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Title: Zur Geschichte von Partikeln: russisch 'uzhe' und 'uzh'
Keywords: Russian
Issue Date: 30-May-2013
Publisher: European University Viadrina, Faculty for Cultural Sciences
Description: This paper discusses the semantic evolution of the Russian particles 'uzh' and 'uzhe' which are etymologically and semantically closely related. The meaning of 'uzhe' in modern Russian is 'already'. 'Uzh' has two different meanings. First, it can be used as a modal particle which can be roughly rendered into English as 'be sure', 'really'. Second, it is used as a so-called opening particle ('and', 'and so'). I gathered the material for this study from a selected variety of texts, ranging from the birch-bark documents (11th-15th centuries) to 19th century Russian literature. I also perused the dictionaries, which delineate the lexicon of former periods of Russian for these particles and related forms. My findings suggest the following semantic development. Originally only uzhe existed. It had four different meanings:<br> 1. 'already',<br> 2. 'be sure', 'really' (modal particle),<br> 3. 'and', 'and so' (opening particle) 'and'<br> 4. 'at once', 'soon'.<br> 'Uzh' was at first fully synonymous with 'uzhe'. Later 'uzhe' lost the meanings 'be sure', 'really', 'and', 'and so' and 'at once', 'soon'. The last meaning was also abandoned by 'uzh'; it is, however, still presented in the substandard form 'uzho' of modern Russian. Thus, 'uzh' came to mean 'already', 'be sure', 'really' (modal particle) and 'and', 'and so (opening particle). As the last step in this process of 'job sharing', 'uzh' was confined to the meanings as modal particle and as opening particle, the more important one being 'be sure', 'really' (modal particle). This situation is, however, not yet reflected in the dictionaries of modern Russian, which present 'uzhe' and 'uzh' as partly synonymous.
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Appears in Collections:Languages and Literatures

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