Studi Slavistici XVII (2020) 2
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The Intensifying Function of Some Verbal Prefixes and the Role of Context (Based on Russian and Bulgarian)

Svetlana Slavkova
University of Bologna
Bio
Published December 7, 2020
Keywords
  • Intensification,
  • Prefixes,
  • Verbal Aspect,
  • Russian,
  • Bulgarian
How to Cite
Slavkova, S. (2020). The Intensifying Function of Some Verbal Prefixes and the Role of Context (Based on Russian and Bulgarian). Studi Slavistici, 17(2), 213-228. https://doi.org/10.13128/Studi_Slavis-9019

Abstract

This paper examines some morphological means for expressing intensification in Russian and Bulgarian with a special focus on the specific meanings that the po-, pod- and pri- prefixes add to both perfective and imperfective base verbs. We observe that in some contexts the examined prefixes have a purely pragmatic function. In particular, when added to an imperfective base, the prefix acts as a delimitative marker and affects the ‘action duration’ parameter of the base. When the base is perfective, the prefix acts as an intensifier. On the other hand, the semantics of the prefixed verbs is strongly dependent on the context, which reflects the fact that the meaning of the prefix not only can be supported by adverbials of low degree, but also can easily be neutralized if combined with adverbs of high intensity. The conclusions presented here are based on the study of a Russian-Bulgarian parallel corpus, as well as samples from the Internet.

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