Semantics of Genitive Objects in Russian

A Study of Genitive of Negation and Intensional Genitive Case

  • Olga Kagan

Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 89)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Olga Kagan
    Pages 31-57
  3. Olga Kagan
    Pages 161-183
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 185-186

About this book


The genitive/accusative opposition in Slavic languages is a decades-old linguistic conundrum. Shedding new light on this perplexing object-case alternation in Russian, this volume analyzes two variants of genitive objects that alternate with accusative complements—the genitive of negation and the intensional genitive. The author contends that these variants are manifestations of the same phenomenon, and thus require an integrated analysis. Further, that the choice of case is sensitive to factors that fuse semantics and pragmatics, and that the genitive case is assigned to objects denoting properties at the same time as they lack commitment to existence.

Kagan’s subtle analysis accounts for the complex relations between case-marking and other properties, such as definiteness, specificity, number and aspect. It also reveals a correlation between the genitive case and the subjunctive mood, and relates her overarching subject matter to other instances of differential object-marking.


Definite objects Definiteness and DOM in other languages Desiderative predicates Differential object marking Directive predicates Epistemic predicates Fiction predicates GenNeg Assignment to Specific and Definite NPs Genitive objects and perfective verbs Intensional genitive Irrealis Genitive in Negative Contexts Negative concord items Non-canonical genitive case Partitive genitive Russian linguistics Subjunctive mood Weak intesional predicates case alternations genitive of negation intensional predicates property type specificity

Authors and affiliations

  • Olga Kagan
    • 1
  1. 1.Modi'inIsrael

Bibliographic information