- Polish dictionaries and the treatment of verbal aspect
- Book title
- Between West and East: Festschrift for Wim Honselaar, on the occasion of his 65th Birthday
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In good dictionaries of Slavic languages verbal aspect is generally indicated in the same way as the gender of nouns: (usually) labels or such like provide the information whether a verb is perfective or imperfective and especially nowadays also whether two verbs with the same lexical meaning that differ only in aspect form a so-called aspectual pair.
This state of affairs does not actually do justice to the many significant but often ‘regular’ variations that occur in association with aspect. In particular, with respect to imperfective verbs, there are a - albeit, not so great - number of meaning variations that may be seen to systematically occur depending on the lexical meaning of verbs in combination with aspectual meaning. The question is whether that should be pointed out in a dictionary.
In order to shed some light on this matter I will give an overview of the treatment of aspect by (all) Polish monolingual dictionaries whilst sometimes sidestepping to special issues appertaining to bi-lingual dictionaries. This overview demonstrates how the strategies for dealing with aspect have shifted over time, we might indeed say, have developed. Relying on simple markers for aspect, such as is the case with most dictionaries, may not actually provide the full picture of usage of respective aspectual partners and dictionary makers might consider an extension to their treatment, such as I suggest.
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