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Original scientific paper

Mislav Benić, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, Zagreb

Violeta Moretti, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Juraj Dobrila University, Pula

https://doi.org/10.22210/suvlin.2020.090.01

 

 

Abstract

The article focuses on the issue of the aspect of the two present paradigms of the verb biti ‘to be’ in
the Croatian language. Standard Croatian lexicography and grammars, such as Daničić (1880–1882:
lemma bȉti), Silić and Pranjković (2005: 88), explain the difference between the two present forms
of this verb as one of verbal aspect (the present form jesam is considered imperfective, and budem
perfective), while some grammars do not treat their aspect at all. T e exceptions are Glasovi i oblici
hrvatskoga književnog jezika (Babić et al. 1991: 688, 719), and the Serbo–Croatian grammar written

in English by Brown and Alt (2004: 54), where budem is, accurately, described as a bi–aspectual
form. Linguistic scholarship, however, addressed the aspect of budem several times (cf. Ivić 1955).
Basing their conclusions on their exploration of the Croatian digital corpora – which had shown
that budem can be used both in the contexts characteristic of perfective verbs and in some of those
characteristic of imperfective verbs – the authors propose that the present form budem should be
considered bi–aspectual. In accordance with this, they consider the traditional terms imperfective
present and perfective present as inappropriate for these forms of biti and rather propose terms based
on formal characteristics, whose accuracy cannot be questioned – the athematic present (jesam) and
the thematic present (budem)

 

Key words

verb to beverbal aspectthematic presentathematic presentCroatian language

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