Frequency oriented diachronic approach to the study of

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  • 1.Frequency-oriented diachronic approach to the study of variation in prefixes in the aspectual system of the Russian language Valery Solovyev, Vladimir Bochkarev Kazan University
  • 2.The main components of the Russian aspectual system Verbs: Perfective vs. Imperfective (делать – сделать ‘do’) Perfective: Natural vs. Specialized (сделать ‘do’, переделать ‘redo’) - Natural Perfective has the same lexical meaning as the corresponding simplex verb - The lexical meaning of the Specialized Perfectives is different from the corresponding simplex verb Aspectual pairs: Perfective and Imperfective with the same lexical meaning
  • 3.Aspectual pairs: problems What does it mean to have the same meaning? Semantics is not formalized How to distinguish between Natural and Specialized Perfectives? Currently there are no operational criterion allowing to establish whether the pair of verbs are aspectual or not Even professional aspectologists often can not come to an agreement about the aspectual pairs The existence of the “diffuse zone" between Natural and Specialized Perfectives (L. Janda)
  • 4.Questionnaire 1997 (Горбова, ВЯ, 2011 )
  • 5.Corpus Google Books Ngram Viewer ( More than 67 billions words in Russian, 200 times greater than in the Russian National Corpus Diachronic corpus: from 1800 up to 2008 A graphical representation of the frequency of use of words and phrases
  • 6.New frequency-based approach to semantics Presupposition-1: If words have the same lexical semantics, but belong to different grammatical categories, the changes in frequency should be in sync
  • 7.Example:читать (to read, inf) – читал (read, 3sg.past) r = 0.888, p < 10-29 Frequency changes are synchronized
  • 8.Example (continuation):читать (to read, inf) – читал (read, 3sg.past) – читая (reading, conv) r = 0.860. The frequency of the word is very small, it is difficult to compare
  • 9.Example (continuation):читать – читал – читая (scaled graph) Multiply all frequencies of the word читая by 4. Then see that frequencies change synchronously
  • 10.Natural Perfective Example 1: глядеть-поглядеть (look) r = 0.821. Frequencies change synchronously  lexical semantics coincides
  • 11.New frequency-based approach to semantics Presupposition-2: If words have different lexical semantics, then there is a period of time when one of the words will be in more demand, and their frequencies will not change sync
  • 12.Specialized Perfective. Example: строить - перестроить (build-rebuild) r = 0.025, p = 0.722. The shape of the curves differs  lexical semantics is not the same
  • 13.Criterion for what constitutes an aspectual pairs  Have in Google Books Ngram Viewer graphs of the same shape Advantage of the criterion: can be applied to an unlimited amount of examples and do not rely on author’s intuition Limitation of the criterion: requires many datapoints per pair
  • 14.Бить (beat) and its perfectives Dictionaries indicate more than 10 meanings of бить Different meanings ​​have different natural perfectives, for some there are no perfectives Individual meanings of words, but not the whole words form aspectual pairs
  • 15.Meanings of бить. Refinements Janda’s database: Бить 1 пробить (ring, chime) Бить 2 побить (beat) Бить 3 разбить 1 (break into smaller pieces) also can be added Бить 3a разбить 2 (defeat)
  • 16.Бить врага – разбить врага (defeat the enemy) r = 0.975, p = 0. бить and разбить in this meaning are aspectual pair
  • 17.Meanings of бить. Additions Shvedova’s Semantic Dictionary (1998) Бить 4 забить 1 (drive [as piles into ground]) Is забить Natural Perfective or Specialized Perfectives? And also there exist: Бить 5 набить 1 (beat [slap face])
  • 18.Бить – забить The semantics are obviously different, but …
  • 19.Бить сваи – забить сваи‘drive piles/beams’ The semantics is same  in this sense it is the aspectual pair
  • 20.Бить – набить r = 0.299, p < 0.0001. The semantics are different, but …
  • 21.Бить морду – набить морду‘beat face’ r = 0.394, p < 0.0001. In this sense it is the aspectual pair
  • 22.‘набить морду’ or ‘побить морду’? ‘побить морду’ clearly inappropriate
  • 23.Колоть – заколоть (stab) Is it the aspectual pair? Зализняк, Микаэлян, ВЯ, 2012 – No Кузнецова, Янда, ВЯ, 2013 – Yes “… не очень молодые люди … маршировали там с утра до вечера и кололи чучела штыками” ‘… not so very young people … marched there from morning to night and stabbed the scarecrow with bayonets’ “А сержант … настиг … фон Враницкого и молча заколол его штыком” ‘A sergeant … caught … von Vranitzky and silently stabbed him with a bayonet’ Is there identity of lexical meanings? Can one example to prove the identity of semantics?
  • 24.Колоть штыком – заколоть штыком‘to stab with bayonet’ The curves have not the same shape. Coincide only peaks during World War 2
  • 25.Колоть свинью – заколоть свиней‘stab pig’ In this sense колоть–заколоть is the aspectual pair
  • 26.Possibilities of the method - 1 The method does not replace the traditional linguistic methods, but complements them. 1) It gives arguments in favor of aspectual pairs (if the frequency curves are synchronized) 2) It gives arguments against aspectual pairs (if the frequency curves are different)
  • 27.Triplets: primary imperfectives vs. secondary imperfectives An example of a triplet: драить-надраить-надраивать (polish) Two pairs: (1) perfective-primary imperfective; (2) perfective-secondary imperfective. Which are aspectual pairs? Do all members of a triplet evolve in the same way?
  • 28.дохнуть-подохнуть-подыхать ‘croak’ Primary imperfective approaches with other
  • 29.жечь-сжечь-сжигать‘burn’ Secondary imperfective approaches with other. After 1920: r = 0.902, r = 0.798, p < 10-20
  • 30.Possibilities of the method – 2 It is a convenient way of analyzing data on the evolution of aspectual pairs and triplets Frequency triplets in most cases (75%) are evolving towards the semantics convergence
  • 31.Evolving of usage frequency of perfectives and imperfectives
  • 32.The frequency ratio of aspects varies linearly
  • 33.Secondary imperfectives are washed out of the language
  • 34.Conclusion A new diachronic frequency-based approach to lexical semantics has been presented It can be used to distinguish Natural Perfective and Specialized Perfectives It allows for studying the scheme of the evolution of triplets The frequency of imperfectives falls during the last 200 years
  • 35.Thank you for attention!
  • 36.Maslov’s test. (Горбова, ВЯ, 2011 )