Secondary imperfective

Asked by Kelly Willersen on July 8, 2020


today, while working on my thesis (on occasionalisms in the poetry of Marina Cvetaeva), I stumbled upon something strange.
My theoretical grammar tells me that a secondary imperfective might sometimes involve an accented 'o' in the stem to be changed into a an accented 'a' (for example: вздрóгнуть --> вздрáгивать). However, I noticed that sometimes this 'o' doesn't need to be accented in order to change upon secondary imperfectivation (for example: всмотрéться --> всмáтриваться). This is also reflected in Cvetaeva's use of secondary imperfectivation (for example, she uses горéть to create погáрывать). She does this consistently; it is not an one time occurence.
So I wonder, is there perhaps another rule? Or is the rule that my grammar book supplies just narrow? I tried finding some articles on the matter, but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Thanks in advance,
Kelly Willersen, Student at the University of Amsterdam


Hello Kelly,

Sorry, your question was in the spam folder.

Yes, the rule is quite narrow. In fact, I think there are no rules for accents in this case. Please, note than Tsvetaeva's second imperfectivation is quite particular, the verbs she uses are never used in the Russian language.

If you want to find more articles on this subject, you can search for вторичная имперфективизация in Russian.

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