The Locative Alternation and the Russian ‘empty’ prefixes: A case study of the verb gruzit’ ‘load’

Svetlana Sokolova, Olga Lyashevskaya, and Laura A. Janda. The Locative Alternation and the Russian ‘empty’ prefixes: A case study of the verb gruzit’ ‘load’.
We present an empirical study to address two theoretical issues, both of which are controversial in the scholarly literature, namely the “Locative Alternation” and Russian aspectual “empty” prefixes. Our data, extracted from the Russian National Corpus, represent the behavior of the Russian verb gruzit’‘load’, which participates in the Locative Alternation in both its unprefixed (gruzit’) and prefixed forms (nagruzit’, zagruzit’and pogruzit’), where the prefixes na-, za- and po- are traditionally considered semantically “empty”, bearing only the aspectual feature “perfective”.