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Re: _na Ukraine_ vs _v Ukraine_ (fuit: Origins of the Gay Bearded Left-Handed Lithuanian Conlanger)

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 0:55
On Jan 28, 2008 11:29 AM, Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...> wrote:
> On 27.1.2008 Sai Emrys wrote: > > _na Ukraine_ vs _v Ukraine_ in Russian political > > language. > > Could you briefly explain that, offlist if you prefer?
AFAIK it's not published yet, so I'll be fairly brief (her paper goes into far more detail). Essentially, _na_ and _v_ both translate very approximately to the preposition 'in'. Both used of countries and locations, by a somewhat complex ruleset. However, _v_ conveys the idea of an enclosure, whereas _na_ does not (and _na_ also means 'on top of'). So historically, _v_ has been used for 'in (a governmental entity)' and _na_ for 'in (a geographic entity)'. (Very ish. Like I said, it's complex.) The historical usage is _na Ukraine_ - but that was pre-independence and such. This has evidently become a big political correctness issue, with grammarians, nationalists on both sides, historical revisionism (even of nationalist authors who used _na_!), circumlocutions by politicians wanting to make nice with both, discussion of which is the 'correct' version, and all the rest. Plus, the choice of _na_ vs _v_ directly cues several other grammatical choices, so it spills out. As I said, I found her paper to be both hilarious and interesting. (Which, to be honest, is my response to most reviews of grammarian-type activity.) I have no idea where she's publishing it; I just got to see (and help edit a little bit) a final draft while she was visiting. If you want to contact her, the name is Julia Krivoruchko; she's currently at Cambridge for some kind of judeo-greek project (of which I confess I understand rather little). - Sai


Sai Emrys <sai@...>