Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Slawistik und Hungarologie

Vortrag Karolina Zuchewicz (Kolloquium Slawistische Linguistik)

20.12. Karolina Zuchewicz (Leipzig): Aspect and pragmatics in Polish [hybrid]

In this talk, I contribute to the discussion on the meaning of the Polish perfective by analyzing the so-called general-factual contexts, i.e., contexts that refer to completed events. In Slavic, both perfective and imperfective aspect can be used in order to refer to such events, but the exact distribution of the two aspectual alternatives is language-specific (Dickey 2000, Grønn 2004, Altshuler 2014, Mueller-Reichau 2018, Klimek-Jankowska 2020, 2022, Gehrke 2022, 2023 among many others). Whereas in East Slavic languages, imperfective aspect is strongly preferred in general-factual contexts, in West Slavic languages, there is a competition between imperfective and perfective forms. This talk discusses the role of pragmatics in aspect choice in general-factual contexts in Polish. It shows that the presence or absence of pragmatic contract between the interlocutors (cf. Israeli 1996 for Russian) systematically disambiguates between the preference for the perfective (former case) and the imperfective (latter case). I view the presence of pragmatic contract as an instance of uniqueness and argue for the strong pragmatic force of the Polish perfective.