Prefix Variation in Russian: A Comparison between Occasional Verbs and Standardized Language
AuthorGjervold, Jonas Hinrichsen
The prefixation of base imperfective verbs to create semantically identical perfective partner verbs is a central feature of the Russian verb. There are sixteen such perfectivizing prefixes and prefix variation is when a single unprefixed imperfective combines with more than one of these to form multiple aspectual partners. This fact has been used to dispel a long held belief that perfectivizing prefixes are semantically empty aspectual markers; why do you need more than one prefix to do the job of one, and why does a single imperfective take multiple prefixes if they are semantically identical? This thesis examines prefix variation from a new angle by occasional verbs to standardized language. A database of occasional verbs was created to make possible the comparison to pre-existing databases on standardized language, which led to the conclusion that prefix variation is much more common in occasional verbs, and that the aspectual pairs in occasional verbs are formed overwhelmingly in combination with the prefix za-. This indicates that za-, and not po- or s-, is the most productive prefix in contemporary Russian, at least in slang/jargon.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
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