"Semantic Motivations for Aspectual Clusters of Russian verbs"

Download 505 b.
Hajmi505 b.

“Semantic Motivations for Aspectual Clusters of Russian verbs”

  • Laura A. Janda

  • University of Tromsø

  • laura.janda@hum.uit.no

  • hum.uit.no/lajanda

Main Ideas

  • Meaning of verb motivates aspectual behavior

  • Conceptualization of different types of events and relationship to time

  • Components of verb meaning correlate with selection of Perfectives

Theoretical Framework

  • Cluster model, four types of Perfectives

  • Metaphors motivate Perfectives

  • Cluster structure: 0-4 types of Perfectives

  • Cluster structure largely predictable from the meanings of verbs

  • Motion verbs are prototypical


  • Cluster model

  • Types of Perfectives

  • Implicational hierarchy

  • Metaphorical motivation of Perfectives

  • Travel vs. motion and Completability

  • Granular vs. fluid and Singularizability

  • Conclusions

Part 1

  • What is the structure of the aspect system?


  • Model of aspectual “pairs” has a long tradition:

    • Vinogradov 1938, Šaxmatov 1941, Bondarko 1983, Čertkova 1996, Zaliznjak & Šmelev 2000, Timberlake 2004

What is an aspectual cluster?

  • An aspectual cluster is a group of verbs joined via transitive relationships on the basis of aspectual derivational morphology

    • All verbs in a cluster are aspectually related to a single lexical item
  • In addition to Imperfective Activity verbs, an aspectual cluster can include four types of Perfective verbs:

    • Natural Perfective, Specialized Perfective, Complex Act, Single Act

Four types of Perfectives:

  • Natural Perfective:

    • написатьp ‘write’, связатьp ‘tie’, о(б)щипатьp ‘pinch/pluck’, окрепнутьp ‘get stronger’
  • Specialized Perfective:

    • переписатьp ‘rewrite’, развязатьp ‘untie’, переработатьp ‘revise’, вдутьp ‘blow in’, выщипатьp ‘pluck out’
  • Complex Act Perfective:

    • пописатьp ‘write a while’, поработатьp ‘work a while’, подутьp ‘blow a while’, пощипатьp ‘pinch/pluck a while’, поскрипетьp ‘squeak a while’
  • Single Act Perfective:

    • дунутьp ‘blow once’, щипнутьp ‘pinch/pluck once’, скрипнутьp ‘squeak once’

Cluster components:

  • Five items (Imperfective Activity + four types of Perfectives) can compose 31 different combinations, but only 12 cluster types are attested

  • The three metaphors motivate an Implicational Hierarchy that constrains the structure of aspectual clusters

The Implicational Hierarchy:

  • There is a single Implicational Hierarchy that predicts all and only the aspectual clusters that exist in Russian.

    • This result is based on empirical study of two multiply stratified samples of over 350 verb clusters (several thousand verbs).

The Implicational Hierarchy:

  • Activity

  • щипатьi ‘pinch/pluck’

  • > (Natural/Specialized Perfective)

  • о(б)щипатьp ‘pinch/pluck’/выщипатьp ‘pluck out’

  • > Complex Act Perfective

  • пощипатьp ‘pinch/pluck a while’

  • > Single Act Perfective

  • щипнутьp ‘pinch/pluck once’

Cluster Structures

  • Activity

  • Activity + Natural Perfective

  • Activity + Specialized Perfective

  • Activity + Natural Perfective + Specialized Perfective

  • To any of the above one can add either:

  • …+ Complex Act Perfective

  • …+ Complex Act Perfective + Single Act Perfective

  • Total: 12 extant cluster types

Part 2

  • Why does the aspect system have this structure?

Metaphors and types of perfectives:

  • Three metaphors govern the Russian aspectual system

  • These metaphors motivate the derivation of four different types of Perfective verbs

The three metaphors

  • Solid vs. Substance => Perfective vs. Imperfective

  • Travel vs. Motion => Construal of Completability

  • Granular vs. Fluid => Construal of Singularizability

Travel vs. Motion

  • One can travel to a destination

    • or –
  • One can move without a destination

  • This distinction is grammaticalized in Russian motion verbs: идтиi ‘walk (somewhere)’ vs. ходитьi ‘walk (around, back and forth)’

  • This can be likened to the Completability of an action


  • Писатель пишетi книгу.

  • ‘The writer is writing a book.’


  • Many verbs are Ambiguous:

    • Completable
      • Писатель пишетi книгу ‘A writer is writing a book’
    • Non-Completable
      • Писатель пишетi книги ‘A writer writes books’
  • Some verbs are Non-Completable: стонатьi ‘moan’

    • But some can be Completable if specialized
      • работатьi ‘work’ > переработатьp ‘revise’
  • Few verbs are unambiguously Completable:

      • крепнутьi > окрепнутьp ‘get stronger’

What Completability means for aspectual derivation:

  • Only verbs that can be construed as Completable have Natural Perfectives

    • писатьi ‘write’ > написатьp ‘write’, крепнутьi ‘get stronger’ > окрепнутьp ‘get stronger’
  • Only verbs that can be construed as Non-Completable have Complex Act Perfectives

    • писатьi ‘write’> пописатьp ‘write a while’, стонатьi ‘moan’> постонатьp ‘moan a while’, работатьi ‘work’> поработатьp ‘work a while’
  • Verbs that can be Completable if specialized have Specialized Perfectives

    • писатьi ‘write’> переписатьp ‘rewrite’, работатьi ‘work’ > переработатьp ‘revise’

Granular vs. Fluid:

  • Substances can be:

    • Particulate, like sand
    • Continuous, like water


  • Мальчик дулi на одуванчик.

  • ‘The boy was blowing on the dandelion.’

  • Мальчик дунулp на одуванчик.

  • ‘The boy blew once on the dandelion.’

What Singularizability means for aspectual derivation:

  • Only verbs that can be construed as Non-Completable and have a Complex Act Perfective can also have a Single Act Perfective:

      • щипатьi ‘pinch/pluck’ + пощипатьp ‘pinch/pluck a while’ > щипнутьp ‘pinch/pluck once’
      • дутьi ‘blow’ + подутьp ‘blow a while’ > дунутьp ‘blow once’
      • скрипетьi ‘squeak’ + поскрипетьp ‘squeak a while’ > скрипнутьp ‘squeak once’
      • работатьi ‘work’ + поработатьp ‘work a while’ > *работнутьp ‘work once’ [NB: Some are formed ad-hoc]

Singularizability and motion verbs:

  • The Non-Completable motion verbs can also be construed as Singularizable

    • ходитьi ‘walk’ can refer to multiple round-trips, in which case there is a Single Act Perfective сходитьp ‘make a single round trip’


  • The cluster model is more accurate than the “pair” model

  • Cluster structures are highly constrained and transparently motivated by meanings of verbs:

    • Verbs with Completable construals form Natural Perfectives
    • Verbs with Non-Completable construals form Complex Act Perfectives
    • Verbs with Granular construals form Single Act Perfectives
  • Motion verbs play a prototypical role in the system


      • Avilova, N. S. 1968. Dvuvidovye glagoly s zaimstvovannoi osnovoi v russkom literaturnom jazyke novogo vremeni, Voprosy iazykoznaniia: 66–78.
      • Bertinetto, Pier Marco, and Denis Delfitto. 2000. Aspect vs. Actionality: Why They Should Be Kept Apart, Tense and Aspect in the Languages of Europe, ed. Östen Dahl, 189–225, Berlin.
      • Bondarko, Aleksandr V. 1983. Principy funkcional’noi grammatiki i voprosy aspektologii. Leningrad.
      • Chertkova, Marina Iu. 1996. Grammaticheskaia kategoriia vida v sovremennom russkom iazyke. Moscow.
      • Dahl, Östen. 1985. Tense and Aspect Systems. Oxford.
      • Galton, Herbert. 1976. The Main Functions of the Slavic Verbal Aspect. Skopje.
      • Gladney, Frank Y. 1982. Biaspectual Verbs and the Syntax of Aspect in Russian, Slavic and East European Journal 26: 202–215.
      • Haspelmath, Martin. 1997. From Space to Time: Temporal Adverbials in the World’s Languages. Munich.
      • Isachenko, A. V. 1960. Grammaticheskii stroi russkogo iazyka v sopostavlenii s slovatskim – Chast’ vtoraia: morfologiia. Bratislava.
      • Janda, Laura A. 1995. Unpacking Markedness, Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics, ed. Eugene Casad, 207–233. Berlin.
      • —. 2000a. Cognitive Linguistics, http://www.indiana.edu/~slavconf/SLING2K.
      • —. 2000b. A Cognitive Model of the Russian Accusative Case, Trudy mezhdunarodnoi konferencii Kognitivnoe modelirovanie 4, ed. R. K. Potapova, V. D. Solov’ev and V. N. Poliakov, 20–43. Moscow.
      • —. 2002a. Sémantika pádů v češtině, Setkání s češtinou, ed. Alena Krausová, Markéta Slezáková, and Zdeňka Svobodová, 29–35. Prague.
      • —. 2002b. The Case for Competing Conceptual Systems, Cognitive Linguistics Today. Studies in Language 6, ed. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Kamila Turewicz, 355–374. Frankfurt.
      • —. 2002c. Concepts of Case and Time in Slavic, Glossos 3 http://www.seelrc.org/glossos/.


      • —. 2002d. Cognitive Hot Spots in the Russian Case System, Peircean Semiotics: The State of the Art. The Peirce Seminar Papers 5, ed. Michael Shapiro, 165-188. New York.
      • —. 2002e. The Conceptualization of Events and Their Relationship to Time in Russian, Glossos 2 http://www.seelrc.org/glossos/.
      • —. 2002f. Cases in Collision, Cases in Collusion: The Semantic Space of Case in Czech and Russian, Where One’s Tongue Rules Well: A Festschrift for Charles E. Townsend, ed. Laura A. Janda, Steven Franks, and Ronald Feldstein, 43–61. Columbus, Ohio.
      • —. 2003. A User-friendly Conceptualization of Aspect, Slavic and East European Journal 47: 251–281.
      • —. 2004a. Border Zones in the Russian Case System, Sokrovennye smysly, ed. Iu. D. Apresian, 378–398. Moscow.
      • —. 2004b. A Metaphor in Search of a Source Domain: The Categories of Slavic Aspect, Cognitive Linguistics 15: 471–527.
      • —. 2006. A Metaphor for Aspect in Slavic, Henrik Birnbaum in Memoriam. International Journal of Slavic Linguistics and Poetics 44–45: 249–60.
      • —. Forthcoming a. Aspectual Clusters of Russian Verbs, Studies in Language.
      • —. Forthcoming b. Totally Normal Chaos: The Aspectual Behavior of Russian Motion Verbs, Harvard Ukrainian Studies.
      • —. Forthcoming c. What Makes Russian Bi-aspectual Verbs Special, Slavic Contributions to Cognitive Linguistics. Cognitive Linguistics Research, ed. Dagmar Divjak and Agata Kochanska. Berlin/New York.
      • Janda, Laura A., and Steven J. Clancy. 2002. The Case Book for Russian. Bloomington, IN.
      • —. 2006. The Case Book for Czech. Bloomington, IN.


      • Janda, Laura A., and John Korba. In print. Beyond the Pair: Aspectual Derivation for Learners of Russian.
      • Jászay, Lázl. 1999. Vidovye korreliaty pri dvuvidovykh glagolakh, Studia Russica 17: 169–177.
      • Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. Chicago.
      • Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors We Live by. Chicago.
      • —. 1999. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. New York.
      • Muchnik, I. P. 1966. Razvitie sistemy dvuvidovyx glagolov v sovremennom russkom jazyke, Voprosy iazykoznaniia: 61–75.
      • Smith, Carlota S. 1991. The Parameter of Aspect. Dordrecht.
      • Shakhmatov, A. A. 1941. Sintaksis russkogo jayzka. Leningrad.
      • Tatevosov, Sergej. 2002. The Parameter of Actionality, Linguistic Typology 6: 317–401.
      • Timberlake, Alan. 2004. A Reference Grammar of Russian. Cambridge.
      • Vendler, Zeno. 1957. Verbs and times, The Philosophical Review 66: 143–160.
      • Vinogradov, V. V. 1938. Sovremennyi russkii iazyk. Grammaticheskoe uchenie o slove. Moscow.
      • Wheeler, Marcus. 1972/1992. The Oxford Russian-English Dictionary, 2nd edition. Oxford.
      • Zalizniak, Anna A. and Aleksei D. Shmelev. 2000. Vvedenie v russkuiu aspektologiiu. Moscow.

Download 505 b.

Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:

Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan ©fayllar.org 2020
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling