A Grammar of Aspect: Usage and Meaning in the Russian Verb

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Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview This book was originally published in Aspect - the relationship between imperfective and perfective verbs - has always been one of the features of Russian grammar that English-speaking students find particularly difficult. It has in fact often appeared to be an insoluble mystery, largely because of the frequency of exceptions to the stated rules. Mr Forsyth suggests that this is the fault of the rules, and that the difficulties in the way of understanding the functioning of aspect stem chiefly from the faulty basis of the traditional definitions.

The operation of imperfective and perfective are examined in all forms of the verb including the imperative, infinitive, participles and gerunds, and their usage is amply illustrated by examples from Russian.

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The aim is to present a total picture of aspect in the Russian language which will be of practical interest to advanced students of Russian, and also contributed to the theoretical study of aspect as a grammatical category. Product Details Table of Contents. Table of Contents Preface; 1. The category of aspect; 2. Aspect and form; 3. Aspectual pairs; 4. Past tense; 5.


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Present and future tenses; 6. Multiple action; 7. Modals - I. Imperative; 8.

Usage of Russian Verbs

Modals - II. Infinitive and other constructions; 9. Gerunds and participles; Verbs of motion; Conclusion; Bibliography; Russian index; English index. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Aspects of Macbeth. Aspects of Macbeth, with its companion volume, Aspects of Othello, brings together authoritative articles by Aspects of Macbeth, with its companion volume, Aspects of Othello, brings together authoritative articles by distinguished Shakespeare scholars.

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A Grammar of Aspect: Usage and Meaning in the Russian Verb by James Forsyth

The reason is that these are, primarily, derivational instruments always changing the semantic meaning of a verb to some extent. Each prefix is a morpheme having its own meaning. Because of its abstractness it is often considered a purely perfectivizing prefix Comrie, , This is a dubious assertion because there is a clear semantic difference between e. Another complication is the existence of perfective or imperfective tantum verbs.

Finally, there is a number of biaspectual verbs which can be viewed either as perfective or imperfective depending on situation Gladney, :.

Verb Aspects Practice/Past tense

Prefixation is by far the most common way of perfectivisation. This view on prefixes as the principal Aspect forming elements is contested by some scholars. To understand this we should analyse the alternative ways of changing Aspect in Russian by means of certain suffixes. Many simplex verbs can be made perfective by adding a suffix -nu- to the root.

The role of prefixes and suffixes in changing the aspectual state is a matter of dispute. While most researchers agree that all verbal prefixes change the semantic meaning of a verb and argue mostly on the extent of such change, there is a wide-spread belief that suffixes are purely grammatical markers:. Suffixation leads to secondary imperfectivization of the verb regardless of the type of verb stem and the change is mainly grammatical: from perfective to imperfective aspect. In the case of suffixes, the inherent semantic meaning is not as obvious as that of the majority of prefixes since it is somewhat more general and abstract, but this does not mean that suffixes are void of any meaning.

Let us consider the common perfectivizing suffix -nu- which gives a verb a distinctive semelfactive momentary or punctiliar action aspect. The above shows that the specific feature of the Slavonic Aspect is the inseparable unity of the Lexical Aspect Aktionsart with the Grammatical Aspect. This interrelation may be presented graphically as shown on Fig.

Forsyth formulated this specific character of Slavonic Aspect as:. The essential difference, however, is that only the Slavonic languages have systematized the expression of aspect at the morphological level in the opposition of two sets of verb forms. Forsyth, , The distinct nature and complexity of Slavonic Aspect is in the intricate interaction of verbal semantics and morphology within the general temporal framework.

Its unique character has led to a debate of whether this system was the primordial state of the IE Indo-European proto-language see e. Bartalotta, A. Notably, similar aspectual features: morphological expression and aspectual pairs are found not only in Lithuanian and Latvian, which are closely related to Slavonic, but also in Ossetic and the ancient Iranian languages like Sogdian Abaev, albeit in a reduced degree. The opinions here are divided and this controversial issue deserves a special research. See other posts. Dickey, Stephen M. Gladney, Frank Y.

Harper, Douglas.

Present Tense

Kamynina, A. Morfologija Contemporary Russian Language. Maslov, Ju. Smith, Carlota S. Comments feed for this article. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Subscribe to feed.

One of the traditional definitions of such opposition typical of native grammarians may be: Perfective verbs denote a completed action, the carrying of the action through to its completion in the past or future […]. Pulkina and Zakhaya-Nekrasova, , This definition is specific to Aspect as it is understood in Slavonic. Comrie, , Russian verbs are conjugated for number singular and plural , gender masculine, neuter, feminine , person first, second, third and tense present, past, future.