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Dickey divides the Slavic languages into two aspectual groups, an eastern and a western group, as well as a transitional zone between the two. This book shows the semantic meaning of aspect in these groups, analyzed within the framework of cognitive grammar. Dickey offers the first comparative analysis of Slavic aspect treating more than two languages, and the first book-length cognitive linguistic analysis of Slavic aspect. He establishes seven parameters of variation in aspectual usage: repetition, the simple denotation of past actions, the historical present, stage directions and other instructions, performatives and other cases of the coincidence of utterance and action, the imperfective in sequences of actions, and the derivation of verbal nouns. These parameters are used as a basis for dividing the Slavic languages into the western group of Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Sorbian, the eastern group of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, and the transitional zone of Serbo-Croatian and Polish.
Introduction; 1. Preliminaries; 2. Repetition; 3. The imperfective general-factual; 4. The historical present; 5. Stage directions and other instructions: demonstrations; 6. Coincidence; 7. The imperfective in sequences of events; 8. Verbal nouns.