Grammatical Profiles and Aspect in Old Church Slavonic
This is the submitted manuscript version. Published version available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.12012 (PDF)
We employ a new empirical approach to an enduring controversy concerning the development of a system of imperfective vs. perfective verbs in Slavic. While scholars once claimed that this is an ancient inherited system, dating from the prehistoric era, most now believe that the Slavic aspect pair system is an innovation. Different opinions concerning the date of this innovation range from the time of the earliest Slavic texts to the late middle ages. We use two different statistical models to sort Old Church Slavonic data from the PROIEL corpus and compare the results to distributions of verb forms in modern Russian. This comparison shows that there are indeed differences among verbs in Old Church Slavonic that suggest a division into imperfective vs. perfective verbs, although this division is clearly not identical to the division found in modern Russian.
CitationTransactions of the Philological Society 112(2014) nr. 2 s. 231-258
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