Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Moderator: Sol Invictus

vqmalic
Posts: 7
Joined: 2014-01-17, 13:15
Real Name: Vincent
Gender: male
Location: Memphis
Country: US United States (United States)

Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby vqmalic » 2014-01-18, 9:26

Hi everyone!

I was wondering if anyone was aware of a resource - online, book, anything, really - where I could ascertain the perfective aspect, prefixed form a verb if I know/input the imperfective aspect.

The primary resource I'm relying on is Complete Latvian by Terēze Bartholomew. I'm quite satisfied with the progress I've made relying on this book, but she covers the function of making a perfective aspect by adding a prefix only very perfunctorily, and it is entirely "by accident," that I've learned a few imperfective/perfective pairs (darīt / izdarīt, rakstīt / uzrakstīt, dzert / iedzert), "accidentally" because I've just encountered these words in dialog in different parts of the book and just managed to figure out that they were an aspect pair. In other words, there's nothing systematic about it, no vocab lists that say to do : darīt, imperfective, izdarīt, perfective. You just encounter darīt in one lesson and then three lessons you see izdarīt in a dialog and just have to figure it out.

I'm also using as a reference Latvian: an Essential Grammar by Dace Prauliņš. Again, I think it to be a very useful resource but the coverage of aspect but it's still only cursory. Section 8.4 (nepabeigtie un pabeigtie darbības veidi) teaches me that a prefix almost always means a verb is now of the perfective aspect, but A) only one particular prefix is just pure, abstract, "perfectivization" but others make the verb perfective *and* change the meaning, eg. rakstīt - imperfective, norakstīt - to copy, parakstīt - to sign, pārrakstīt - to rewrite, and then, finally, the magic "uz-" in "uzrakstīt" which is that one "just perfective, no special meaning" prefix rakstīt - to be writing, uzrakstīt - to finish writing. BUT, B) that special prefix that serves only the purpose of making a verb perfective aspect without fundamentally changing its meaning CAN be different for every verb. So this basically means to me that, well, even though it's rakstīt and uzrakstīt I can't just go adding uz- to every imperfective aspect verb I know. So it's pirkt / nopirkt, and ēst / paēst.

So here's the problem I have as I continue my Latvian language journey: whenever I "learn" a new verb it feels woefully incomplete. When I learn a new verb - let's just so for example it's ēst - then I know how to say "I am eating," "I eat (regularly)," "I was eating," and "I will be eating," BUT I do not know how I to say "I ate (completely)," or "I will eat (to completion)." I can't just add prefixes willy-nilly, because there's only one or two that signify perfect aspect, and worse, other prefixes could completely change the meaning. So basically, are there any dictionaries, books, online sites, with which I could find out the prefixed, perfective aspect form of the verb by entering or looking up the unprefixed, imperfective aspect?

Liels paldies par palīdzību!

User avatar
mak
Posts: 405
Joined: 2006-05-04, 19:30
Real Name: Pēteris
Gender: male
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)
Contact:

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby mak » 2014-01-19, 10:14

I just made it for you. Here's a demo.

Image

I got a list of all verbs in Latvian by extracting them from XML files which I got from the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science. When you search for a verb, I just scan the list for words looking for those that end with that word, simple really.

Are you a web developer? Here is the source code.

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2982
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-01-19, 13:27

aiz- behind;
ap- around;
at- back, coming here from elsewhere, to split, again;
ie- in, into, towards, to begin;
iz- out, intensive and complete action;
ne- not;
no- down, degrading action;
pa- a little bit;
pār- over, too much;
pie- next to, to add;
uz- on;
sa- together, an action done by many, prolonged action;
I speak:  (lv) (en) I understand some:  (de) (ru) Toying with:  (es)

vqmalic
Posts: 7
Joined: 2014-01-17, 13:15
Real Name: Vincent
Gender: male
Location: Memphis
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby vqmalic » 2014-01-20, 3:51

Mak - that's absolutely incredible. Thanks a million, seriously. Yeah, I'm a web developer so I can definitely play around with this and have a version running on a local server whenever I'm studying Latvian. But yeah, this is totally exactly what I need. Liels paldies, jūs esat vislabākais.

User avatar
mak
Posts: 405
Joined: 2006-05-04, 19:30
Real Name: Pēteris
Gender: male
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)
Contact:

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby mak » 2014-01-20, 17:00

You are welcome :)

Do not use the formal pronoun "jūs" when talking to other people on the internet. When someone does that I think they are making fun of me :D

vqmalic
Posts: 7
Joined: 2014-01-17, 13:15
Real Name: Vincent
Gender: male
Location: Memphis
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby vqmalic » 2014-01-20, 18:31

Nu labi, es sapratu. Tad, tu esi vislabākais.

Thank again. :)

User avatar
Levo
Posts: 3228
Joined: 2006-10-29, 10:22
Gender: male
Location: Budapest
Country: HU Hungary (Magyarország)

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby Levo » 2014-01-22, 0:31

This topic is great.
Mak, Sol Invictus, very great posts!

You know, actually this is the part of Swedish/Norwegian grammar which never makes sense for me. Or rarely.
While in Latvian, it is my delicatesse, my yummy part to see how prefixed verbs change the meaning logically, as somehow in Latvian they make more sense to my Hungarian logic.

エヴァルダス
Posts: 166
Joined: 2006-08-13, 15:53
Gender: male
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: Finding out the perfective form of a verb from imperfective

Postby エヴァルダス » 2014-02-28, 19:52

A) only one particular prefix is just pure, abstract, "perfectivization" but others make the verb perfective *and* change the meaning, eg. rakstīt - imperfective, norakstīt - to copy, parakstīt - to sign, pārrakstīt - to rewrite, and then, finally, the magic "uz-" in "uzrakstīt" which is that one "just perfective, no special meaning" prefix rakstīt - to be writing, uzrakstīt - to finish writing. BUT, B) that special prefix that serves only the purpose of making a verb perfective aspect without fundamentally changing its meaning CAN be different for every verb.


Your sources are not entirely correct. The trait you are describing is characteristic to slavonic languages. In the Baltic languages, on the other hand, a verbal opposition only by their aspect is not very common. Take for example "nest" (to bring). Its perfective forms "aiznest, atnest, apnest, ienest, iznest, uznest, sanest, pienest" etc. all have some sort of additional spacial or semantic meaning.


Return to “Latvian (Latviešu valoda)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest