Valova Evdokiia

Syntactic properties of Russian enclitic particle ‘zhe

Valova Evdokiia (2014) "Syntactic properties of Russian enclitic particle ‘zhe ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia III : Filologiia, 2014, vol. 39, pp. 16-33 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII201439.16-33


The purpose of this paper is to describe syntactic properties of the Russian enclitic particle же. Clitics are defi ned as unaccented dependent words that cannot form full sentences and perform a single accentual unit with the lexical word. They also have no own stress and, according to Wakkernagel’s law, follow the fi rst lexical word (clitic-host) in a sentence. This rule operates in the Old Russian language, though in the modern Russian we fi nd exceptions. This paper is based on data from the Russian national corpus and takes a deeper view on the use of же in a diachronic aspect, on syntactic positions that this particle can take and on factors that aff ect the choice of its position. For our research, we have selected sentences with же and two types of noun phrase as a clitic-hosts, proper noun groups and groups that consist of an adjective and a noun. We argue that the particle can occupy the second and the third positions in such sentences: after the fi rst word or after the whole noun phrase. According to our data, же does not always follow Wakkernagel’s law and can go after a noun complex in its emphatic and adversative meaning. It usually follows two foreign proper nouns, titles of books or fi lms, place-names and fi xed expressions. In other cases, же mainly occupies the second position. Moreover, when the sentence contains a negation operator не, the enclitic же is usually placed in the second position after the fi rst word of a noun phrase. We can therefore suppose that in the modern Russian language the strict operation of Wakkernagel’s law is no more obligatory for this clitic and that its positions can vary.


clitics, particles, word order, Wackernagel’s law, Russian language, corpusbased study


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Valova Evdokiia