LINGUIST List 14.2230

Mon Aug 25 2003

Sum: Aspect in Baltic IE Languages

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Rose Thomas, Aspect in Baltic IE Languages

Message 1: Aspect in Baltic IE Languages

Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 08:27:39 +0000
From: Rose Thomas <>
Subject: Aspect in Baltic IE Languages

Last week, I posted a query concerning the expression of aspect in the
Baltic IE languages (Linguist 14.2168). I would like to thank the
following for their replies:

Prof. Gary H. Toops, Alexsas Girdenis, Alexsey V. Andronov, Sturla
Berg-Olsen, Prof. Charles E. Gribble, Prof. P.I. Kirtchuk-Halevi

Gary H. Toops (Wichita State University) informed me that basically,
Perfective aspect is expressed in Baltic via the use of a prefix,
though the category is not grammaticalised to the same extent that it
is in Slavic, and recommended his article ''The grammar of
Paraphrastic Imperfectives in Latvian and Upper Sorbian'', SLavic And
East European Journal,45 (2001)

Alexsas Girdenis recommended the following: Lithuanian Grammar,
V. Ambrazas (ed.) Baltos Lankos, 1997

Alexsey V. Andronov (St. Petersburg State University) also informed me
that the Baltic languages use a prefix to indicate Perfectivity, and
do not use a difference of object cases to indicate the
Perfective/Imperfective distinction (the partitive genitive is
apparently now almost obsolete in Latvian anyway), and recommended the
following: A short grammar of Lithuanian, T. Mathiessen, Slavica
Publ. 1996, and: A short Grammar of Latvian (same author, publisher)

Sturla Berg-Olsen (University of Oslo) also informed me that the
aspectual distinction is achieved via the use of a prefix, and not by
a difference in object case (again pointing out that partitive
genitives have almost died out in Latvian), although the distinction
is not as fully grammaticalised as it is in Slavic. Also, it is not
wholly impossible for a genitive object to occur with an Imperfective
verb-form in Lithuanian, as it is in Russian.

Prof. Charles E. Gribble (Ohio State University) recommended several
books and articles, including those already referred to above.

Prof. P.I. Kirtchuk-Halevi recommeded that I contact Leah Savitzky at
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, however I was unable to make

Thanks to all concerned. 

Language-Family: Eastern Baltic; Code: IEDA
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