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Preverbal (in)definites in Russian: An experimental study

Olga Borik; Joan Borràs-Comes; Daria Seres

This paper presents an experimental investigation aimed at determining the exact
nature of the relationship between type of interpretation (definite or indefinite) and
linear position (pre- or postverbal) of bare nominal subjects of intransitive predicates in Russian. The results of our experiment confirm that preverbal position
correlates with a definite interpretation, and postverbal position with an indefinite
interpretation. However, we also discovered that the acceptance rate of preverbal
indefinites is reasonably high. We suggest an explanation for the appearance of
indefinites in preverbal subject position in terms of lexical accessibility, which is
couched in general terms of D-linking.

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