All Slavic languages: imperfect and aorist

nexy

Senior Member
српски/srpski
Hello everyone,
I would like to know if you still use imperfect and aorist (if they exist in your language). In serbian we still use the aorist while the imperfect completely disappeared (except for the verb biti (to be) - beše).
An example of the imperfect in Serbian would be:

Misliti (to think): 1. Ja mišljah 1. Mi mišljasmo
2. Ti mišljaše 2. Vi mišljaste
3. On(a) mišljaše 3. Oni mišljahu

An example of the aorist would be:

Videti (to see): 1. Ja videh 1. Mi videsmo
2. Ti vide 2. Vi videste
3. On(a) vide 3. Oni videše

I noticed some similar forms in Bulgarian (мислех), and in Macedonian (абортираше). I would like to know more about this in your language.

Thanks.:)
 
  • Kanes

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    They are simple tenses, what do you want to know about them? I can give you links if you want? Wiki has prety nice article on the whole grammer. Here are examples:

    Past imperfect: пристигаx (I was arriving)
    Aorist: пристигнах (I arrived)
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Neither of them exists anymore in Slovene.
    Except for the dialects of the valley of Resia/Rezija in Friuli, Italy. There for a few verbs (if I remember correctly not more than 20?) aorist forms still are known.

    West and East Slavic languages haven't retained neither aorist nor imperfect. (Well - I wouldn't know for Sorbian, but for Polish, Czech, Slovak, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Russian this is true.) In BCMS it seems to depend on region and dialect to what extent aorist is used, right?
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    Here are some historical details, summarized from Meillet (please substitute your own preferred language names).

    Common Slavic developed new ways of forming the imperfect and the aorist (they do not go back directly to Indo-European forms) but as soon as these paradigms became stable, they were made redundant by the development and increased used of the compound past tense. They were further disadvantaged by the fact that they had the same forms for the 2nd and 3rd persons in the singular.

    The languages that lost the aorist also lost the imperfect, and in principle those that preserved the aorist also preserved the imperfect. Both disappeared very early in Russian and Polish, a bit later in Czech. They are preserved in Sorbian, some varieties of Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgaro-Macedonian.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Would aortist be a rough equivalent of pervective?

    CrapnPrep, does your source say when they dissapeared from Polish?

    Tom
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    CrapnPrep, does your source say when they dissappeared from Polish?
    No, but Wikipedia says 14th-15th century, without giving any sources.

    Thomas1 said:
    Would aortist be a rough equivalent of perfective?
    Not really; in Common Slavic the aorist was the "all-purpose" preterit. When used with perfective verbs or "determined" (telic) imperfective verbs, it was more or less equivalent to the compound perfect, and when used with other imperfective verbs, it was more or less equivalent to the imperfect. There must have been some subtle distinctions (see this brief discussion of OCS, for example), but there was apparently enough overlap for speakers to start abandoning "superfluous" forms, and eventually to start "overloading" the surviving compound past tense.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    As already stated by CapnPrep, aorist isn't quite perfective, and the matter of perfect-imperfect-aorist tense system is rather complicated; but for what it's worth some remarks on how much I have understood about this:

    Aorist indeed somewhat is related-ish to perfective aspect but both are not the same; it is only that when aorist and imperfect are paired that aorist is used for actions which happened once, and which are finished, while imperfect is used for descriptions. Not unsimilar to Spanish indefinido ('aorist') and imperfecto (if that's any use to you).

    The important thing is that aorist and imperfect are paired, that is (I think) that in those Slavic languages where both still are used they are the tenses used in story-telling: if you tell a story which happened in the past you will use aorist for actions and imperfect for descriptions (both tenses with both imperfective and perfective verbs).
    Or something like that.

    (I'd appreciate very much if someone with knowledge of its use in Old Church Slavonic and/or Bulgarian and/or Macedonian could correct me; what I said above is only an educated guess.)
     

    nexy

    Senior Member
    српски/srpski
    Not unsimilar to Spanish indefinido ('aorist') and imperfecto (if that's any use to you).

    The important thing is that aorist and imperfect are paired, that is (I think) that in those Slavic languages where both still are used they are the tenses used in story-telling: if you tell a story which happened in the past you will use aorist for actions and imperfect for descriptions (both tenses with both imperfective and perfective verbs).
    Or something like that.


    You are right, it is similar to Spanish (indefinido/imperfecto), and Italian (passato remoto/imperfetto). However, in Serbian, imperfect disappeared completely, and it is not used in story-telling, while aorist is still frequently used in everyday speech and in story-telling (like "indefinido" in Spanish and "passato remoto" in Italian).
    You cannot use both tenses with both imperfective and perfective verbs (at least not in Serbian). I would like to know how these things function in other languages which preserved both imperfect and aorist.
     
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    Kanes

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Sokole, they are not realy used for story telling, we use imperfect when refering to an action that is happening in reference to some other past action. So in most cases the imperfect would be temporaly hooked to some other past tense. And the aorist doesn't fit for telling a story, because to use it you had to been a witness of the event. Of course it depence what story you are telling, plus there arent really many rules for story telling. Normaly you would use past perfect or in some cases past future perfect. All in inferential/unwitnessed mood.
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    And the aorist doesn't fit for telling a story, because to use it you had to been a witness of the event.
    This is quite interesting: so there has to be a connection between event in the past and person who reports this event?

    This is not the case for Spanish indefinido which simply states that an action had been completed and that it had been completed in the past (in a time-span which you consider 'past') while simple past in Spanish (= preterito perfecto = for Slavic languages biti + participle) is an action which has been completed but which is considered still being part of the present frame of reference.
    (Usually you say that preterito perfecto is what happened today or this week, while indefinido = what happened yesterday, last week etc.)

    [And please let's not discuss the details of Spanish tenses, I have given them only as an example, in the hope that it is clear this would not fit with your explanation for Bulgarian, Kanes.]

    So anyway, Kanes: what you said is that most times you use for example past tense (съм дал - the 'biti' of other Slavic languages + participle) in the main clause and imperfective only in subordinate clauses - in sentences referring to sentences with past tense?
    And that aorist only could be used for very special cases to emphasise that you were present personally when something happened?
    (Just to check if I got that right.)
     

    CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    I don't know Bulgarian, but I happen to have a grammar here (by someone called Rå Hauge… doesn't sound very Slavic, but seems quite competent, although he may not use the same terminology as Kanes above). According to him, the aorist and imperfect are "in constant interplay in narratives about past events", with the aorist typically correlated with perfective verbs and the imperfect with imperfective (but the opposite combinations are also possible). "Bulgarian school grammar teaches that aorists answer to the question Какво стана? What happened?,while imperfects answer to the question Какво беше? What [state] was [there]?"

    But then there is also the perfect, and when you add in the notion of status, things become very complicated! The simple aorist and imperfect have non-reported, "vouched-for" status, while the compound perfect has "neutral" status. However, there are also versions of the imperfect and aorist for "reported" status are compound forms, and in the case of the reported aorist, almost identical to the perfect (except that there is no auxiliary in the 3rd person).

    Here is an example, three ways of saying "It rained last night":
    През нощта валя [aorist, vouched-for] I was awake and saw it raining.
    През нощта е валяло [perfect, neutral] I see that the grass is wet this morning.
    През нощта валяло [aorist, reported] Someone told me.
    But in actual reported speech, you don't normally use the reported forms: Той каза, че през нощта е валяло (He said that it rained last night).

    The use of these forms in different types of narratives, according to Rå Hauge:
    folk tales, jokes, anecdotes: reported forms
    modern fiction: reported forms almost never used in 3rd person
    non-fiction and news reports: too complicated :eek:
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Thank you very much, CapnPrep, that sheds some light on this complicated issue. :) (I too don't speak any Bulgarian and only understand it through my knowledge of other Slavic languages.)
    The "aorist vouched-for" meaning really is something I don't know from any other language, so anyway I did understand Kanes correctly concerning this, but at least according to this grammar there's also a "reported aorist".
     

    Kanes

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I think you are right, just what this Ra Hauge calls reported form is simply unwitnessed mood. There are eight of them, when you combine them with the tenses they effectivly make what looks like more tenses. The basic aorist is a witnesed one, when you add moods though the meaning changes. Its real mind twister to contiosly think about them even if you are Bulgarian. Across person, number, voice, aspect, mood, tense and gender I think there are about 3000 verb forms...
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Today the form of past tense in Polish has merged into one and there is no auxiliary verb, although there used to be. I did some research on the aorist in Old Polish and found one text that contains it:
    widziech, prawi, anjeła Bożego mocnego
    (the text is one of the oldest heritage found in Polish beginning of fourteenth century).
    To me as a speaker of modern Polish this form is of course something foreign, and for many it would be almost incomprehensible, and I would use our modern past tense instead of it.

    Sokol, thanks for the comparison with Spanish am still just a beginner at it but through analogy with French wouldn’t it be the same with passé simple and passé compose?

    Just to make sure I understood it well:
    the past tense that we use in modern Polish is historically the one that relates past with presence?

    And if I would like to use a past tense that is kind of detached from the present that would be aorist?

    Tom

    PS: CapnPrep, sorry for typos I was worn-out writing that post, thanks for the corrections. :thumbsup:
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    Except for the dialects of the valley of Resia/Rezija in Friuli, Italy. There for a few verbs (if I remember correctly not more than 20?) aorist forms still are known.

    West and East Slavic languages haven't retained neither aorist nor imperfect. (Well - I wouldn't know for Sorbian, but for Polish, Czech, Slovak, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Russian this is true.) In BCMS it seems to depend on region and dialect to what extent aorist is used, right?


    You are right regarding the aorist in the Resian dialect of Slovene. I was of course writing about Standard Slovene in which no trace of either of the mentioned synthetic past tenses exists.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    You are right regarding the aorist in the Resian dialect of Slovene. I was of course writing about Standard Slovene in which no trace of either of the mentioned synthetic past tenses exists.
    Yes, I thought so. ;)
    Also aorist is on the brink of dying out in Resia dialect as it isn't used anymore for all verbs (and as the dialect generally is endangered due to Italian influence).

    Thomas1, unfortunately French tenses do not compare well with this (as do Spanish and Italian).
    Read instead Christo's post linked by him - to Christo: very helpful indeed! :thumbsup:
     

    WannaBeMe

    Senior Member
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    You are right, it is similar to Spanish (indefinido/imperfecto), and Italian (passato remoto/imperfetto). However, in Serbian, imperfect disappeared completely, and it is not used in story-telling, while aorist is still frequently used in everyday speech and in story-telling (like "indefinido" in Spanish and "passato remoto" in Italian).
    You cannot use both tenses with both imperfective and perfective verbs (at least not in Serbian). I would like to know how these things function in other languages which preserved both imperfect and aorist.

    Nexy, imperfect didn´t dissapeare in Serbian. In some cases, the aorist and imperfect endings are the same or similar (like for the 1st.p.sg or 1st.,2nd.p.pl) and some of them look same but stand for different persons (like the 3rd.p.sg imp. and the 3rd.p.pl.aor.) Thats why some people like to mess endings and thats why it just looks like aorist but it is actualy imperfect. But I didn´t notice this problem at old people, they use the both tenses in right way (just like my grandmother and grandfather).

    Besides, aorist and imperfect are used in most of cases in the 3rd. p. sg. and pl. and here are made most of misstakes: (aorist) они казаше, (imperfect) они казиваху, but people say here wrong они казиваше, so that this only looks like aorist but its infact imperfect.
     

    nexy

    Senior Member
    српски/srpski
    Extremely rarely do I hear imperfect in everyday speech. The fact is that more than 90% of people cannot conjugate verbs in imperfect (for example, if you ask someone to conjugate the verbs želeti, voleti, graditi, he would say želeh/želesmo, voleh/volesmo, gradih/gradismo instead of željah/željasmo, voljah/voljasmo, gradjah/gradjasmo). How many people could conjugate the verb moći (moćijah, moćijaše, moćijaše…)? I guess less than 0.5%. I know perfectly well the difference between aorist and imperfect and I never confuse them, but I (almost) never hear imperfect in everyday speech. Aorist is frequently used (my grandmother uses it more frequently than simple perfect). Maybe you know some region where imperfect is still used at some degree? For example, if I said to someone: "Hotijahu se odmoriti zato što se ne osećahu dobro.", or "Posekoh se dok secijah hleb" he would look at me as if I were crazy.
     
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    WannaBeMe

    Senior Member
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    Extremely rarely do I hear imperfect in everyday speech. The fact is that more than 90% of people cannot decline verbs in imperfect (for example, if you ask someone to decline the verbs želeti, voleti, graditi, he would say želeh/želesmo, voleh/volesmo, gradih/gradismo instead of željah/željasmo, voljah/voljasmo, gradjah/gradjasmo). How many people could decline the verb moći (moćijah, moćijaše, moćijaše…)? I guess less than 0.5%. I know perfectly well the difference between aorist and imperfect and I never confuse them, but I (almost) never hear imperfect in everyday speech. Aorist is frequently used (my grandmother uses it more frequently than simple perfect). Maybe you know some region where imperfect is still used at some degree? For example, if I said to someone: "Hotijahu se odmoriti zato što se ne osećahu dobro.", or "Posekoh se dok secijah hleb" he would look at me as if I were crazy.
    Well, 70 % people in Balkan mean that deklinacija means "Klin se klinom izbija" :D. Thats what I was talking about, imperfect has changed its form. About declination you´re right, even you cannot decline it correct (without offence). But for me it is obviously that imperfect moci is: mogah, mogase,mogase, mogasmo, mogaste, mogahu. In my family,we use this even frequently. For example " Ne mogah musti krave, koprca se k´o luda" :D I lived in Prijedor and people use it frequently there for telling stories or telling their personal experiences. You´re right your samples sound strange but I think it´s not real purpose of imperfect the way you do use it. I think I should mention that Aorist is used also as some art of future tense: "Odoh u skolu"-I´m about to go to school.
     

    nexy

    Senior Member
    српски/srpski
    Some verbs have two forms of imperfect (eg, hoćah/hotijah, mogah/moćijah). Mogah is commoner, but moćijah can also be found as well.


    P.C. I used the wrong word decline instead of the word conjugate. The funny thing is that, even though I had edited my post and corrected the mistake before you quoted it, in your post appears the first unedited version with the word decline (I don't know why).
    Verbs are conjugated. Nouns, adjectives and pronouns are declined (the noun is declension).
     

    WannaBeMe

    Senior Member
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    Some verbs have two forms of imperfect (eg, hoćah/hotijah, mogah/moćijah). Mogah is commoner, but moćijah can also be found as well.


    P.C. I used the wrong word decline instead of the word conjugate. The funny thing is that, even though I had edited my post and corrected the mistake before you quoted it, in your post appears the first unedited version with the word decline (I don't know why).
    Verbs are conjugated. Nouns, adjectives and pronouns are declined (the noun is declension).
    People make errors, even I made the same error as you with decline after you, well, I guess, I was to concentrated on what I wanted to say. Concerning imperfect of moci, I am 150 % sure that such CONJUGATION you do is impossible because: Imperfect is built from infinitive stem and sufix -ja- + personal endings.Suffix -ja- is always preserved.
    moli-ti ---->mol-ja-h---->moljah
    hodi-ti---->hod-ja-h----->hodjah

    If the stem already ends on -a- then it will bi united with -ja- into a long -a-.
    pisa-ti---->pisah,
    zna-ti---->znah

    So the infinitive stem of moci is mog- (mog+ti=moci) therefor mogah or even mozah but definately not mocijah. That mocijah doesn´t make sence and it sounds very ugly. Analog to your mocijah for moci would be icijah for ici but NO, the only correct form is idjah because -id- is the infinitive stem of ici (id+ti). Well, as you said most of us cannot decl....oh no this time not...conjugate, so I think it´s the last chance to learn it. :D
    Veliki pozdrav Nexy
     

    WannaBeMe

    Senior Member
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    To the actual question...The Lausitz Serbian languages have preserved both aorist and imperfect and they look like so: (I am sorry, I tried to insert table but it didn´t work, so if you don´t mind it looks how it looks. :D It looks better now. :) And thank you for the link!)
    Shortened in accordance with WannaBeMe - please click here and here for more paradigms (changes by sokol, moderator):
    Aorist:- To avoid confusion: it is called 'perfective in preteritum tense' in Sorbian grammar [thus it is clear already that Sorbian aorist only occurs with perfective verbs and imperfect only with imperfective one].přečitać
    1. sg. přečitach 2. sg. přečita 3. sg. přečita
    1. du.
    přečitachmoj 2. Du. přečitaštej 3. du. přečitaštej
    1. pl.
    přečitachmy 2. pl. přečitašće 3. pl. přečitachu
    And imperfect:- This is called 'non-perfective in preteritum tense'.
    być

    1. sg.
    běch 2. sg. bě/běše 3. sg. bě/běš
    1. du. běchmoj 2. Du. běštej 3. du. běštej
    1. pl.
    běchmy 2. pl. běšće 3. pl. běchu
     
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    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    For me it is very strange when I read or listen to other Slavic languages like Russian, Serbo-Croatian, etc. since their past tenses in Bulgarian are the same as the renarrative mood. So when they talk about past evets to me it always sounds like they're unsure or weren't there.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    People make errors, even I made the same error as you with decline after you, well, I guess, I was to concentrated on what I wanted to say. Concerning imperfect of moci, I am 150 % sure that such CONJUGATION you do is impossible because: Imperfect is built from infinitive stem and sufix -ja- + personal endings.Suffix -ja- is always preserved.
    moli-ti ---->mol-ja-h---->moljah
    hodi-ti---->hod-ja-h----->hodjah

    If the stem already ends on -a- then it will bi united with -ja- into a long -a-.
    pisa-ti---->pisah,

    Are you sure about all this? Can you cite any references, or is this only your personal feeling?

    zna-ti---->znah
    I'd bet $5 (but not more than that) that it's actually (?)znadoh (or is this aorist?). Please don't ask me about other persons, though!

    So the infinitive stem of moci is mog- (mog+ti=moci) therefor mogah or even mozah but definately not mocijah. That mocijah doesn´t make sence and it sounds very ugly. Analog to your mocijah for moci would be icijah for ici but NO, the only correct form is idjah because -id- is the infinitive stem of ici (id+ti). Well, as you said most of us cannot decl....oh no this time not...conjugate, so I think it´s the last chance to learn it. :D
    I grew up in Bosnia and subsequently lived in Croatia, I've never used imperfect at all (neither has anyone around me), and I have no idea about how to conjugate it correctly. However, if I had to bet about the imperfect form of moći based on my own language instinct, I would guess (?)mogoh (this time, I wouldn't bet more than $1). Or, again, is that aorist? Does moći even have aorist? Can a single verb even have both aorist and imperfect, or is the former only for perfective, and the latter only for imperfective verbs? What's the difference between aorist and imperfect supposed to be anyway? I don't think more than 0.1% of either Croatian or Serbian speakers know the answers to these questions (and that's a generous estimate), excluding perhaps those whose native dialects have preserved some of these forms. I don't think you can find even find these answers except by consulting literature that's found only in university libraries.

    All that I know is that I sometimes spontaneously use aorist in lively narration, and that people who grew up in Zagreb find it funny when I do so. Otherwise, I don't feel any semantic difference between aorist and perfect at all.
     

    dudasd

    Senior Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    I'd bet $5 (but not more than that) that it's actually (?)znadoh (or is this aorist?). Please don't ask me about other persons, though!

    Imperfect is znađah or znadijah.

    However, if I had to bet about the imperfect form of moći based on my own language instinct, I would guess (?)mogoh (this time, I wouldn't bet more than $1). Or, again, is that aorist?

    Yes, it is aorist. Moći is both perfective and imperfective verb; as perfective, it has aorist mogoh and mogadoh, and imperfect mogah. In theory, form mozijah would be regular, but I doubt that anyone ever used it. (Though I don't exclude that possibility. Compare tecijah.)


    Can a single verb even have both aorist and imperfect, or is the former only for perfective, and the latter only for imperfective verbs? What's the difference between aorist and imperfect supposed to be anyway? I don't think more than 0.1% of either Croatian or Serbian speakers know the answers to these questions (and that's a generous estimate), excluding perhaps those whose native dialects have preserved some of these forms. I don't think you can find even find these answers except by consulting literature that's found only in university libraries.

    A single verb nowadays can have both aorist and imperfect only if it covers both prefective and imperfective meaning, like moći, vid(j)eti, ht(j)eti etc. In Church Slavonian ANY verb could have both aorist and imperfect, but by the beginning of 20th century (or even earlier) that feature was lost. The initial difference was in "seniority" of the tenses, meaning that imperfect was "older", but nowadays (as its name says) it serves only (and only) instead of aorist with imperfective verbs and it is strictly regulated by grammar (I think the rule is formally valid since 1920's). Generally you can find rough explanations about differences about aorist and imperfect in the most of the school grammars (those covering grades 5th to 8th), also I would mention Gramatika srpskoga jezika (for grammar schools) by Živojin Stanojčić, Ljubomir Popović (in spite of its formal title, its dealing not with Serbian area only, it covers most of the BCS issues - and it's available almost everywhere, from bookshops to flea markets), but for some better understanding I would always recommend Mihailo Stevanović, Savremeni srpskohrvatski jezik I, II (morphology & syntax), I think the volumes were published in 1979 and 1981, now I am lazy to take it from the shelf and check. It was rather available in bookshops, though I remember it was not cheap. So one doesn't really need to search through university libraries. (At least people who live here, of course this doesn't refer to you, Athaulf.) For further research about relation between aorist and imperfect I would recommend any of the Old Slavonic or Church Slavonic grammars (my favourite is Petar Đorđić, though I also find Josip Hamm's book very enlightening, but it's hard to find it now, it was printed in 1947 and I am not sure it was reprinted).

    I admit the use of imperfect is very limited even in written form nowadays, but I remember that my grandmother used it almost regularly, so I suppose it began dissapearing not so long ago.
     

    WannaBeMe

    Senior Member
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    Are you sure about all this? Can you cite any references, or is this only your personal feeling?

    I'd bet $5 (but not more than that) that it's actually (?)znadoh (or is this aorist?). Please don't ask me about other persons, though!

    I am not sure, I know it. Besides you can use google and find it out but tipping "Metodicki prirucnik za crkvenoslovenski jezik" (PDF & free). There are very clear and precize explainations of all tenses, conjucations and declinations from Jeromonah Alapije Germanovic.Gramatika crvenoslovenskog jezika,M.,1991.,
    A.A. Pletnjova,A.G.Kravecki,Crkvenoslovenski jezik,M.,1996., M.B Popov.Uvod u staroslovenski jezik,Sankt-Petersburg,1997. etc.

    Should I give you my pay-pal so you can pay me in 5 $, no just kidding :D
     
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    musicalchef

    Senior Member
    English; USA
    Please excuse me if this is not exactly on topic, but I'm curious:

    I'm planning to go to Bosnia for research soon; that's why I'm trying to learn the language so fast.

    If I did not ever use either the imperfect or the aorist in my own speech, would I be ok? (I would kind of "learn" it so I would recognize it when others use it) I'm just wondering, if it's not used often anyways, is it worth my time trying to perfect it for my own use?

    I would be mainly in Sarajevo, and maybe some time in Mostar and other major cities, if that makes a difference.

    Hvala
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    I may be somewhat presumptious, but I think you will do just fine without aorist and imperfect in BiH. ;)
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    One of the people participating in THIS discussion posted a few quotes from Fran Ramovš's 1924 book Razvoj imperfekta v rezijanščini (The Development of Imperfect in Resian). One of the quotes includes this regular conjugation in imperfect:

    jêdêhon, jêdêše, jêdêše; jêdêhova, jêdêšeta, jêdêšeta; jêdêhomo, jêdêšete, jêdêho
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    Hm, this really looks more like imperfect than aorist. ;) Do you have any sources for aorist as well?
     

    WannaBeMe

    Senior Member
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    Please excuse me if this is not exactly on topic, but I'm curious:

    I'm planning to go to Bosnia for research soon; that's why I'm trying to learn the language so fast.

    If I did not ever use either the imperfect or the aorist in my own speech, would I be ok? (I would kind of "learn" it so I would recognize it when others use it) I'm just wondering, if it's not used often anyways, is it worth my time trying to perfect it for my own use?

    I would be mainly in Sarajevo, and maybe some time in Mostar and other major cities, if that makes a difference.

    Hvala
    Aorist and Imperfect are very important but not in everyday speech. They are important in the next situations:
    -in the church and religious ceremonies
    -upon occassion of telling stories, legends, miths or fables (If mom´s telling a goodnightstory or sth. like that.)
    -poetry
    -songs
    -history

    If you would replace this tenses with perfect it would sound borring and nobody would want to listen to you becouse Aorist and Imperfect have something that sounds magic. If somebody is telling you a story in perfect, he´s just telling you what has happend, just statements and you don´t feel anything exept you are getting pure informations. But if he is telling it in Aorist and imperfect it makes you feel like you are inthere, in the story, it teleports you to that place of happening, it is a key to your imagination. That´s why is this tense used in the church-books or miths.
    And this tenses are assigned for such occassions and at list Serbs use it this way and can understand it. The problem of nowday young generations is that they haven´t learnt it from their parents firstofall becouse of comunism and second because of modernisation or becouse they live in cities. But these tenses still live in villages at people which cultivate tradition.
    So, I think you should learn it to understand, but you must not be able to use it.
     

    GiggLiden

    Senior Member
    English US
    I read in one of the comments in this string that verbs are conjugated, but nouns are declined. I didn't know that. Thanks.

    But please tell me how one "declines" a noun in English. What do I do to the word "bird" for example when I decline it? Thanks for any explanation or example that would help me understand.
     

    trance0

    Senior Member
    Slovene
    One does not really decline nouns in modern English since it has lost all the cases except for "saxon genitive(sister`s, mother`s, friends` etc)" and "nominative or common case(I think it is called like this too)". So, English nouns have basically just two forms, singular and plural + the so called "saxon genitive", which is the "`s/s` form". In Slovene, for example, the case system(declension system) is much better preserved, so each noun has 6 cases in singular, dual and plural, which makes a total of 18 possible forms for every noun. Of course no noun actually has 18 different forms, because many forms coincide in certain cases. Nevertheless, there is much more complexity in Slovene nominal morphology than in English. However, English is not completely without declension, there still exist quite a few remnants of the old case system, especially with pronouns.

    Declension of the pronouns:

    a) "I": I, my/mine, me
    b) "he": he, his, him
    c) "they": they, their, them
    d) "who": who, whose, whom

    In Slovene and many other languages it is similar, just more complex.

    Example 1: declension of Slovene noun "man" = "človek":

    singular: človek, človeka, človeku, človeka, o človeku, s človekom
    dual: človeka, ljudi, človekoma, človeka, o ljudeh, s človekoma
    plural: ljudje, ljudi, ljudem, ljudi, o ljudeh, z ljudmi

    Example 2: declension of personal pronoun "I" = "jaz":

    singular: jaz, mene/me, meni/mi, mene/me, o meni, z mano/menoj
    dual: midva, naju, nama, naju, o naju/nama, z nama
    plural: mi, nas, nam, nas, o nas, z nami

    In Old English the case system was still quite well preserved(similar to modern Slovene), it had four cases(and sometimes also the fifth "instrumental): nominative, genitive, dative, accusative. Old English had singular and plural and with personal pronouns also a dual.

    Example 1: declension of Old English noun "stan" = "stone":

    singular: stan, stanes, stane, stan
    plural: stanas, stana, stanum, stanas

    Example 2: declension of Old English personal pronoun "ic" = "I":

    singular: ic, min, me, mec/me
    dual: wit, uncer, unc, uncit/unc
    plural: we, ure, us, usic/us

    As you can see, the case system makes things more complicated, because every declinable word has more forms than in Modern English. The cases determine the function of words in sentences and as a consequence they enable a more free word order.
     
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    GiggLiden

    Senior Member
    English US
    Dear trance0

    "I'm sorry I asked !!!"
    (said in a joshing manner, meaning I really had NO intention of putting you to work like this! But I am much impressed and overwhelmed by your linguistic cornucopia of details!)

    Your encyclopedic explanation of declining a noun makes me appreciate the English language all the more. It follows Mies van de Rohe's classic concept, "Less is more." So I'll follow his example ...

    thanksssssss !!!
     

    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    Asigmatic aorist forms can still be found in modern Russian, and not only in the fixed expressions like "(я) :warn:ёб твою мать" (inf. ебать, regular past form ебал), especially, in order to describe a very short and sharply finished action in the past.

    E.g.,
    хлопать (inf.) - хлопал (past) - хлоп (aorist)
    прыгать (inf.) - прыгал (past) - прыг (aorist)
    скакать (inf.) - скакал (past) - скок (aorist)
    убежать (inf.) - убежал (past) - убёг (aorist)
    стучать (inf.) - стучал (past) - стук (aorist)

    Вор Бошка: (Пересказ). — 1950
    Хлоп его, а тот: „А ты зачем, монах, здесь?“ Тоже хлоп его. Началась драка. Проснулись караульные офицеры и полковник, выбежали на шум все в монашеском ...
    feb-web.ru/feb/skazki/texts/slp/slp-226-.htm - 11k

    Он знает лучше всех, он может рассказать...
    Сначала Гайдар с лошади прыг, дверцей хлоп! Он же умный, ему не надо долго изучать, для чего какие рычаги и педали в этой иномарке неизвестной модели, ...
    www.yabloko.ru/alt/Publ/Articles/yakut-2.html - 9k -

    ЖУРНАЛ "МИШПОХА"
    Тогда я скок в воду, а на ту беду под мостом какая-то баба белье мыла, ну, так я на нее нечаянно и вспрыгнул. Вылез я из воды”... И в это время, ...
    www.mishpoha.org/nomer12/a34.html - 17k -

    caricatura.ru: Опять убёг (Руслан Долженец), комментарии зрителей
    -Комментарии посетителей к рисунку 'Опять убёг', художника Руслан Долженец.
    caricatura.ru/parad/doljenets/2343/comments/?b=http://caricatura.ru/2004/03/08/url/parad/doljenets/2343/ - 17k

    Стихи. Современная литература - поэзия. Стихи на конкурсы, анонсы ...
    - Убёг он в Самарканд, убёг. На автобус раненько залез, так под лавкой и ехал. Так что ли, Вовочка? ... А он на тебе — убёг! Дело понемногу начало прояснятся. ...
    www.obshelit.ru/works/5488/ - 23k

    DOOMA - КОММЕНТАРИЙ - Мизантропия - это забавно
    А я его стук по морде, а потом еще сапогом в промежность. Мой гость падает навзничь от страшной боли. А я ему каблуком по глазам! Дескать, нечего шляться ...
    dooma.ru/comment.php?fid=8264 - 10k

     
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    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Asigmatic aorist forms can still be found in modern Russian..
    ..
    хлопать (inf.) - хлопал (past) - хлоп (aorist)
    прыгать (inf.) - прыгал (past) - прыг (aorist)
    скакать (inf.) - скакал (past) - скок (aorist)
    убежать (inf.) - убежал (past) - убёг (aorist)
    стучать (inf.) - стучал (past) - стук (aorist)
    ..
    I cannot agree. These are similar to such abbreviated masculine sing. forms as умер, нёс, мог. Note that feminine, neuter, plural forms are not abbreviated: умерла, несла, могла; умерли, несли, могли.

    ..
    хлопать (imperfective inf.) - хлопал (past)
    хлопнуть (perfective inf.) - хлопнул (past standard) - хлоп (past abbreviated)
    ..
    прыгать (imperfective inf.) - прыгал (past)
    прыгнуть (perfective inf.) - прыгнул (past standard) - прыг (past abbreviated)
    ..
    скакать (imperfective inf.) - скакал (past)
    скокнуть (non-standard perfective inf.) - скокнул (past) - скок (past abbreviated)
    ..
    убежать (imperfective inf.) - убежал (past)
    убёгнуть (non-standard perfective inf.) - убёгнул (past) - убёг (past abbreviated)
    ..
    стучать (imperfective inf.) - стучал (past) - стук (aorist)
    стукнуть (perfective inf.) - стукнул (past standard) - стук (past abbreviated)
    ..

    If these were remnants from the very old asygmatic aorist, there should be distinct forms for persons and sing./plural and not by gender.
     

    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    I cannot agree. These are similar to such abbreviated masculine sing. forms as умер, нёс, мог. Note that feminine, neuter, plural forms are not abbreviated: умерла, несла, могла; умерли, несли, могли.

    If these were remnants from the very old asygmatic aorist, there should be distinct forms for persons and sing./plural and not by gender.
    It may be similar superficially, but not identical. None of your examples (умер, нёс, мог) would describe a short completed action, nor they have another distinct regular form of the past tense. They do not coexist with any other perfective aspect.

    In my examples above, the difference between the "abbreviated" form and the past tense is obvious. "Прыг" refers to a single jump, while "прыгал" is indefinite. Those examples coexist with the regular imperfective aspect.

    Other forms for persons, sing./plur. have been apparently lost. We lost regular past forms for persons, either.
     
    Last edited:

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    It may be similar superficially, but not identical. None of your examples (умер, нёс, мог) would describe a short completed action, nor they have another distinct regular form of the past tense. They do no coexist with any other perfective aspect.

    In my examples above, the difference between the "abbreviated" form and the past tense is obvious. "Прыг" refers to a single jump, while "прыгал" is indefinite. Those examples coexist with the regular imperfective aspect.

    Other forms for persons, sing./plur. have been apparently lost. We lost regular past forms for persons, either.

    Hi Kolan,

    According to you, "прыг" (referring to a single jump) and "прыгал" are forms of two different tenses (relict/aorist and past/perfect) of the same imperfective verb "прыгать".

    According to me, only "прыгал" is a form of the imperfective verb "прыгать", while "прыг" is just a coloquial dialectal abbreviation of the standard form "прыгнул" - the general past tense of the corresponding perfective verb "прыгнуть".

    The fact "a short completed action" observed by you is actually expressed by a perfective verb having a -ну- prefix. On the other hand, aorist is an undefinite past tense which may express something different than a short completed action: (Bulg.) Съседът ора цял ден. (Сосед пахал весь день.) This is the aorist of a perfective verb that expresses a completed action. In the examples given by you, the final "-нул" is cut. So, those are simply examples of a past forms of perfective verbs whose infinitive forms end in "-нуть". So, they do express "a short completed action", just as you have observed.

    "Прыг" and "прыгнул" have the same meaning, haven't they?

    "Прыгнула" is the feminine form of "прыг", isn't it?

    Kind regards,
    Christo
     

    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    The fact "a short completed action" observed by you is actually expressed by a perfective verb having a -ну- prefix. On the other hand, aorist is an undefinite past tense which may express something different than a short completed action: (Bulg.) Съседът ора цял ден. (Сосед пахал весь день.) This is the aorist of a perfective verb that expresses a completed action. In the examples given by you, the final "-нул" is cut. So, those are simply examples of a past forms of perfective verbs whose infinitive forms end in "-нуть". So, they do express "a short completed action", just as you have observed.
    Thank you, Christo, for the comments. The Ancient Russian aorist is a cousin of a Church Slavonic (which is Ancient Bulgarian) one, not a direct successor. Secondly, whatever we have in modern Russian aoristwise, applies to a very limited number of verbs, like those I mentioned above. Russian пахать (old орать) lost not only aorist, but also the perfective aspect. In modern Russian it is limited by only imperfective aspect, therefore, aorist is out of question. Russian сосед пахал весь день is imperfective, which is understood in a perfective sensecontextually only, aorist is useless in such circumstances.
    "Прыг" and "прыгнул" have the same meaning, haven't they?
    Not exactly. Let's substitute прыг and хлоп in one of the examples above by прыгнул and хлопнул, respectively:

    "Сначала Гайдар с лошади прыгнул, (затем) дверцей хлопнул!"

    This is a sort of regular, slow motion, which cannot describe properly a quickly developing situation. That's may be the reason why a compact asigmatic aorist form survived - it still has its own, unique application, not covered by perfective verbs.
    "Прыгнула" is the feminine form of "прыг", isn't it?
    Not at all. The feminine and neutral forms are the same - она прыг, оно прыг.

    письмо-письмо (Женя Портер) / миниатюры / Проза.ру - национальный ... -
    Представляешь, разворачиваю фольгу - а оно прыг под потолок! Еле собрал его в снежок. Весна... www.proza.ru/texts/2008/02/09/55.html - 22k

    ОФФЛАЙН / Галереи / ASUS Autumn 2008 - часть III @ Cyberfight.ru
    Она прыг, и выпрыгнула из рук. А мужской коллектив болел
    www.cyberfight.ru/offline/gallery/1015/34999/?PHPSESSID=82989be76a14e880518d829bfe2c12d8 - 56k

    The very last example demonstrates clearly the difference between прыг и выпрыгнул in the same sentence.
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Hello everyone,
    I would like to know if you still use imperfect and aorist (if they exist in your language). In serbian we still use the aorist while the imperfect completely disappeared (except for the verb biti (to be) - beše).
    An example of the imperfect in Serbian would be:

    Misliti (to think): 1. Ja mišljah 1. Mi mišljasmo
    2. Ti mišljaše 2. Vi mišljaste
    3. On(a) mišljaše 3. Oni mišljahu

    An example of the aorist would be:

    Videti (to see): 1. Ja videh 1. Mi videsmo
    2. Ti vide 2. Vi videste
    3. On(a) vide 3. Oni videše

    I noticed some similar forms in Bulgarian (мислех), and in Macedonian (абортираше). I would like to know more about this in your language.

    Thanks.:)

    In Macedonian we use both Imperfect (Past definite incomplete tense) and Aorist (Past definite complete tense).

    Your samples in Macedonian would be:

    Misliti (to think), Imperfect:
    1. мислев (mislev)________1. мислевме (mislevme)
    2. мислеше (misleše)______2. мислевте (mislevte)
    3. мислеше (misleše)______3. мислеа (misleа)

    Videti (to see), Aorist:
    1. видов (vidov)______1. видовме (vidovme)
    2. виде (vide)________2. видовте (vidovte)
    3. виде (vide)________3. видоа (vidoa)

    * Bold is the accent.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    West and East Slavic languages haven't retained neither aorist nor imperfect. (Well - I wouldn't know for Sorbian, but for Polish, Czech, Slovak, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Russian this is true.)
    In Czech there is one important exception: the aorist of the verb býti = to be. It is used as an auxiliary verb to form the condicional mood.

    1. bych
    2. bys < *by
    3. by

    1. bychom
    2. byste
    3. by < *bychu

    The form bys is a modified form (originally 2. sing. by = 3. sing. by), the form bychu has been simplified to by as the number is already expressed by the l-participle.

    Some people use the incorrect forms by jsem (bysem), by jsi, by jsme (bysme), by jste:

    Kdyby jsme (kdybysme) měli peníze, koupili by jsme (bysme) si automobil. :cross:
    Kdybychom měli peníze, koupili bychom si automobil. :tick:

    In La Guerre des boutons (Knoflíková válka), Petit Gibus (Žibusík) used to say:

    Kdybysem to věděl, tak bysem sem nechodil. :cross:
    (correctly: Kdybych to byl věděl, tak bych sem nechodil. :tick:)

    (in French: "si j'aurais su, j'aurais pas v'nu", the correct form should be: "si j'avais su, je ne serais pas venu")
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    The forms of the verb сум (biti (to be)) in Macedonian would be:

    Imperfect:
    1. бев (bev)____________1. бевме (bevme)
    2. беше (beše)__________2. бевте (bevte)
    3. беше (beše)__________3. беа (bea)

    Aorist:
    1. биднав (bidnav)________1. биднавме (bidnavme)
    2. бидна (bidna)__________2. биднавте (bidnavte)
    3. бидна (bidna)__________3. биднаа (bidnaa)

    All the Imperfect forms of the verb "to be" are very often used, but the Aorist forms are almost never used except the 3rd person form.

    * Bold is the accent.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    In Czech there is one important exception: the aorist of the verb býti = to be. It is used as an auxiliary verb to form the condicional mood.
    That's interesting...
    Albeit aorist as such has not been used in Polish for centuries, relic aorist forms of "to be": "by", "byście" (and, regionally, "bych") are used to create some of the conditional forms as well, perhaps similarly to Czech language. Except that nowadays they are attached to the verbs and are considered "detachable sufixes" ("zrobilibyście" = "byście zrobili" = "you/pl would do") rather then auxiliary verbs *). But perhaps except for historical linguists, they would not normally be recognised as relics of aorist.
    Also, relic forms of aorist are said to have influenced forms of the past tense in several dialects.

    *) A similar phenomenon influenced also regular past tense in Polish: modern simple past tense is actually a contraction of a former compound past tense, in which forms of auxiliary verb 'to be' are now used as 'detachable suffixes', like: "zrobiłem" = 'żem zrobił" = "I did".
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech the auxiliary verb used in the conditional is a true aorist, you can compare the conditionals in OCS and Czech:

    nosilъ (nosila, nosilo)
    byxъ, by, by = nosil (nosila, nosilo) bych, bys, by;
    nosili (nosily, nosila) byxomъ, byste, byšę = nosili (nosily, nosila) bychom, byste, by;

    The form bys is later (created after extinction of the aorist) and formed to avoid confusion with the 3rd pers. sing. by.
    The ending -s is obligatorily detachable, but only in the case of the reflexive pronouns se/si.

    učil bych, učil bys, učil by, ... (= I should teach, ...);
    učil bych se, učil by ses (učil bys se :cross:), učil by se, ... (= I should learn, ...);

    koupil bych [si] kolo (= I should buy [myself] a bike);
    koupil bys kolo... koupil by sis kolo (= you would buy [yourself] a bike);
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    It is interesting that even though the Imperfect and the Aorist are still used in Macedonian, the conditional is build using the particle би (bi). This particle originates from the old conjunctive of the verb byti which over time lost the extensions (unlike in other South Slavic languages, like Serbian and Bulgarian).

    male: (Јас) Би си купил велосипед. ([Jas] Bi si kupil velosiped.) = I would buy [myself] a bike.
    female: (Јас) Би си купилa велосипед. ([Jas] Bi si kupila velosiped.) = I would buy [myself] a bike.
    male: Ти би си купил велосипед. (Ti bi si kupil velosiped.) = You would buy [yourself] a bike.
    female: Ти би си купилa велосипед. (Ti bi si kupila velosiped.) = You would buy [yourself] a bike.
    Тој би си купил велосипед. (Toj bi si kupil velosiped.) = He would buy [himself] a bike.
    Таа би си купилa велосипед. (Taa bi si kupila velosiped.) = She would buy [herself] a bike.
    Ние би си купиле велосипед. (Nie bi si kupile velosiped.) = We would buy [ourselves] a bike.
    Вие би си купиле велосипед. (Vie bi si kupile velosiped.) = You would buy [yourselves] a bike.
    Тие би си купиле велосипед. (Tie bi si kupile velosiped.) = They would buy [themselves] a bike.

    Forms without the reflexive pronoun си (si) are possible too:
    1. јас би купил/-а (jas bi kupil/-a)____________________-_1. ние би купиле (nie bi kupile)
    2. ти би купил/-а (ti bi kupil/-a)_____________________-__2. вие би купиле (vie bi kupile)
    3. тој/таа/тоа би купил/-а/-о (toj/taa/toa bi kupil/-a/-o)__'__3. тие би купиле (tie bi kupile)

    In Old Slavonic there had been 2 constructions for the conditional. The auxiliary verb appeared:
    1. with the forms of Aorist (быхъ - byhъ etc.)
    2. with special forms as part of this construction (бимь - bimь, би - bi etc.)
    In Macedonian language all those forms of the auxiliary verb were replaced by only one particle би (bi).
     
    Last edited:

    jasio

    Senior Member
    In Czech the auxiliary verb used in the conditional is a true aorist,
    Ok, clear.
    To make it complete, let me also include similar forms in Polish, for reference:
    bibax said:
    In Czech:

    1. bych
    2. bys < *by
    3. by

    1. bychom
    2. byste
    3. by < *bychu
    In Polish it was quite similar:
    1. bych,
    2. by,
    3. by.
    1. bychom,
    2. byście,
    3. bychą
    you can compare the conditionals in OCS and Czech:

    nosilъ (nosila, nosilo)
    byxъ, by, by = nosil (nosila, nosilo) bych, bys, by;
    nosili (nosily, nosila) byxomъ, byste, byšę = nosili (nosily, nosila) bychom, byste, by;
    And in Polish:
    • Nosiłbym, nosiłbyś, nosiłby,
    • Nosilibyśmy, nosilibyście, nosiliby.
    As you can see, the suffixes albeit based on aorist, are modified to mimic past tense suffixes. In feminine (and neuter) the verb - or actually the partciple - suffix is left after the verb stem:
    • Nosiłabym, nosiłabyś, nosiłaby,
    • Nosiłybyśmy, nosiłybyście, nosiłyby.
    Interesting is that in the Polish very regular accenting system (almost always on the penultimate syllable) these words are systematically accented on the third or fourth syllable from the end, as if the suffix were still a separate word, despite the spelling (bolded above). That's the rule, but i often hear also using an improper, yet regular accent in these forms, on the penultimate syllable (*nosiłybyśmy).

    The suffix is movable, although in the modern language it becomes less popular and is used mainly for stylistic reasons.

    • Nosiłbym to = bym to nosił (I would bear it)
    The ending -s is obligatorily detachable, but only in the case of the reflexive pronouns se/si.

    učil bych, učil bys, učil by, ... (= I should teach, ...);
    učil bych se, učil by ses (učil bys se :cross:), učil by se, ... (= I should learn, ...);
    In Polish.
    • Uczyłbym się, uczyłbyś się, uczyłby się
    No irregularities here.

    There's a semantic difference though, as these forms have a primary meaning of a conditional mood (I would learn), although sometimes they are also used to express an obligation as well - perhaps because they are shorter.
    • Powinieneś się uczyć zamiast grać w piłkę
    • Uczyłbyś się zamiast grać w piłkę
    Despite some semantic nuances, both mean you should learn instead of playing football. The latter sounds somewhat colloquial, and milder - perhaps a suggestion or complaint rather than a true obligation.
     
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