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Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective

The 10th Anniversary FDSL Conference, Leipzig 2013


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

The proceedings of the 10 th 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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Bulgarian verb stems


← 442 | 443 →Andrew Spencer

University of Essex

Descriptive studies of Bulgarian are divided over the nature of the verbal stem system.1 According to standard Slavic tradition (as summarized exhaustively in Pašov 1966, and presented in the Academy Grammary, GSBKE)2 there are two basic stems, the present stem (segašna osnova) and the infinitive/aorist/past (aoristna osnova) stem and this analysis is widely adopted both in native grammars (for instance, GSBKE) as well as pedagogically oriented descriptions such as Hauge (1999, 85). However, other authors explicitly add a third, imperfect(ive) stem (imperfektna osnova) (Bojadžiev, Kucarov & Penčev 1998, 287; Nicolova 2008, 271; Radeva et al. 2003, 66). I argue that both analyses are correct and that they point to the need to distinguish different conceptions of stem in morphological theory.

In recent morphological theory the notion of stems has been reintroduced in order to capture distributional or meaning-based generalizations that cannot be captured otherwise. Stems in the general case are morphomic (Aronoff 1994), that is, governed solely by morphological principles. Their distribution cannot ← 443 | 444 →be explained in terms of phonology, syntax, or semantics, or even by a appeal to a natural class of morphosyntactic properties.

The parade example of the morphomic stem is the Latin ‘third stem’ (Aronoff 1994, ch.2). Latin verbs have an adjectival perfective passive participle: AMO ‘love’, ama:-t-us ‘loved’. In the regular (first, second, fourth) conjugations the stem is formed by suffixation of -t...

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