ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Horváth, Laura (Budapest)

nyomtatható változat

On the aspectual markers of the Udmurtian language - aspectual means in dialectal contexts

The aim of my presentation is to discuss the aspectual system of the Udmurtian language: how does it work in fact, in different dialects.
First of all, aspect is treated here not as a lexical but a grammatical cathegory, so we can say that aspect is a syntactical category, while Aktionsart is a lexical one (cp. Kiefer-Ladányi 2000: 476), supposing that there is a connection between the notions of Aktionsart and aspect. In Hungarian e.g., and in Udmurtian as well, aspectual meaning is usually expressed via Aktionsart and clear aspect derivation occurs only in rare cases.
Secondly, I will examine the most important markers expressing aspectual value in Udmurtian: this language has numerous derivative suffixes, paired verbs, tenses and compositional markers (e.g. different adverbs) expressing aspect. There are some markers indicating the same aspectual or Aktionsart meaning, thus it seems very important to discuss the frequency of these markers in comparison to each other, whether it is dialect depending or it is not. E.g. the frequentative Aktionsart can be expressed by derivative suffix and by paired verb construction, but in the past by a special tense, too. It will be useful to clear up whether these constructions are simply synonyms or they are characteristic of different dialects?
Thirdly, in discussing aspectuality in Udmurtian, the imperfective and perfective aspects and numerous Aktionsarten can be expressed by the paired verb constructions. They consist of an adverbial participle that conveys the lexical meaning, and a finite verb that has more or less lost its original meaning and is only a modifier (auxiliary) expressing aspect and/or Aktionsart. The usage of the paired verbs is different in Udmurtian dialects and in literary language: the Southern dialects have more than 25 modifiers (cp. Kelmakov 1975), but less of them are used in literary language and even less in Northern dialects. It would be very important to examine what kind of markers are used instead of paired verbs in those Udmurtian dialects where the paired verbs are less frequently used. In this latter case, the aspectual role of adverbs might be more significant than in other dialects. E.g. the adverbs bÏdesak ‘entirely’ and pumo½az ‘to the end’ serve as perfectivators: the construction bÏdesak / pumo½az le£tÏnÏ ‘to do entirely / to the end’ is equivalent with a paired verb construction: le£tÏsa bÏdtÏnÏ ‘to do:PRF (’to finish doing’)’.
All things considered, it is presumable that the aspectual system is different in different Udmurtian dialects. Thus, I will examine not only texts of Udmurtian literary language for my presentation but dialectal texts as well to make it clear, what means are utilized to express aspectuality in different dialects and what means are made use of in literary language.


Kelmakov, V.K. [Кельмаков, В.К.] 1975. Спаренные глаголы в удмуртском языке. Вопросы удмуртского языкознания 3, Izsevszk, 90-105.
Ladányi Mária - Kiefer Ferenc 2000. Igekötők. In: Strukturális magyar nyelvtan 3. Morfológia. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 453-519.

Language of presentation: Hungarian.