Nominalizing evaluative suffixes in Russian: The interaction of declension class, gender, and animacy

Keywords: morphosyntax, evaluative suffix, gender, declension class, nominalization, Russian


This is a study of Russian nominalizing evaluative suffixes that form nouns of the -a-declension. Such suffixes are very interesting to investigate because they can consistently change the animacy, declension class, and grammatical gender of the base to which they attach. However, the resulting nominalizations belong to different grammatical genders that seem to depend on the biological gender of a discourse referent. This work investigates morphosyntactic properties of such evaluative suffixes and proposes an account for the differences in grammatical gender.

Nominalizing evaluative suffixes in Russian are drastically understudied. However, they contribute significantly to many important and much-debated questions in the current linguistic literature concerning the interaction between grammatical gender and declension class, mixed gender agreement, interpretability of gender features, and default gender.

This research is done in the framework of Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993; Halle 1997; Marantz 1997, among many others) and contributes to our understanding of the process of nominalization. 

How to Cite
Steriopolo, Olga. 2017. “Nominalizing Evaluative Suffixes in Russian: The Interaction of Declension Class, Gender, and Animacy”. Poljarnyj Vestnik 20 (November), 18-44.
Articles (peer reviewed)