All Slavic languages: Restultative constructions (to have something written, to get scolded)

Athaulf

Senior Member
Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
Split from here.
Jana, I've given your example some thought, and remembered that, in a sense, English also has two infinitives. For example, there is:

to write (--> plain, or imperfect infinitive)
to have written --> which can be described as a perfect infinitive

Is this like what you have in the Slavic languages?
No, as Cyanista explains:
No, not exactly. Slavic languages (I'm not sure if all of them) have perfective and imperfective verbs. Most verbs form perfective-imperfective pairs. The verbs in those are distinctly independent lexical entities. There is no set method how to form a perfective verb from an imperfective one or vice versa.
However, (at least in colloquial Czech) we can form a literal translation of "to have written" and we use it exactly like the English present perfect. It only works for perfective verbs.

Could you please give an example of this? I'm really curious how something like this would work in a Slavic language.
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Could you please give an example of this? I'm really curious how something like this would work in a Slavic language.
    Sure. :) It sometimes gives the idea of "checking off" an item on your agenda.

    I speak many languages when I am squiffy.
    - Mluvím mnoha jazyky, když mám trochu vypito.
    (Of course you can say "když jsem přiopilý", which is a literal translation of "I am squiffy".)
    Literally, it means something like "when I have something drunk", "when I have accomplished my share of drinking".

    I have computed that to obtain a passing grade, I need to get 78 points out of 100 on the final.
    - Mám spočteno (or: spočítal jsem si), že musím mít v závěrečném testu 78 bodů ze 100, abych tu zkoušku složil.


    I have pondered my next move.
    - Svůj další krok mám promyšlen.
    - I know what I am going to do. Sounds more confident than the next sentence.
    - Promyslel jsem si svůj další krok. (a literal translation) - Sounds neutral.

    I haven't written the last chapter of my thesis yet.
    - Ještě nemám napsánu poslední kapitolu své diplomové práce.
    - Ještě jsem nenapsal poslední kapitolu své diplomové práce.
    (a literal translation)

    Sometimes it works like in English - if the subject of the sentence is not the agent.
    I wonder how he knows that I am a physician. I don't have it written on my forehead!
    - Zajímalo by mě, odkud ví, že jsem lékařka. Nemám to přece napsáno na čele!
    All previous examples differ from this one in that the subject performed the action in question. The principle is the same, though (or so it seem to me).
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Sure. :) It sometimes gives the idea of "checking off" an item on your agenda.

    I speak many languages when I am squiffy.
    - Mluvím mnoha jazyky, když mám trochu vypito.
    (Of course you can say "když jsem přiopilý", which is a literal translation of "I am squiffy".)
    Literally, it means something like "when I have something drunk", "when I have accomplished my share of drinking".

    I have computed that to obtain a passing grade, I need to get 78 points out of 100 on the final.
    - Mám spočteno (or: spočítal jsem si), že musím mít v závěrečném testu 78 bodů ze 100, abych tu zkoušku složil.


    I have pondered my next move.
    - Svůj další krok mám promyšlen.
    - I know what I am going to do. Sounds more confident than the next sentence.
    - Promyslel jsem si svůj další krok. (a literal translation) - Sounds neutral.

    I haven't written the last chapter of my thesis yet.
    - Ještě nemám napsánu poslední kapitolu své diplomové práce.
    - Ještě jsem nenapsal poslední kapitolu své diplomové práce.
    (a literal translation)

    Sometimes it works like in English - if the subject of the sentence is not the agent.
    I wonder how he knows that I am a physician. I don't have it written on my forehead!
    - Zajímalo by mě, odkud ví, že jsem lékařka. Nemám to přece napsáno na čele!
    All previous examples differ from this one in that the subject performed the action in question. The principle is the same, though (or so it seem to me).

    Interesting; we have some of this stuff in Croatian too, although I've never thought about it this way. In fact, your last two examples translate perfectly word for word:

    Još nemam napisano posljednje poglavlje svog diplomskog rada. (Somewhat substandard, but common in informal speech.)
    Nemam to napisano na čelu!
    (Sounds perfect to me.)

    Even "imam izračunato da..." (literally "I have calculated that...") would be plausible, though it sounds unsophisticated even in informal speech. The other examples don't have Croatian equivalents, though.

    Is there actually some special name for such constructs in Czech grammar?
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    It is not easy to find things if you don't know their name :D but here's a partial success.

    It says that the phenomenon of resultative constructions has been around for a while without much attention on the part of scholars. There are apparently several types of resultative constructions. Those we are talking about in this thread are called possessive resultatives (possessive because of the auxiliary verb mít, to have) that are formally close to the perfect tense in Romance and Germanic languages. The classification borrows from the work of the Russian linguist Nedyalkov.

    I did some research about other types of resultative constructions. One of them could be with the (auxiliary) verb dostat, to obtain/to get (the latter translates nicely into English).

    Dostal jsem vynadáno. - I got scolded.
    Dostal jsem zaplaceno. - I got paid.

    As far as the status of these constructions is concerned, my impression is that they have been becoming grammatical. Some of them still sound substandard but many are totally acceptable.
     

    Athaulf

    Senior Member
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    It is not easy to find things if you don't know their name :D but here's a partial success.

    It says that the phenomenon of resultative constructions has been around for a while without much attention on the part of scholars. There are apparently several types of resultative constructions. Those we are talking about in this thread are called possessive resultatives (possessive because of the auxiliary verb mít, to have) that are formally close to the perfect tense in Romance and Germanic languages. The classification borrows from the work of the Russian linguist Nedyalkov.

    This is very interesting. The development of those has apparently advanced further in Czech than in Croatian. The most obvious difference with the Germanic and Romance perfect, though, is that it's still limited to transitive verbs, so that the "auxiliary" verb hasn't really been grammaticalized yet. (Or has it actually crept even into intransitive ones in Czech?)

    I did some research about other types of resultative constructions. One of them could be with the (auxiliary) verb dostat, to obtain/to get (the latter translates nicely into English).

    Dostal jsem vynadáno. - I got scolded.
    Dostal jsem zaplaceno. - I got paid.

    As far as the status of these constructions is concerned, my impression is that they have been becoming grammatical. Some of them still sound substandard but many are totally acceptable.
    I can't think of anything similar to these in Croatian. Thanks for this really interesting info. :)
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Interesting thread. :) I noted this have in Polish some time ago, and have been pondering, since then, what could be its closest equivlent in English
    [...]I haven't written the last chapter of my thesis yet.
    - Ještě nemám napsánu poslední kapitolu své diplomové práce.
    - Ještě jsem nenapsal poslední kapitolu své diplomové práce. (a literal translation)[...]
    Jeszcze nie mam napisanego ostatniego rozdziału mojej pracy dyplomowej.
    Jeszcze nie napisałem ostatniego rozdziału mojej pracy dyplomowej.
    Hm when I read the first sentence (it is grammatically possible, but a little bit pervert because of the proximity of two -ego endings) I think that the verb mam (I have) has a few meanings. The forehead sentence works quite well in a question form (since it changes the pronoun) Czy ja mam to wypisane na czole? (Have I written it on my forehead?--Edit: or more precisely do I have it written on my forehead?--)
    On the other hand... did you translate the přece into English, Jana? I can't see it in your English translation and if it means what I think it means :D then the sentence would work in affirmative/negative too. ;)
    Nemám to přece napsáno na čele!
    Nie mam tego przecież wypisanego na czole!

    I don't know about the other Slavic languages, but to me mieć (to have) is something similar to the causative* have jumbled with present perfect and possessive implications of the regular verb to have in English.
    I don't have my thesis written yet.
    Nie mam jeszcze napisanej pracy dyplomowej.

    Mam przemyślany dalszy krok.
    I have thought over the next move.
    Here, to me, the situation is similar; the parts in green function as adjectives/past participles; have/mam function literally (possess), but the time of the action is clear--past. Translating my English sentence more faithfully I'd say; Obmyśliłem plan.

    I wonder if the have in perfect tenses adds any additional meaning to the whole sentence--or it simply marks the tense. The causative* have gives similar implications as mam from my example with the difference that the English one tells us that someone else does something for us, and in case of Polish it's rather the subject who performs the action (writes the thesis and ponders the next move, in our case). It takes after its English counterpart in the sense that it makes the whole sentence more impersonal in reception. So, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say: I haven't had my thesis written yet. (Now, when I come to think of it this sentence could also be taken verbatim, I haven't had = I haven't come into possession
    --*edit: actually, after reconsideration, I guess it is more the have as an ordinary verb than the causative since I have my homework done can have more than one meaning in English--)

    This have is used with transitive verbs as far as I know (this is my observation, so may be incomplete), it is used more often with certain verbs than with others (I can't quite define which are the ones--it's just the thing I feel and know if it passes the muster or not--it wouldn't work for instance in Jana's drink example). Yet, some of sentences that include the auxiliary have sound more natural than others in spite of being substandard to my ear.


    Tom
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    On the other hand... did you translate the přece into English, Jana? I can't see it in your English translation and if it means what I think it means :D then the sentence would work in affirmative/negative too. ;)
    Nemám to přece napsáno na čele!
    Nie mam tego przecież wypisanego na czole!
    I didn't because it doesn't translate well. ;)
    Maybe:
    I don't have it written on my forehead, do I?
     
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