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Perfectivity and Prefixation in Russian

Olga Babko-Malaya
Journal of Slavic Linguistics
Vol. 11, No. 1 (2003), pp. 5-36
Published by: Slavica Publishers
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24599703
Page Count: 32
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Perfectivity and Prefixation in Russian
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Abstract

This paper proposes an analysis of perfectivity in Russian, which aims to answer the following questions: (1) Why are perfective verbs usually prefixed in Russian? (2) Which classes of prefixed verbs have a compositional meaning, i.e., one predictable from the prefix-verb combination? (3) Which classes of prefixed verbs preserve the selectional restrictions of the corresponding unprefixed verbs? (4) Which classes of perfective verbs take internal arguments obligatorily and why? The analysis proposed in the paper assumes that perfective verbs are derived by affixation of Dowty-style aspectual operators CAUSE and BECOME, and optionally a prefix. Perfective verbs under this analysis vary in their morphological structures, as well as in the syntactic position of the prefix. Different behavior of different classes of perfective verbs is accounted for as a consequence of their compositional interpretation.

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