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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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The usage of verbal aspect in the language of Russian-speaking migrants in Germany


← 530 | 531 →Maria Yastrebova

Leipzig University

This paper presents an analysis of changes in Russian verbal aspect usage under the influence of the German language. The empirical data show a number of deviations in the use of Russian verbal aspect: uncertainty when using verbal prefixes; an increased usage of analytical forms; no secondary imperfectivisation; and a significant preference for perfective forms in the class of accomplishments (according to Vendler’s verb classification). Though the number of deviations is rather large, there is no lexicalization of the aspect. At present we can speak only about the tendencies of language development, not about new Russian language norms in Germany.

Aspect is traditionally understood as “different ways of viewing the internal temporal constituency of a situation” (Comrie 1976, 3). When studying aspect, it is important to make a distinction between grammatical and lexical aspect. Grammatical aspect is a feature of clauses and is often expressed by inflectional morphology. Lexical aspect is a feature of verbal predicates. It refers to the type of situation the predicate expresses based on its lexical class. Vendler’s verb classification (1967) that is used in this article is based on lexical features of verbs. In this work only Vendler’s classification - thus lexical aspect - will be discussed. For more about lexical and grammatical aspect see in Smith (1991).

There are many studies concerning Russian verbal aspect (e.g. Bondarko 1971; Comrie 1976; Zaliznjak 1997). In Russian there are two aspects - imperfective...

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