BCS: -avati versus -ivati verbs

QuasiTriestino

Senior Member
American English
In my quest to learn BCS verbs, I keep bumping into a problem: Namely, knowing (or being able to reason) if a perfective verb takes -avati or -ivati when it becomes imperfective.

Some examples: The perfective verb proveriti becomes proveravati in its imperfective form. Suočiti becomes suočavati. Naseliti becomes naseljavati. Great. All good up to this point.

However, then I come across the perfective verb zaraditi, which becomes zarađivati in its imperfective form. Or preliti and prelivati. Or dokazati and dokazivati.

When I'm going through my flashcards like the good little BCS student I am, I find it hard to remember which verbs takes either -avati or -ivati as an ending. Try as I might, I've been unable to locate any kind of regular pattern here.

Thus, my question: Is there some rule in BCS that governs these endings? And if so, could someone please lead me to hidden treasure?

Hvala najlepše, prijatelji! :)
 
  • bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Interesting question. In Czech we have only -ovati and -vati (if the root ends in a vowel):

    prověřiti > prověřovati;
    zařaditi > zařazovati (d > z);
    dokázati > dokazovati (dokazujeme in 1st pers. plur. pres.);

    but

    umýti > umývati (umýváme);

    preliti is clear, the first i is a part of the root: pre-li-ti > pre-li-va-ti;
    similarly umiti (u-mi-ti) > umivati;
     
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    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    preliti is clear, the -i- is a part of the stem: pre-li-ti > pre-li-va-ti
    Mmmmm.... you're right. That's not the best example because it becomes prelivam in 1st singular present. But another example would be ispitati becoming ispitivati (ispitujem in 1st singl present).
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In pro-ver-i-ti and za-rad-i-ti, the i is the so called thematic vowel (not a part of the root).
    In do-kaz-a-ti and is-pit-a-ti, the thematic vowel is a.

    So, it is mystery for me, why the use of -i-va-ti and -a-va-ti is so inconsistent in BCS. One would expect proverivati and dokazavati, with the proper thematic vowels. Maybe there is a rule (with possible exceptions?).
     
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    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    From what I know, according to the ending vowel of the 3rd person singular present tense form, all verbs in BCMS belong to one of the 3 groups: -a, -e, -i.

    -a: gleda, čita
    -e: piše, jede
    -i: uči, radi

    So, I guess it is related to this.
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    ^^ IMHO it is a somewhat simplified classification, it may work for the present stem forms, but not too convenient for accurate analysis.

    I am able to formulate only the following simple rule, applicable for only few verbs:

    RULE: if the root ends in a vowel, the suffix is -vati (both in BCSM and Czech).

    u-mi-ti > u-mi-vati (umivam, ...) ~ in Czech umýti > umývati (umývám, umýváš, umývá, umýváme, umýváte, umývají);


    You can also see how the Slavic languages are similar in their basic morphology. :)
     
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    QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    Theme vowels (at least from how I understand it) can change and often do in BCS. So for example pisati has an -a- theme vowel in the infinitive but an -e- theme vowel in the present (pišem).

    držati → držim
    videti → vidim

    etc. etc.... It's super nice when this doesn't happen, however, for us learners, cause it makes things much easier.

    govoriti → govorim
    pričati → pričam

    Maybe there's just no predicting which -avati / -ivati endings will happen in what verbs for the perfective-to-imperfective transition in BCS... but I was kinda hoping so :p
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    Similarly in Czech:

    držeti → držím;
    viděti → vidím;

    hovořiti → hovořím;
    dělati → dělám; (= raditi)

    All mentioned verbs are in fact of different classes (in a precise classification used by linguists).

    Generally in the Slavic languages, the present theme vowel and the infinitive theme vowel can differ in some cases (that are limited in numbers). There are certainly more than 3 verbal types (classes). However, some classes are already closed (non-productive), some are still productive.
     
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