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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013


Gerhild Zybatow, Petr Biskup, Marcel Guhl, Claudia Hurtig, Olav Mueller-Reichau and Maria Yastrebova

The proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages in Leipzig 2013 offer current formal investigations into Slavic morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and information structure. In addition to papers of the main conference, the volume presents those of two special workshops: «Formal Perspectives and Diachronic Change in Slavic Languages» and «Various Aspects of Heritage Language». The following languages are addressed: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), Bulgarian, Czech, Macedonian, Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Resian, Slovak and Slovene.
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Event token and event type anaphora in Slavic imperatives


← 10 | 11 →Silje Susanne Alvestad

University of Oslo

The starting point of this article is a comparative study of how aspect is used in Slavic imperatives. Given that we typically use imperatives when we want the addressee to change the world in some way, we expect the most widespread aspect in the imperative to be the perfective (PF). However, works such as Benacchio (2010), von Waldenfels (2012) and, more recently, Alvestad (2013) have shown that this expectation is borne out only for a minority of the Slavic languages—namely, the West Slavic ones. The question I will address in this paper is thus the following. In particularly the East Slavic languages, why is the imperfective (IPF) aspect so widespread? I will argue that what we see in many of the cases in question is in fact the same phenomenon that is referred to as the general-factual IPF when declaratives and interrogatives are involved. In other words, in many of these cases, IPF refers to a single, complete event.

Since imperatives are not associated with facts, I will follow Iatridou (2000) and subsequently Grønn (2013) in referring to IPF in such cases as fake. In his account of the general-factual IPF in Russian, Grønn (2004) identifies two types of this interpretation of IPF and assumes that the second, the presuppositional type, always involves event token anaphora. I will show that, at least for imperatives, this hypothesis is too strong and must be modified....

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