Verbal prefixation and realizations of antipassive alternations in Polish

Katarzyna Mroczyńska

Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Poland


Various works on transitivity suggest that aspectual notions may constitute semantic determinants of argument realization. Observations included in these works prompted theories implying that argument realization may be aspectually driven. Following this line of thought, this article presents the results of corpus-based studies on antipassive structure in the Polish language and makes an attempt at confirming the fact that aspectual notion may determine argument realization.

The article consists of three main sections. The first one focuses on notions of aspect and various aspectual propositions distinguished in the literature on the subject, regarding the Polish language in particular. The second section, illustrated with examples extracted from the National Corpus of Polish (NKJP) and the corpus of Wielki Słownik Języka Polskiego (KWSJP), gives an overview of Polish perfectivizing verbal prefixes, i.e. a roz-, na-, o-/ob- and u- prefix, and deals with the effect they may have on sentence structure and semantics. It also shows how the prefixed verbs combine with the marker się, which flags antipassive, i.e. is a recurring marker attested in antipassive constructions in the Polish language. In section three, an attempt is made at analyzing the interrelations between aspect and antipassive reading of a structure. As it seems that a perfective prefix used with a verb imposes certain requirements on the argument structure of the verb it combines with, we also offer a possible explanation to different aspectual requirements of verbs occurring in antipassive structures, assuming that projections coded in a verb may play a role here.

antipassive, aspect, Polish, prefixing, verb projections

Suggested citation

Mroczyńska, Katarzyna. 2017. Verbal prefixation and realizations of antipassive alternations in Polish. Linguistics Beyond and Within 3: 169-186. Online at:ńska.

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