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Zjadać Wypijać - I'm confused


Ziutek 9 | 160
22 Jun 2012 #1
Can anyone enlighten me as to what is going on with these two verbs?

As far as I can see, they are the imperfective forms of zjeść and wypić respectively - to eat and to drink. But wait -
zjeść and wypić are the perfective forms of jeść and pić!

I know this kind of thing (i.e. going back to the imperfective by keeping the prefix and changing the main part of the verb)

can happen when prefixization forms a perfective with a changed meaning - for example

pisać (imperf) -> napisać (perf) to write

|
|
|------------------> podpisać(perf) to sign - (changed meaning)
|
|
podpisywać (imperf)<--|

Also, a similar change to the bare imperfective can yield the frequentative

pisywać. Jan pisywał - Jan would sometimes write. Similarly there are the frequentatives jadać and pijać from
jeść and pić.

So my question boils down to this - are zjadać and wypijać frequentatives? If they are, do they differ in meaning from jadać and pijać?

If not - that is they are normal imperfectives - how do they differ from from jeść and pić?

Dziękuję z góry.
boletus 30 | 1,366
22 Jun 2012 #2
So my question boils down to this - are zjadać and wypijać frequentatives? If they are, do they differ in meaning from jadać and pijać?

Yes.

Wypijałem butelkę reńskiego każdego wieczora.
Frequentative, perfective. I did it often, and always drank it down to the very bottom.

Pijałem wiele razy piwo z tego browaru.
Frequentative, imperfective. I did it often, but with various intakes: sometimes just a sip here and there without finishing it out, sometimes many bottles a time.

"Zabijaliśmy dziecko, jego serce kroiliśmy na kawałki, a potem zjadaliśmy je. To była ofiara dla Szatana" - tak Blahyi opowiada dziennikarzom o tym, co jego oddziały robiły podczas wojny domowej w Liberii.

(Joshua Blahyi, dowódca jednej z liberyjskich bojówek, okrutny morderca.)
Frequentative, perfective. And disgusting..

Jadałem w tej restauracji nieomalże dzień w dzień.
Frequentative, imperfective. I did it often but it does not mean that I have ever finished my meal there. Some meals in fact could have been very bad but I tried it again since I had no other choice: this was the only restaurant in town.
OP Ziutek 9 | 160
22 Jun 2012 #3
Boletus - thanks. I was thinking that the frequentative was a kind of superimperfective, emphasising the both the repetitive and unfinished nature of the action, but it seems from what you are saying

repetition and completion can be separated so that we can have a frequentative perfective for actions that are both repeated and completed?
boletus 30 | 1,366
23 Jun 2012 #4
you are saying repetition and completion can be separated so that we can have a frequentative perfective for actions that are both repeated and completed?

Yes, this is what I think. But I am not an expert, I am just a passerby, a native Polish speaker. There are several experts on this forum, who would be only glad to correct me here. :-)

I know that typical definitions of aspects associate frequentative with imperfective but not with perfective. But I was also happy to discover that there are different formal schools of thought on this subject, and some of them agree that the frequentative/iterative/habitual aspect is often successfully paired with perfective aspect [1].

I also came across two other publications that might be of interest to you. The dissertation [2] of Anna Katarzyna Młynarczyk attempts to provide a systematic mechanism for classification, creation and testing of imperfective/perfective aspect pairs:

The received view on Slavic aspect is that it is intrinsically complex, and that there is little hope of discerning any substantial regularity. We argue that this view is mistaken. We argue that the vast majority of Polish verbs really do come in aspectual pairs and that far from being a mysterious process, aspectual pairing in Polish is simple and regular. We introduce a classification of Polish verbs that pins down the mechanism of aspectual pairing in Polish. Our classification is formationally-driven: we divide Polish verbs into basic five classes on the basis of the patterns of aspectual affixation they enter into (we call affixes used for aspectual purposes 'formants'). But in spite of its essentially formal nature, our aspectual classification reveals considerable semantic regularity in the Polish verb system.

The most interesting parts of her work is the first half of the Chapter 1: "A little Polish Lesson" and Chapter 4: "An Aspectual Classification of Polish Verbs", where she presents and discusses her conclusions, which she obtained with the help of a program written in the declarative, logical programming language Prolog. Frequentative/habitual aspects, however, are outside the scope of her work and she looks down on certain forms such as "jadać" or "pisywać" as old fashioned, fossilized and not very significant in modern Polish.

Finally, Bartosz Wiland [3] deals with the issue of legal prefix (aspect) stacking and its order of precedence in constructs like this:
po-prze-pisywać (DISTRIBUTIVE-REPETITIVE-write),
po-na-stawiać (DISTIBUTIVE-CUMULATIVE-set),
na-prze-pisywać (SATURATIVE-REPETITIVE-write),
po-na-brajać (DISTRIBUTIVE-SATURATIVE-prank).
His style is very terse, but he provides many good examples that may serve as a guide to aspect stacking in Polish.

[1] ASPECT AND EXPRESSIONS OF HABITUALITY IN POLISH, Barbara Bacz, Université Laval, Canada, 2009:

lacus.org/volumes/35/202_bacz_b.pdf

[2] Aspectual Pairing in Polish / Anna Katarzyna Mlynarczyk - [S.l.] : [s.n.], 2004 - Tekst. - Proefschrift Universiteit Utrecht:

igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/dissertations/2004-0309-140804/inhoud.htm

[3] Prefix Stacking, Syncretism, and the Syntactic Hierarchy, Bartosz Wiland, University of Poznań, FASL 20, MIT, May 13-15, 2011,

web.mac.com/bartoszwiland/Bartosz_Wiland/Bartosz_Wiland_files/Prefixes_Hand-Out-FASL.pdf
OP Ziutek 9 | 160
30 Jun 2012 #5
boletus - that was quite a reading list. I was already aware of Młynarczyk's thesis, and as you say, frequentative forms are outside her scope.

Bacz's paper pretty much turned everything I thought I knew on its head. It entirely escapes me how one can say, for example

"Często po obiedzie usiądziep sobie w fotelu, zapalip fajkę i porozmawiap z wnukami."

I realise this is kind of the point of the paper, but I think I'm a bit out of my depth! Thanks anyway for taking the time to answer my questions - it's much appreciated.
boletus 30 | 1,366
30 Jun 2012 #6
"Często po obiedzie usiądziep sobie w fotelu, zapalip fajkę i porozmawiap z wnukami."

Just to be sure that there is no misunderstanding for anyone reading this: the author indicates perfective verbs with superscript "p" (if I remember it correctly). So the real, "clean" sentence is: "Często po obiedzie usiądzie sobie w fotelu, zapali fajkę i porozmawia z wnukami."

I realise this is kind of the point of the paper, but I think I'm a bit out of my depth! Thanks anyway for taking the time to answer my questions - it's much appreciated.

You are welcome.
OP Ziutek 9 | 160
30 Jun 2012 #7
Just to be sure that there is no misunderstanding for anyone reading this ...

Indeed. Proving that the third part of the cut 'n' paste trilogy is ... check!


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