The adverb odnaždy: An indefinite temporal specifier.

2013. №1, 22-37


We propose a lexicographic description of the two lexemes of the adverb ODNAŽDY ‘once, one day’: the quantitative ODNAŽDY1 (On byl tam tol’ko odnaždy ‘He has been there only once’) and the temporal pronominal ODNAŽDY2 (Šël on odnaždy domoj iz školy ‘One day he was walking home from school’). Similarly to weakly indefi nite pronouns (such as KOE-ČTO ≈ ‘something’), ODNAŽDY2 [Q] has the following characteristic: the corresponding referents – the time of the fact Q and the fact Q itself – are non-identifi able for the Addressee. Q’s non-identifi ability is specifi ed in terms of three properties of its referent: optionality (e.g., suicide – as opposed to death), repeatability (e.g., a heart attack – as opposed to suicide), and triviality (e.g., a visit to the movies – as opposed to a heart attack); if the referent lacks at least one of these properties, the use of ODNAŽDY2 in the corresponding sentence is ungrammatical (*Odnaždy ona pokončila žizn’ samoubijstvom ‘One day she committed suicide’: a suicide is optional, but non-repeatable and non-trivial).