The Semantics of Suffixation:
Agentive Substantival Suffixes in Contemporary Standard Russian
Any serious analysis concerning the semantic structure of Contemporary Standard Russian [CSR] must necessarily come to terms with the system of lexical morphemes that play a central role in word-forming processes. Given the interrelationship between the categories of grammatical and lexical meaning that is expressed by suffixation in CSR, a reductionist approach is excluded. In the present work, suffixation in CSR is viewed as one component of the system of multifaceted sign interaction. The theoretical premises of this work are semiotic in the Jacobsonian and Peircian traditions. The corpus of analysis is restricted to agentive substantival suffixes.
While taking into account the more positive aspects of previous approaches to the analysis of word formation in CSR, this work is unique in engaging a range of theoretical and pragmatic issues that pertain to the interrelation of lexical and grammatical categories as they are realized in suffixation. The present analysis is based on four modes of presentation:
(1) Explication of the theoretical principles of semantic theory, including questions of classification, deixis, arbitrariness and semantic change; (2) A detailed analysis of the CSR agentive substantival suffixes; (3) Contrastive analyses of the system of augmentative and diminutive agentive substantival suffixes and their relevance in defining semiotic theory, the viability of iconicity in language change and meaning, and the role of interpretants; (4) A Russian-English glossary of substantives, organized by suffix.
The Russian-English glossary brings together from a broad range of sources forms that are used in both literary and colloquial CSR.
Edna Andrews is Director of the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, Duke University. She is author of Markedness Theory: The Union of Assymetry and Semiosis in Language (1990), A Handbook of Russian Verbal Prefixes (1983).
ISBN 9783895860737. LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 05. 250pp. 1996.