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Russian Aspect: From Theory to Pedagogy. Laura A. Janda Universitetet i Tromsø [email protected] John Korba University of North Carolina korba Some of the great advantages of Cognitive Linguistics are that….

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Russian aspect from theory to pedagogy

Russian Aspect:From Theory to Pedagogy

Laura A. Janda

Universitetet i Tromsø

[email protected]

John Korba

University of North Carolina

[email protected]

Some of the great advantages of cognitive linguistics are that
Some of the great advantages of Cognitive Linguistics are that…

  • It is based on general cognitive capacities (embodied experience, metaphor)

  • It does not require mastery of a theoretical/terminological artifice

    This makes it possible to take the results of scholarly research and translate them into pedagogical materials

    (cf. Janda & Clancy 2002, 2006)

Interplay between theory and pedagogy
Interplay between that…theory and pedagogy

A theoretical model

is developed

to account for

a linguistic


The model

is extended

to apply to

an entire subsystem

in a language and

present it to learners

The extended model

reveals new

research opportunities

and amendments

to theoretical model

Comparison with

theoretical model

suggests further

pedagogical strategies

Overview that…

  • What is the cluster model of Russian aspect?

    • Metaphorically motivated implicational hierarchy

    • Advantages over “pair” model

  • Cluster databases

    • Linguistic database

    • Pedagogical database

  • Implications for pedagogy

    • Online resource

    • Suggested teaching strategies and materials

  • Further implications

    • Type & token frequency

    • Entrenchment

The cluster model of russian aspect
The cluster model of that…Russian aspect

  • An extension of the pair model

    • Four types of Perfectives

      • Natural Perfective (NP): написать, сыграть

      • Specialized Perfective (SP): переписать, выиграть

        • Secondary Imperfective: переписывать, выигрывать

      • Complex Act Perfective (CA): пописать, поиграть, почихать

      • Single Act Perfective (SA): чихнуть

1 the cluster model of russian aspect
1. The cluster model of that…Russian aspect

Metaphorical motivations

A completable activity is travel to a destination

  • Natural Perfective: написать, сыграть

  • Specialized Perfective: переписать, выиграть

    A non-completable activity is motion without a destination

  • Complex Act Perfective: пописать, поиграть, почихать

    A granular activity is made up of individual cycles

  • Single Act Perfective: чихнуть

1 the cluster model of russian aspect1
1. The cluster model of that…Russian aspect

The Implicational Hierarchy: A>(NP/SP)>CA>SA


щипатьi ‘pinch/pluck’

> (Natural/Specialized Perfective)

о(б)щипатьp ‘pinch/pluck’/выщипатьp ‘pluck out’

> Complex Act

пощипатьp ‘pinch/pluck a while’

> Single Act

щипнутьp ‘pinch/pluck once’

1 the cluster model of russian aspect2
1. The cluster model of that…Russian aspect

Implicational hierarchy accounts for 12 cluster structures:

A+NP (key #1)

A+NP+SP (key #2)

A+NP+SP+CA (key #3)

A+NP+SP+CA+SA (key #4)









One more cluster type exists, but is rare: NP (perfectiva tantum)

1 the cluster model of russian aspect3
1. The cluster model of that…Russian aspect

Advantages of cluster model

  • Gives more information than pair model alone

  • Makes it possible to expect and interpret many more verbs, including ones often not listed in dictionaries

  • Integrates aspectual “anomalies” such as bi-aspectual verbs and motion verbs

  • Not really any harder to learn

2 cluster databases
2. Cluster databases that…

  • Linguistic database

    • 306 clusters

    • Multiply stratified sample

      • Fully represents all non-productive verb classes

      • Samples of all productive verb classes

2 cluster databases1
2. Cluster databases that…

  • Pedagogical database

    • 266 clusters

    • Based on verbal lexicon of Nachalo and V puti

    • All clusters based on verbs with high token frequency; very little representation of verbs with low type frequency

3 implications for pedagogy
3. Implications for pedagogy that…

  • Online resource:


  • Suggested teaching strategies

    • Option A: Gradual build-up of clusters

    • Option B: Clusters based on motion verbs

  • Suggested teaching materials

    • See exercises on handout

4 further implications
4. Further implications that…

  • Type & token frequency

  • Entrenchment

Bibliography that…

  • Isačenko, A. V. Grammatičeskij stroj russkogo jazyka v sopostavlenii s slovackim – Čast’ vtoraja: morfologija. Bratislava: Izdatel’stvo akademii nauk, 1960.

  • Janda, Laura A. “A User-friendly Conceptualization of Aspect”, Slavic and East European Journal 47 (2003): 251–281.

  • Janda, Laura A. “Aspectual clusters of Russian verbs”, Studies in Language 31:3 (2007), 607-648.

  • Janda, Laura A. “What makes Russian Bi-aspectual verbs special”, to appear in: Dagmar Divjak and Agata Kochanska, eds. Slavic Contributions to Cognitive Linguistics. Cognitive Linguistics Research. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Forthcoming.

  • Janda, Laura A. and John J. Korba. “Beyond the pair: Aspectual clusters for learners of Russian” Forthcoming. (Provisionally accepted for Slavic and East European Journal).

  • Kagan, Olga and Frank Miller. V puti: Russian Grammar in Context. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.

  • Lubensky, Sophia et al. Nachalo, book 1 & 2. McGraw Hill, 2002.

  • Sasse, Hans-Jürgen. 2002. Recent activity in the theory of aspect: Accomplishments, achievements, or just non-progressive state? Linguistic Typology 6, 199-271.

  • Tatevosov, Sergej.“The parameter of actionality”. Linguistic Typology 6 (2002): 317-401.