How to break three prohibitions at a time: Some remarks on Russian verbs with sam-…-sja.

2017. №4, 25-32

Pavel V. Grashchenkov
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation;
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 107996, Russian Federation;
Moscow State University of Education, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation;


The paper discusses the fact that Russian forms like samouničtožatsja, samovzryvajuš’ijsja violate three constraints: a) the constraint on complex verb derivation; b) the constraint on subject expression; c) the constraint on discontinuous placement of derivational morphology. The analysis shows that the arguments of compounds cannot bear the agent role. The root sam- (‘self’, emphatic) is often observed in the first part of verbal compounds and is projected here by the reflexives -sja or seb’a. The ability to project its own structure shows that -sja is a head projecting v(oice)P.