Употребление глагольных времён в древнерусских перформативных высказываниях: прагматический подход

Dekker, Simeon (2020). Употребление глагольных времён в древнерусских перформативных высказываниях: прагматический подход. In: Dutch Contributions to the Sixteenth International Congress of Slavists - Linguistics: Belgrade, August 20-27, 2018. Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics: Vol. 44 (pp. 54-75). Leiden/Boston: Brill

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The Novgorod birchbark letters occupy an intermediate position on a continuum between orality and literacy. Thanks to this corpus, we can trace the development of a formal written language over a period of more than four centuries. Its emergence can partly be traced to (1) the adaptation of Church Slavonic norms to secular text types, and partly be attributed to (2) an adaptation of vernacular oral habits to the written medium.
The twofold origin of this development is presented by means of a case study, viz. the use of verbal tenses, especially the perfect and aorist, in performative formulae. In early texts, the use of the aorist is due to Church Slavonic influence; in later texts, on the contrary, it is due to the development of a “language of distance” in interaction with patterns of oral influence.
A comparison is made between the birchbark letters and a representative sample of parchment letters from Novgorod and Pskov. The use of the aorist in performative formulae is also attested in Ancient Greek and in Old Church Slavonic translations from Greek. Thus, a comparison can be made both within and beyond the Slavic realm. It is argued that a passive command of Church Slavonic led to a reanalysis of the aorist as a stylistically higher variant of the Old Russian perfect tense. This perception gained momentum in concordance with the growing status of the written word and the increasing “performative” role of written documents.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Slavic Languages and Literatures

UniBE Contributor:

Dekker, Simeon


400 Language > 490 Other languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 890 Other literatures






Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics






Simeon Dekker

Date Deposited:

15 Jul 2019 17:22

Last Modified:

20 Dec 2019 11:15

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Old Russian, birchbark letters, perfect, aorist, performatives





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