Are abstract verbs always imperfective?

stego

Member
Italian
Hello. According to Wiktionary, 'abstract verbs are always imperfective in aspect'. However, I noticed that ходи́ть (abstract and imperfective) does have a perfective version, сходи́ть. For this verb, wiktionary offers the following example: Мне нужно сходить в банк. - I need to go to the bank (and come back). Isn't the idea of 'going and coming back' a feature of abstract verbs? So, ultimately, isn't сходить an abstract perfective verb?

Isn't побегать (the perfective counterpart to бегать) another example of an abstract perfective verb?
 
  • Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    An 'abstract' verb is treated as such in its particular meanings only. Those meanings just can't be in the perfective aspect:
    :tick: Этот автобус ходит по расписанию.
    :eek: Этот автобус сходил по расписанию.

    So yes, "abstract verbs are always imperfective in aspect" by definition.


    Мне нужно сходить в банк. - I need to go to the bank (and come back).
    As for the verb "сходить" here, the meanings of its theoretically possible imperfective counterparts don't include the idea of returning, so it is treated as a separate verb in the meaning in question.
    Isn't the idea of 'going and coming back' a feature of abstract verbs?

    No.

    Isn't побегать (the perfective counterpart to бегать) another an example of an abstract perfective verb?
    It is. Instances with "по-" is an exception to the rule.
    Keep in mind, though, that semantically verbs with "по-" can be understood to mean "to spend time doing something" (so the perfective is "to have spent time doing something", i.e. "doing" remains invariable).
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hello. According to Wiktionary, 'abstract verbs are always imperfective in aspect'. However, I noticed that ходи́ть (abstract and imperfective) does have a perfective version, сходи́ть.
    What are "abstract verbs"? I must admit I have very little idea. Speaking about abstract nouns (those which lack material denotates) makes sense, but abstract verbs?... :confused:

    For now I'd like to note that verbal derivation in motion verbs often results in various unpredictable changes of meaning.
     

    stego

    Member
    Italian
    Thanks everybody for your input!

    An 'abstract' verb is treated as such in its particular meanings only.
    @Vovan Could you explain further? "In its particular meanings only" as opposed to what? Are you perhaps implying that a single verb can have some abstract meanings and some other concrete meanings?

    @Awwal12 apparently the issue of abstract verbs has been discussed here. Here and here are the definitions from wiktionary.
    I've noticed that sometimes wiktionary categorizes verbs this way; for example, under идти it says: "Идти and пойти́ (pojtí) are Russian concrete verbs. Their counterpart, ходи́ть (xodítʹ), is an abstract verb."
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Are you perhaps implying that a single verb can have some abstract meanings and some other concrete meanings?
    Exactly! The verb "ходить", for one, has (at least) two meanings that are "concrete":
    15. (сов. сходить)
    Делать ход в игре.
    16. (сов. сходить). Разг.
    Отправлять естественную потребность (испражняться, мочиться).

    https://classes.ru/all-russian/dictionary-russian-academ-term-69572.htm
    (An example sentence for meaning 16 was kindly provided by Şafak in post 3. :rolleyes:)
     
    Hello. According to Wiktionary, 'abstract verbs are always imperfective in aspect'. However, I noticed that ходи́ть (abstract and imperfective) does have a perfective version, сходи́ть. For this verb, wiktionary offers the following example: Мне нужно сходить в банк. - I need to go to the bank (and come back). Isn't the idea of 'going and coming back' a feature of abstract verbs? So, ultimately, isn't сходить an abstract perfective verb?

    Isn't побегать (the perfective counterpart to бегать) another example of an abstract perfective verb?
    ходи́ть -- что делать? (abstract, imperfective) <--> сходи́ть -- что cделать? (concrete, perfective)

    imperfective = relating to or denoting an aspect of verbs in Slavic languages that expresses action without reference to its completion
    perfective = denoting or relating to an aspect of verbs in Slavic languages that expresses
    completed action

    For example, Я часто хожу по магазинам/ Я ходила по магазинам/ Я ходила туда-сюда по комнате <--> Я сходила в магазин

    побе́гать -- что сделать? (concrete, perfective) <--> бегать -- что делать? (abstract, imperfective)

    For example, Я уже побегала <--> Я бегаю каждое утро

    So, the idea of abstract and concrete verbs in Russian is for you just to get the idea of how Present/Past Indefinite vs Present/Past Perfect works in Russian, where we don't have these tenses.
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    apparently the issue of abstract verbs has been discussed here. Here and here are the definitions from wiktionary.
    Ah, you mean multidirectional verbs. However, the fact that perfective verbs may be derived from them doesn't make these verbs their "versions" (and whatever verb is derived, multidirectionality is always lost in process). Moreover, in the case of prefixes with spatial meanings (e.g. in "сходить" in the meaning "to descend; to get off") multidirectional verbs are simply used as the base for forming imperfective verbs with the derived meaning, while their unidirectional counterparts form the perfective counterparts of such verbs: imp. "сходи́ть" vs. perf. "сойти́" (from "идти́"), imp. "улета́ть" vs. perf. "улете́ть", imp. "перебега́ть" vs. perf. "перебежа́ть" and so on. And if the prefix is not spatial (like in "сходи́ть" in the meaning "to make one's move in a game", with the purely perfective "с-", from "ходи́ть" "to make moves in a game"), you gain a perfective verb as normally expected - with no trace of multidirectionality again.
     

    MIDAV

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Ah, you mean multidirectional verbs. However, the fact that perfective verbs may be derived from them doesn't make these verbs their "versions" (and whatever verb is derived, multidirectionality is always lost in process). Moreover, in the case of prefixes with spatial meanings (e.g. in "сходить" in the meaning "to descend; to get off") multidirectional verbs are simply used as the base for forming imperfective verbs with the derived meaning, while their unidirectional counterparts form the perfective counterparts of such verbs: imp. "сходи́ть" vs. perf. "сойти́" (from "идти́"), imp. "улета́ть" vs. perf. "улете́ть", imp. "перебега́ть" vs. perf. "перебежа́ть" and so on. And if the prefix is not spatial (like in "сходи́ть" in the meaning "to make one's move in a game", with the purely perfective "с-", from "ходи́ть" "to make moves in a game"), you gain a perfective verb as normally expected - with no trace of multidirectionality again.
    What about the obvious: походить, поплавать, and yes, побе́гать as suggested by the topic starter?

    Also, you have перебега́ть, but then there is перебе́гать (as in я сегодня перебе́гал, всё болит). You could continue:
    Я пробе́гал (пролетал, проходил) весь день
    Долго ходил, мозоль себе находил
    etc

    These are all perfective forms and they certainly look multidirectional to me (BTW, the author borrowed the term abstract verbs from the Wiktionary article linked in the original post).

    Then there are forms like забе́гался, набе́гался, находился (и больше не хочу), налетался etc. Not sure where they belong but they look multidirectional again and they are perfective.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What about the obvious: походить, поплавать, and yes, побе́гать as suggested by the topic starter?
    This по- (let's call it "the prefix of incomplete activity") is generally unusual (it's the only prefix which forms perfective verbs that cannot really be described as single point-like events on the timeline), as much as the inchoative за- (which is attached exclusively to multidirectional verbs of motion), so they can be treated as exceptions, but in general you're right - certain perfective verbs CAN keep the notion of multidirectionality.
     
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    stego

    Member
    Italian
    @Vovan @Oburch @Awwal12 and @MIDAV: thank you. I now have a lot of info to work with. As a beginner, I understand the gist but it will take me some time to fully 'digest' your answers. After some studying, I will write back should there be any parts I still struggle with :)
     
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