Chapter 2. Indeterminate motion verbs are denominal

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Slavic indeterminate verbs of motion are better analyzed as denominal verbs than as causatives. They owe their *-o- vocalism, their *-i- stem suffixes, and their indeterminate aspectuality to their denominal origin. Some of them may originally have been Indo-European causatives, but were reanalyzed as denominal in a larger typological shift of the Slavic verbal lexicon from verb-based to noun-based. The same type shift also facilitated the formation of denominal transitive verbs such as sušiti ‘dry’ and cistiti ‘clean’, and their secondary reflexives provided new intransitive verbs. These changes, together with the incipient development of aspect pairs, took place as Common Slavic moved into the European cultural sphere.


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