Aspectual triplets in Estonian

Anne Tamm


Estonian has lexical perfective-imperfective ‘doublets’, as in mõõtma ‘measure’, välja mõõtma ‘measure (out)’. The ‘doublets’ render the Estonian lexical aspect similar to that of Germanic, e.g. Dutch meten ‘measure’ and uitmeten ‘measure out’. Finnish uses object case alternation for the expression of the opposition, e.g. mitata/mitoittaa ‘measure’. However, Estonian also has regular morphological means to express aspectual ‘triplets’, like Slavic, as in the Russian imperfective simplex merit’ ‘measure’, the perfective izmerit’ ‘measure (out)’ and the secondary imperfective izmerjat’, approximately ‘be measuring out’. The third member of the Estonian triplet emerges via combining the particle and the partitive object case.

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ISSN 2504-6616 (print/trükis)

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