Reflections on the transformation of the old east Slavic verbal system
Мысли о преобразовании древневосточнославянской глагольной системы
AuthorsBjornflaten, Jan Ivar
Article (Published version)
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This contribution treats the overall issue of the transformation of the system of past tenses that occurred in the development of Old East Slavic to modern Russian. The divergent opinions concerning the relative as well as the absolute chronology of these changes are discussed briefly. It is argued that the actual recordings of imperfects and aorist in large numbers of texts make it reasonable to assume that the transformation is observable in late mediaeval texts. The attention is directed towards the development of the perfect in terms of the l-participle. It is focused on how the l-participle looses its meaning of current relevance and how it replaces the aorist. In this way several steps in the transformation of the past tenses can be observed, allowing for a detailed interpretation of how this radical change in the history of the Russian language proceeded.