Aspectual prefixes in Slavic languages

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dva_arla
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Aspectual prefixes in Slavic languages

Post by dva_arla »

Are there historical lexical factors that dictate which prefixes (or mechanisms besides prefixing) mark one or both of the pair of aspects in Modern Slavic languages? What factors dictate the assigning, for instance (and taking Polish verbs as an example), of:

zo- to baczyć
na- to pisać
po- to ciec

Some things that I am aware of:

1. The perfective-imperfective distinction wasn't formed yet in OCS; i.e. they must be formed more recently (i.e. after the breakup of the Slavic languages into sufficiently distinct lects -- no earlier than 1000 A.D.)
2. The suffixes may vary by language. One that I randomly came across in Wiktionary:
буди́ть - разбуди́ть or пробуди́ть
budzić - obudzić
(for some reason Wiktionary does not provide aspectual pairs for verbs in South Slavic languages [Serbian, Bulgarian, etc.]; do they even exist in such languages?)
3. Most of the time the imperfective is unmarked and a perfect would be formed by attaching a prefix, but somewhat more rarely it is the perfect which is unmarked (by prefixes), sometimes both aspects are marked, and at other times there are other mechanisms at work (ablaut, suppletion, suffixation, etc.)
(Note: am currently too lazy to provide examples for each, but those who knows the topic [or at least one Slavic language] will know what I am talking about.)
Salmoneus
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Re: Aspectual prefixes in Slavic languages

Post by Salmoneus »

I know nothing about Slavic.

However, in general in IE, the process of adding prepositions to verbs to change their aspect - as in English or Latin - is a haphazard affair, with prepositions being chosen for a variety of reasons, including core physical sense, metaphorical extensions of that sense, analogies with other verbs, and coincidence of sequence (different prepositions may be used at different periods, or a preposition may have to be avoided because that compound already exists with another meaning). This is often made worse by phonological mergers between similar prepositions/prefixes when unstressed, and sometimes by reanalysis.

Consider, for instance, the creation of completive verbs by prepositions/adverbs in English: she played out the remainder of the match, but then she ate up the food. [in earlier English, a prepositional prefix would often be used, but these have mostly become non-productive and archaic, with phrasals now preferred; but this also shows the arbitrariness of prepositional choice, because you end up getting doublets like the archaic/legal forstop (with for-) and the modern stop up (with 'up').]


Looking on Google, I'm told of Russian that the choice is not always predictable, but is also not wholly arbitrary, often being pleonastic to the meaning of the verb. vy- indicates exhaustion or emptying, na- indicates contact with a surface, pro- indicates scanning or going over, and so forth. po- is apparently the neutral choice. Doesn't say what z- indicates, though wiktionary suggests a meaning 'down' or the like.
dva_arla
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Re: Aspectual prefixes in Slavic languages

Post by dva_arla »

with prepositions being chosen for a variety of reasons, including core physical sense, metaphorical extensions of that sense, analogies with other verbs, and coincidence of sequence (different prepositions may be used at different periods, or a preposition may have to be avoided because that compound already exists with another meaning). This is often made worse by phonological mergers between similar prepositions/prefixes when unstressed, and sometimes by reanalysis.
Any articles on this — on any language?
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Sequor
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Re: Aspectual prefixes in Slavic languages

Post by Sequor »

Salmoneus wrote: 07 Jul 2021 15:13Looking on Google, I'm told of Russian that the choice is not always predictable, but is also not wholly arbitrary, often being pleonastic to the meaning of the verb. vy- indicates exhaustion or emptying, na- indicates contact with a surface, pro- indicates scanning or going over, and so forth. po- is apparently the neutral choice. Doesn't say what z- indicates, though wiktionary suggests a meaning 'down' or the like.
I showed this paragraph to a Russian speaker and he remarked:
vy- can also imply completion (I would compare it roughly to Latin ex-)

agreed that po- is quite neutral

pro- can also indicate waste
By z- it appears you meant из- (iz-) btw?

The Wiktionary pages on Russian verbal prefixes in general seem pretty useful for this question:
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category ... l_prefixes
hīc sunt linguificēs. hēr bēoþ tungemakeras.
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