The role of verb semantics in genitive alternations: genitive of negation and genitive of intensionality


  • Barbara H Partee University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Vladimir Borschev University of Massachusetts
  • Elena Paducheva Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Yakov Testelets Russian State University for the Humanities
  • Igor Yanovich MIT



Our goal is to capture what the different instances of Gen/Nom and Gen/Acc have in common semantically while still respecting the multiplicity of factors involved and not predicting more uniformity than is actually found. Our main idea is to treat Gen Neg and Gen Int as a “diathesis shift”, a “demotion” into a noncanonical subject or object position, semantically of type (e,t), thereby accounting for “decreased individuation/ referentiality”.

Author Biography

Barbara H Partee, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Philosophy