Contraction in Russian Dialects: Evidence for Paradigm Contrast
Contraction of VjV sequences to V as in aja > a, aje > a, ojo > o, uju > u, eje > e, ije > i is found in northern and central Russian dialects, primarily in non-past verb forms and in adjectives. The focus of this paper is on the manifestation of this process in verbs and specifically on the resistance to contraction found in the 2pl forms. There are several different explanations in the literature for the exceptionality of 2pl forms, but they are not entirely convincing. I propose a new and more comprehensive explanation for the resistance to contraction in this category based on the notion of paradigm contrast.
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