We offer a model of Russian core syntax in terms of a radial category network of constructions. The prototype corresponds to Langacker’s “canonical event model”, namely a prototypical transitive event, and more peripheral constructions are related to it via metaphor and metonymy. From this perspective we focus on non-canonical subjects marked in the dative case, highlighting the complex interaction of lexical items (verbs) with constructions, and building on our previous work on case and infinitives. We hypothesize that a speaker’s perception of cause may be influenced by the use of non-canonical subjects (in Russian) rather than canonical subjects (in English) and present the results of an experiment. We are unable to prove any conclusive effect, but show the importance and need for further testing.
|Name||Constructional Approaches to Language|