An outline of perfect and pluperfect in the dialect of Gammalsvenskby.
The article analyzes l-forms without an auxiliary with a meaning of a pre-past action. Such l-participles are usually regarded as perfect forms used in pluperfect contexts. However, it will be shown that apparently we deal with the rise of a specialized for expressing the grammatical meaning of result, for which the correlation with time (present or past) was irrelevant. This interpretation is confirmed with the material of Modern Russian dialects with -shi / -vshi perfect and pluperfect, where the -shi / -vshi form used without the auxiliary in the past tense can mean the result pertaining not only to the present, but also to the past.
The paper discusses the fragmented birchbark letter from Novgorod no. 4 written around 1320–1340, focusing on the context of the Pluperfect form that occurs in the fragment (byl vydal). An interpretation of this use is proposed linking it with the discourse functions of the Old Russian Pluperfect that marks the initial point of a narrative. This hypothesis requires for a reconstruction of the whole text of the letter in question. The author proposes to correct the previous reading of the document, and discusses also some other issues related to its interpretation.
The paper explores the space of semantic and formal variability of pluperfect constructions in Slavic against a wider typological background; the areal context is also addressed. The study is based both on parallel corpora and typological questionnaires. Keywords: grammar typology, pluperfect, polysemy,
The paper describes the group of perfective past tenses in Aghul (Lezgic, East Caucasian), focusing on the expression of the perfect meaning. There are four verbal forms which can express the meaning of the perfect ‘family’; at the same time, it is not obvious whether Aghul can be qualified as a language with a dedicated perfect form. All the four forms in question are periphrastic in origin, with the perfective converb or participle of the main verb and the postpositional auxiliary in the present tense. The Aorist is a typical perfective past used in narratives, although it is employed in the immediate (‘hot news’) contexts as well. The “participial” Aorist has an experiential or existential meaning, which is commonly associated with perfects. The Resultative is a polyfunctional form which expresses both perfect and resultative meanings, as well as indirect evidentiality in the past (in the latter function, it is a frequent tense used in ‘second-hand’ narratives). Finally, the “participial” Resultative has a narrower perfect meaning and introduces a currently relevant situation as already “known”, the function of the corresponding clause being explanatory or confirmatory. Thus, Aghul can be said to possess two perfect-like forms, one with a wide distribution, and another with a more narrow distribution than expected of a ‘classical’ current-relevance perfect.
Each of the four forms has a counterpart with the ‘pluperfect’ structure, including the perfective converb or participle and the auxiliary in the past. These forms express the meanings that are typical of pluperfects cross-linguistically, including the resultant state in the past, the anteriority in the past, ‘discontinuous’ past etc.
The paper focuses on the two most important perfective forms expressing past time reference in the Nizh dialect of Udi, a language of the Lezgic group of East Caucasian family. The form with the suffix -i is the most frequent in narrative texts, and can be properly characterized as the Aorist (perfective past). The form with the suffix -e is less frequent, but has a wide range of uses, including the expression of current relevance of past situations and the experiential meaning, as well as the resultative meaning (present state); on the whole, this form fits the crosslinguistic category of the perfect. There is also the Pluperfect, which is derived from the Perfect by means of the “retrospective switch” enclitic, and is semantically a “perfect in the past”. Apart from the functional differences between the Aorist and the Perfect, there is a number of morphosyntactic ones. In particular, the default position of person markers on the verb is enclitic in case of the Perfect, but endoclitic (intraclitic) in case of the Aorist. Also, there is a special negation strategy available only for the Perfect, which includes the perfective participle and the postpositional negative complex. According to the hypothesis put forward in the paper, this negation structure may at least partly disclose the origin of the Perfect form, which seems to be based on the participle. The diachronic scenarios of the Aorist and the Perfect origin and evolution are discussed in the paper, as well as the perspectives for future research of the system of past tenses in Udi.