THE GENITIVE SUBJECT OF THE VERB byt'
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Babby's 1980 monograph has created the concept that the genitive subject in a negative Russian sentence is characteristic of existential sentences and it expresses non-referentiality. The sentences with the verb byt' (as, e.g. 'Mena ne bylo v Moskve' 'I have not been in Moscow') are an obvious counter-example to this claim: they express location and they are referential. It was shown by the authoress in 1997 that the existential component is, in fact, not the only semantic prerequisite for the genitive subject - the other one is a perceptual component as, e.g., in the sentence 'Mashi ne vidno' (One can not see Masha). The aim of the present paper is to demonstrate that the genitive in localising byt'- sentences conveys the meaning of the presence of the perceiver or the conscious subject in the situation.
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