Pronouns of the type chto-nibud’ ‘something’ in negative sentences.

2016. №3, 22-36

Elena V. Paducheva
FRC CSC, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119333, Russian Federation;


It is well-known that -nibud’ pronouns in Russian are prohibited in the scope of negation: in the context of negation they are replaced by negative pronouns, e. g. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT (on chto-nibud’ izmenil v svoej stat’e) = On nichego ne izmenil v svoej stat’e ‘he changed nothing in his paper’. However, it was noticed that this rule is not always applied, cf. such examples as Otkusila, podstaviv snizu ladoshku lodochkoi, chtoby chego-nibud’ ne uronit’ ‘she bit [it] off holding her hand close to her mouth so that she wouldn’t drop anything’, where the -nibud’ pronoun in the scope of negation is possible. The paper demonstrates that this phenomenon is restricted to contexts of suspended assertion (i. e. to modal contexts and their cognates), in other words, to contexts of nonveridicality.