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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton December 14, 2015

Grammatical aspect and the lexical representation of Polish verbs

Maria Bloch-Trojnar


The aspectual opposition in Polish is encoded morphologically at the verb level. However, it is not immediately evident, whether by word-formation or inflectional means. Aspect marking is obligatory but semantically non-uniform and formally irregular. Traditionally, prefixed formations (e.g. "pisać" 'write, imperf.' – "na-pisać" 'write, perf.') have been regarded as products of word-formation, whereas suffixed forms (e.g. "kup-i•ć" 'buy, perf.' – "kup-owa•ć" 'buy, imperf.') as products of inflection. More recent approaches attempt to tip the scales in favour of a uniform process. The Polish data are analysed in an inferential-realisational Lexeme Morpheme Base Morphology framework. It is argued that the semantic information pertaining to event structure [±dynamic, ±durative, ±Consequent State] can be made available to syntax thanks to the mediation of the features [±Imperfective, ±Perfective] in the morpho-lexical representation of the verbal stem. At the point of lexical insertion, verb stems are already endowed with an abstractly specified value as perfective or imperfective and aspect information is lexically encoded as part of verb class specification. Consequently, the processes which alter aspect values are in the domain of the lexicon too.

Received: 2014-4-2
Revised: 2015-3-11
Accepted: 2015-3-16
Published Online: 2015-12-14

©2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston