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Становлення присвійного займенника третьої особи множини в українській літературній мові

Journal: Movoznavstvo (Vol.2018, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 40-53

Keywords : Ukrainian grammar; diachronic evolution; corpus; statistics; possessive.;

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The paper describesthe diachronic evolution of the specialized (adjectival) possessive jixnij ‘their' in Ukrainian, as opposed to the invariable possessive jix, ambiguous between possessive and pronominal genitive. The latter pattern is the only standard variant in Russian, whereas in Ukrainian and Belarusian a certain degree of variation between the two models is attested, distinctive also from the diachronic point of view. The study is based on GRAC, a diachronic regionally annotated Ukrainian corpus including texts since the arrival of the Modern Ukrainian period (1810s) until the present-day texts. Different regions of Ukraine are represented in the corpus, as well as different countries of the diaspora. The occurrence of both variants is statistically analyzed depending upon the corresponding periods and regions. Before 1870s jixnij is not attested in the works of the major Ukrainian writers of the period. It was still used rather marginally in the last quarter of the 19th century, with Mykhajlo Starytskyj as the first author to use it on a par with the possessive jix. Jixnij does not gain ground until the 20th century, the first author to use it predominantly over jix being Volodymyr Vynnychenko. Something it is characterized by the linguists of the period as a neologism or Russianism (ostensibly from Russian non-standard ixnij and its variants). It becomes first standardized as the preferable option, more clearly disambiguating between the genitive and the possessive function, about 1920s–1930s, and becomes widespread after that date. The normative sources of the 20th century hesitate between the two, although, in its second half, increasingly prefer jixnij. The usage basically follows the norm, and currently numerous purists, vice versa, tend to reject and stigmatize the older variant jix as an alleged Russianism and/or neologism. Even the texts of the 19th century are sometimes re-edited with jix changed to jixnij. Our study shows that jixnij is used overall less frequently (in all the historical periods) in non-fiction than in fiction, and that the dramatic increase in its frequency occurs about 1970 in fiction but only about 1990 in non-fiction. Some regional differences between Eastern and Western Ukraine are not so clear-cut. Jix also tends to retain higher frequencies within idioms like jix(nja) mylist'/velyčnist' ‘their grace/majesty' than in free combinations. In journalistic, official and academic texts the rate of jixnij increases slower and in combination with specific lexicon rare in fiction and oral speech like zmist ‘content', značennja ‘meaning', osnova ‘basis'etc. fluctuates about 50% of all the 3rd person singular possessives in the texts created after 1945; currently it is even lower than 50%. Thus the new variant jixnij is the unmarked one and the most frequent one in the contemporary texts, being used in different genres, whereas the older variant jix is restricted in its use while still clearly regaining ground in non-fiction.

Last modified: 2020-09-17 00:45:53