Russian Language Journal


morphosyntax, transformation, analysis, Russian


In 1973-­‐‑74, Dick Brecht and I wrote an article entitled The Syntax of Voice in Russian, which appeared in Language in 1975 (hereafter B&B 1975). Since then Dick and I have gone off in different directions, but I have returned periodically to the rich vein of data and problems in our paper and return to them again here, this time within the frame-­‐‑ work of the argument-­‐‑structure based theory of morphosyntax (ASBMT) proposed in Babby 2009, 2010a, 2010b, and 2011, which has enabled me, after the passage of 35 years, to pinpoint what was right in the Syntax of Voice in Russian and where we went wrong. Our argumentation against the existence of complex, construction-­‐‑specific transformations like early versions of the passive transformation has stood the test of time. I will concentrate here on the most productive uses of the Russian -­‐‑sja (-­‐‑sja and -­‐‑s’ after vowels) and -­‐‑en-­‐‑ (-­‐‑en-­‐‑ ~ -­‐‑n-­‐‑ ~ -­‐‑t-­‐‑) suffixes, which was the empirical focus of our 1975 paper.