Slovak: telefonovať (also perfective?)

Tisztul_A_Visztula

Senior Member
Hungarian
First I just observed that my Slovak-Hungarian dictionary classified “telefonovať” as an imperfective/perfective verb.

I thought that it was a mistake, but checked the online dictionaries, too.

Althought the majority simply said it to be only imperfective (sometimes “zatelefonovať” was mentioned as a perfective form), there was more to say it is perfective, too. Eg.:

Slovník cudzích slov (akademický)

z r 2005.
telefonovať nedok. ‹g›
1. (~; komu; s kým; kam) dorozumievať sa, hovoriť telefonicky
2. aj dok. (čo, komu) telefonicky oznamovať, oznámiť

So is this verb still looking for its exact aspect or has the question been settled by? I mean at least by Slovak academic guys?
 
  • Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    I am just as confused as you are.

    I'd class "telefonovať" as an imperfective verb. "Zatelefonovať" would be perfective (or maybe they just class that as a whole new/different verb. I'm not sure).

    I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    So “Práve telefonoval otec, že má službu a musí….” can be just imperfective, and not perfective. I felt that in this case I would always use perfective, since it is quite evident that here there is a result of the call.
     

    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    Sorry, I'll admit that I don't have a lot of theoretical knowledge regarding perfective vs imperfective verbs in Slovak. I thought that these things only mattered when it comes to (forming) the future tense. Why would it matter in your sentence ("Práve telefonoval otec, že má službu a musí…") whether the verb is perfective or imperfective there?
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Sorry, I'll admit that I don't have a lot of theoretical knowledge regarding perfective vs imperfective verbs in Slovak. I thought that these things only mattered when it comes to (forming) the future tense. Why would it matter in your sentence ("Práve telefonoval otec, že má službu a musí…") whether the verb is perfective or imperfective there?
    Mainly because I regard each verb found in sentences as a tool to practice when I will have to use imperfective and perfective forms.

    I learn Slovak on my own at home, so in these years I am a sort of passive learner. I see things, memorize them, I practice some of them via cvičebnia. But I am consciously prepare for the second phase of my hobby when I will drive to Slovakia and will test and improve my knowledge in shops, on the streets, in a bar, in a stadium among ultras or in a police station afterwards. :)
     

    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    I am consciously prepare for the second phase of my hobby when I will drive to Slovakia and will test and improve my knowledge in shops, on the streets, in a bar, in a stadium among ultras or in a police station afterwards. :)
    That sounds like a great plan! :)

    To answer your question, I've found the following definition(s) online:

    • perfective verbs = the action ended or is complete
    • imperfective verbs = the action has not yet ended, or it is a repeated action. Even though Slovak does not have a continuous tense, the imperfective verbs can be used to express continuous actions.

      as well as:
    • Perfective verbs do not exist in the present tense. They have just future or past forms. E.g. najesť sa (najedol som sa = past tense, najem sa = future tense)

    According to that logic, verbs such as "prečítať/napísať /zatelefonovať" are all perfective, e.g. Prečítal som knihu/Napísal som list/Zatelefonoval som mame (= I have read the book = the action has finished = The book has been read. The letter has been written. My mum has received a call from me and the conversation has been had.)

    If I compare that with "Čítal som knihu / Písal som list" = These sound more like "I was reading a book" or "I was writing a letter" (in English).
    Here I suppose I can kind of see how the verb "telefonovať" could be seen as ambiguous (i.e. both perfective and imperfective). "Telefonoval som mame keď začalo pršať" (I was just on the phone to mum / I was calling (my) mum when it suddenly started raining) = sounds imperfective to me (I was in the process of talking to my mum on the phone. I think this is what they are referring to in that dictionary definition that you linked earlier (i.e. we use the verb telefonovať to mean "to have a conversation on the phone" as well as "to relay information to somebody over the phone". When we say "Telefonoval som mame keď začalo pršať" - we mean that we were chatting to mum over the phone (not that we were "in the process of dialing her telephone number on our phone") when it started raining.

    Práve telefonoval otec, že má službu a musí.. =
    sounds perfective to me now. The action has finished. Dad has made that phone call. He has relayed all the information (over the phone) and now it's done.

    Hope this makes sense.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Práve telefonoval otec, že má službu a musí.. = sounds perfective to me now. The action has finished. Dad has made that phone call. He has relayed all the information (over the phone) and now it's done.
    Sure, but we got back to the original question. Why do some of the dictionaries of good reputation say that “telefonovať“ can be only imperfective?

    You are a native Slovak, arent you? (Maybe supporting Slovan :) ). And even you felt that “telefonovať” can have only imperfective aspect. You classed it as imperfective. So it means that either the perfective aspect is a sort of uneducated use, or slang, or dialect etc.

    But I dont worry.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I just found another word which is classified as ipf/pf by my dictionary: “venovať”.

    Oh, heaven and hell! Tu bude világoš!
     
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    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    You are a native Slovak, arent you?
    I am, yes.

    Why do some of the dictionaries of good reputation say that “telefonovať“ can be only imperfective?
    And even you felt that “telefonovať” can have only imperfective aspect. You classed it as imperfective.

    Because, like I said earlier, my initial thought process was that perfective vs imperfective only mattered when forming the future tense. As stated above, "Perfective verbs do not exist in the present tense" - and that was also the initial logic that I was trying to apply as well, i.e.:

    telefonovať: telefonoval som - telefonujem - budem telefonovať :tick: --> based on this, I quickly jumped to the conclusion that "telefonovať" was (therefore, logically) imperfective.

    I didn't immediately think of the second meaning of that verb (we are only regular speakers of the language; we're not walking dictionaries :D)
    So, "telefonovať" (when used in the sense of "relaying information over the phone"):

    Telefonoval, že príde. :tick:
    Budem telefonovať, že prídem. :cross:


    It's just my guess. I think this is what they meant when they said (in your dictionary) that it can sometimes be used as a perfective verb as well. This stuff is pretty difficult even for native speakers to wrap their heads around though. That's why I said not to worry about it too much.
     
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    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    telefonovať" (when used in the sense of "relaying information over the phone"):
    Am I right that zatelefonovať as a purely perfective verb means relaying info over the phone, too? So a synonym of telefonovať?

    Or is it simply the perfective pair of telefonovať meaning having a conversation over the phone?

    Or does it have a third meaning?

    And sorry for asking so much, moreover “in this late hour” - as we say it in Hungarian.
     

    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    Am I right that zatelefonovať as a purely perfective verb means relaying info over the phone, too? So a synonym of telefonovať?

    Or is it simply the perfective pair of telefonovať meaning having a conversation over the phone?

    zatelefonovať = dok. telefonicky sa spojiť; telefonicky oznámiť, zavolať: z. matke, z. po lekára; z. novinu

    Yes, this one is always perfective, i.e.:

    Zatelefonoval som (past tense) --> Zatelefonujem (future tense) :tick:
    Budem zatelefonovať :cross:

    Včera
    som zatelefonoval mame. :tick: (I gave my mum a call yesterday.)
    Zatelefonuj tam, že neprídeš. :tick: (Make a call/Give them a call [and tell them] that you're not coming.)
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Telefonovať is a foreign (and relatively recent) word.

    Thus the prefixed forms of verbs, like zatelefonovať, zaprezentovať, zastabilizovať, zasocializovať, etc.... may sound still weird and unusual. Of course, it depends also on the concrete verb.
     
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