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"Constraints on the formal structure of Russian verb clusters" Laura A. Janda UNC-Chapel Hill

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1 "Constraints on the formal structure of Russian verb clusters" Laura A. Janda UNC-Chapel Hill

2 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Problem: Model of aspectual “pairs” has a long tradition: –Vinogradov 1938, Šaxmatov 1941, Bondarko 1983, Čertkova 1996, Zaliznjak & Šmelev 2000, Timberlake 2004 Suspicions that aspectual relationships involve more complex clusters have arisen: –Isačenko 1960, Bertinetto & Delfitto 2000, Tatevosov 2002, Janda forthcoming

3 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Solution: There is a single implicational hierarchy that predicts all and only the aspectual clusters that exist in Russian. –This result is based on a empirical study of a multiply stratified sample of 283 verb clusters (including over 2000 verbs).

4 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Definition: An aspectual cluster is a group of verbs joined via transitive relationships on the basis of aspectual derivational morphology –All verbs in a cluster are aspectually related to a single lexical item In addition to Imperfective Activity verbs, an aspectual cluster can include up to four types of Perfective verbs: –Natural Perfective, Specialized Perfective, Complex Act, Single Act

5 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL The four types of Perfectives: Natural Perfective: –написать ‘write’, связать ‘tie’, о(б)щипать ‘pinch/pluck’, окрепнуть ‘get stronger’ Specialized Perfective: –переписать ‘rewrite’, развязать ‘untie’, оплакать ‘mourn’, вдуть ‘blow in’, выщипать ‘pluck out’ Complex Act: –пописать ‘write (a while)’, поплакать ‘cry (a while)’, подуть ‘blow (a while)’, пощипать ‘pinch/pluck (a while)’, поскрипеть ‘squeak (a while)’ Single Act: –дунуть ‘blow (once)’, щипнуть ‘pinch/pluck (once)’, скрипнуть ‘squeak (once)’

6 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL The four types of Perfectives: Natural Perfective: –написать ‘write’, связать ‘tie’, о(б)щипать ‘pinch/pluck’, окрепнуть ‘get stronger’ Specialized Perfective: –переписать ‘rewrite’, развязать ‘untie’, оплакать ‘mourn’, вдуть ‘blow in’, выщипать ‘pluck out’ Complex Act: –пописать ‘write (a while)’, поплакать ‘cry (a while)’, подуть ‘blow (a while)’, пощипать ‘pinch/pluck (a while)’, поскрипеть ‘squeak (a while)’ Single Act: –дунуть ‘blow (once)’, щипнуть ‘pinch/pluck (once)’, скрипнуть ‘squeak (once)’

7 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Cluster components: There are five aspectually distinct types of verbs expressing: –Activity, Natural Perfective, Specialized Perfective, Complex Act, Single Act Five items can compose 31 different combinations. The Implicational Hierarchy constrains the structure of aspectual clusters

8 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL The Implicational Hierarchy: Activity щипать ‘pinch/pluck’ > (Natural/Specialized Perfective) о(б)щипать ‘pinch/pluck’/выщипать ‘pluck out’ > Complex Act пощипать ‘pinch/pluck (a while)’ > Single Act щипнуть ‘pinch/pluck (once)’

9 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Extant verb clusters Activity Activity + Natural Perfective Activity + Specialized Perfective Activity + Natural Perfective + Specialized Perfective To any of the above one can add either: …+ Complex Act …+ Complex Act + Single Act Total: 12 extant cluster types

10 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL What the hierarchy excludes: 18 unattested cluster types 1 cluster type that is rare, but known to exist: –Natural Perfective (perfectiva tantum) more rare than Imperfective isolates morphologically complex, probably remnants of clusters that were historically larger

11 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Distribution of extant cluster types: Three cluster types account for over half the verbs in the lexicon Five cluster types follow, each representing less than 10% of verbs Five cluster types are rare (2% or less)

12 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Comparison with “pair” model: Activity + Natural Perfective type accounts for only 6.4%, and is a semantically unusual group (can be continued after result is achieved): –Иван окреп. Потом он еще больше окреп. ‘Ivan got stronger. Then he got even stronger.’ –Иван написал книгу. *Потом он еще больше написал книгу. ‘Ivan wrote a book. *Then he wrote the book even more.’ Most attested cluster structures have 3-5 components The three most common cluster structures have 3 or 4 components

13 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Concepts that motivate cluster structure: Completable vs. Non-Completable: Аспирант пишет диссертацию. ‘The grad student is writing a dissertation.’ vs. Профессор работает в университете. ‘The professor works at the university.’ Singularizable vs. Non-Singularizable: (щипать >) щипнуть ‘pinch/pluck (once)’, (скрипеть >) скрипнуть ‘squeak (once)’ vs. (писать >) * ‘?’, работать >) * ‘?’

14 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Completable: Many verbs are Ambiguous: –Completable Писатель пишет книгу ‘A writer is writing a book’ –Non-Completable Писатель пишет книги ‘A writer writes books’ Some verbs are Non-Completable: стонать ‘moan’ –But some can be Completable if specialized плакать ‘cry’ > оплакать ‘mourn’ A few verbs are Completable: крепнуть ‘get stronger’

15 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL What Completable vs. Non- Completable means for clusters: Only verbs that can be interpreted as Completable have Natural Perfectives –писать > написать, крепнуть > окрепнуть Only verbs that can be interpreted as Non- Completable have Complex Acts –писать > пописать, стонать > постонать, плакать > поплакать Verbs that can be Completable if specialized have Specialized Perfectives –писать > переписать, плакать > оплакать

16 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Singularizable Only verbs that can be interpreted as Non- Completable and have a Complex Act can also be Singularizable. –A subset of verbs with a Complex Act also have Single Act Perfectives: щипать ‘pinch/pluck’ + пощипать ‘pinch/pluck (a while)’ > щипнуть ‘pinch/pluck (once)’ дуть ‘blow’ + подуть ‘blow (a while)’ > дунуть ‘blow (once)’ скрипеть ‘squeak’ + поскрипеть ‘squeak (a while)’ > скрипнуть ‘squeak (once)’ писать ‘write’ + пописать ‘write (a while)’ > *писнуть ‘write (once)’ плакать ‘cry’ + поплакать ‘cry (a while)’ > *плакнуть ‘cry (once)’ [NB: Some are formed ad-hoc]

17 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Inventory of Extant Cluster Types: Cluster types will be listed in order of descending frequency For examples of some of the verbs in each cluster, follow your handout [NB: Not all verbs in a cluster are listed – only a representative sample is given to show the cluster type]

18 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Three Dominant Cluster Types: Activity + Natural Perfective + Specialized Perfective + Complex Act: писать ‘write’ –Ambiguous (both Completable and Non-Completable) –Non-Singularizable Activity + Natural Perfective + Specialized Perfective: вязать ‘tie’ –Completable –Non-Singularizable Activity + Specialized Perfective + Complex Act: плакать ‘cry’ –Non-Completable, but Completable if done in a special way –Non-Singularizable

19 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Less Common Cluster Types: Activity + Complex Act: стонать ‘moan’ –Non-Completable –Non-Singularizable Activity + Specialized Perfective + Complex Act + Single Act: дуть ‘blow’ –Non-Completable, but Completable if done in a special way –Singularizable Activity + Natural Perfective + Specialized Perfective + Complex Act + Single Act: щипать ‘pinch/pluck’ –Ambiguous (both Completable and Non-Completable) –Singularizable

20 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Less Common Cluster Types (cont’d): Activity + Natural Perfective: крепнуть ‘get stronger’ –Completable –Non-Singularizable Activity + Complex Act + Single Act: скрипеть ‘squeak’ –Non-Completable –Singularizable

21 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Rare Cluster Types: Activity: предвидеть ‘foresee’ –[NB: No Perfectives are formed!] Activity + Specialized Perfective: крепить ‘strengthen’ –Non-Completable, but Completable if done in a special way [NB – No Complex Act!] –Non-Singularizable Activity + Natural Perfective + Complex Act: пользоваться ‘use’ –Ambiguous (both Completable and Non-Completable) [NB – No Specialized Perfective!] –Non-Singularizable

22 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Extremely Rare Cluster Types: Activity + Natural Perfective + Complex Act + Single Act: ошибаться ‘make a mistake’ –Ambiguous (both Completable and Non- Completable) [NB – No Specialized Perfective!] –Singularizable Natural Perfective: уцелеть ‘survive’ –[NB: Defective structure, no Activity verb to serve as source for other Perfectives!]

23 Laura A. Janda AATSEEL Conclusions: The cluster model gives a richer, more accurate account of aspectual relationships than the “pair” model. Cluster structures are highly constrained and transparently motivated. Motion verbs are entirely regular, consisting of complementary subclusters with Completable (Determined) and Non-Completable (Non- Determined) properties. Both linguists and pedagogs should describe aspectual relationships in terms of clusters.


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