Examining the role of linguistic context in aspectual competition: a statistical study.

Beatrice Bernasconi, Valentina Noseda*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to show the results of a quantitative study on verbal aspect in modern Russian. Adopting a corpus-based approach, we investigate the phenomenon known as ‘aspectual competition’, which can take place when the imperfective aspect (ipf) is used instead of perfective to designate a single and complete event in the past. In particular, we investigate the interaction between the choice of aspect and co-textual factors in overlapping situations. In this study the attention is focused on one aspectual pair, namely pokupat’ipf - kupit’pf, ‘to buy’. The work consists of two parts: in Phase 1 data were collected from the spoken subcorpus of the Russian National Corpus and the web-corpus RuTenTen11, annotated for several morpho-syntactic factors, and then examined. In Phase 2 a questionnaire was submitted to native speakers in order to collect more empirical evidence on aspect choice and verify the results obtained from the corpus study. In both phases, statistical methods were used to analyse the data. Results show that the aspect of the target verb mainly interacts with two factors: the presence of a contiguous verbs in the linguistic context and the presence of an object modifier.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • verbal aspect, aspectual competition, general-factual imperfective, corpus linguistics, quantitative methods, statistical models


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