končati se / končevati se

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končati se / končevati se

Postby Gavril » 2015-02-04, 7:04

Živijo,

The last thread made me wonder about the difference between perfective končati (se) and imperfective končevati (se).

For example, is there any semantic difference (small or large) between

"besede ki se končujejo na -s"
and
"besede ki se končajo na -s"

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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-04, 11:47

This is similar to the use of the simple present tense in English - since it's a timeless truth, it's better to use the perfective verb. It more or less has the same effect as using the present progressive tense, ie. the words that are ending in -s vs. the words that end in -s (although in Slovene it sounds less wrong than in English).

But I think think may not apply always, but I can't think of a good example right now. If you come across any, please post. A pretty safe rule is also to use the more basic verb in such cases, the non-derived or otherwise modified verb (končati is the basic verb while končevati is derived).
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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Gavril » 2015-02-04, 13:10

Ashucky wrote:This is similar to the use of the simple present tense in English - since it's a timeless truth, it's better to use the perfective verb. It more or less has the same effect as using the present progressive tense, ie. the words that are ending in -s vs. the words that end in -s (although in Slovene it sounds less wrong than in English).


This is a broader topic than the thread title, but I don't see (at least not yet) much of a parallel between perfectivity/imperfectivity and the use of the habitual tense in English: it seems to me that both perfective and imperfective actions can be performed habitually, so the two factors (aspect and habitualness) are somewhat independent of each another.

(If anything, I've noticed that I (an English speaker) tend to wrongly associate habitual semantics with the imperfective form of a verb when I write sentences in languages that regularly distinguish the two aspects.)

However, I see your point about the verb končati: if a word ends (konča) in a given sound/letter, then this is a completed process rather than an ongoing one.

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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby miae » 2015-02-04, 14:19

I think SSKJ explains it pretty good:
SSKJ wrote:končáti -ám dov. 1. izraža prenehanje opravljanja a) dela, opravila, b) dejavnosti, aktivnosti

končeváti -újem nedov. 1. izraža približevanje prenehanju dejavnosti, aktivnosti
So basically, končati = to end, končevati = to end soon.

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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-04, 14:29

Aspect is definitely one of the most confusing things cross-linguistically.

But in linguistics, habituality (not the same as timeless truth, though) is an aspect, and it is part of the imperfective aspect. In Slovene, habituality is typically covered by the imperfective verbs, while in English it is typically covered by the simple tenses, rather than by the progressive tenses (the -ing tenses). This is where the confusion comes from: the progressive tenses in English usually imply an ongoing, progressive action, which very often overlaps with the imperfective verbs in Slovene; while the simple tenses imply a complete, finished action, much like the perfective verbs. But more often than not, there is no such neat overlapping between the two systems. Setting the theory aside, it's often a lot easier to just learn from examples and get a "feeling" of how the structures work, because trying to break everything into rules may end up being more confusing than necessary.

miae wrote:I think SSKJ explains it pretty good:
SSKJ wrote:končáti -ám dov. 1. izraža prenehanje opravljanja a) dela, opravila, b) dejavnosti, aktivnosti

končeváti -újem nedov. 1. izraža približevanje prenehanju dejavnosti, aktivnosti
So basically, končati = to end, končevati = to end soon.
Hm, I'd say it's more like "approaching the end", though (eg. compare Šolsko leto se kmalu konča. "The school year ends soon." vs. Šolsko leto se končuje. "The school year is ending/approaching the end.")
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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Gavril » 2015-02-04, 16:09

Ashucky wrote:But in linguistics, habituality (not the same as timeless truth, though) is an aspect, and it is part of the imperfective aspect.


Why?

I run a mile every day = I complete the action of running a mile every day = perfective (right?)

I work at the sawmill on weekdays = I am involved in doing work at the sawmill on weekdays = imperfective

It's true, though, that a sentence like Beseda konča na [črka] is different from both of these cases -- it describes a state of "having happened" rather than a repeated action, so perhaps "habitual" is not the right term to use for it.

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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-04, 17:02

Gavril wrote:
Ashucky wrote:But in linguistics, habituality (not the same as timeless truth, though) is an aspect, and it is part of the imperfective aspect.


Why?
That is not my definition, or a Slovenian definition. It's linguistic: by definition, habituality or the habitual aspect is a type of imperfective aspect.

I run a mile every day = I complete the action of running a mile every day = perfective (right?)

I work at the sawmill on weekdays = I am involved in doing work at the sawmill on weekdays = imperfective

The first sentence can be translated as: Vsak dan tečem eno miljo. - with the imperfective verb, this would be the usual way. But it can also be said as: Vsak dan pretečem eno miljo. - this is now perfective but it emphasises both the start point and the end point of the running.

The second sentence would be: Ob vikendih delam na žagi. - the imperfective verb is pretty much the only verb you can use here, yeah.

It's true, though, that a sentence like Beseda se konča na [črka] is different from both of these cases -- it describes a state of "having happened" rather than a repeated action, so perhaps "habitual" is not the right term to use for it.
Yeah, exactly. Plus I think this may be a peculiarity of the verb itself - ends are usually instantaneous.
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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Gavril » 2015-02-05, 2:55

Ashucky wrote:That is not my definition, or a Slovenian definition. It's linguistic: by definition, habituality or the habitual aspect is a type of imperfective aspect.


Maybe it is imperfective in the sense that a habit does not have a defined end point. But the habit itself can consist of a sustained imperfective action ("I work at the sawmill") or a repeated perfective action ("Every day I run a mile.").

So, it seems that the choice of imperfective or perfective for habitual verbs (I'm not specifically talking about Slovene here, just in general) depends on whether one wants to emphasize the habituality of the action, or whether one wants to describe the action that the habit consists of.

For example, I'm still not sure which verb would normally be used in the following case, razmnožiti or razmnoževati:

Ob petih vsak dan tajnica razmnoži/razmnožuje dnevna poročila.

"Every day at five, the secretary copies the daily reports."

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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-05, 13:57

Hm, personally I don't see too much differencen between those two sentences in terms of linguistic aspect. They are both imperfective and repeated. Every day I run a mile, but I also work at the sawmill every day - with the exception that with 'run' you can choose between what verb to pick. But this is fromna linguistic point of view, which doesnralways correspond to what feels more logical. The difference between those two verbs is also in their trnasitivity, which affects the choice of the verb (delati is intransitive while (pre)teči is transitive). I think I should have mentioned that before, sorry.

Gavril wrote:For example, I'm still not sure which verb would normally be used in the following case, razmnožiti [/ofr [i]razmnoževati:

Ob petih vsak dan tajnica razmnoži/razmnožuje dnevna poročila.

"Every day at five, the secretary copies the daily reports."
TBH, I wouldn't use either of those verbs, they're usually used in the sense of 'to reproduce' (ie. sexual reproduction). Their use in the sense of 'to copy' is marked and not neutral. Instead, I'd use (s/pre)kopirati. Again, this is a transitive verb, so your choices are exactly the same as with (pre)teči before.

Vsak dan ob petih tajnica kopira dnevna poročila. - imperfectiv, or you can go with perfective versions too: Vsak dan ob petih tajnica skopira/prekopira dnevna poročila. The effect of the perfective verb is the same as before with preteči.

EDIT: Just figured I could elaborate just a bit more on the whole transitivity thing now. Compare the following:
1) Vsak dan tečem. (I run every day.) - the verb is intransitive, and you can only use the imperfective verb
2) Vsak dan (pre)tečem eno miljo. (Every day I run one mile.) - the verb is transitive, and you can select either the imperfective verb or the perfective.
3) Vsak dan berem. (I read every day.) - intransitive, imperfective only
4) Vsak dan (pre)berem eno knjigo. - transitive, and you can pick the verb (the perfective verb (preberem) means that you read the whole book)

i hope that makes it a bit clearer.
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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Gavril » 2015-02-06, 14:28

Ashucky wrote: TBH, I wouldn't use either of those verbs, they're usually used in the sense of 'to reproduce' (ie. sexual reproduction). Their use in the sense of 'to copy' is marked and not neutral. Instead, I'd use (s/pre)kopirati. Again, this is a transitive verb, so your choices are exactly the same as with (pre)teči before.


Hmm, I was looking for an example where the imperfective and perfective were differentiated by a suffix, rather than by a prefix/preposition, just to see if that would make any difference.

What about this example:

Tajnica zapisuje/zapiše zapisnik na tedenskih sestankih.

"The secretary transcribes the minutes at the weekly meetings."

Would it be better to choose zapisuje or zapiše here?

EDIT: Just figured I could elaborate just a bit more on the whole transitivity thing now. Compare the following:
1) [i]Vsak dan tečem.
(I run every day.) - the verb is intransitive, and you can only use the imperfective verb
2) Vsak dan (pre)tečem eno miljo. (Every day I run one mile.) - the verb is transitive, and you can select either the imperfective verb or the perfective.
3) Vsak dan berem. (I read every day.) - intransitive, imperfective only
4) Vsak dan (pre)berem eno knjigo. - transitive, and you can pick the verb (the perfective verb (preberem) means that you read the whole book)

i hope that makes it a bit clearer.


It does, partly, but I still don't quite see what the choice of perfective vs. imperfective accomplishes in the case of "tečem/pretečem eno miljo": does "teče" imply (or suggest) that you didn't run the whole mile?

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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-06, 21:51

Gavril wrote:Hmm, I was looking for an example where the imperfective and perfective were differentiated by a suffix, rather than by a prefix/preposition, just to see if that would make any difference.

What about this example:

Tajnica zapisuje/zapiše zapisnik na tedenskih sestankih.

"The secretary transcribes the minutes at the weekly meetings."

Would it be better to choose zapisuje or zapiše here?
Personally, I don't feel this would be any different from the examples before. So you can go with either, depending on what you want to stress (the imperfective simply states that she transcribes the minutes (ie. the action/process as such), while the perfective emphasise emphasises the start/end point of the action). Without any context whatsoever, I would go with the imperfect.

Gavril wrote:
EDIT: Just figured I could elaborate just a bit more on the whole transitivity thing now. Compare the following:
1) [i]Vsak dan tečem.
(I run every day.) - the verb is intransitive, and you can only use the imperfective verb
2) Vsak dan (pre)tečem eno miljo. (Every day I run one mile.) - the verb is transitive, and you can select either the imperfective verb or the perfective.
3) Vsak dan berem. (I read every day.) - intransitive, imperfective only
4) Vsak dan (pre)berem eno knjigo. - transitive, and you can pick the verb (the perfective verb (preberem) means that you read the whole book)

i hope that makes it a bit clearer.


It does, partly, but I still don't quite see what the choice of perfective vs. imperfective accomplishes in the case of "tečem/pretečem eno miljo": does "teče" imply (or suggest) that you didn't run the whole mile?
Kind of, yeah, the imperfective implies you ran a mile total (eg, run half a mile, then walk, then run half a mile again), or like in the above example, it just conveys the action as such; the perfective then implies you ran a whole mile in one go from the beginning to the end.
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Re: končati se / končevati se

Postby Gavril » 2015-02-07, 17:50

Ashucky wrote:
Gavril wrote:Would it be better to choose zapisuje or zapiše here?
Personally, I don't feel this would be any different from the examples before. So you can go with either, depending on what you want to stress (the imperfective simply states that she transcribes the minutes (ie. the action/process as such), while the perfective emphasise emphasises the start/end point of the action). Without any context whatsoever, I would go with the imperfect.


I have to admit I still don't quite grasp the distinction you are making between the action as such and the starting/ending point of the action (though I do have some guesses about what it might mean). But I'm sure that this at least partly due to my lack of familiarity with Slovene (and other Slavic languages), so for now I won't make any further demands on your time to explain it. :) Hopefully I will start to understand more as I do more reading/listening in Slovene.

Gavril wrote:I still don't quite see what the choice of perfective vs. imperfective accomplishes in the case of "tečem/pretečem eno miljo": does "teče" imply (or suggest) that you didn't run the whole mile?

Kind of, yeah, the imperfective implies you ran a mile total (eg, run half a mile, then walk, then run half a mile again), or like in the above example, it just conveys the action as such; the perfective then implies you ran a whole mile in one go from the beginning to the end.


If you say "Vsak dan tečem eno miljo", can this be interpreted to mean that you don't run a full mile at all, just some portion of a mile every day?

What you wrote above suggests that the answer to this would be "no", but the phrase "kind of" in your post leaves me with a little bit of doubt. :)


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