Show Less
Restricted access

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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Severing imperfectivity from the verb


← 464 | 465 →Sergei Tatevosov

Lomonosov Moscow State University

It has been a celebrated tradition to identify the contribution of verbal derivational morphology in Russian in terms of viewpoint aspect. As Karcevski (1927/2004) indicates, “being added to a simplex verb, a prefix changes the verb’s semantic value as well as its transitivity and aspectual value [emphasis added]” (Karcevski 2004: 125). Prefixes perfectivize, in other words. Conversely, “suffixes, except for -nut’ and anut’… are imperfective… Secondary suffixes form secondary imperfectives” (Karcevski 2004: 125). According to this traditional view, the prefix pro- and the secondary imperfective suffix -yva in (1) are phonological exponents of semantic aspects, perfective and imperfective, respectively.


čita-t’ pro-čita-t’ pro-čit-yva-t’

read-INF PRF-read-INF PRF-read-YVA-INF

The traditional view has been challenged many times. Filip (2000) argues that prefixes are not exponents of perfectivity since their distribution differs from what can be expected from a true inflectional morpheme: “If verbal aspect in Slavic languages is a grammatical category, as is standardly assumed, and if this also implies that aspect is an inflectional category, then prefixes cannot be aspectual (perfective) morphemes, because such markers ought to have inflectional characteristics” (Filip 2000:78). Filip’s argument is mostly based on two facts about prefixation: prefixes can stack/co-occur, as in (2), and prefixed stems can undergo secondary imperfectivization, as in (3); examples are mine:




You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.