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Chapter 1 Introductory Remarks The Macedonian verb constitutes one of the most complicated but least studied systems in the Slavic linguistic world. The goal of this book is an elucidation of this system by means of semantic definitions of the grammatical categories of the literary Macedonian indicative and a description of their syntactic properties. The resources of both structural and generative linguistics will be called upon in achieving this goal. This first chapter will supply the basic theoretical orientation and a practical description of the morphology of the verb. The first task, however, will be a definition of the type of Macedonian serving as the basis of this study. Throughout this work, Macedonian should be understood to mean the modern Macedonian literary language. The terms modern or literary will be used to modify Macedonian only when it is wished to imply “as opposed to dialectal or pre-1944 Macedonian.” For the purposes of this book, Macedonian will be defined as the official language of the Republic of Macedonia as codified in the grammar of Blaže Koneski (1967) and the three-volume dictionary edited by him (1961–66), as published in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia since August 2, 1944, or as spoken by people whose mother tongue is Macedonian and who have had at least one year of a college education. The problems raised by dialectal differentiation will be treated as they arise in the course of the succeeding chapters. The system of transliteration will be the official one employed in Macedonia. The grammatical categories of the verb are those parts of its meaning which are conveyed by means of grammatical processes, e.g., changes in form, which do not affect lexical meaning. The present work will deal only with inflectional categories of the indicative mood. Every Macedonian verb is marked for voice and the aspectual opposition perfective/imperfective. Since the marking for these categories does not change during conjugation, they will not be of concern to this work, but a very brief discussion of the category of perfectivity is called for. For the sake of clarity and simplicity, the traditional approach to this category, as represented by Koneski (1967: 370), Lunt (1952: 67), Forsyth (1970: 8), and Jakobson (1932: 76), will be adopted. Perfective aspect denotes the accomplishment of an action, or it can denote a series of actions viewed as a whole. The perfective verb directs the listener’s attention to the completion of the act. Imperfective verbs focus upon the action itself without specifying its completion, and so they may frequently be durative or iterative. Thus, perfective verbs describe the action as a fulfillment (izvršenost), while imperfective verbs describe it as a process (proces). While this theory of the category of perfectivity may have its difficulties, these will in no way impede the analysis of the categories of the Macedonian indicative. Within the categories of the indicative, there is another aspectual system operating: that which distinguishes the aorist from the imperfect. While the interaction of these two types of aspect would affect any analysis of the total Macedonian verbal system, the problems raised by such interaction do not penetrate to the level of analysis at which this work will be conducted. On the basis of Gołąb (1964a: 1) and Aronson (1977: 14) in his modification of Jakobson (1957: 4), mood can be defined as the ontological qualification of the narrated event. Any modal form which is marked as not denoting a real process is nonindicative, and it is the indicative mood which defines the limits of the subject of this investigation. The grammatical categories of the indicative can be divided into two groups: those which vary between tense forms, i.e., tense, aspect, status, and taxis; and those which vary within a given tense form, i.e., person, number, and gender. The term tense is frequently used with two meanings: (i) a grammatical category indicating the relationship of the narrated event to the speech event, and (ii) a paradigmatic set conjugated according to person and number. In this work, tense will be used only in the first meaning. A paradigmatic set will be referred to as a tense form, and a group of two or three closely related tense forms, set off from all others by some special feature, will be called a series. The paradigmatic categories of the Macedonian indicative are the same for all tense forms and are of no concern to this work. Definitions can be found in Jakobson 1957 (4...


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