A Cognitive Grammar Analysis of the Semantics of the Russian Verbal Prefix na-

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Hart-Moynihan, Christopher
Linguistics; Russian; Cognitive Grammar
thesis / dissertation description
The Russian verbal prefix na- is one of a set of aspectual prefixes that exhibit characteristics of both derivational and inflectional morphemes. In addition to forming aspectual pairs as a grammatical marker of Perfective aspect, na-, in many cases, also carries lexical meaning; in these cases, na-prefixation changes the lexical/semantic meaning of the verbal stem, resulting in a distinct lexical item. I examine a sample of 40 verbs to compare the frequencies of na- as a lexicalized prefix and as a grammaticalized prefix. I then propose a radial category model to account for the polysemous functions of na-, with several metonymically and metaphorically related functions branching out from a single spatial prototype.