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Aspects across Slavic languages

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by jazyk, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Although the formation and uses of aspects in different Slavic languages has a great deal of similarity, I have detected cases in which an imperfective in Russian does not necessarily mean an imperfective in Czech or Polish or a perfective in Russian would not be the case in Czech and Polish. I'll give a few examples based on what I have observed. Please correct me in case I am mistaken.

    The imperfective in negative past statements in Russian means that the speaker had no intention to perform the action expressed by the main verb:
    Russian: Студенты не писали эти упражнения. (The students didn't do these exercises [and didn't plan to do them].)
    Polish: Studenci nie zrobili tych zadań.
    Czech: Studenti neudělali ta cvičení.

    In Russian, when a question is asked with the imperfect, the questioner is not concerned about the result of an action, but simply wants to know whether an action took place:
    Russian: Дети писали письмо?
    Polish: Czy dzieci napisały list?
    Сzech: Napsaly děti dopis?
     
  2. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    The Czech ones are fine.

    The first sentence means that the speaker kind of expected the students to do (or to have done) the exercises.

    We could say: Studenti nedělali ta cvičení. That would mean that they did not spend any time doing them (and instead, they probably did something else).

    What exactly does the Russian sentence emphasize?

    The second sentence is similar.

    ***

    There is a thread about aspects in OL.

    Jana
     
  3. Marga H Senior Member

    Poland,Polish
    Jazyk,you have given in Czech and Russian examples in the imperfective aspect(I guess:) ) but in Polish in the perfective one and it is wrong(if you want the same meaning)It should be:
    Studenci nie robili tych zadań.
    Czy dzieci pisały list?
    If you say :zrobili,napisały ,you are interested of the result of the action.
    Regards.
     
  4. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Hi Marga,

    Czech is perfective, like Polish. The question is whether Russians would use imperfective to express the same.

    :)

    Jana
     
  5. Mirynka Junior Member

    You can say in Russian "Студенты не написали эти упражнения" and that means that the students have not written the exercises.
    You can also say "Дети написали письмо?", which means if the kids have written the letter.

    Jazyk used imperfective for Russian and perfective for Polish and Czech.
     
  6. Mirynka Junior Member

    If the question is that, so then the Russian variant of Студенты не писали упражнений means that the students did not write the exercises, or in other words that the action of writing the exercises did not take place.
     
  7. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Yes, that was exactly my intention to prove my point.
     
  8. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Jazyk, could you try to clarify your question a little bit?

    I understand the Russian example, and I see that you chose to use perfective for Polish and Czech. I am not able to appreciate the nuances of Polish and Czech, so could you explain what would happen in those languages if we used an imperfective verb in your examples? How would the meaning change then?

    Specifically, how does
    Studenci nie robili tych zadań...
    change the meaning in this case?
     
  9. Marga H Senior Member

    Poland,Polish
    Hi Papillon,
    studenci nie zrobili tych zadań - means they haven't done their tasks(maybe they were doing but haven't finished)
    studenci nie robili tych zadań-means that students didn't spend any time doing them.
    Hope it helps.
     
  10. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Thanks, Marga. This is what I would have guessed, since it's the same in Russian.

    But then, what are trying to figure out? :confused:
     
  11. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hi Jazyk,

    As far as I can see what other forer@s wrote you aren't exactly on the money.

    Taking your first example:
    Russian: Студенты не писали эти упражнения.
    It indeed translates in imperfective aspect into Polish (and I guess into Czech too).

    The same holds true for your second example.

    Although, I didn't delve much into Russian as far as I could see the aspects perfective/imperfective were always consistent in both langauages. Maybe there are some points of doubt you came across while reading texts in either of the languages--if you have any particular examples, please, don't leave us in uncertainity; I would be curious to find out some nuances. :)

    Tom
     
  12. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    One case of mismatch I can recall is the modal verb "can".

    English: I will unfortunately not be able to drop in tonight.
    Russian: [SIZE=-1]К сожаленю[/SIZE] несмогу прийти вечером. (correct me if I am wrong)
    Czech: Večer nebudu moci přijít.

    In this context, we cannot use the perfective verb; there is none available, in fact. But Russians have one.

    And Polish and other languages?

    Jana
     
  13. Marga H Senior Member

    Poland,Polish
    Hi Jana,
    In Polish you can say:
    Nie będę mógł przyjść dziś wieczorem (once)-only perfective ,but:
    Nie będę mógł przychodzić wieczorem(wieczorami) repeated action-imperfective aspect
    Nie będę mógł napisać listu (you are thinking about completed action)
    Nie będę mógł pisać listu (rare but possible,you say it emphatically because you have a lot of another work,your computer doesn't work etc)
    Pozdrowienia.
     
  14. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Actually, my question was about "będę mógł", not about the verb after that. But you indirectly confirmed that Polish is like Czech. :)

    Jana
     
  15. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    I hope you don't mind a small correction.;)
    It's interesting that in Russian the infinitive мочь (moch) is used very sparingly...
     
  16. Marga H Senior Member

    Poland,Polish
    Hi Jana,
    I'm afraid I have read your post too quickly:eek:
    The example is very interesting however;the verb móc hasn't got perfective version(also has only one future imperfective, you can't say :"będę móc" like most of verbs "będę pisać","będę czytać").
    But móc has got a kind of perfective "partner"which isn't cognate(like can and be able in English)It is the verb zdołać.For example:
    Nie zdołam przyjść wieczorem.(I won't be able to come tonight)
    Nie zdołam napisać listu.(I won't be able to write a letter)
    It is a bit outdated but still used.
    Maybe it will be interesting to compare in three languages verbs which are only in imperfective aspects.In Polish I can remember for example:
    uważać,sądzić(meaning think that..)
    Regards.
     
  17. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska

    I think that the counterpart of the Russian verb in question is, as Marga said, zdołać (we have zmóc but it means something different from the Russian verb).
    You can also say: Niestety, nie mogę wpaść dziś wieczorem. = К сожалению, не смогу прийти вечером. = Unfortunately, I can't come tonight.

    I also have a hunch that you used future tense in Czech as a translation of present Russian tense. Is there really not anything in Czech to translate that using a present tense in Czech too?

    Tom
     
  18. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    čeština
    Yes, I did use the future tense. Actually, you could use the present tense as well (because you are absolutely sure your plans for tonight): Večer nemohu přijít.

    But in other contexts, the future tense would have to be used and we cannot do it with a perfective verb.

    Jana
     
  19. polaco

    polaco Junior Member

    Warsaw
    Poland/polish
    In Russian, when a question is asked with the imperfect, the questioner is not concerned about the result of an action, but simply wants to know whether an action took place:
    Russian: Дети писали письмо?
    Polish: Czy dzieci napisały list?
    Сzech: Napsaly děti dopis?[/quote]

    Now you have made a mistake.
    Corect phrase in polish is:
    Czy dzieci pisały list?
    So it is quite similar to russian.

    greetings
     

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