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Chapter 10 Aspectual Distinctions 1. Aspectual Distinctions in the Macedonian Verb System The verbs in Macedonian, as in the Slavic languages in general, robustly mark aspect. The category of aspect relates to the concept of time, as the category of tense does, but whereas tense locates the states and events in a clause, currently referred to as eventualities,1 in relation to points of time, aspect deals with the internal temporal organization of an event and the degree of its completion. 1.1. In Old Church Slavonic, aspect was doubly marked: through the tense forms of the aorist and the imperfect, as well as through the perfective/imperfective aspectual morphemes, and aspectual distinctions were morphologically independent of tense distinctions.2 On the one hand, almost all verbs occurred in aspectual pairs with one member of the pair being perfective, and the other imperfective. On the other hand, each of the aspectually marked verbs could be found in either of the two aspectual tenses—the aorist and the imperfect (cf. Migdalski 2006: 20). While in East and West Slavic the aspectual past tenses have completely disappeared, in South Slavic they are still active, albeit to different degrees in different languages. Thus, in Bulgarian both imperfective and perfective verbs occur in both the aorist and the imperfect, the imperfective aorist being used when there is no concrete definite end result of an event, or when the occurrence of a major event is the main issue in the narration, rather than its termination (cf. Scatton (1984: 341–22), the perfective imperfect being describable as an unbounded repetitive or habitual situation. In Macedonian , on the other hand, the aorist is basically made from perfective verbs, while the imperfect is made from both imperfective and perfective verbs, but perfects from perfective verbs are used only in mood structures.3 1 The term ‘eventuality’ was introduced by Bach (1986). 2 Comrie (1976: 89) sees it as possible that at an early stage in the development of the Slavic languages, prefixing did not in itself lead to perfectivization. Subsequently, certain prefixal usage came to be interpreted as specifically perfective, although the opposition perfective: imperfective was certainly not yet a fully developed system offering two aspectual forms for all (or nearly all) verbs, so that those verbs that did not have specifically prefixed forms had no specifically perfective forms. 3 The participles which take part in the perfect and evidential constructions also have aspectual distinctions. Their forms relate to the forms of the present and past tenses and are discussed in section 4 of chapter 11, entitled “Simple and Compound Tenses”. 264 A GRAMMAR OF MACEDONIAN 1.2. The aspectual distinctions in Macedonian, as in the Slavic languages in general , are morphologically expressed. 1.2.1. Generally speaking, we have: (a) base forms opposed to prefixations, (b) base forms opposed to suffixations, (c) base forms opposed to base forms with different base endings, (d) suppletive forms:4 (1) a1 čita a2 pročita read.Impf read-through.Pf b1 pluka b2 plukne spit.Impf spit.Pf c1 frla c2 frli throw.Impf throw.Pf d1 sluša d2 čue hear.Impf hear.Pf 1.2.2. There are perfective verbs historically derived by adding prefixes to bases which no longer exist: (2) a1 *leze a2 izleze a3 vleze exit.Pf enter.Pf b1 *tne b2 zatne plug.Pf 1.2.3. There are imperfective verbs historically derived from perfective verbs:5 (3) a1 dade a2 dava give.Pf give.Impf 4 The base forms are the third person singular present tense forms. They are also the citation forms. (Macedonian has no infinitives.) Note that the prefixations may have stems which differ from those of the base forms: (i') nosi (i'') odnese carry.Impf carry-off.Pf (ii') jade (ii'') izede eat.Impf eat-up.Pf 5 The addition of the suffix -ja has led to changes in the root. The dental voiceless plosive t is changed to the voiceless palatal plosive ќ, while the dental voiced plosive d is changed to the voiced palatal plosive ģ. ASPECTUAL DISTINCTIONS 265 (3) b1 dojde b2 doaģa come.Pf come.Impf c1 fati c2 faќa catch.Pf catch.Impf d1 klade d2 klava put.Pf put.Impf e1 krene e2 kreva lift.Pf lift.Impf f1 najde f2 naoģa find.Pf find.Impf g1 plati g2 plaќa pay.Pf pay.Impf h1 rodi h2 raģa give-birth.Pf give-birth.Impf i1 umre i2 umira die.Pf die...


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