Accusative <--> Genitive in negated sentences

Hi all,

I have a few questions to those who is studying/have studied Russian as a foreign language. If you teach Russian, you can also help me!! It's for a survey I am doing for my linguistics studies about how a specific phenomenon is taught/introduced in the classroom/textbooks.

BACKGROUND (very roughly): In Russian, direct objects can be in Accusative (винительный падеж) or Genitive (родительный падеж) if the sentence contains negation.

For example,

NO negation:
-- You can say: Я видел картины (Accusative).
-- You cannot say: Я видел картин (Genitive).

WITH negation:
-- You can say: Я не видел картины (Accusative)
-- You can also say: Я не видел картин (Genitive).

QUESTIONS:
(1) Is this Accusative <--> Genitive alternation normally explained/addressed to (at lease minimally) in textbooks/classroom?
(2) If yes then how is the rule normally formulated textbooks/classroom?
(3) When is this first mentioned: beginner/intermediate/advanced levels?
(4) If you have a specific Russian textbook in mind, that would be awesome!

P.s. I could go to a library and examine all the Russian textbooks it has, but it's hard to know which of those multiple textbooks are actually used. Real life experience from Russian learners or teachers would be most helpful. Thanks for any feedback!!
 
  • palomnik

    Senior Member
    English
    QUESTIONS:
    (1) Is this Accusative <--> Genitive alternation normally explained/addressed to (at lease minimally) in textbooks/classroom?
    (2) If yes then how is the rule normally formulated textbooks/classroom?
    (3) When is this first mentioned: beginner/intermediate/advanced levels?
    (4) If you have a specific Russian textbook in mind, that would be awesome!
    (1) It is generally explained in textbooks.
    (2) The rule is generally formulated that the genitive case is required for negated verbs. The subtleties are left for later analysis.
    (3) It is first mentioned at beginner levels.
    (4) In Dawson's "Modern Russian I", a classic college level text, it is mentioned almost as soon as both the accusative and genitive cases are introduced, in lesson 4 or 5. Doherty's "First Course in Russian," which was a standard text for high school Russian in the USA, introduces it in Lesson 3. I'll have to go find the texts printed in Russia in the attic, but as I recall they all introduce it pretty early on.
     
    Thanks so much!! It's interesting that Genitive might be required with negation when the rule is taught in the classroom. In actual speech, the only case where it is absolutely required is when you use 'Нет', but as far as negated verbs are concerned Genitive is largely optional... I wonder whether Genitive/Accusative alternation with negation is ever addressed to as optional when first introduced in the classroom..?

    I will certainly look into the textbooks you've referred to!

    If anyone knows of any other Russian textbooks which are routinely used in the USA, I'd appreciate any help!
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    In H. G. Lunt, Fundamentals of Russian (1982 [1968]), the genitive of negation is first mentioned in Lesson 3, immediately after the genitive and accusative forms of nouns and the pronominal paradigms are introduced.
    Lunt p. 41 said:
    III.8 The principal use of the accusative is as the direct object of positive verbs […]
    III.9 However the genitive case is regularly required for the direct object of negated verbs. This construction is particulaly foreign to western languages and therefore should be noted especially.
    He returns to the topic in detail in Lesson XXIa. I will send the passage to you by PM, because it's kind of long.

    (Keep in mind the original publication date. But this book was still used when I studied Russian in the mid 90s.)
     
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