verbs in Nanai speech

  • Sofia Oskolskaya Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Natasha Stoynova Russian Language Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: language contact, code-switching, endangered languages, borrowings, verbal morphology, Russian, Nanai, Tungusic languages

Abstract

Nanai speakers who are fluent both in Nanai and Russian use verb forms with a Russian root and the suffix -la (called further “la-forms”) in their speech. The status of -la is under question: on the one hand, it resembles the Russian past tense form (-l), on the other hand, it can be interpreted as the Nanai derivational suffix -la/-, which is used in Standard Nanai for the verbalization of nouns. We argue that in modern Nanai this case turns out to be a complicated one, and that la-forms are maintained due to their links with both of these sources.

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Published
2013-05-21