2022-06-20Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/25587
Differences between Russian and Czech in the Use of Aspect in Narrative Discourse and Factual Contexts
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
The aims of the paper are twofold. First, it provides a systematic qualitative corpus study into differences between Russian and Czech in the use of aspect in chains of single, episodic events, as well as in habitual contexts, which takes into account the role of verb class, aspectual affixes, discourse relations, and other factors contributing to the overall aspectual interpretation in a given sentence. The findings suggest that while Russian makes narrative progression and habituality visible already on the verb forms, by employing exclusively perfective and imperfective verb forms, respectively, Czech relies more heavily on the context itself and uses (im)perfective verb forms mostly to signal duration vs. change of state. The second part of the paper addresses differences in aspect use between the two languages in so-called general-factual contexts (presuppositional and existential). Against the background of the empirical findings of the corpus study, I argue against the received view that Czech makes use of imperfective verb forms to mark existential readings. The presuppositional reading of imperfective forms, which I assume to be related to the process/durative reading of imperfectives, is argued to exist in both languages.
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This article was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.